Space Horse Or, The Unexpected Virtue of Awesomeness
“We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.” – President John F. Kennedy
“This is infinity here. It could be infinity. We don’t really don’t know. But it could be. It has to be something — but it could be infinity, right?” – Trump
Before the beginning, there was nothing. The Great Ones might have called it “god,” but they’d be wrong. It was simply nothing. It was here before the beginning and it will last long after the end of everything. Because of this, it also is everything. If you’re thinking “god,” think bigger.
But then something came to be. It burned into the nothing so fiercely, lights appeared in the nothing. What the Great Ones call “stars.” As the stars grew they burned brighter, so bright that this side of the nothing became the Brightside. The Great Ones, at least, know it as the Brightside. But it prefers to be called “Dan.” Dan considers himself a “he,” but he is beyond such complex concepts. Now if you’re thinking still “god,” think even bigger.
Because the nothing cannot be anything but neutral, balanced, something else came to be on the other side of nothing. Sort of anti-stars began to burn, their negative force so powerful & hot, the Great Ones called them “Starburns.” These Starburns created the opposite of the Brightside. The opposite of Dan. A kind of “upside down” or “negative zone.” But the Great Ones know it as the “Burnside.” If you’re thinking “Satan,” you’re still not getting it.
As the stars grew plentiful in the Brightside, they began to swirl around the invisible pull of the Starburns; a mirror-dance where the partners are unseen on the other side of the nothing. On each ends of their dimensions they began to give birth to shapes & energies brought into existence by the incongruity that now was.
On the brightest side of the Brightside, where Dan fills the void with light, perfect creatures live in a paradise. You might even be there, in some form or another. As the stars die and dim, returning closer to the nothing, that is where you are in your old age. An ancient being on the verge of finally understanding Dan. If you’re thinking of concepts like “time” or “heaven,” you haven’t been paying attention.
The Brightside & the Burnside go on forever, into the brightest white & the deepest burn. And every step away from nothing is a new world, a new dimension. Every star & every Starburn. You & I, we live in the real world, in a dimension of Dan; we exist in the Brightside. But in a realm not unlike our own, on the opposite side of the nothing, in the Burnside, exists a creature of incredible power.
Shark Horse sat in the captain’s seat of his massive spacecraft. He was lonely. And tired. Much time had passed since his last vicious space-battle with his old nemesis, his great enemy. Of course, Shark Horse had been victorious; on the Burnside of nothing, Shark Horse cannot lose.
But his spaceship, The Manhattan, had been severely damaged. The few remaining engines could only operate on low power. All A.I. systems were offline. And every other crew member had either died horribly, or excelled so well under Shark Horse’s tutelage that they had their own ship & crew; were off on their own adventures.
Now Shark Horse was adrift in space.
He stood, his four muscular legs steadily holding his brawny body. His hooves clacked on the metallic surface as he began to pace the bridge, glancing out the portholes into the emptiness outside. As he wandered the compartments of The Manhattan, his dorsal fin nearly scraped the tops of hatches, and his tail, his caudal fin, would slither side to side along the hallways & passages.
Ages passed and the ship sailed through a field of stars. You & I know that these were Starburns, of course, but in Shark Horse’s dimension he knew them just as “stars.” Shark Horse reflected on his long life & many adventures.
Shark Horse was once a man, and as his body died he was able to send his soul into a beautiful, mighty horse. Unfortunately, a mad-scientist got his clutches on the horse and turned him into a monster, a jigsawed golem. In a sick twist of fate, by becoming half-shark & half-horse, Shark Horse became more powerful than anyone could have imagined. And where had all that power delivered him? Here, to the edge of nothing.
Then something truly miraculous occurred. Some may say it was Dan, reaching into the Burnside. The Great Ones claim it was the force of the Burnside itself! I’m not sure if we’ll ever know. But as Shark Horse drifted through the star field on the Burnside edge of the nothing, he was swallowed by a Starburn.
All of time & space seemed to flash through the amorphous, trans-dimensional blob that was Shark Horse. If you’re thinking the end of “2001: A Space Odyssey,” you’re actually not far off. But more like the books, where he becomes a giant space fetus so convince earth will stop with the whole “religion thing” so we can band together to fight the alien overlords who sent the monolith. I don’t know, I never actually saw the whole movie.
