Indeterminacy

Bentley Harris was becoming someone else:  some “thing” else.  It was all a mix-up and it wasn’t supposed to happen, but he could no longer deny the reality of the situation.

Harris was a complicated man who experienced several major changes in his life.  When he was forty-two  he worked as a Dental Technician, hammering on stranger’s teeth by day – and, at night he was a closeted scientist working on the most cutting edge research involving Quantum Physics.  It was a hobby that became an obsession —  eventually making Bentley less human and no longer able to maintain the façade of a loving husband and father.

Family life suffered.  Doris complained, “You’re never home.   You hide in some dark room that no one is allowed to enter – your inner sanctum – ha, you are becoming a total madman.”  Bentley had no response.  What his wife said was true.  When he was alone in his laboratory, he drew plans and formulae on the walls and floor for revolutionary accelerators that could break the Quantum Barrier.  He was the only person who deduced the existence of a “Barrier.”  He often wondered what drove him to follow his present course of investigation … was it his addiction to pornography?  Yes, he was aware of his addiction.  He was fascinated with strange “kinky” behavior.  His “inner sanctum” was where he began his research into the “strange” that finally led to the revelations of “strange quarks” and Quantum Physics.  It was all interrelated … everything was everything.  However, there was a price to pay for the forbidden knowledge he gained.

Bentley’s son Jeremy no longer talked to him and sweet Isabella no longer lived at home.  The world was fracturing – seismic quakes – Quantum fissures. Bentley Harris was the nexus of the change:  teeth by day, eleven-dimensional physics by night – something had to give.  M-theory tore at Bentley’s brain and he saw a vision of Einstein’s unresolved theory of  “everything” manifested in the form of a sexual orgy.  Bentley tore off his clothes and went screaming down the hall.  He was met with resistance from his wife who dialed 911.  He was at the brink, but still unable to tear down the Quantum Barrier.

Harris was arrested and taken to the “House of Mental Disorders.”  He languished in a cell for three months – it became a period of self-examination. Roiling beneath his penitent exterior was a developing pregnancy, a growing pestilence.  Bentley’s brain was also harboring something arcane: a nest of formulas related to the Higgs boson and Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle. When Doris and Jeremy came to visit, Bentley stuck out his bloated tongue and made obscene gestures.  He was transmitting an essential message that only his wife and son could understand – they were helping him break the Barrier – but they seemed confused and hostile.  Advanced Physics was not easy to transmit so Bentley forgave their heresy.

After three months he was out — a new man (or “thing”).  He remembered living in the constellation known as the Ear.  It was big and hollow, filled with invisible stars and galaxies.  He was a farmer with a loving wife named Hilda and eight obedient children who catered to his every desire.  The family worked hard trying to stem the flow of rising wax.  The Ear was always flooded with wax.  The Ear was just one constellation, part of an immense universe that included other anatomical features.   During the transition from the Ear to the Earth, the formulas in his head began to clarify and Harris realized he was giving birth.  He could feel the Quantum Barrier crumbling like a house made from toothpicks.  He caught a  glimpse of the future: people walking around wearing helmets, bumping into one another and falling in the street like limp dolls.  Other people were attacking buildings and fire-hydrants, committing acts of rape on indiscriminate objects while under the influence of  Quantum Particles in the brain.  Bentley Harris couldn’t stop the change.

He no longer made obscene gestures — no longer explored the mysteries of the universe.  Bentley just sat in his padded cell and watched  TV.  He no longer spoke — he rarely moved.  His body changed drastically after he gave birth.  It was a harrowing experience that ended in decrepitude.  He was ancient and feeble — his face was a web of wrinkles that wrapped around his head like a sack cloth.   Initially he hoped his explorations would result in some elixir, a side-effect that would lead to youthful immortality.  He’d always been fascinated with Alchemy and believed there was a link to the modern discipline of Quantum Physics.  Bentley Harris never anticipated the fall-out from his experiments:  he gave birth to a power he could not control.

 

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One comment

  1. maxrandolph

    Plot-wise, makes me think of something Kurt Vonnegut would write. Love the subtle undertow of hysterical hilarity (which, come to think, is one of your trademarks). Consider ending it at the second last paragraph, though. Why? The last paragraph seems anticlimactic, especially since it condenses a lot of dramatic information into just that one paragraph. If that information is really integral to the story, you might want to stretch it out, which of course would make the story longer. But for me the story resolves itself just fine w/ the line, “The barrier was broken.” All told another inspiringly wacked-out Balanesquerade. (I made that word up.)

    Hope you dont mind my taking critical liberties . . . but then why else would there be a reply box?

    Like

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