Excerpt for Touch by , available in its entirety at Smashwords


Rowan Wolf

Smashwords Edition

July 2018



Copyright 2018 by Wolfstuff


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There are as many Gods in this universe as there are beings. And the game we play is called “Touch.” It’s a form of spiritual hugging. Easy to begin, pretty much impossible to bring to a close.

How it came about: Before the beginning of the universe, before there even was a universe, we all held hands—well, figuratively speaking. We touched, I guess would describe it (hence the name of the game), and touching we synchronized, and synchronized we decided (on three, everyone: 1-2-3) to BE. So now we all WERE. Simplicity itself.

Then we decided to decide (on three, everyone) for the universe to BE. And so it WAS and still IS. Very much so. And, yes, I’m talking about this physical, Capital-U Universe, the one with galaxies, stars, planets, black holes, oceans, parking tickets, crazy politicians, and inane commercials. Yes, this one.

The rules of “Touch” are few and simple.

Rule number One says that once we’ve made the Big One—which is basically somewhere to play this game—anyone of us can, if synchronized with (i.e., touching) anyone else—either one or many as the case may be—decide on a new smaller (I guess that would be lower-case-u) universe, within the Big One. “Sub-universe” would be as good a word as any. And from then on they, those who co-decided, would share this thing, this co-created sub-universe, and it will remain real as anything, going forward.

Nazi Germany was/is a pretty blatant example of this, if deadly and in very bad taste. Rome was/is another. Soccer huddles, too.

Your marriage is probably one. Trysts often are. Most romances, for sure.

Now, according to rule number Two, to end one of these sub-universes (for they can all be brought to a close, i.e., ceased), all you have to do is re-synchronize and non-decide the thing. Non-decide might also be a word for it. You know, like dis-appear. First it appears then it disappears—first you decide then you non-decide. But non-decide is closer to the truth, so we’ll stick with that.

So, first you decide, then you non-decide. Really, it’s as easy as 1-2-3. Could not be simpler. And to end the Big One altogether (and this is rule number Three), all we have to do is re-synchronize and non-decide IT. I ask you, what could be simpler?

On paper.

For, oh yeah, there is a rule number Four (and why we agreed on this one I shall never know, but it’s on the books, I’m afraid, and still very much in force): In order to end the Big One, in order to un-BE (non-decide) the entire universe, each and every sub-universe, large and small, must first be non-decided. That’s right, before we can all touch and un-BE the lot, i.e., the Big One, we must clear out all the sub-ones.

I guess we decided this into the “Touch” rules to protect the Big One, to make it hard to vanish, i.e., make it last. And that has worked (and still works) like a charm for the Big One, as you know, is still very much in play.

Needless to say, this all happened a few unforeseen complications ago, for by last count there were 8,444,547,856,334 first generation sub-universes on this planet alone, and each of these have since sprouted many, many, many generations of subs who in turn, well you get the point.

And to make matters a little more harrowing (from the standpoint of climbing back out of this sizeable hole by ending the Big One), by now most of us have not only forgotten the name of the game, but that this is all, in fact, a game.

And, sad to say, the handful who do remember are mostly locked up (for their own protection, or so the story goes).

That said, let me tell you where I fit it. This whole “Touch” thing dawned on me the other day, clear as anything, on my way to buy some granola. It was as if some benevolent spirit had whispered it to me. I stopped, took a very deep breath, looked around and found it to be true. Yes, that’s what we’re doing, alright. And the reason I’m bringing this up at all at this pretty late stage of the game is that I want out, and I, well, I need your help.

For as I said, you cannot leave— i.e., non-decide the Big One—unless all the 8,444,547, etc. sub-universes and all of their many offspring have been non-decided first. And that, as I said, is on this one little planet alone. It’s a Big Universe (that’s why we call it the Big One), and the number of other life-populated globes must run into the trillions and trillions—all with seas of sub and sub-sub and sub-sub-sub et cetera universes. It is a daunting task, but you got to begin somewhere, and why not here.

Yes, this is what dawned on me the other day, on my way to replenish my granola, clear as anything. Well, I thought, the least I could do to at least begin the reversal and unraveling of this whole thing—this mess, actually (is what you’d conclude looking around you)—was to track down and non-decide the last few sub-universes I’m partly responsible for.

The first one of these (the last one chronologically), going from present to past was the little sub-universe my local grocer and I made wherein he acts as creditor and I as debtor. Something we had shook on (which qualifies as a touch, of course). So I went to see him.

He, bowing deeply to the mighty god “Dollar” (another pretty substantial sub-universe, by the way, the Dollar)—didn’t want to play, didn’t want to anything like synchronize and non-decide anything at all until I paid my tab in full.

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