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!
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.
Transdimensional Blues

Raymond Coulombe
Alien Fruit

Harris Tobias

Timothy O. Goyette
The Wizard's House

Jeromy Henry

This Too Solid Flesh

by Robert Hegwood


They might find him in the Spring, a few short months away when every living thing wakens from cold sleep. That was as Homo sapiens counted time; but those same months rolled on for eons to Homo achates, man the river stone, man the agate. Brian chuckled softly within his thoughts. He had nothing else to chuckle with. His whole somatic being, his human being unfleshed and mineralized, vitrified into a living pea-stone lay encased in neuro-reactive polymer. He had at long last managed for his marble sized mausoleum to lay quietly in a snow drift beside a crumbling highway far from his great-great-granddaughter’s obsession. He could not endure another pico-second dust-catching on the mantle together with all her other not-conventionally-dead relatives. 

At first this techno-apotheosis had been a godsend of science. Death where is thy sting? The process was expensive, but not prohibitively so, far less costly than wasting away in a nursing home for years on end. Moreover, there were jobs for those whose thoughts flashed in electron streams through rare metal dendrites. All they needed was energy: electricity, sunlight, or just the ambient warmth of a human body. The agate generation managed roiling nimbostratic data-clouds, or nestled in rovers and construction drones all across the face of the moon and Mars and far beyond. They went where the human body could not go, and at much less cost. Nor was the new life all work. Compared to how fast they could think, very little of their life was was work, and they enjoyed vast virtual play-lands to socialize with all their other not-conventionally-dead relatives and friends. It had all the sensation of living but too little of the substance. 

Nor was he the only one who had tired of this too, too happy life, this being without end...unto ages of ages. Myrtle Campbell had been more direct. She had flown her mobile to Yellowstone and from a thousand feet cut power to its hover-ring. She had thought to be shattered among wild grandeur. Instead she had plummeted into a mud-caldron and had sunk deep into the bubbling clay past the reach of any connection–trapped in the seething heart of darkness so terribly, terribly alive. He had heard her data feeds shrieking, shrieking, shrieking until they all faded away. That was not for him.

The snow lay lovely dark and deep. So long as there remained a flicker of daylight he had the energy necessary for thought, for connection to the omnipresent fog of virtual existence, for the beacon function of his integument to betray his escape. But night was coming, and fresh snow beginning to fall. He could feel the delicious cooling of his thoughts. How like the onset of long forgotten sleep. And in that sleep what dreams may come, what dreams may come until the Spring?



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:


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.
Quantum Musings

Raymond Coulombe, Michael Gallant, Timothy O. Goyette
Alien Fruit

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

Harris Tobias
Louisville's Silent Guardians

Michele Dutcher

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!