The Artist [A short story I wrote]

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Alright, I wrote this for a creative writing class I took last semester (I needed an elective). It's about 8 pages long on word. Honest opinions on it? :p




The Artist

The canvas was blank and he unsure how to begin. He felt compelled to create, to imagine countless worlds and creations to occupy them. He knew that this was his job and certainly the way he wanted things to be; yet what a daunting task in front of him! Creating something out of nothing, something inherently interesting and deserving to exist? Surely these things can’t be rushed.

Yet rushed he was. There was a deadline, always the ever persistent deadline. He had grown to hate these arbitrary deadlines, but despite his reservations, knew they were a necessary evil. He knew that one’s work could never truly be finished. He knew that he could spend an eternity attempting to perfect his craft. Yet one with his job could not afford to be a perfectionist - things must be abandoned in order for new things to be created. If he did not force himself to end work on a particular craft, to call it a day so to speak, he could spend an eternity editing, rearranging, working tirelessly in a vein attempt to improve things so that they be just slightly a better representation of what he envisioned.

And what vision he had! Born with a wild imagination, the creative process had always come naturally to him. Ideas of what he should craft next flooded his mind like a fire raging in the wild. He could not contain these ideas in his head, they were to be expressed, they HAD to be expressed. The desire to express these ideas in a physical, tangible form was overwhelming, his single greatest desire. He was also extremely observant, seeing things for what they were with a purity of mind that would make anyone else gaze in awe. He did not know why he was this way, it was simply the way he was and he accepted that.

Yet for all of his inherent creativity, he realized that there was no one who appreciated his work. The ideas that he indulged in his mind translated into what he perceived as beautiful works of art, yet no one could appreciate them. “If no one could appreciate them, what was the point?” He asked himself this question many times, often giving pause for thought for what seemed like an eternity. If nothing else, he was patient. Thoughts flowed back and forth through his mind on this complex matter at hand.

“Is not the point of creating something not to create, but to share?” he thought. “Why do I keep pushing myself above and beyond, why do I even bother to create that one more thing? What is the point? What is ever the point?” Whenever he was deep in thought on this matter, he always came close to the reason why he created despite the fact that he had no audience. The reason was ever present, yet just out of reach of realization, forever nagging him.

The reason why he pushes forward, why he created would be plain as day to anyone who was with him, anyone who could even see his situation. But of course, no one was with him, no one even saw him or knew that he existed. He was alone. Loneliness is all he’s ever known, a constant overwhelmingly depressive state of loneliness. It is a sad but inevitable fact for someone who is in that position. It is the reason they create.

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He looks at the blank canvas, the void of nothing. With countless ideas popping in and out of his mind, he is unsure of how to begin. His mind is filled with possibilities, each possibility representing an assortment of colors that serves as the ultimate contrast to the blank canvas that is at hand. Finally, the war of ideas is won, he has settled upon what he wishes to create. After much thought and preparation, he has decided to share his work with not just someone, but everyone. He is certain that this is the best course of action for him to take; he will create something so grand that it’s greatness will be seen throughout all that is. He begins:


Let there be light: and there was light.

And he saw the light, that it was good

and he divided the light from the darkness. . .

He had created thousands of universes before, but he declared that this one would be his magnum opus, his greatest work ever. He set a generous deadline in the creation of this universe granting him enough time to accomplish what he wanted to accomplish. He made trillions of galaxies, a seemingly infinite number of stars, planet after planet after planet, black holes, comets, nebulas, and more. Never before had he created so much for one universe, never before had he filled up a universe with so many wonderful things. And the life forms, oh how he created such magnificent life forms! The seeds of life were thrown across the universe and allowed to blossom into things that were greater than had ever been created before. They blossomed into sentient beings capable of reason and thought. “A marvel that should indeed be admired by all!” he thought.

Of course, the difference between this universe and his previous universes were the life forms. He had experimented with simple life forms before, but they were boring things – Plant like organisms that sucked energy from the stars and organisms that sucked energy from geothermal heat sources were as advanced as he went previously with his life forms. But such life forms could not think, such life forms were in fact incapable of thinking. In order to create sentient thought, by far the most daunting and complex task ever at hand for him, he would need to model his creations after the only thing that he knew of that displayed such action – himself. And so it was that he created life forms in every planet of the universe which could support them. I dare say the number of life forms that would grace this universe is borderline infinite. Intricate food webs were balanced on countless planets, some food webs capable of supporting the ever so important sentient life forms. Beautiful sentient life forms that would decide on their own accord to marvel at all it were that he had created.

And marvel they did. Sentients across the universe marveled at all that existed around them. They marveled at the stars, at the animals, at the plants, at the elements, at everything conceivable. The sentients were of course not on nearly the same level of thought as their creator, but they were capable of extremely advanced forms of thought. A pattern emerged across the vast universe: sentients developed societies, cities, culture, nations, laws and great ideas. Some of which surprised even their mighty creator. The sentients created theories and developed key concepts on how the universe worked, on how the underlying principles of the universe operated. This thrilled the creator. The more the sentients learned, the more they seemed to marvel. The sentients themselves had become a great force of creation. Poems, music, paintings, drawings, art, all of it interesting and unique. Perhaps the most interesting form of art that the sentients developed was the art of storytelling. Great stories were crafted by many sentients, characters with interesting and unique personalities were made, worlds were made for these characters to live in and many things were made to occupy these worlds.

