[2013] Ascension™

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posted on Dec, 3 2012 @ 09:42 PM
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Bubba's BlogLand Blog


Entry 42



After spending the past fourteen hours sitting at this infernal device, compulsively playing that infernal Oriental tile game - I've finally gotten relaxed and distracted enough that I can focus upon this blog entry. Please bear with me, it's been a trying day...

Those of you who might have read my previous entries ( I know some of you did, the hit counter says so. In fact many did it seems ) need to know. My name is not Bubba. It's John. The truth of the matter is that only one human being on the planet calls me Bubba - my younger sister. Even she didn't start doing this until we were both in our thirties and some damned movie or TV show got her started. It is simply her cutesy way of saying "brother", which, to her, I am. Some years back this same sister bought me this machine as a Christmas present and insisted that I connect myself to the world wide web. Lord knows I didn't want to, my my sister can be quite the pain when she wants her way. So she got it. After that she decided that, since I am a hermit, living in the middle of nowhere, that I should socialize and try to find a chat room, or some such. I flatly refused. She persisted. Ultimately our compromise was this blog. She talked me into creating it and writing entries here because she was sure people would comment. It was her theory that, one day, some pretty woman might comment, and I might reply - and end up movng to the city, getting a haircut, selling my old truck, and wind up rejoining the human race.

The joke was on her! I obliged her by writing these blogs - even if I don't know what "blog" means. But I never once read nor replied to a single comment. I just wrote when I wanted and walked away. It kept the sister happy enough, leaving her with a feeling of accomplishment. All it cost me was $49.99 per month in cable company fees to be able to get to this thing, and a few minutes of my time whenever I felt like doing so. A small price to pay to get baby sister off of my back.

Honestly, the truth is, I rather like writing into this contraption. I like having a place to dump my mental trash and emotional garbage. I never told baby sis as much. But it's true. After my wife walked out, all those years ago, I started keeping too much inside. This place, and this machine? They gave me a place to bury that. A text based, digital grave for the bad parts of my heart and soul. Grudgingly I have to admit, it's been a positive experience. And now I kind of find myself wishing I'd have read and replied to some of those comments, over the years. Maybe I would have figured out a way to rejoin y'all out there in society. Maybe, then, things would have been easier.

But enough of that emo junk. Enough about things I can't control. I just felt like y'all should know a bit about me, after all this time.

Now let me get to the point of why I am writing today....

Early one morning I called Abby ( Abby is my beloved best friend - my beagle dog ) and put her into the truck. It was "go to town" day - a day I always loathe. But supplies and necessities are called supplies and neccesities for a reason. They are neccessary. So I do it.

The trip to town takes about three hours. The first solid 45 minutes of that time on dirt, the next 15 minutes on gravel, and the rest on paved roads. Call me a neanderthal, but I prefer to dirt roads. they make you go slow and see things. Besides, pavement? It makes that annoying humming noise when you drive on it. You city folk are probably enured of it by now and don't even hear it when you drive. But, trust me, it is there and I do hear it. It's like fingers on a chalkboard to me. At least Abby enjoys it. She sticks her head up out of the window and really lives it up when we're going fast on those paved roads. The look on her face and the wag of her tail almost makes the road drone sound worth it.

Almost.

To help drown out the drone I'd normally listen to the radio - you know, just to see what nonsense the rest of the world is calling "music" these days. I have to confess. About fifteen or twenty years ago I stopped being able to call the new stuff "music" any longer. Between the damned hippies and the computer freaks now it all sounds, to me, a chainsaw arguing with a robot - with a belt sander playing referee. Just noise. Still, that doesn't stop me from usually spending my trips listening to it in a sort of "what the Hell????' way. I tell myself that it's to reinforce my dislike of the way the world headed. But, between you and me, I think there is a part of me that really wants to get it. Maybe if I heard a new song and could really relate to it? I wouldn't feel so doggone old and out of place. At any rate... lately I've just been listening to my old George Jones tape in the trucks cassette player. Well, at least for the last six or seven trips. This isn't because I've lost my grumpy old man based curiousity. It's because of the Ascension you see.

