The Focus

by Crunchy

Tags: Magic, Aliens,

Desc: Flash Story: Its cool to be the center of the universe, but that and two bucks will barely get you a cup of coffee. At least this short account won't take up too much of your time.

Once I had a setting bird (probably the mama bird) try to lure me away from her ground nest, in the pebble bed framing of a running track. She was one confused little bird, and was kept much too busy trying to distract runners and passersby like me to try to sit her nest by the track. She might have been a hybrid northern tern who didn’t have migratory instincts, and she otherwise had a light orange breast -or the white stone beds were just too irresistible.

Of course, I wasn’t an arctic fox, so I wasn’t taken in by her pretend broken wing, (nor was I after her eggs) although I was startled to see such behavior in a bird in that locale, being some 25 degrees of latitude away from ground nesting birds who feign distress. The closer I wandered to her clutch of four tan speckled, blue-grey eggs (guided as if by a Geiger counter of her protestations) the more dire her distress became, as she practically offered herself up as a free meal.

Nature is full of such deceptions, things which look like other things, that distract, and mislead.

The point is, the more resistance that is thrown up, to distract one, the more likely it is, that something interesting can be found nearby. It’s stage magic at it’s most fundamental.

I recalled all the times that I had almost had a certain idea, a tantalizing thought or realization which never fully formed before there was always a distraction, if not the actual ‘portly man from Porlock’ ... Wait a sec, it was coming back to me.

I grappled ahold of the insubstantial concept, not permitting the universe from distracting me this time, as it seemed surely that it was so trying, with all kinds of noise, ambulance siren very near, noisy jet flying low overhead, car alarm right in my ear, and sights; wind blowing up a skirt, child chasing ball into roadway, a UFO.

I just stubbornly held tightly to the insight, not getting distracted by how world-changing it was, just teasing out and fleshing out the wispy hint of truth, following the implications despite the gun battle that had suddenly erupted, and the unforecast sudden unseasonable hailstorm with signs of tornado formation- in fact, the efforts Existence was exerting to prevent my gestalt was actually helping me to realize it. Just as the efforts of the little bird had led me to her clutch.

And with that, understanding was, and everything was peaceful, except for normal everyday sounds (baby crying, dog barking, distant hum of tires). Except of course, my new understanding changed everything that I thought I had once known, and replaced it with limitless potential. It wasn’t anything particularly useful, although it did expose several scientific dead ends. More of just seeing without ‘reality blinders’.

Just then, the UFO landed, and two little beings came up to me and flashed a ray or a light in my face, and the next thing I knew I was waking up at the end of a probing.

Why do you do that!? I objected indignantly, whereupon they glanced at each other, shrugged their rubbery shoulders dismissively and replied ‘That’s just what we do, be glad you weren’t a cow’ and then they both cracked up with a very creepy sounding high pitched giggling, exposing even rows of identical tiny teeth. They asked me if they were the first, and I said they were the first aliens, but I had endured a colonoscopy before. They started bouncing around in an alien version of the ‘win’ dance, exclaiming ‘We’re first!’ repeatedly.

They finally calmed down enough to explain that my new understanding of Existence that I had fought into my comprehension had changed my relationship with the All, and now I was the center. Of what I asked, puzzled.

The center of Everything, they explained. I was the new north pole for the entire Everything, everywhere and all time. I was the Mecca of the Cosmos, the Must See tourist destination for all time travelers, energy beings, power users and world walkers from everywhere and everywhen. And They were first!

But what does it mean for me? I wondered. Did I have some special meaning now?

Pshaw, they scoffed, Don’t be silly. Nothing to do with you, why do humans think everything is about them. You are no more important than any other life-form. The universe has just re-aligned it’s focus is all, a rare and notable event. How can we put it- Oh, as if there was a rare eclipse or a comet impacting a giant gas planet or new brilliant super-nova visible on this one.

