The Omega

by

Earl Stubbs

Enjoying the peaceful interlude between slumber and wakefulness, I drifted from the warmth of sleep back and forth to the edge of reality. Having exhausted the moment, I opened my consciousness to determine whether the back of my beloved Lhasa Apso, Mulan, was jammed against my own. It was not. A two hundred pound man must be careful of a ten-pound canine. I forced open my eyes. A blurred glance showed me that Nancy had exited the bed as well. She went to sleep before I did and rose earlier for that reason.

Swinging my feet to the floor, I stepped into my Birkenstock sandals. Then, as was my pattern, I stumbled the short distance to my side of the dressing area. I squirted toothpaste directly from the tube to my mouth and brushed. After applying deodorant, I opened the medicine cabinet and sorted out my morning’s meds, which was no easy task. Subsequent to choking down the handful of pills and capsules, my search for wearing attire commenced. The only rule was that the clothing had to be either brown based or blue. Since it was summer, I chose shorts and a suitable cotton pullover. Having completed my morning ritual, I responded to a growling stomach and strolled to the kitchen.

Neither Mulan nor Nancy was in sight. Indifferent to social schedules, mine and everyone else’s, I made no effort to reason out the location of my family members. After all, I am not a morning person, and if I became overly curious, I could call Nancy on the cell phone. For all I knew, Mulan could still be under the bed fast asleep.

Coffee was in the warmer, so I knew Nancy had left early. Peeking between the blinds, I observed a bright day with an unusual blue cast. The leaves of the two large oak trees in front lay still.

Filling a bowl with cereal, unsalted peanuts, and strawberries. I fetched the milk. I poured some in the bottom of my favorite mug and some in the bowl of bran flakes. Leaving the coffee undisturbed, I sat at the table and took a welcomed mouthful of my breakfast mixture. The taste was flat, but as a creature of habit, I continued to crunch.

The sports section lay in its usual place, so I scanned the front page for tidbits of trivia. The paper shocked me. It was not the Dallas Morning News at all, but the Dallas Times Herald, a paper that had not existed for decades. The story on the front page was about the game between SMU and Notre Dame in which the diminutive Johnny Champion made life miserable for the Heisman Award winning giant, Leon Hart.  My favorite sports writer of all time, Blackie Sherrod, wrote the article. I decided this must be a promotional gimmick.

The cereal only lasted a column or two. Having consumed my breakfast fare, I poured coffee. I believe that coffee should be hot. If one can drink it, it is not hot enough. One must blow and sip to imbibe coffee correctly. Never trusting the coffee warmer, I zapped the mug thirty seconds in the microwave to bring the temperature up to standard. Then I returned to the paper and finished it just in time to take the last sip. Perfect!

After putting the breakfast dishes in the washer, I went out on the patio to commune with my birds. I have two large birdhouses on fifteen-foot poles in my backyard. Sparrows, starlings, and squirrels share them. Yes, squirrels. Several generations of neighborhood bushy tails gnawed out holes in the birdhouses and used the rooms as homes while rearing their young. Since I like most animals on face value, except for opossums, the birds and squirrels get no grief from me. I do not feed them, nor do I bother them. On this particular morning, no animals were in evidence.

As I scanned Nancy’s garden, I noticed that the blossoms from all of the numerous flowering plants, including two magnolia trees, lay on the ground. Even the rose bushes sat bare. Perhaps Nancy saw her adored plants in such a state and journeyed to the garden center to inquire about the problem.

For the sake of privacy, a tall cedar fence surrounds our back yard. No one can see in, but neither can we see out. To get a better view of the neighborhood, I decided to try the front yard. I walked through the house and out the front door only to find the entire neighborhood deathly still. I could not even hear the usual traffic noise from Jupiter Road, a busy thoroughfare a couple of blocks away. Moving across the yard to a better vantage point, I saw that the normally busy six-lane street lay deserted.

