Welcome to Quantum Muse, a science fiction and fantasy ezine. Welcome to Quantum Muse, a science fiction and fantasy ezine. Your banner could be here! Find out how!
Out of Nowhere by Patrick LeClerc.
Posting the finest in science fiction, fantasy and alternative writing and artwork. For free. In our sober moments...
   Reader's login    |    Writer's login
Books by Quantum Muse contributors and friends.
A Felony of Birds

by Harris Tobias
The Greer Agency

by Harris Tobias
Assisted

by Harris Tobias
Hold The Anchovies

by Harris Tobias
Alien Fruit

by Harris Tobias
Peaceful Intent--Stories of human/Alien Interaction

by Harris Tobias
CHRONON--Time Travel

by Harris Tobias
The Stang

by Harris Tobias


Unnamed

by Harris Tobias


Unnamed


The man walked through the garden. He named it the garden since he realized that he was, like Adam, alone and surrounded by nameless wonders. He’d always enjoyed naming things— children, pets, businesses. It never occurred to him that naming things would become his life’s main focus. But here he was, like Adam in the Garden, naming all the plants and animals on this strange world.

He wondered if the biblical Adam was as overwhelmed by the magnitude of the job as he was. There were simply too many living things to name, too much diversity. Turn over any rock and you’d see a dozen different unnamed crawly things. It was too much for one man. Hell, it was too much for an army of taxonomists. Now there was a word he hadn’t thought of in a long time. He savored the newness of the word—taxonomist—rolling it around in his mouth like a stone. He tried shouting the word to the creatures of this world then laughed out loud. “How many taxonomists does it take to change a light bulb,” he called to the vast emptiness. He couldn’t think of a punchline. What did it matter and who cared what a light buld was anyway?

So much to name. Already today he’d named 55 different things. He was particularly proud of the “Savior” bird. It wasn’t really a bird but it did fly and call “save-your, Save-your” over and over from what passed for a tree on this world. The names he bestowed were primarily for his own amusement. There was no one else to remember or even care. Unless there was a God somewhere listening and chuckling along, all his names would soon be forgotten. But the very act of naming seemed important. It gave him a reason to keep going. He tried not to think too deeply about his situation.

“Save-your. Save-your,” called the bird.

“Save your what?” the man answered. “Your neck, your money, your bacon?” Ha! That was a good one, save your bacon. “You saved my bacon, didn’t you?” he asked the forest. The forest answered with the calls and hoots of a billion nameless creatures. In a small clearing, he danced a dizzy dance until he fell down gasping, laughing and calling out. He rose muttering to himself.

Naming things seemed a particularly human thing to do. It helped him remember he once had a life and a family. He once had friends and shipmates. By naming the plants and animals around him he held on to a bit of that precious humanity even as his sanity eroded bit by bit.

Thoughts of God filled his mind a lot lately. Ever since crawling from the wreckage of the Bounty. Why was he spared? Why couldn’t he have a companion like the biblical Adam? It didn’t seem fair that he was alone. But, here he was. Sometimes he wished he had perished along with the others. Thoughts like those made him sad and he felt the tears well up. He blubbered to the heavens feeling sorry for himself but was soon distracted by a flash of yellow off to his right.

He named the bright yellow lizard-like thing “taxicab” simply for it’s color. Its resemblance to either a terrestrial lizard or a taxicab was minimal at best but that was one of the good thing about names: they didn’t have to make any sense.

“Taxi,” he yelled, “Taxi.” The lizard darted for cover. “You can never get a cab when you need one,” the man said aloud amusing himself all over again.

Food was not a problem on this world. This in itself was a miracle. The odds on being able to digest alien protein was millions to one. The fact that he could eat anything on this world reinforced his feeling of belonging.

He came upon a large blue flower. He named the flower “Madeline” after his daughter. He’d named several beautiful things after his children. Children he had himself named so long ago. He’d have loved to show his long lost Madeline this huge strange flower. Instead he started to sing at the top of his lungs. The simple tune of “Happy Birthday” echoed through the forest startling the wildlife into momentary silence. When he was through he fell to his knees and cried.

What was he doing this for? This endless naming. What was the purpose? Why was he here? There was no more of an answer on this nameless planet than there was back on Earth. It was just that on Earth life held so many more distractions: family, friends, career, mortgage payments. Here life was easy. He had all the time in the world; time to wander, time to remember, time to name things. It didn’t have to make sense.   



2014-11-11 12:36:15
It can be very lonely out in space - if you're a rocketman. I like the taxicab spiel. This issue comes up in the new movie, Interstellar a lot.


Read more stories by this author





Please leave comments on this story. Remember you are commenting on the story, not the Author. Love it, hate it, that's fine, but don't bring up the marital status of the author's parents.

Enter the code above to post comment:

comment:



ball Did you enjoy this story? Show your appreciation by tipping the author!

Enter your tip amount. ($1.00 minimum)

Then click on the tip cup!

We shamelessly accept handouts!

Give generously to the United Wa - uh, we mean Quantum Muse. It keeps Mike off the streets from scaring small children and the Web Goddess from spray painting Town Hall - again.
Enter your tip amount. Then click on the tip cup!


Books by Quantum Muse contributors and friends.
A Felony of Birds

by Harris Tobias
The Greer Agency

by Harris Tobias
Assisted

by Harris Tobias
Hold The Anchovies

by Harris Tobias
Alien Fruit

by Harris Tobias
Peaceful Intent--Stories of human/Alien Interaction

by Harris Tobias
CHRONON--Time Travel

by Harris Tobias
The Stang

by Harris Tobias


Quantum Museletter! Be the first to know when new stories and artwork have arrived.

Subscribe to Quantum Museletter by filling out the following form.



Enter the code above to verify entry:
Your email address:
Your name (optional):
 

Do you like this site?
Recommend it to a friend by pushing the button below!

| Home | Editorial | Submissions | News |
| Discussion Board | Recommended | Merchandise | About Us | Links | Webrings | Archives |

Gallantry Web Design Services