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Science Fiction

    Blank. That is how you would have described the whole world in the beginning. There was nothing but darkness and a spirit splashing about in a vast bottomless ocean. The figure, a child with a round face and big eyes was young, only two thousand nine hundred and twenty days old. The child’s name was Nimij and he is the divine. 

    The story goes that in the empty space, Nimij floated about in the water. His small, pudgy hands splashing excitedly, causing ripples to appear in the water. The circles forming one, two, three at a time. The high pitch giggles that racked the small child’s body caused the water to quiver. Sometimes it was lonely in the water. When he was lonely, he would pull off some of his skin and place it in the water. His mind imagining features that he desired to see on a different person. Nimij ended up making five friends in total, four older and one younger than him. Each one eventually shriveled up and died. Their corpses formed uninhabited land. After each one’s short-lived era, Nimij’s heart started to grow still. There was no reason for it to sing or beat. 

    When the child made it to eight thousand seven hundred and sixty days, he attempted to make another friend. His flesh had finally mended back to its soft olive complexion after the last attempt of making his last friend Koesoh. Nimij placed his arm to his lips and let his teeth remove the skin, leaving an oval with a crooked outline. The copper flooded his mouth as he took the skin from his mouth and laid it on top of the water next to him. His brain pictured a male, the same age as him with dark curls, big brown almond eyes, a big nose, and thin lips that were rosier than his own. His forearm sunk into the dark pool, blood forcing bubbles and foam to come to the surface. Nimij watched as the familiar ritual took place. The skin stretched and retracted as it tried to wipe up the spill. As Nimij watched the body form its limbs and hair, he couldn’t help but feel the energy that came off of the new form. It was nothing he had ever felt before when he created a friend. It felt...felt happy, innocent, bright. When the new mold sat up in the water, he gasped sharply. Nimij took note of how the white of his new friend’s eyes played peek-a-boo with him. He also took in a small feature his subconscious had added to his new friend. A spot tattooed the tip of his long nose giving him a little more definition. Nimij would lie if he said he didn’t find it endearing. He would be a liar if he said that he wasn’t fascinated or proud of the new friend his brain came up with. He would be a liar…

    “Hello,” the man spoke in a deep, intoxicating voice. It took Nimij by surprise, his subconscious had never created a friend that sounded this way. All of the other friends had soft and high voices. The man’s voice made Nimij feel something. Something that wasn’t there for the others. Something that made Nimij feel the beat of his heart. The organ was practically useless due to never showing off its perfect soft melody. 

    “Hi,” Nimij whispered, biting his bottom lip. The beautiful friend in front of him makes him hesitate. The words in his head do not make sense. He stared at his new creation for a minute longer. Names circled around in his head, but none of them seemed to fit. Then the letters formed, the sound formed, and before he knew it, the name left his lips. “Gnuyheat,” the word makes his tongue bounce, “your name is Gnuyheat.”

    “And what is your name,” Gnuyheat asked him. 

    “Nimij.”

    “Ni-mij,” the newborn pronounced each syllable carefully. He let the name absorb into his new brain. The younger male even took in Nimij’s appearance. Gnuyheat took in everything about him from the way his eyes moved slowly and how he played with the water with rising anxiety. “I...like your name,” Gnuyheat added after the silence dragged for too long. 

    “Thank you.”

    For days and weeks, they talked. They talked about many things from Nimij to the abyss to the land in the water. The two males smiled, laughed, and stared at one another soaking in their presence as best as they could. They understood each other well. Gnuyheat knew how to make Nimij smile to the point of his eyes closing and his crooked smile broaden. Nimij knew how to get a hardy laugh and the most beautiful ideas Gnuyheat’s brain could come up with. One idea struck Nimij with curiosity. 

         Gnuyheat had raised the question of what if there were more spirits that looked like them, but they lived on the islands in front of them. Then with a smile, he said, “What if it was no longer dark on the islands?” Nimij of course just stared at him with a smile. “We could watch over them and help them build their own place.”