Having no explanation and little interest, I started back toward the front door only to notice that the customary light blue sky had turned cerulean. Even as I watched, the heavens brightened, then discolored. I became increasingly alert when I determined that the bright morning sun was not in the East at all, but shone from the North. The dark shade beneath the heavily foliaged trees gradually diminished then vanished altogether. Logic told me that I should be terrified, but I was not. Mind-altering events unfolded in front of me, yet my emotions accepted those perversions of the physical world with little angst.

The bizarre landscape pulsed. Summer colors brightened and then faded. Neighborhood homes grew faint and then disappeared altogether. The rising sun was back in the East. The sky was orange but not intrusive. A colorful mist obscured the remaining landscape as a melodious refrain from my childhood intruded on my thoughts. We shall gather at the river, the beautiful, beautiful river….

A form slowly emerged from the vapor. It was a diminutive woman with a captivating smile dominating her countenance. She was a young adult, dressed in what appeared to be a deerskin dress. She approached without anxiety and took my hand. Wrapping  her arms around me, she gave me a loving hug, looked intensely into my eyes, and began to speak. At first, her words were guttural and impossible to follow, but soon they evolved into perfectly understandable patterns of speech.

“I am Opa. I am your guardian, but we are all here.”

Somehow, I knew that a powerful bond connected Opa and me, but I knew not what. “How do I know you, Opa?”

“We are those who came before. From the alpha to the omega, you know us all. You are the omega. You are the last.”

“I am the last of what? What happened to my world?” I asked. I still felt no anxiety. Glancing over Opa’s shoulder, I noticed others emerging from the mist. I recognized the warm eyes of a young woman who walked with a limp and could have only been my mother. They continued to come and gather by the hundreds, dressed in the attire of their time or not at all. I knew them all, yet none of them. I felt varying degrees of emotions as my eyes settled on individuals. Some clustered apart from the rest, and when I watched them, I sensed something akin to hatred. They did not all love me.

As they appeared, their shapes began to change. Stooped beings, covered with hair, then fur, joined the throng. They diminished in size and their tails lengthened. A waterline formed and small living things crawled out, others surfaced briefly, and then, finally, a bright spot glowed from the depths. I instantly knew that it was the original organic molecule, serendipitously formed, that had evolved into the human race. It was the ancestor. It was the beginning, and I was the end. The alpha and the omega. It was then and only then, that I realized that I no longer lived.

What next?

The panorama of my ancestors continued to cavort in and out of the water. No semblance of earth or sky remained, only the misty world surrounding me. Then the voices, thoughts, and urges of my new world began to seep into my consciousness, leaving no room for the old ones…my own. After taking a final glance at my hands, I found them missing. Our energy, the essence of me and mine, gradually blended into a new clarity. We felt an omnipresence join the absolute glory of our cumulative being. Never had we felt such paradise. Time, life, existence became extraneous, but for some reason I couldn’t fathom, I knew when Mulan got there.


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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Kathy Loyd on August 25, 2011 at 2:13 am

    Started out strong and dwindled at the end, odd ending,

    Reply

    • Kathy,

      As per your observaton and that of others, I added to the ending of this story. Is it better?

      Earl

      As they appeared, their shapes began to change. Stooped beings, covered with hair, then fur, joined the throng. They diminished in size and their tails lengthened. A waterline formed and small living things crawled out, others surfaced briefly, and then, finally, a bright spot glowed from the depths. I instantly knew that it was the original organic molecule, serendipitously formed, that had evolved into the human race. It was the ancestor. It was the beginning, and I was the end. The alpha and the omega. It was then and only then, that I realized that I no longer lived.
      What next?
      The panorama of my ancestors continued to cavort in and out of the water. No semblance of earth or sky remained, only the misty world surrounding me. Then the voices, thoughts, and urges of my new world began to seep into my consciousness, leaving no room for the old ones…my own. After taking a final glance at my hands, I found them missing. Our energy, the essence of me and mine, gradually blended into a new clarity. We felt an omnipresence join the absolute glory of our cumulative being. Never had we felt such paradise. Time, life, existence became extraneous, but for some reason I couldn’t fathom, I knew when Mulan got there.

      Reply

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