The Answer

By: Travis Wolfe-Thompson

View all Travis Wolfe-Thompson's works

What is the goal of the human race? At first, it was to survive. But that isn’t really a problem anymore. Now, some people want to find something else, whether it’s a greater being or life on another planet. We’ve been searching for many years. I am the one who finally found the answer to this goal of humankind.

* * *

The year is 2134. My name is Daniel Eastwood. I am the lead architect for the building of the Towers of Apple-Sung. I have been designing for years, and I am almost done. It has been a big burden designing the tallest building in the world. The building will start being constructed in 2137, and will be finished three years from then. The Jeda Tower, which has been the tallest tower for 100 years, will no longer be the tallest. That was, until things went downhill.

Weird things started happening all around the world. First, every single natural disaster happened in one day. The news went crazy. Next, the temperature went up to 130 degrees in winter. Even crazier. Then, strangest of all, the sky turned purple and it stayed that way.

By then, everyone realized something was wrong. After a couple of days, the sun didn’t set, and everyone concluded that the world was ending. There was complete anarchy, riots everywhere, theft, murder, and so on. It was a real-life The Purge.

Then, one day, I was cowering in my room with all the doors closed and locked, with the lights off, like I was in a lockdown drill. Only difference was, it wasn’t at a school, and it wasn’t a drill. Anyway, I was hiding, but then I felt myself freeze. I was confused and started panicking. I forced myself to move, but I wouldn’t budge. Then came the crazy part. I started levitating. At first I thought I was hallucinating, but I continued up. I was drenched in my own sweat and scared out of my wits. I couldn’t think straight, and I felt like my brain was being squeezed out of my head through my ears. I was screaming but nothing came out, and all the while I continued going up and up. I smashed through the window, eliminating any thought of hallucination or mirages. I started to pick up speed, and the wind was rushing in my ears. Nobody below saw, amidst all the chaos. The streets were almost all on fire, and people rampaged around, others whimpering in corners.

On continued the climb. I was about a mile above the earth’s surface, and I could see all of Chicago. Eventually curled up into a fetal position, knowing I could do nothing to stop whatever force was pulling me up. I felt kind of like one of the claw machines at an arcade was grabbing me by the sides while pulling me up, ever faster. 

* * *

I left the atmosphere, but could still breathe.

The weirdest part of the day was breathing without oxygen. And my body was fine too. I wasn’t freezing up or anything like in Guardians of the Galaxy II. This continued for about a day or so. I had gotten over the initial surprise, which had lasted for six hours. Now starvation consumed my mind and body. I barely noticed when I passed Neptune. On some level I did, though. I didn’t have any perception of speed, because there are no real reference points in space. Nothing to judge speed on. I must have been going at an incredible speed.

Two days later…

I wasn’t hungry at all anymore. This was just boring now, floating around in the cosmos.

All of a sudden, I crashed into something. I’d already passed the crab nebula, and I was pretty sure that I was at the end of our universe that we can see. Then I was sliding around on the wall, almost like someone blindly searching for a light switch in the dark. Suddenly, I fell backward. I was no longer captive of whatever it was that was pulling me up. But then I felt myself free-falling. I landed on something soft — very soft — and I took absolutely no impact when I hit it. I lay there, contemplating what happened for a long while. I stood up, turned in circles to look for something. But everything was impossible to see.

The pad I was on, or whatever it was, was a very light shade of blue, and it stretched for what seemed like forever. Then, something brown and giant came down and obstructed my view. I started ascending again, but this time I could see what it was. I found myself in some sort of groove that was light brown. It went on for a while, and a quick look around showed me that there were many other grooves all around me. They were each about three feet deep, and they weren’t in any sort of pattern. They were strewn all over the place with no order whatsoever. I felt like I knew what it was, but I couldn’t place my finger on it. Whatever it was, it was moving me somewhere, and I took the opportunity to walk around. As I walked, I caught a quick glimpse of my hand. I stopped. It took some time, but then it clicked. I was walking on a human finger. 

* * *

They gave me food, water, and a place to sleep. I figured out I was with some giant humans who needed me somehow. They gave me a little slip of paper that read: “Your world is ending. We need you to help us figure out the error. You are the best architect of your kind. We hope you will help us.”

They took me to some strange observation deck. I saw a glass box with some dots in it and strange clumps of something. They gave me a weird-looking telescope that looked more like a microscope. I looked in and saw many different Milky Ways. Then I focused in on the galaxies. Next, I zoomed in on the smallest one.

There were nine planets, with many, many moons. And, as I expected, I saw planet Earth. It was the saddest thing I had ever seen. The planet was almost all brown, especially America. I didn’t even want to imagine what had happened since I left. I saw humans milling about, but their numbers were scarce. And then, like a lightbulb that lit up the darkness I was living in, I had an idea of what this all was about. Our entire race, all we ever knew, was fake. It was a little doll house that we lived in. A test or experiment on tiny humans.

I looked at the colossus that brought me here, and she nodded. She was a couple of miles away so I could see them clearly. They couldn’t talk to me because it wouldn’t reach my ear before it faded, and if they held me close to their mouths, it would break my ears. Another slip of paper informed me that the world I knew was a history experiment, as well as a science experiment. They re-created the entire world, and created humans all over again. They talked to some people in their heads, and influenced them to do things, so they could follow the same course of history that the giants did. The end of the world was caused because of a weird power surge that stimulated the natural disasters to happen and all of the other malfunctions.

* * *

They needed me as an inside man so I could fix it, since I experienced it first hand. They knew how to fix it, but they couldn’t because they were so big. So, they transported me to Mt. Kilimanjaro — the circuit breaker, of sorts, for the world. When I got there, there were seven switches, one for each continent. I flipped them all down, and then back, and I thought, I just saved a very, very tiny world, but it was my home, after all.

* * *

Now, the world is recovering from catastrophe, and I am helping along with countless others. There are only about two billion humans left. Roughly nine billion died in the chaos of the end of the world. I have decided to keep my mouth shut and never tell the story of the experiment. First of all, nobody would believe me, and second, what would it do? It wouldn’t do a thing, but even if it did, it would do nothing but lower the morale of the remaining humans. So that is the story of how the entire earth came into existence, and I know the answer to the one real question our little people have ever had.

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