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Oracle (1-Shot)

Discussion in 'Literature Library' started by Eclipse, May 10, 2015.

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  1. Eclipse

    Level 82
    Apr 3, 2015
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    (If this is in the wrong section, please move it to the correct one.)

    Over the weekend, I decided to entertain myself with a sort of thought experiment, as a way to exercise my thoughts. I do this often, to ponder hypothetical situations, but occasionally, they result in new ideas being born and new worlds being created.

    That is how this came about. I thought of a hypothetical question:
    "What if you could accurately see and predict the future, but nobody believed you?"
    ...and, with one thought leading to another, I decided to paint a possible answer scenario for that question as best I could. The result is this one-shot you see below.

    (For those unaware, a one-shot is simply a short story by an author, told entirely in 1 submission, not requiring any additional context beyond what the story tells.)

    I find this kind of exercise to be an excellent way of brainstorming ideas for fictional worlds. Perhaps many of you already do this. Perhaps you hadn't thought of it this way, and it may inspire you. Either way, I would like to show you all the results of my test.

    :: :: ::

    I'm an oracle. I don't know how long I've been one; it's been this way for as long as I can remember.

    It started off small, really...just simple things like chance encounters, incoming rainstorms, traffic accidents...that sort of thing. I don't know how many lives I've saved. Just a phone call to my parents, or to a friend...

    "Can you stop by the bookstore on the way home instead? I don't care if you're a little late..."
    "Let's meet at the coffee shop instead of the park today..."
    "You know, I'd much rather stay indoors right now..."

    My life has been full of small things like that, and the visions have always been right. I didn't talk about it, of course. My family has always been a big believer in coincidence. I tried telling them indirectly once, without using my name. They dismissed the idea as silly and outlandish, and said that no one could predict the future - after all, the palm readers and psychics were just masterful hoaxes invented to con suckers out of cash. A fool and his money are easily parted, after all.

    They're right, of course, but my visions were different. They were direct, specific, and accompanied with pictures. They didn't happen in dreams, either - I would just zone out for a few seconds and a new prediction would come.

    It wasn't all that bad, really. I got to live my life as an unsung hero, and it gave me a nice warm feeling inside.

    Then...the visions started getting worse. They weren't just isolated events anymore. They were on a much larger scale. The first one was watching the city I lived in become obliterated by a tidal wave. I was even told the exact date it was going to happen...and it was going to happen right after I died.

    I couldn't sit on my hands with something like this.

    So I told everyone I knew.

    And no one believed me.

    Of course no one believed me. The city I live in is seventy-three miles inland, in the middle of a desert. It barely even rains here; a tidal wave would be unthinkable. I thought at least one person out of the three hundred or so thousand would believe me. If any did, I didn't hear them.

    I didn't give up. I was persistent. Perhaps we could build a shelter, evacuate, move further inland? My ideas were all struck down as impractical, stupid, or - and they loved to use this adjective - delusional. Ultimately my pleas went on deaf ears.

    ... ... ...

    That was almost three years ago. I've had many visions since, and I wish I didn't. In fact, since my little 'outburst', as they liked to call it, I have kept having visions, back to smaller events, as they once were. But most people ignored me. And, of the ones who listened, as if to mock me, they chose to do the exact opposite of what I suggested.

    And that tore me up inside. It is a pain unlike any you could ever imagine. What would you do, if you knew your friends and family might be killed by a drunk driver, you forewarned them about it, and they deliberately shoved your words back in your face? All the people I cared about are now dead.

    It has horribly warped my insides, and turned me into the shadow of the human being that I once was. It was my words that doomed them. I should have kept my mouth shut. Maybe they might be alive. But I was too naive, too trusting. My compassion became the knife that stabbed me through the heart.

    I hear the opening of a door. I have longed to hear this sound for so very long. It was exactly as I had foreseen. A man approaches me. His presence is reassuring; with this, I know I will be spared. He tells me that the chair is ready.

    It's time for me to go.

    :: :: ::

    Looking back on it now, it reminds me a lot of the story of Noah's Ark. The resemblance was unintentional, however, on account of the intended ending being different. (The ending was actually the first part I thought up, and I then worked backwards from there.)

    What sayest thou, valorous throng? Are you not entertained?
    Comments and such on any part of this work, be it the story itself or the planning behind it, are warmly welcomed.
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