If you're reading this, then you probably know all about Ascension. I assume it was a global thing. But, if not ( and Lord I pray that somewhere, some group of people were spared it ) let me explain.

A few years ago the commercials began playing on the cable TV...


"Life too hectic? Can't find time for yourself? Dynapharm and the Tyrox corp have the answer for you. Ascension™ the new sleep aid developed by Tyrox labs. Thanks to amazing new breakthroughs in neurochemistry Tyrox scientists were able to isolated the very chemistry involved in dreaming. This is the science behind Ascension™ In this high paced world many of us have had to cut back on sleep, causing us to wander through life exhausted and feeling tired all of the time. Ascension™ allows the brain to dream much more deeply - making it feel as though you've slept far longer than you have, leaving the body refreshed, the mind renewed, and your body feeling energetic and healthy! Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about Ascension™ TODAY!!!


It seemed innocent enough. Just like any other ad from any other drug company. In fact I found myself wanting to talk to my doctor about it. Heck, you city folk might think that living in the sticks is easy. But the truth is I get up earlier and work later than most all y'all - and that's just to keep my house standing, my freezer full, and my woodshed stocked. The older one gets, the older it all gets. And we all know by my charming and curmudgeonly demeanor... I'm getting a bit long in the tooth. So, on my next visit to town I did stop by Doc Haskins office and he happily gave me a free sample. A sample that I took that very night.


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edit on 12/3/12 by Hefficide because: (no reason given)




posted on Dec, 3 2012 @ 09:42 PM
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Man, oh man, those fellas at Dynapharm and Tyrox didn't lie at all! Usually one expects advertising to exaggerate. But in this case? They drastically understated their product. They totally undersold it. That night I dreamed and it seemed, to my conscious, dreaming mind, like decades passed. I dreamed nearly the equivelant of an entire lifetime - and in the most vivid and convincing of ways. It was sort of like that movie with that Dicaprio kid in it, Inception? It was all so real and it lasted for so very, very long. It was beautiful beyond words. In my own dream I met a woman. We courted, got married, had kids, bought a house, had a few more kids, bought a bigger house - and then had another kid just to seal it all up tight. In the dream I got a job as an apprentice at an art studio, helping a painter with his busy work. He began teaching me. I kept at it and got so good that, in my dreamworld, I was an accomplished artist who could support his family in style by selling a painting every few months.

Beth.. that was my dream wife. She and I had so many deep and meaningful conversations and experiences. We watched our children grow up, get married and leave the nest. Then they'd come home and proudly introduce us to our grandchildren. I was so proud. I was so happy.

One morning Beth and I were having breakfast and discussing the notion of having an in ground swimming pool installed, as a means of coaxing the grandkids to demand more frequent visits - when it happened.

I woke up. I woke up from the dream and into my real life.

I woke up into Christmas morning, 2012. In shock. Totally and utterly confused and half insane. How could it be 2012? I had just been there with Beth and it was decades past 2012. Nothing made sense and I screamed at the top of my lungs. I was so broken-up, or nuts, that I ran out into the snow, naked, grabbed my axe from the stump I chop wood upon, and began swinging it at everything in sight. To paraphrase my man George Jones, I went half crazy.

It took me nearly two months to get back to just somewhat sane. By the time I did my food was nearly gone, my propane tank was empty, I was long out of cigarettes and Scotch, and poor Abby was barely a skeleton from the neglect that I so absent mindedly and unknowingly had inflicted upon her during my insanity. Even if I felt like I wanted to die, a trip to town had to happen - and it had to happen that day.

