Harry's Glasses

Harry one day finally had to get glasses. He stopped driving at night a couple of years ago when he realized, after being diverted on his routine drive home from work due to construction, he couldn't read the street signs and got lost.

When he got his glasses it was an amazing, liberating experience. He didn't realize just how bad his sight had become, and once again he could see everything.

Days later, Harry was one night sitting at his computer when his glasses became smudged. He took them off and wiped the lenses with the special microfiber cloth and then put them on again. The clarity lasted for a few hours but then the smudges returned.

Harry became frustrated as the smudges kept returning inexplicably, more frequently and intensely. He finally got fed up and went back to his optometrist who examined the glasses under a low-powered microscope. He found very small fingerprints.

"Do you keep your glasses where your children can reach them?" asked the Optometrist.

"What? I don't have any kids." replied Harry.

The Optometrist was stunned for a second. He wondered if Harry needed to change the locks on his doors.

"Somehow kids are getting their fingerprints on your glasses." he said.

Harry looked at him as if he was crazy. "The smudges happen while I'm wearing them" Harry said.

The two men stood in silent wonder for an awkward moment.

Optical Anomaly

Once upon a time there was a college professor who had a strange theory about consciousness. When he was young he kept asking himself why he was not someone else besides himself. 'Why am I me and not someone else?' he often wondered.

He also pondered the idea that the conventional wisdom about the location of our thoughts is based on the illusion created by the stereo quality of our sense organs. In other words, if both our eyes and ears were located on our left hands, he imagined, we might think our minds were located in the center of our left hand between those organs, and consequently disregard the brain entirely as something like the Appendix.

Over cocktails one evening he proposed before his peers the idea that consciousness operates not on a cellular level, but a subatomic level. He arrived at his theory while observing that animal behavior has been greatly underestimated. It has become a recent development in research to avoid looking at lower forms of life through the lens of Anthropomorphism.

His colleagues laughed in his face so hard he had to squint and turn his head to avoid the Gin-infused spittle. They all teamed up and yelled him out of the room. He was marched toward his office by the mob of fellow scientists, all the while publicly rebuking his theories. Students out on the lawn stopped dead in their tracks to watch the spectacle, Flying Frisbees hit at least three students distracted by the racket.

He was chased off campus. His life was in ruins. Sitting in his car, in the garage with the engine running, he reached for the garage door remote to push the 'Close' button and finally end it all. But then it suddenly dawned on him that one last experiment might prove his subatomic consciousness theory.

He still had access to technology that would allow him to create a clone of himself. He manipulated the DNA of human egg and sperm to create the conditions necessary for artificial insemination and gestation of a perfect copy of himself.

From this process he believed he would prove that consciousness is at a subatomic level and is merely supported on the matrix of neurons throughout the human body.

He closed his savings account and sold his house to pay a female volunteer to carry his clone to term. The process was quick and as luck would have it the egg began to develop.

As the weeks went by the professor monitored every move of his investment. The mother of his clone was growing weary of his intrusiveness.

In a dream one night, a bear was growling and approaching the professor. He didn't flee, instead he lay on the ground and played dead. The bear approached and the professor could feel the drool and hot breath of the giant beast over his body. The bear laid down and rested his head on the professor's chest and went to sleep. In short, the bear didn't harm the professor, but never left his side, creating all manner of complications in every day life, until the professor woke up, of course.

The professor looked in the mirror and noticed a dark spot in the lower left corner of his vision. He rubbed his eyes and it was still there. After a long gaze in the mirror he thought he might be having a stroke so he went to the hospital. His doctor could find nothing from the visual exam so he ordered a scan of his brain, which also found nothing wrong but elevated activity in the Occipital lobe.

The professor suddenly realized that the current technology couldn't possibly measure brain activity on a subatomic level. He also realized that his clone developed enough to begin the process of sensory input while still in the womb. He believed he was now closer to proving that an identical clone could quite literally share consciousness, thus also proving the concept of reincarnation, and possibly the idea that an identical clone of ones self might even prove that human beings were merely appendages of a singular consciousness.

The dark spot, over the following weeks, grew more distinct, and was accompanied by faint noises and muffled music. The professor was sharing a consciousness with his clone experiencing the external life of his mother.

The professor wondered if the communication link was two-way. Perhaps he could instantly pass on his own knowledge to his clone who would be a genius child, and the child would not start an education from scratch, but have the intelligence to continue the professor's work from where the professor left off.

In the professor's nightly dreams, the bear was now constant companion, protecting him from villains, but one night the bear appeared haggard and gray. It bellowed loudly from across a large field but wouldn't approach. Overhead the sky was filled with circling crows.

The professor woke up in a cold sweat. He called the mother and took her to the hospital to discover the clone had died in the womb, but the dark spot remained in his vision. It was different now. It was still a spot, but there was something behind it. Something filled with rage and dark hatred for the professor, and there were the shrieks and screams of agony that came from the spot within the professor's mind. Now more than ever he feared for what was waiting for him after his own death.

The end.