“ORACLE” Flash Fiction by Gerrence George.
The Oracle awaits on the other side of the threshold. Many have heard her words of wisdom and achieved greatness. However, some of the galaxy’s bravest souls have turned and headed home when they learn that her wisdom isnt free. Those who approach the threshhold learn the truth when they read the ancient words carved into the unbreakable stone at the base of the great ring. The writing Instructs brave adventurers to “Search the deepest, most wretched place of your mind, when you cross, that is what you will find. That is the price of glory”.
I have spent lifetimes avoiding this unnerving place. I have been a king, a lover, a pauper, a warrior, and a lover once again. Each time I have come close to figuring out some sort of meaning, some purpose to existence, but the answer alludes me. Every time I would come near the end of a life, the threshold would begin to call. First invading my dreams, then my daydreams, then every waking moment would bring the desire to go to the sacred island and step through the ring. When her beckon becomes unbearable I enter the rejuvenation camber here on my ship and choose a new body, hoping that the promise of newfound youth quiets the oracles’ song. I know who waits for me on the other side of the threshold. I know he waits to grasp my lungs with his cold hands and squeeze the precious life from my body. In my dreams I see the cloaked man through the circle, beckoning me. The oracle stands behind him with a hopeful expression. The skinless skull that the cloaked man calls a face always turns to me. He somehow sees me with his black hollow eye sockets, and lifts his skeletal finger to point in my direction. The same dream comes without fail, and always when I’m near the end of a lifetime. After all the centuries of travel to the most terrifying and wonderous corners of the galaxy, I somehow always find myself here, orbiting this tiny planet where the oracle has stood for centuries. Shall this be the time I step through the circle and face the cloaked man who taunts me by swinging his massive scythe in wide archs as I look st him? No! It is not time. I will not pass through. I will choose another body and then another, and another for eternity. I will be the first human to do it. To cheat death and laugh in his bony face. The oracle can keep her wisdoms. My luxury star Cruiser turns away from the tiny planet that houses the oracle and goes into hyperspace. She need not show me any truths. I have embraced a set of my own. I will survive, I will endure, I will live, forever.