posted on Jul, 18 2005 @ 10:49 PM
Ben Narbles had been driving through Arkansas down the long stretch of road for two hours now. Nothing but lazy trees and rolling plains, houses were
few and far between and gas stations were even more rare around here. What did these people do for gas? Ben wondered.
Ben had turned off his a/c hoping to conserve gas, instead relying on the warm and dry air to cool him off. Unfortunately all it really did was
start him up coughing and sneezing; Ben needed his a/c, he needed his gas worse, and pretty soon he would need food as well.
His friends told him not to leave. “Don’t waste your summer on that girl, she has probably already cheated on you anyway.” Ben didn’t
listen though and decided to head to Colorado to see his girlfriend on his break. Now it seemed as though he might get stranded out here.
Dust was swirling over the road now, partially obstructing Ben’s view and causing irritation in his eyes as it seeped in through the open windows.
His eyes watered a bit and he closed one at a time hoping his eyes would clear. It helped a little, but now the road was completely covered with
moving dust, dirt, and debris. Ben couldn’t see a foot in front of him. He pulled over to the side of the road and closed his windows and started
rubbing his eyes hoping to clear out the dirt when there was a knocking at his window.
An old man wearing overalls and a worn John Deere hat was staring at him. “You been cryin’ boy?” Ben was about to motion to the dust outside
when he noticed the air was completely clear of everything.
“You guys have any gas?” Ben asked looking past the old man noticing the rather large auburn barn behind him and forgetting about the dust.
“We ain’t no gas pump, but we can lend ya’ some.” The man walked off towards his barn and didn’t come back for several minutes. Ben
grabbed his wallet, shut off the ignition and left his car. Ben noticed an old wooden sign, knee high that read “Oracle, 5$”. He walked back
toward the barn following the path the old man had apparently taken for years between the barn and mailbox thinking himself stupid for coming out this
The large doors were opened and Ben peered inside but found nobody. “Come meet us around the porch, just to your left.” Ben heard the old
man’s voice faintly through a door.
Ben followed the outside wall of the barn and found the said porch. Two old men identically dressed, shaved, and mannered were rocking in rhythm on
the creaky wooden porch. Ben looked out at the field hoping to discover what these two twins were staring at so furtively when suddenly they seemed
to take notice of him.
“Take a seat young man, you look tired. Look like you been travelin’ all day.” Ben sat down on the identical rocking chair that he could’ve
sworn was not there before.
Ben eventually started rocking in the same pattern as the two men next to him, none of them said a word however. All three of them simply stared at
the slightly sloped hill on the field in front of them. Out there, on the top of the hill stood a small sapling. Still no one said a word, but this
did not phase Ben who only stared out at the plains enjoying the mesmerizing silence. Time seemed much slower on this lazy porch, but Ben could’ve
sworn he watched that single growth go from a sapling to a gigantic redwood in not but a few minutes.
“You want to see the oracle?” The old man closest to Ben said. The sudden noise made him lose the beat with the rocking chair, but Ben suddenly
boasted, “There is no such thing as one.”
Ben thought he sounded rather childish after saying that, but the man next to him simply nodded in understanding. The great proud tree had now
fallen, and a great moving sheet of white now took its place obstructing the blue sky behind it. It was snow. It was snowing in a small patch of
grass in the middle of a field. Neither Ben, nor the two men took this with great shock but rather took it in and let it sink. They all appeared as
though nothing had happened, their zombie-like faces giving no hint to all the strange things happening in the field.
Ben stood up and walked towards the now dense forest growth that had grown in the middle of the field in just the span of a few minutes.
As Ben approached the forest, it suddenly died and withered away leaving no trace of it behind. A blue liquid like substance seeped from the green
grass and rose to his knees and eventually his head. The water changed colors from light blue to dark blue to nearly pitch black. The water stayed
there as if held by invisible barriers in a near perfect square about fifteen feet wide and fifteen feet across. Something inside the water column
moved. It slithered around and then showed off a brilliant display of neon greens, reds, and purples. It was all dazzling and mesmerizing, and Ben
could not take his eyes off of it.
As soon as it had appeared the creature and the water all disappeared to be replaced by rough and ever shifting sand dunes. Ben knew this was
impossible, never had anything like this ever been seen on earth. It was as if all possible environments were coming and going at super speed within
a tiny square patch of grass in the middle of a field in Arkansas.
Ben had been standing at the edge of this phenomenon all this time, not feeling the cold or the heat of the different climates within inches of him.
Only the warm summer air affected him.
Something inside him compelled him to do it; the tiny inquisitive part of his brain had to know how something like this was possible; he took a step
forward. There was a brief glimpse of a jelly-like layer that he walked through, and then he was blasted with the heat of the desert he was now in
and sunk in the sand he stood on. Then it all vanished. In front of Ben was nothing but black. Small points of light could be seen had he squinted,
otherwise there was nothing but black. He suddenly became cold as the temperature suddenly dropped.
Ben turned around and saw a great bulb of light burning in the vast empty void behind him. After another minute of intense heat the star blew up and
formed a supernova. A minute later several distant galaxies came into view. Some spiraled, some were spheres, some were so complex they seemed to
lack description. They were absolutely dazzling; the array of colors projected onto his face by the stars beckoned him toward them. Ben took another
step forward and walked through another membranous material.
Ben was now back in Arkansas face to face with the man who promised him gas. He now held a small gas can and a button which he promptly handed Ben.
“I saw the patch of grass in Arkansas” it read. The old man started jabbing Ben in the arm incessantly after handing him the can and button.
“Ben, Ben, BEN! Wake up.” Ben woke up in anthropology class after falling asleep during his exam. Jake his best friend asked him what he was
going to do this summer.
“Colorado” he started.
“I thought you said you changed your mind?” Jake asked.
Ben simply stared at his desk thinking of all the strange things in his dream ignoring Jake, he had wished they had actually happened. Did his dream
actually mean something? Ben wondered. Should he actually go through Arkansas on his way to Colorado. Just as he was about to tell Jake about
possibly staying at college for the semester Ben pulled out a lump in his pocket that was pricking him.
Jake looked over Ben’s shoulder. “You saw a patch of grass in Arkansas? What does that mean?”