Eternal Quest (a speculative fiction short story)

 

He took a moment to take it all in and, for an instant, was transported back to his college days.  He could almost hear Professor Greenberg reading from Blake’s Songs of Innocence. Behind him, he knew, were the Songs of Experience–the decay, death, and disappointment of real life, of unfulfilled dreams that are the inevitable legacy of childhood’s end. But if he did not turn around, he could almost deny the unkinder side of nature he was leaving behind, and dwell, if only for a moment, in the calming warmth of his surroundings which evoked a happier, more innocent time. The verdant boughs of heartwarming memories had long ago turned to brown, but he was both surprised and pleased to learn that they were not beyond sprouting tender shoots if he cared to turn his attention there—if he was willing to look beyond the pain and turn his mind to happier times.

As he neared his car, walking down a winding path, he continued reminiscing about the simpler, happier time of his college days, where, in a campus not unlike these pastoral grounds, Tom, Chrissie and he had spent the best years of their lives. Seeing Chrissie again had begun in him a faint welling of emotions he thought he had left behind, or at least learned to keep submerged by years of practice taught by necessity. But she was still the same woman he had loved in silence, never voicing his feelings, knowing that her heart was not and could not be his. Yet he had shared countless dreams and memories far more intimate than the sexual relationship they would never have, and that he could not even fantasize about without engendering strong feelings of guilt and betrayal towards his best friend.  Despite the still remembered pain of his secret, unrequited love, and despite his best friend’s withdrawing into an inner world that left no place for him, those years had left him with memories he would not have traded for anything in this or any other world. 

The Origin of the Vuduri

The story of how the Vuduri came to pass has been a secret up until now. We do know that Jack Henry took his stand in the Year 2660AD and Rei Bierak did not awaken until 3455AD, ju[...]