The One Left Behind – Ink Well Prompt #11

in The Ink Welllast year (edited)


‘I invented the moon: so I could lie to the World.’

I read that one line over and over again – until I could hear the echo that it left floating at the back of my brain, reverberating around my skull like all the lost souls of this world.

I had suspected, but I never really believed, until I held irrefutable proof in my own two hands. The diary – the confession – of the one who created this all . . . this world. All that we saw around us, all that we lived and breathed – a fabrication. Something that was plucked from the imagination and made manifest. Built not from solid matter, but from scraps of the ephemeral clutter one can find only in the vast expanse of the mind. A mind so corrupted by shame and guilt, that the end creation can be nothing more than a miasma of ruined inequity. This world in which we inhabit – or did up until a few short weeks ago, should never have existed – the last gasp of a dying man, grasping to the frailty of life.

How did I find myself in this predicament one must surely ask? I have been asking myself that very question from the moment that I opened my eyes, until I stumbled across the book – this one that I have currently propped open in front of me as I catalogue my thoughts. The one that details the ramblings of a mad man.

The world, as it was, was dying – or dead – the difference is immaterial. Our great ‘saviour’ (as he describes himself in the book), sought to preserve humanity by building a very complex machine that would simulate the reality as it ought to be: as he believed it should be. But as we always find, things do not often go as planned. As it turned out, there were ghosts in the machine – quirks in the coding that led to the corruption, and inevitably, to the downfall of the system. It was designed to be a better version of our existence. It was meant to simulate what life should have been – what it could have been if only we had worked at it that little bit harder: if only we were better angels than men were. If only.

Reality, has a funny way of righting itself.

Humanity was lied to – convinced to be encapsulated into this doomed project. How? Well, the book doesn’t really say – its author, remains steadfastly silent on that point.

He created this whole farce – and in the process, lied to us all.

After finding the book and reading its contents, I now know why I am here – I am the son. I must go forth and replenish this land with the small scraps of humanity that have been left to us. Everything that I know – that I have learned from the machine – has been built for this moment.

My father – the father of us all – he invented the world in which we knew, so that we could fix the world that he left behind.


Well done. Beautifully written. Intelligently conceived. The concept works well from beginning to end because there is logical consistency throughout.

A wonderful application of the prompt. Thank you for posting this story in the Ink Well community.

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Your opening line is a good hook, and it draws the reader in, making us want more until we have all of it.
That's how i went through your story.
A son that must now go out into the world to right the wrongs of his late father/savior, all in a bid to save humanity.
A really beautiful plot @morior, keep it up.

Hello @morior,
I wrote this yesterday as the Ink Well. That must have been confusing--two different comments from the Ink Well. Here's the same comment, under my name :)

Many years ago I read a novella by Miguel de Unamuno: La Niebla (The
, or The Mist in English). In the story, the author struggles because he realizes he is a character in a book. He struggles against the author. Your story reminded me of Unamuno's brilliant work. So many issues arise--perceptions of reality and free will among them.

Your story is well-realized and well written. Thank you for posting it in the Ink Well community.

Thank you for sharing your story in The Ink Well, @morior. I really enjoyed it.

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