Agatha unravelled - part 1 of 2

What if the current multi-million venture to break out of the Matrix succeeded? What if we got our answers during a world upending event named The Fissure? But they turned out to be not the ones we wished for.

“Agatha Unravelled” is a short story which revolves around one man’s need to come to terms with his grief, while he attempts to unravel the secret behind his wife’s death and how it connects with the Fissure.

If you are interested in the current technological events that inspired this short story, please read my article “Venture me out of the Matrix”

The funeral wake

I was transfixed by the dog’s onyx eyes. Somewhere buried deep behind those eyes was Agatha’s secret. It had to be. It was her dog after all.  And with that secret, the answers what happened with the love of my life.

Deep down inside me, I was certain Agatha was different. Tougher, more resilient, better than us all.  She was the one who  symbolised a new kind of faith, one hard to grasp in these times.

The times after the Fissure.

That’s why her presence was cherished and why people flocked to her. After all, she was the beacon which organised the support circles, she pulled the drowning ones back onto the surface, she took the near-suicide calls in the middle of the night. And nurtured them back to life. Ignited hope in us all. Repeated endlessly to us, we were repsonsible for our reality, despite the overwhelming facts of the Fissure.

She gave us a sense of momentum, and it spoke that however bad things got inside our souls, there was still a reason to push forward. To go on with life as usual. To have the courage to walk out the damned dog. To have that high cholerstorole barbecue and enjoy the hell out of it. To drink oneself into stupor.

Just so you could, at least for a moment, pretend it was all real. What a damned lie.

My hand cuddled Agatha’s dog’s ear. I glanced up and reminded myself where I was.

A funeral wake at my house.

I eyed the black draped guests as they slid listlessly around me. Their silence filled with reverence, just as one would expect at such an occasion. Yet this silence had an odd quality to itself. It drilled itself into my ear drums, punctured them with a painful, dull absence of sound.

Why was I sitting here, cuddling Agatha’s dog, shaking all these strangers’ hands, at Agatha’s own funeral? Why was I pretending her final check out was an accident? Was it just that? Or was it her last line of protest against the undeniable facts which the Fissure presented?

Why did she fail to give me an advanced warning? If she owed me anything for the twenty years together, wouldn’t that be it? A few words, a talk, even a hysterical cry for help. I would gladly embrace all of it.

Few simple words that she would vanish for good, from my life, from her family’s life, from the people that loved her. From the kid we never had, but which I longed for so deeply.

Agatha

At least my dog was real

-You ok Jon?, one of the guests whispered to me and woke me up from my thoughts. I glanced up at her, but couldn’t remember her name. Someone on Agatha’s side, a dear and friendly face.

-As good as can be expected.

-Hang in there, huh…, she clapped my shoulder, gently enough to show her compassion, and was about to leave.

-Excuse me, I stopped her mid-stride.

-Yeah?

-Did Agatha talk about her dog? Did she…? You know..? her dog?, I stuttered out.

-What do you mean?

I was about to launch into an explanation but then I realized I was being downright silly. I shook my head and waved it away.  The woman nodded, sent me a reassuring smile, then left.

But I felt everything wrench inside me, about to spew up a volcano. My mind was thrown back to the moment when Agatha had sat with her dog in the kitchen. She had smiled into those beady eyes. She had whispered, he was real, he was real.

Over and over again.

Then her face had glowed with happinness. If there ever was a disconcerting sign, maybe that had been it. Had she been hanging onto the semblance of her sanity? Had she hidden her own breakage so deeply, that no one saw it festering away inside her. Had the undeniable facts about our reality reached her mind? Blinded her will to go on.

Had the dog’s eyes, his carefree nature, and ignorance of it all, been her only rescue line?

Or was this all in my head? And her talking to the dog, repeating he was real, this had just been a simple and playful moment in her life?

The dog nudged himself into me, and I felt an ache shoot through my body. Ever since Agatha made her exit, he wouldn’t leave me, even for a split second. And when I stared into his eyes, I could almost feel them begging me. Clinging to me, needy, hurt, terrified, and outright demanding that I wouldn’t abandon him, the way his mistress did so abruptly.

No. This was not in my head. These beady eyes held the truth to my Agatha. And given time, diligence and empathy, I would comprehend.

“In afterthought, how could you blame them [the scientists] for The Fissure? It was sheer curiosity and genuine wonder for the mysteries of the universe which spurred them on. Yet what we got was a blasted Pandora Box. And this time, the lid would never shut.” – 2nd part of “Agatha unravelled”

To learn what happened during the Fissure, and the secrets behind Agatha’s choice, read the second part of “Agatha Unravelled”. Storygeist next week.

If you are interested in the current technological events that inspired this short story, please read my article “Venture me out of the Matrix”

Piotr Ryczko

Story's author

As long as I can remember, a part of me has always been a keen, albeit very quiet, observer of the world around me. And another part has been a wide-eyed wonder boy who, from the get go, wanted to escape into another dimension, some yet undiscovered version of the land of Oz.

This combination of character has, on more than one occasion, shown itself to be a tad aggravating, and maybe even quite unfortunate to the outside world. And since my verbal skills are still locked away in some deep recess of my being, a talent still awaiting discovery, I had no other choice than to become a visual storyteller dressed up as filmmaker. During that process I also fell in love with words, quite many of them, actually.  Since then, there was no turning back, and I became a scribe of the written word.

Through this blog, and through my stories, be they written or told in moving images, I would like to share with you what I feel, think and dream of. And if anything on this blog connects with you, mail me, I would love to hear about it.

More storytelling in all of its glorious incarnations

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ha(V)en

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Rene v3.2 – part 1

“Rene v3.2” – a short story about a female robot companion. A woman made only to fulfill other’s needs. Seen through Rene’s eyes, the story takes the worn cliche of the dangerous Artificial Intelligence, and turns it on its head. It asks if A.I.’s will be able to replace true human relationships? Especially the ones of the intimate kind. How might we treat them? How will the Robot Companion react emotionally? What rights will she have if abused? And is she less of a human if artificially made?