The first indication I had that things were amiss, that day, happened at mile marker 218 - right after I left the gravel roads and hit the hardtop. This is the place where my poor old truck radio usually begins to get a strong enough signal from the local station for me to tolerate trying to listen to it. When I turned my radio's power switch to the right - all I got was static. Sometimes cloud cover seems to mess with the radio reception so I didn't think much of it, as it was a cloudy day. But as I passed mile marker 225, and then 240 I began to get really angry. There was no music, on any frequency. "Damn radio is busted", I thought, and then got all sorts of grumpy because the stores are right proud of their electronics these days and, well, I ain't a famous artist and coming by a couple of hundred bucks for a radio is not an easy thing to do in my world.

That is the state of mind I had as I crossed into the outskirts of town. It did not last long.

You know, until I got into town, and drove down the offramp, it hadn't even occurred to me... In all of those miles on the freeway, I hadn't seen a single car. Not one! I guess I am prone to not noticing such things, being a backwood dwelling loner. Not seeing other people is the norm for me. So that fact didn't strike me at all until I hit the bottom of the off ramp that day and saw 'em.

Dead people everywhere. Sitting on curbs, up against walls. in their cars, against trees... everywhere. Just from my vantage point, at the bottom of that barren offramp, I could see dozens and dozens of the dead.

Maybe I did go insane out there in my woods? Maybe that damned pill had snapped something in my brain. Surely. NONE of this made sense? Was I still laying in my cabin, the victim of some bizarre medical reaction to the Ascension™? Was this just a dream? A dream inside of a dream? Words cannot ever express what I am trying to say. Man there is surreal - then there's surreal.



posted on Dec, 3 2012 @ 09:43 PM
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Even as I write these words, I honestly cannot tell you the answer. I cannot tell you if this is real or not. Logic tells me that, regardless, the only assumption that is at my disposal to make is that it is real. So I will continue...

Once the shock of seeing those first dead people began leaving me, I got out of my truck and began looking around. Laying near each of those dead folks, or in their hands, was a presription bottle. You guessed it. Every single one of those bottles had the word "Ascension" or, what I suppose is the generic name, "Blissium Hydrochloride" written on it.

Some of those corposes? They died smiling. Their rigored and decaying forms still locked in that last euphoric smile. It was horrifying to witness.

I guess the lure of a seemingly eternal life is more tempting than humans are capable of resisting. All the bodies seemed so haggard and unkempt. It's like they all slept themselves to death. Like they woke up only long enough to swallow more of the pills.

I searched the entire downtown area that day. Every single building. then I drove through several of the suburbs, honking my horn and watching for curtains to move, or any sign of life. I found none.

That night? Abby and I slept in the truck.

The next day I did what I had to do. Abby and I went from store to store, and place to place, to gather the supplies I'd come to town for. It is my shame to say that I took far more home with me, that afternoon, than I'd have ever taken had I been asked to pay. Even got me a gas fired log splitter - a luxury I'd never have purchased if still able bodied enough to cut my own wood. I guess the guilt of that, and the trips I've made since then, are things I will probably have to answer to the Lord for. None of the shopkeepers seem to be sending me any bills for it.

When I got home on the night of that first visit, I wrote the blog entry previous to this one. It got two comments. For the first time EVER, I replied to those comments. Neither poster answered me. I don't know if they perished as well - or if, like me, they just aren't into the whole social networking concept, and declined to reply for the same sorts of reasons I never bothered to. Maybe they're still out there. I don't know. I honestly don't know.

How long ago this all I happened, I cannot say for sure. I think it's snowed eight times since that day I found the bodies. that could mean that it's been as many as ten years ( if two were light winters ) or maybe as frew as six years ( if we had a mid winter thaw or two, which sometimes happens - then the snow comes again. I've lost since stopped caring. My life, since, has been something of a road drone in and of itself. Just an endless hum with no relief. Going to town has become something I like to do even less than before. My standards and way of living changed a lot that day. I stopped drinking and smoking. I think for no other reason than these were usually the first two things I would run out of - the first to things that would start making me need to take a trip into town. I also took the liberty, years ago, of relieving U-haul of one of their trucks, and a tow dolly ( so I could get my beloved old truck back home ). That U-haul allowed me to bring back far more supplies in one trip than normal - meaning I could stay away longer. As far as supplies go? There were three Mega Marts in town and the burbs around it. That's just one chain among many. I've yet to fully clean out even the first of them. It seems, these days, I am their only customer. Well me and Abby.

