Thursday, July 10, 2008

Short Story: The Adventures of Logic and Reason

My Dear Reader,

I wrote this story for a class and didn't find out until later that it hadn't been assigned. You might be surprised at how often I do that. I still really enjoyed writing the story, and I think that it gives you a little insight into the way my mind works. Sufficed to say, I too like to banish logic and reason every once in a while. You'll see what I mean.

The Adventures of Logic and Reason

There is a moment, just before the dreamer opens her eyes after a peaceful night’s rest, that reality and fantasy are blurred. In that moment, there is a gentle bridge between the Dream land and the land of Living, where everything makes sense, and there is no question as to whether horses can fly, or dragons exist, or that the dreamer is far away from her bed on a tropical island.

This world, which the natives call Salim, is visited nearly every night by every human being on Earth, and yet the memory quickly fades, and as it slowly slips from the human mind, Logic and Reason take its place. For this reason, Salim is secret, but unguarded, and hidden, but not lonely.
The inhabitants of Salim, who had lived in this peaceful land for as long as memory existed, loved their land very much. These inhabitants were not few, except for when they were many, and were not male, except for when they were. It was hard to say whether they are real or not, or whether they are concrete and distinct beings, for they could change shape and form to better comfort their visitors. With the absence of Logic and Reason, who had been forever banished from Salim, this was made possible.

No one ever thought that Logic and Reason would be mad at being shut out of Salim. To be honest, no one in Salim thought about anything at all. Logic and Reason, however, thought of everything, and this was their advantage. One day, Logic came up to Reason and demanded Reason to conspire with him.

“If we work together,” Logic said, “the chances of being successful are greater.”

“This sounds reasonable,” Reason reasoned, “but what is the purpose of this effort?”

“If we return to Salim,” Logic droned, “it will be easier to access the Dream World.”

“Oh, the Dream World! I have always wanted to go there!” Reason replied, smiling in spite of herself, “Is it not reasonable to assume that if we are given influence in this new realm, we will have a greater influence on the human mind?” Logic took a deep breath and paused for a bit, and his tired, old face sagged into a sort of frown.

“Yes,” Logic answered, “but it is not logical for me to explain this to you at this time, since you already understand the principle.”

“Obviously,” Reason said.

“Indubitably,” Logic groaned, and fell asleep.

Such was the situation between the land of Living and the land of Salim, although nothing happened for quite some time, as Logic and Reason found anything but thought very restricting. Logic was old and wise, and resolved to sit in his rocking chair and smoke his pipe, until a more logical course of action presented itself. Reason was young and sharp, and carefully searched every possibility before bringing a plan of action to Logic for debate. Since there were an infinite amount of possible ways to conquer the land of Salim to took a very long time for every possibility to be explored.

Meanwhile, completely unaware of the danger that was slowly, but rationally presenting itself, the inhabitants of Salim went on their merry way, fixing what wasn’t broken and discovering what they had already found at least three times before. They played before breakfast and in breakfast and on breakfast. They tasted sounds and listened to smells. They heard what had not been said and ate what didn’t exist. As long as they didn’t think about these things, they were happy, and as long as they were happy, they were content.

Eventually, however, the inevitable happened. Reason had narrowed the infinite possibilities down to the probable possibilities, and brought the probable possibilities to the attention of Logic, who was taking a nap since his services had not been required for quite some time. With her comrade asleep, Reason had to explore another set of infinite possibilities in order to decide how to wake him up.

In the meantime, there was much to be celebrated in the land of Salim. After all, they had kinged the prince and princed the king, who was tired of having absolute power and wanted to be a real boy again. So the people of the land of Salim drank pie and ate confetti to celebrate the blessed occasion. If they had not banished Worry, who waited at the barrier between Salim and Living, the natives might have sensed the coming danger and started to prepare, but they had banned Preparation as well, so her presence might not have made much difference, come to think of it.

Back in Living, Logic woke up on his own, though Reason was rather disappointed that her efforts had been for nothing. Reason wasted no time in telling Logic all of her plans. After she finished, Logic wasted a lot of time rehashing everything she had said, weeding out all of the contingencies that had already been weeded, and then he weeded them again. Reason didn’t mind, though, because she found redundancy excessively entertaining. After all, there was a reason that Logic only had one friend, as there were not many people who could tolerate an old windbag like Logic, besides, the smoke from his pipe smelled like burned cabbage. One might not think that it was logical for a man to have tobacco that smelled like burned cabbage, but since Logic doesn’t like most people, it made sense. And after Logic rehashed the plan, he decided that it wouldn’t be logical to rehash it again, and he spent twenty minutes explaining why. After that, they decided it was time to move. It was lucky for them that the natives of Salim were completely clueless, because in the time that it took Logic and Reason to decide on a plan of action and finally get around to carrying it out, the entire land could have moved out, or built a fortress around their barrier, or written a novel and gotten it published in the time it took them to get to the borders of Salim. They got there all the same, though, and conversed with Worry for quite some time, using her experience as a blueprint for failure. After all, Worry didn’t
exactly have a reputation for actually getting any work done.

Logic and Reason were somewhat confounded when the reached the threshold that separated Living and Salim. It was made out of a single sound, which was shrill and repeated itself over and over.

“That must be the alarm,” Reason reasoned as she clasped her head in her hands.

“If you are referring to the sound of an alarm clock,” Logic said, yelling over the noise, “then I would have to concur.”

This was an unexpected setback for the pair, but Reason should have known that she would have to expect the unexpected. It was Salim that they were trying to get into, after all.

“If there is a sound, it is logical that there is something that makes the sound. That is what we must go after first,” Logic stated, and Reason nodded. But they could not find such a thing, and they did not understand why a sound could act as a gateway between two lands, and it took them hours to figure out what to do next, mostly because Worry kept distracting them with paranoid theories that involved light fixtures.

Finally, Reason proposed a very unique course of action.

“We could just walk through the sound,” she said, causing Logic to raise thick, gray eyebrow at her.

“If it is not logical for a barrier to be made out of a sound in the first place, it is definitely not logical to try to traverse something that cannot exist,” he said.

“Well, is it not logical that the barrier of Salim is completely illogical?” she countered.

“I’m outraged!” Logic huffed, obviously offended, “I believe we’ve already discussed that in order to conquer Salim, we must make it a reasonable place. We cannot start succumbing to their ways.”

“I guess you’re right,” Reason said, lowering her head in humble defeat, “but what do we do now?”

“There’s only one thing we can do,” he said, looking at his wristwatch, “and that is to go home and get some rest. It is rather late and we shouldn’t deprive ourselves of sleep.”

“I suppose,” Reason said, swiftly ending the first (however short) rebellion that she had ever ignited. They walked back home, careful to stay in well-lit areas and watch out for strangers, and never returned to the borders of Salim again, since they were never able to solve the mystery behind the sound of the alarm clock. They were probably better off that way, however, since it was likely that as soon as they entered the land of Salim and saw the absurdity that lived there, they would have either gone crazy themselves or run away as fast as possible.

And then, as if the entire land of Salim had been a dream of some other being, it faded away. Perhaps someday someone will dream it up again, and explore this peaceful land and the happy people who live there. Or perhaps there will come a time when Reason and Logic find their way into Salim. It probably wouldn’t be a pretty sight, though.

-Cecily Jane


Anonymous said...

Brilliant! I liked the simple form of the story. My dreams are often a reflection of my worries. Perhaps Worry is a sprite that does live in Salim. MJH

Molly&Charles said...

Sollasolloo (sp?) sounds like Salim. I want to go there!

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