And as Shark Horse was sucked through the nothing, he heard a melodic, psychedelic voice echo in his consciousness:
“Unite the 4.”
Casey Moriarty is a sailor in the Brightside; sailing ships & rowing boats on the oceans of our earth. He is also the Co-Creator of the massively underrated, fictional blog series, “Shark Horse.” It was such a wondrous creation, he got an epic tattoo of the creature on his forearm.
One day, while fulfilling his sailorly duties, tying off the wenches & swaining the coxses, he noticed his Shark Horse tattoo was beginning to itch. The large sailboat was tied up at the docks at Dana Point Harbour, and Casey was the only one on board. He continued swabbing the poop deck, but the itch on his arm turned into a burning sensation. Then the burn became an unimaginable pain.
Casey looked down at his arm and the tattooed skin began to tear & rip. With an earth shattering scream, Shark Horse burst forth into the Brightside. Casey’s arm exploded in a pink mist of flesh & bone.
Shark Horse bucked & kicked as he was birthed into our existence. He shattered & splintered the deck & railing of the ship as he flailed in panic & confusion, a prancing hoof caught Casey in the chest and sent him sprawling.
As Shark Horse began to calm, he reached out with his mind, searching with his psychic powers for any connection or answering voice. But he found none. You see, any magic or supernatural ability Shark Horse had was derived from the Burnside. Here in Dan, he was just a regular ol’ Shark Horse. Incredibly powerful, strong, & swift, but he was now simply a biological creature that operates under the laws of nature.
While Shark Horse was struggling to get a grip on reality, Casey Moriarty was trying not to die. His arm was a ragged mess of despair starting just above where his elbow was, and he was losing a lot of blood.
Casey unclipped his knife from his belt, flipped the blade open, and cut a strip of fabric from the nearby downed sail. He then put the handle of the knife between his teeth and bit down, hard. The pain in his arm & the absurdity of the situation was making him delirious; he needed to focus if he was going to survive.
Holding a broken post of wood about the size of a shinbone between his knees, Casey utilized his one remaining hand and wrapped the cut strip of sail around one end of the wood, creating a makeshift torch. He pulled his knife out of his teeth and plunged it into a plastic container of gasoline stored under the ship’s wheel. Returning the knife to his mouth, this time his teeth grasped it by the blade and his tongue flinched away from the sharp metal & acrid gasoline.
Casey soaked his torch under the pouring spout he had created and then held the wood between his knees again. Pulling a lighter out of his pocket, Casey lit his torch. Since he only had one hand left, he dropped the lighter and grabbed the torch. Gritting his teeth, he shoved the flaming end of the torch into the bleeding ribbons of his ragged arm. The pain was so horrific, Casey bit harder on the knife, sending the blade biting into the corners of his mouth. It became a terrifying wheel of pain; he bit harder and the slicing slowly crawled up his cheeks.
Finally he could no longer stand it and Casey tossed the torch over the side of the boat, where it splashes & fizzled out in the water. Gingerly pulling the knife out of his bloody mouth, Casey slowly began to catch his breath. Finding reserves of strength he didn’t know he had, Casey stood to face Shark Horse, tentatively holding the knife in front of him.
The beast was now composed, having been sent through the nothing into our existence. He looked at Casey, a man with a burnt stump of an arm and a Glasgow-grin leaking blood down his chin. “Where am I?” Shark Horse growled. His words were practically grunts coming from a maw not made for human speech.
But Casey understood every word. Despite all the pain, his senses had never been more focused in his life. “Dana Point,” he answered, slowly lowering his weapon.
“Earth!?” Shark Horse barked.
“Yes, Earth,” Casey replied. “2017. September 12, 2017. Today is my birthday,” he smirked, then flinched with the pain is cheeks. “Are you… are you Shark Horse?”
The lighter Casey had dropped earlier now found the edge of the spilling gasoline, and the deck of the ship began to swiftly catch fire. The two of them faced each other, a large beast that was half-shark & half-horse, and a young man with one arm & a bloody grin, the air around them filling with smoke & flame.
“I don’t know what the hell just happened,” Casey said, tenderly tonguing a sliced corner of his mouth, “but I think this world needs you. We need you, Shark Horse. You’re our only hope.”
TO BE CONTINUED…
Shark-Pocalypse Now Re-Ducks