Yet as is everything’s nature, this universe was not perfect. The creator by no means expected it to be, but this universe was especially wrong. He had not expected his sentients to act and behave as they did. He viewed their creative nature as fascinating and worthy of praise, but it frightened him to see how they interacted with each other. Interaction was such a strange and foreign concept to him, fore after all, he had seemingly been alone for countless millennia, since the beginning of time. The main problem with the sentients was selfishness. Selfishness led to all that was bad in the universe. It caused war, corruption, one taking advantage of another, one viewing another as not equal or worthy of respect. As a result, conflict was seemingly inevitable for sentients, there was no avoiding it.

“Surely there must be a way to fix this problem without taking away the very thing that makes them sentient, their free will?” he wondered to himself. “Why do they wage war with each other? Why do they act without compassion and respect? This must be my fault, but I did not intend for this to happen. This surely can’t be my fault; surely this is free wills fault?”

After yet another eternal time in deep thought and ponderings, the creator had come to a reasonable conclusion. The sentients were a direct reflection of him. They were made in his image, they HAD to be and yet, as a result, they were imperfect beings. “They were created in my image and, as a result, a problem in them is a problem in me” the creator thought. Upon this realization and the countless hours he spent observing the sentients behavior, the problem in him became all too apparent – He was alone. His creations were imperfect because he was alone.

For countless millennia, since time immemorial, he had been alone. Perhaps above all else, it is his defining characteristic. This led to yet another conclusion – The answer to why he created, it was but one and the same - He created when he had no one to share his creations with simply to preoccupy himself, to fill the void made by his loneliness. Even now with trillions upon trillions of other life forms in existence, he was alone. He could not befriend any of the sentients fore all that would come of contact would be worship.

This realization shocked and frightened him. What a difference the truth could make in how one perceived the ‘verse! He now cared little about what became of the sentients; surely they were of little significance when compared to the problem now realized and faced by him? He decided that his only goal from this moment forward must be to end his loneliness. There was only one possible solution to this problem, only one way to fix what must be fixed. He would create another being that was like him, a being capable of communication and thought on a level close to his own, something that would almost be his equal. He knew that such a being would be the solution to all of his problems, the culmination of all past events and a force that would help shape all future ones. Every being longs for an equal, something else to complete it. Since time immemorial, he had only himself, the thought of an equal so alien to him that it had not even occurred until this very moment.

He did not know if it was even possible to create such a being, but so awesome was his creative might, so strong his desire that upon the moment the thought occurred, it had already been so – His equal was at hand. He would form a deep connection with this being, a connection to end the billions of years of loneliness. Truly this is his greatest creation to date, his true magnum opus.

But . . . it was not to be. After some time, the sense of completion that this being brought faded and with it went his short lived happiness. Nothing had occurred to bring about this change, only the passing of time. He had seemingly created everything he had wanted in his near equal, yet communication with this being was as if he communicated with himself. An end to the loneliness, yet he still felt alone. Questions once again filled his mind. For the first time, dangerous thoughts filled his head.

“I am the creator of all that is, was and is to come, yet why is it happiness that eludes me? Why does the void within me not only continue to exist, but grow?” The rage was building inside him now, frustration on an unimaginable level. Here is the being who has painted countless universes with the most beautiful colors of creation imaginable, but who cannot paint himself. It is impossible to paint a black void. No matter how much one adds, the void still remains. He, still deep in thought, continues to wonder. “My close equal, the being who was created to be my completion does not complete me. What does this mean? Have I created anything at all? Have I EVER created anything at all? How can one even define what is real and what isn’t? Creator of all that is, was and is to come. . . Why have I never questioned this before? How can I be certain that I am who I assume to be? How can I be certain of anything, that I even exist. . ." With this thought cast, the black void of nothingness that was him exploded, consuming everything that was, is and ever will be. The canvases no longer contained beautiful colors, pure black is now all they know.

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The onlooker stares at the same black canvas confused, dismayed. Fore this onlooker is an artist himself, and not just any artist, but the creator and observer of the artist who was just consumed. In this onlookers creation he had confirmed what he expected about himself. With this confirmation at hand, the black void of nothingness that was the onlooker exploded, consuming everything that was, is and ever will be. The canvases no longer contained beautiful colors, pure black is now all they know.

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The onlooker stares at the same black canvas confused, dismayed. Fore this onlooker is an artist himself, and not just any artist, but the creator and observer of the artist who was just consumed. In this onlookers creation he had confirmed what he expected about himself. With this confirmation at hand, the black void of nothingness that was the onlooker exploded, consuming everything that was, is and ever will be. The canvases no longer contained beautiful colors, pure black is now all they know.


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The onlooker stares at the same black canvas confused, dismayed. Fore this onlooker is an artist himself, and not just any artist, but the creator and observer of the artist who was just consumed. In this onlookers creation he had confirmed what he expected about himself. With this confirmation at hand, the black void of nothingness that was the onlooker exploded, consuming everything that was, is and ever will be. The canvases no longer contained beautiful colors, pure black is now all they know. . . . . . . .
 

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