That brings me to why I am writing tonight. She was my best friend and she had a long life for a beagle. But I buried Abby about a week ago. I came in from chopping wood and found her laying there, at the foot of my favorite chair, finally gone home to God. Across the Rainbow bridge as the pet lovers say. I buried her and spent hours weeping over that patch of disturbed earth. Then I lived out a bit of my long dream... I spent a few days carving her a cross, from a chunk of wood, to mark her grave. I've gotta say. For a guy with no interest in art. I did a pretty good job. She would like it. I know that. She'd be happy with it.

This morning I walked past the U-haul and went into town in the truck. The trip was not for supplies - so I didn't worry about the space restrictions. I didn't turn on ol' George today - nor did I even notice the road drone for all those miles, back and forth, on the hard top. It's all a blur in my mind. I know I must have been gone for at least five hours. But for all I care or know it might as well have been fifteen minutes.

When I first got to town I was afraid that I would not be able to find what I was looking for. In fact the first hour, or so, had me in a panic. Every single one of those bottles near those long decayed bodies was empty. After awhile I took a wild shot and walked into Haskins Pharmacy - feeling it to be the least likely place to find what I wanted. But I was wrong. There, right up front, right on the counter ( that had four skeletons laying behind it ) were eight large bottles with the word "Blissium" written on them. There was a handwritten note, in large and obviously disturbed handwriting that simply read....

Dream a little dream....



I brought home four of those bottles. Call me old fashioned, but I like to make sure a thing is done.

It's time for me to close this now. I'm tired and it's time to take my medicine.

~Bubba




edit on 12/4/12 by Hefficide because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 3 2012 @ 10:01 PM
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reply to post by Hefficide
 


My friend, I have always respected and enjoyed your threads...they are some of the greatest quality I have encountered during my short time here. But this - THIS! This could give Stephen King a run for his money. Holy crap.

Well done, Heff. Well done. I was freaking out until I realized this was the short stories forum.
Way to sound believable. You got talent.


s&f
edit on 3-12-2012 by AfterInfinity because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 3 2012 @ 10:22 PM
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Very nice.
I enjoyed this very much!



posted on Dec, 3 2012 @ 10:30 PM
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reply to post by Hefficide
 


Well crafted.
Well written.

Thank you.

Wow.



posted on Dec, 3 2012 @ 11:46 PM
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reply to post by Hefficide
 


Ditto the bunny. Flagged.

Amazing writing.

What does the TM in the title mean? Published previously, or on it's way?



posted on Dec, 3 2012 @ 11:48 PM
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reply to post by Druid42
 


Neither! Just goes along with the fictional trademark drug name in the story.



posted on Dec, 3 2012 @ 11:55 PM
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Well done man! Reading through I almost felt as though I was there. And your story made me think of how strangely absurd our true reality is, has been, and will continue to be....for instance here in the U.S.A. suicide is illegal...which is equally absurd because if you succeed, how will they prosecute you? In the future will there be a "suicide pill" readily available for everyone who wishes to take it? Probably not, because TPTB would lose alot of their slaves...you know....us, the wage slave, rent paying, tax paying citizens.

Everyone knows that this world, this reality is just somehow....not "right". There is something "off" about our reality. Us humans can be so much more than slaves given the right opportunities, situations, and what not. We have amazing artistic, musical, and many other talents that we could explore were we not so busy slaving at our jobs to make money to eat, survive, have a roof over our heads etc.