“If,” Nimij had said, “if there were more of them, I would run out of flesh.”

“What if we use some of mine,” Gnuyheat had offered. “Before I wither away.”

“I do not want you to do that. I want you for as long as I can have you with me. Now, let’s drop the idea and move on, alright?”

Gnuyheat only nodded before he changed the subject to how he didn’t like the shape that the combined bodies made. 


Unfortunately, Gnuyheat’s soft skin soon began to wrinkle just like everyone else had. Nimij was watching his best friend wither away just like his other friends had. His handsome face was slowly deteriorating as well, but to Nimij, Gnuyheat was still the most beautiful creature he had ever made. It was eighty-seven days later when Gnuyheat died. His skin was leathery and his eyes were opaque. Nimij had pulled Gnuyheat over to him, tears in his eyes. The two sat in the silent vacuum. Nimij listened to the shaky breaths that left his friend and Gnuyheat listened to the harsh beating of his best friend’s heart.  

“I don’t want you to go,” Nimij had said as he caressed the black curls of his friend. “You are my friend.”

“Y-you are mine too,” Gnuyheat had gasped. He was terrified of dying at that moment. He loved Nimij and loved being able to touch him and speak with him. Now, he knew he wouldn’t be able to do that. He would join the bodies and be one of the empty, lonely, cold bodies. 

For hours they stayed close together. For hours Gnuyheat struggled to breathe. For hours, Nimij held in the tears he was trying not to shed in front of the only thing he’s ever loved. Two more hours passed before Gnuyheat died. The water dragged him in and pulled him to the bodies. Nimij tried to stop him as best as he could but Gnuyheat connected quickly to the bodies. Nimij couldn’t help the green feeling he felt at that moment. The corpses touching his beloved Gnuyheat sent him in a fit of rage. His shaky legs held him up as he walked through the ocean to the land. Staring at the limbs that connected together he grabbed onto Gnuyheat’s wrinkled arm that floated outstretched. With a firm yank, and a few aggressive stomps he pulled Gnuyheat far away from the collection. He pulled him to the farthest corner in the abyss.

As he mourned, his tears fell on the exposed, dry skin of his beloved friend. His tears decorating the man’s body with different bodies of water. He traced the cold skin to make a pathway across the dry skin to represent the ground we walk on. Nimij even took some of his own hair to make grass, shrubs, and trees. With a kiss, he made flowers and insects. With a tap, the divine made mountains and valleys. And finally, with the statement from over eighty days ago, he pictured the land to be filled with people. He took every piece of his skin apart to mold a small village of people. Their faces and personalities were all different from each other. As he stared down at his new creations he took his thumb to his third finger and snapped. A light appeared and shined bright against the pale forms. With a smile, Nimij knew his work was finished and he laid down. He grabbed Gnuyheat’s covered hand with a bony hand. He kissed his temple with a smile before drowning himself in the abyss, connected to the only friend he had ever loved. 

April 24, 2020 16:36

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3 comments

Zilla Babbitt
14:33 May 07, 2020

Here for the critique circle :) Wow this story was pretty surprising. Good characters, good plot, and I always like stories that are weird takes on the creation of the world, especially short stories. They're always creative. For some reason in my mind I thought Nimij's name was Nim-gee, like the i after the j. I'm guessing like a Persian or Indian name? I digress. I wasn't really sure what the overview effect was, and had to look it up. A shift in awareness. I am assuming Nimij's shift comes when his friend dies, but it wasn't really ma...

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Lee Ferrell
22:45 May 07, 2020

Thank you! Nimij was actually a name I couldn’t decide on how to pronounce until I had someone read it over for me and they pronounced it as ‘nim-itch’ but itch with a heavy j. Thank you for your opinion and I will remember to make a note to make the theme more apparent. I am a sucker for angst and most of my writings turn out brutal like this. This actually took me by shock while writing but I’m happy with the output. I’m happy that you read it!

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Zilla Babbitt
23:19 May 07, 2020

Of course!

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