White Noise

Arnold Sinattra was a well respected scientist working on the SETI Project, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence using radio wave telescopes.   He was a friendly man and everyone called him “Arnie.”   He had a wife, Suzy; and a son, Jeffrey.  Life was good.   He loved his home in the suburb of  “Sun Crest” where everything was safe and comfortable.   Arnie was a computer expert.   He listened to sounds from space, “white noise” or as he liked to say, “I listen to the music of the spheres.”   He listened for codes, evidence of alien intelligence.  He never expected to find anything, but when he did it was unexpected and unorthodox.  He heard the sound of knocking.  He heard the sound in his mind.  The sounds he heard were not the result of computer technology.   Someone or something was knocking on the door that entered his mind.   He also heard “white noise” in his mind.   In the noise he could make out voices and strange, compelling music.  The voices were knocking.  Arnie thought about the lyric, “knock, knock, knocking on Heaven’s Door” … But the lyric was altered and it seemed to say, “knock, knock, knocking on Death’s Door.”  In fact, it seemed to Arnie that death was knocking on his door.   He could see chaotic shapes emerging from a black hole in space: extraterrestrials, aliens coming to destroy the sanctity of his world.  The doctors at Heaven’s Gate Sanatorium diagnosed Arnold Sinattra as a Paranoid Schizophrenic.  Nothing in his story was true.  He was not a scientist, but a homeless indigent who once worked as a computer technician before the alcohol messed up his plans for a career.  He had no family and he never lived in the fashionable suburb of Sun Crest.  As far as the doctors were concerned Arnie was just a sad failure with a serious mental illness.  They put Arnie on huge doses of anti-psychotic medications to stop his incomprehensible ravings.  Arnie was finally silenced, but he still heard the knocking and the white noise.   They were coming.  They were just outside the door in his mind. They slipped in, quiet as a mouse.  Tiny and inconspicuous at first, but with an enormous appetite.    They came in the form of a small black hole.  A black hole devours everything in its vicinity and grows exponentially.  A black hole is certain death.   Arnie tried to warn them; but, of course, it was too late.

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