So....where are the happy pills at? Because we all know that this life will someday end....for all of us. Why are we not allowed to choose?

Sorry for the rant, but I really dig it when someone's writing makes you pause, reflect, and think....s and f.



posted on Dec, 4 2012 @ 12:04 AM
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No sleep aids for me, after reading this!



Nicely done, Heff.....





posted on Dec, 4 2012 @ 09:35 AM
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reply to post by AutOmatIc
 


Exactly. I was lying in bed, thinking about the story, and I realized that it could very well be used as an allegory for our economic situation. Money makes our dreams come true, or so we're told. Then we get so obsessed with money that we forget about the things money can't buy. And by the time we're finished, we're nothing but husks of the thinking, loving humans we used to be. We're just machines who require money to function.

And we die with dollar signs still revolving in our eyes.
edit on 4-12-2012 by AfterInfinity because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 4 2012 @ 10:24 AM
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post removed for serious violation of ATS Terms & Conditions



posted on Dec, 4 2012 @ 10:26 AM
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off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



posted on Dec, 4 2012 @ 10:26 AM
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off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



posted on Dec, 4 2012 @ 11:55 AM
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I was so hoping that I'd wake up today to find a message from Ridley Scott in my inbox saying "GREAT STORY" can I buy it for $250,000.00 and secure you for the next two years as a "consultant"?

In my excitement I even went through all of my old cell phones, collecting numbers of the people I wanted to call and scream "I TOLD YOU THE INTERNET WOULD PAY OFF ONE DAY!" before hung up.

Darn it.


edit on 12/4/12 by Hefficide because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 4 2012 @ 02:18 PM
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Deadsnow of ATS gave it 4.5 out of 5 stars and wrote in his review - "[2013] Ascension™ is brilliant, to say the least. This is a short story that commands your attention and definitely hits you hard. Read it for sure!"


Looks like the reviews have been good buddy.
, good job!



posted on Dec, 4 2012 @ 05:46 PM
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Dayum that story was good !! I just love it when I read something that creates the scenario in my mind, with the scenery, the characters, the plot...man, this had it all !!

On a sidenote, I never took sleeping pills but having problems to sleep (I sleep 5 or 6 hours a night) a friend of mine recommended melatonin, a natural product to help regulate sleeping disorders. Now I'm gonna have to read that label throughly....if I find "Blissium" written anywhere on it, I'll freak out !!!!


Awesome story. S&F !!



posted on Dec, 4 2012 @ 11:17 PM
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Oh my gosh! This was excellent heff...you know I love your stuff, but wow....a thousand stars and flags!

And "blissium hydrochloride"? Now ain't that just perfect? ( in my best southern twang)

The character you created was awesome...maybe I relate to it cause it reminds me of half my family back in Tennessee....I mean, you can't get any better than George jones, scotch, and a hunting dog
oh, and I got a "bubba" too...doesn't every southern sister who has a brother?

And I have a soft spot for beagles, I've owned three over the years and they are tried and true companions!

The only thing that made it so bittersweet was the ending....I suppose you wanted it that way?

I guess I can understand why....to think about it, what would a person do if they were the last person left in the world? We all tend to feel the pangs of post modern isolation from time to time, but imagine the thought of truly being that isolated?

And it also makes me consider the whole pharma industry....don't you know if they could concoct a drug like this they would? Scary to even contemplate!

It kinda reminds me a bit of "eternal sunshine of the spotless mind" in the sense of people wanting to ease their emotional suffering and the willingness to go to extremes to be rid of negative feelings, thoughts, memories.

You never cease to surprise me heff, this is a gem for sure!



posted on Dec, 5 2012 @ 11:19 AM
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This story was really good, exceptionally creative, and close enough to the truth to make it freaky.

"To sleep, perchance to dream....Ay, there's the rub...." -Shakespeare, Hamlet.



posted on Dec, 5 2012 @ 03:49 PM
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loved it.. give me entry 000 to 041 please





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