They started their ‘win’ dance again, so I slipped out the open iris of the UFO and thought to myself ‘Must be the Everything being a sore loser, guess one needs to be careful what they call up’ as I wondered what form of tourist would be thrown at me next.


Wavering Bright-Stars lit the sacred pipe with a hot coal held between his bare finger-tips, as was his habit. (which startled and impressed at first but soon was de-sensitized into common-place.) He Communed with the Great ones and sighed. “here we go again, he thought, as the unfolding will of grandmother sky and great-spirit overtook him, lending him their purpose and indicating the Path ahead of him. He can be excused perhaps for the slightly jaded tone of his sigh, as he had been pursuing the will of the major powers for some six hundred years. He needed a change of scenery from the ever changing scenery. Some place to settle down and relax for a decade or so. He folded his camp-fire into a time-stop pocket for later, and knocked the dottle from his pipe. Slapping dust off the seat of his deerskin loincloth as he stood and placed the pipe into his storage-space, he accessed his spirit navigator. A heads-up display showing the ways of the Path appeared on his optic nerve, and a pleasant uninvolved voice said in his head “at the awe-power falls standard instance 2257, turn Y units dSSE and proceed yarl for three reality shifts...


So this dude walks up outta nowhere, practically nude but for a dishtowel of tanned animal skin covering his junk and a belt around his waist. The belt is festooned with various items which look suspiciously like very high-tech gadgetry. I can’t tell how old he is although he has some gray in his long dark hair, his face is so weather beaten he could be fifty to ninety. Thanks, he answered as if he could read my very thoughts. Oh, don’t doubt it son. I am actually nearly ten times older than your top guess. My name in your language means Wavering Bright-Stars, but you can call me Wavy. Or B.S ... some do.

So, I am supposed to be meeting someone here a little later on. I hope it doesn’t bother you if I hang around for awhile, he explained, and would I like to do a little world-walking while he waited?

I thought it sounded interesting, and anyway, as Ford Prefect, or Buckaroo Banzai or Confucius or someone unknown once said, “no matter where you go, there you are.”

He guided ‘here, eat these’ and handed me a palmful of something brown and stringy. Nothing loath, I popped them in my mouth like Dodgson’s Alice and began to chew the earthy tough saliva slimed stalks.

I had an inkling, but he seemed to know what he was about so I went along. Sure enough, I was soon enough trippin’ beans, and we walked some strange paths that went by strange directions I wasn’t certain existed, but I was somehow able to follow behind where Wavy led, since my mind had been blown open, and probably also because of my new insight into the All.

Now, since I’m not completely certain what of that which I experienced was ‘real’ and what was ‘only in my head’, it doesn’t make much sense nor would it make much sense if I were to attempt to take my experience with my guide Wavy and turn it into description. I saw other realms and planes, entities and phenomena, or at least it seemed so.

I learned a lot, but like my new insight it wasn’t particularly or practicably useful, and I doubt I could ever find my way back there without help. After a timeless eternity of experiences, his friend arrived (some kind of minor nature goddess, dressed in sunlight and shadow, as cool and reserved as a hidden glade and as hot as a forest fire from the glimpses She permitted) and they strolled off together through realities I couldn’t tread, but had an inkling of at least, with my new hard won understanding.

He had left me the friendship gift of my own mind, now I couldn’t be enscorelled or swayed, blinkered or befuddled. I had critical observer skills better than the best umpire, and could tell from a bunch of hokum and hogwash. On the downside, stage magicians no longer awed, and politics looked like second graders putting on a play.


Yauwrrl sniffed the thin cold mountain air with his large broad nostrils. Ever vigilant for information and new knowledge, as learning was the only real food for his kind. (they otherwise fueled themselves on the energy gradients to be found everywhere) Ever the curious naturalist, he intended to find the source of this delicious spicy tingle of his inhuman info-dar ... Attchoo!!

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Story tagged with:
Magic / Aliens /