After You’ve Stood on the Log at the Center of the Universe, What Is There Left to Do?

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After You’ve Stood on the Log at the Center of the Universe, What Is There Left to Do?

Post by Aduhm on Wed Apr 11, 2012 2:06 pm

here is this little story i read today in a test. i like it so much i reread it and couldn't finish the test hahha! its a little childish, but it made me think. Once we reach our goals, or do what we thought we always wanted, what is there to do next? i did not write this by the way, but i wanted to post it Smile

After You’ve Stood on the Log at the Center of the Universe, What Is There Left to Do?
There used to be a log in the center of the pond on my father’s farm. It
wasn’t really a log; it was a thick branch coming off the main trunk of a
submerged tree. Someone had sawed it off where it broke water, and it
was thick enough to use as a mooring place for the rowboat. But it wasn’t
strong enough to hold even a ten-year-old boy without giving a little. So
naturally we all had to try to stand on it. I was the only one who ever
succeeded. It wasn’t easy standing on that log while it sank lower and
lower into the water and weaved from side to side while you flailed your
arms to keep your balance.
Legions of farmboys may have succeeded before I did, but, if they did,
I didn’t know it. I was the first in my world to have balanced himself
on that log. And the last, for it wasn’t long after I’d done it that the
ship came.
Tommy Peters, my best friend, his dog Rajah, and I were just sort of
sitting by the pond trying to decide what to do with the rest of the day.
We had discussed fishing, swimming, going into town on our bikes to
get a soda and look at all the things we couldn’t afford, playing ball, but
really we were pretty happy just to sit by the edge of the pond, making
dragons out of the clouds.
I think Tommy really wanted to go swimming, so he could be the second
one to stand on the log, but I wanted to savor my position as the only logclimber around for as long as possible, so I kept putting it off.
“Wow! Look at that jet!” he said, pointing to a dot of blackness that
was rapidly growing.
“Geez, it’s really moving,” I said.
“I think it’s out of control!” Tommy shouted. “It looks like it’s going
to crash!”
We scrambled to our feet.
“Look!” Tommy said in a loud whisper.
It wasn’t a jet plane at all. By now we could see it and it seemed like
it was coming right toward us. Rajah started to whimper and cringe
against Tommy just before we could hear the loud, high-pitched whistle
of rushing air.
“It’s a spaceship!” Tommy said.
We were rooted to the spot, unable to run, watching that silvery capsule
race toward us. Then, about twenty feet overhead, it came to a sudden
impossible dead stop and drifted slowly to rest a foot above the water.
A door opened, and a guy who looked just like an astronaut in a spacesuit
stepped out, walked over to the log, said something loudly in a foreign
language, waved to the spaceship, and attached something to the log.
Then he walked back to the spaceship and it took off just as fast as it
had arrived.
That’s what I said: he walked to the log, right over the pond.
About ten seconds after the spaceship had disappeared into the sky,
Tommy and I both let out the breaths we didn’t know we were holding.
“Wow!” Tommy said.
“Let’s get out of here,” I said. I was just as scared as Rajah was.
“Come on, scaredy-cat, let’s see what they put on the log.”
Just then a jet fighter came roaring past just at treetop level. I fell flat
on the ground, and Rajah took off for home, his tail between his legs.
Tommy stood his ground.
Hot on the tail of the first jet came two more.
“Come on, Doug.” He was running for the rowboat. I was really scared,
but I couldn’t run. After all, I was the first to stand on the log at the center
of the pond, and if Tommy went out there with the boat while I ran for
home, I’d never live it down.
At the top of the log was a silvery rectangular box-shaped object. It
really glittered in the sun. Tommy reached out to grab it.
“Wow!” he said. “It’s got some kind of carvings on it.”
I carefully stroked it; sure enough, on the four long sides there were
tiny dots and things. The top, opposite where it was attached to the log,
was smooth as smooth could be, but not the sides.
“It’s like the drum inside a music box,” I said.
“Or Braille.
Maybe it’s writing in Braille,” Tommy said.
Just then, we heard some voices. My father came out on the dock with
a lot of men.
“Doug, what are you doing out there?”
“Just looking at the log.”
“What’s that on it?”
“Oh, nothing. . . .”
“This spaceship came down and put something on the log,” Tommy
said, and blurted out the whole story.
My father ordered me to bring the boat back in, and then he and some
of the other adults rowed out to look at the log while the others kept
questioning us and talking about enemies and kids’ imaginations.
I'm not sure they all believed us, but after a while my father did.
"Doug's a good boy, I believe him," he said, after I refused to disagree
with Tommy's story.
They brought in a bunch of men and trucks and equipment, spoiling a
lot of our fields and crops (which they paid my father for, much more
than he would have gotten out of them anyway), and completely ruined
the pond for swimming. They cut the log just below where the silvery
rectangular object was attached, but they didn’t move the object.
“We can’t move it, Doug; there’s some kind of a force field that keeps it
in place,” Dr. Gaines said.
“Wow! Just like in science fiction movies,” Tommy yelped.
Dr. Gaines was my favorite of all the men who had come in to look at
our pond. He wasn’t very old, though he had lost most of his blond hair
and he wore rimless glasses. He wasn’t crotchety and crabby like some of
the others, who shooed us away or ordered us to leave. A couple of times
he took us out to the building that they had rigged up on a couple of
army pontoons.
They were trying to melt the object down with lasers
and phasers and cannons and drills and I don’t know what. It was really
exciting, with electricity and flashing lights. They had built a regular real
laboratory out on our pond.
It was about three days after the whole thing began that I found him
sitting at the edge of the pond, staring out at the building over the log,
looking kind of funny.
“Hi, Dr. Gaines,” I said, sitting down and breaking off what looked
like a nice juicy grass stem. It was. “How’s the work going? Have you
figured out that force field yet?”
“No, Doug, but we found out what the object is.”
“Yeah? What is it?”
“They brought in one of those high-powered microscopes yesterday,
and you know that roughness on the sides of the plinth?” (He called the
object a “plinth.”) I nodded my head. “It’s writing.”
“You mean like Braille?”
“Maybe. There might be Braille there. There’s a lot of languages on it.
Languages and alphabets we never heard of. But there’s also French
and Chinese and Latin and Japanese and every language anyone
can think of.”
“Yes. English too.”
“What does it say?”
“Come on, Doug. I’ll let you see for yourself.”
We walked out on the ramp that led to the building over the log at the
center of the pond. All the air of excitement was gone. People were walking
around, doing their work, all right, but looking kind of glum or dazed.
There was this huge instrument set up in front of the object, and Dr. Gaines
showed me one of the eyepieces, sort of like a real pair of binoculars.
It was already focused on the English part of the object:
“. . . Survey Galactique 42,373,249. This plaque marks the population
center of the Milky Way Galaxy, as determined by Galactic Survey

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Location : In a Black, Black World, there was a Black, Black Town.

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