“The Norman Observation”

Contributor: Hanson Hovell Holladay

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    Hazy creatures stroll across the white walls of Norman’s vision. Like the conclusion of a masterful drama, each one-steps with slow, gentle grace – a faint beauty of hymns and choirs releasing through the silence. The creatures are like angels: mystical, guardian observers from the world of Humankind’s mythology and fantasy; pure peace.
    Norman feels the eyes upon him. He can feel their healing, relaxing gazes over his mind and body. Their intention must be good, that he is certain of. Yet, he does not know these creatures. They move before him as enigmas, as mysterious entities unknown to time and space. Their presence and gaze inject pure bliss into his very being; and it is from this bliss that he begins:
    Above, below, and to his sides, the stars dot the black skyscape before Norman, each no more than a micrometer apart from its neighbor. They’re everywhere – they’re infinite, never-ending in all directions, all of them a life-sponsor to the offspring worlds surrounding. To count these stars, and to explore these stars: impossible, by human standards.

    Adjusting his view, deep within ecstasy, there is an object: a large rock-like body – a moon. Its shape is unorthodox – that is, in comparison to the custom Moon. Focusing his line of vision, Norman begins to see the grey lunarscapes, and the much darker craters throughout. Like the stars, each would be far too difficult to count. Slowly, the moon rotates.
    Norman feels himself approaching the moon, becoming closer and closer. Its craters appear in much greater detail, shapes and characteristics of numerous types growing by the hundreds. My God. He begins to mumble monologue within, his words somehow in separation from normal speaking prose. Not my Moon. No, not my Moon at all. Yet, such a beautiful moon.
    Again, he feels himself adjust without the motor functions of normality. The moon begins to vanish, fading away into the bottom left corner of his vision. For several moments only the stars are visible again, following the dissolve pattern of the moon, almost appearing to be shooting stars in a clear, northern sky of pure clarity.
    Before him now, large and immense – no, far beyond that – an indiscernible mass of lime and lemon of flavorful orchids – yellow and green colors, together in a combination of sensual beauty, along with a touch of light royal blue and orange magnificence, rests a world – a world of heavenliness.

    Possessing a feeling of weightlessness, happiness, and peace, he feels his eyes and grin widening, yet still breathing air with a wonderful, clean cotton-like aroma. The world before him is one of a visionary, and one of fantasy. What’s below? He asks himself, the world rotating just as the moon. Without possession of a rightful expression to the beauty, Norman gratifies with what words he holds: To my God: in all of Your creation, what am I seeing? What is it that exists before me?
    Without an answer, he continues to gaze at the world before him, becoming more in focus with every passing moment. Further clarity quickly emerges, and Norman can see before him, surrounding the magnificent world, a series of divine, celestial rings of several layers. In the name of Your creation, and by the survivors of Noah, what is this beauty before me? The world continues to rotate, its rings of beauty surrounding.
    Norman stares into the world before him. He feels that he can stare forever – no, for all eternity. It moves and exists, just as a beautiful woman in her evening gown at the closing of a perfect day. To know what I see – to give this beauty a name… How can I? How can I without Your help?
    Saturn. He quickly comes to an understanding of the rings and colors. Yes, Saturn. Saturn is a planet of the… For a moment he thinks, tracing back to his days of fascination with such things. Yes, Saturn is a planet of the Jovian type: a gas giant. It’s the planet after Jupiter, and before Uranus.
    Norman begins to feel his memory re-emerge. Slowly, with an easy pace, he feels his knowledge begin to return. I know this world. Yes, I know it – I’ve looked into it in the past.
    The gases and indescribable colors continue to shine and possess his fascination. How is it that I’m so close? Only Voyager has ventured out this far. How is it that I am here? Am I the first – but how?
    His racing thoughts go silent. Looking into the atmosphere below, he shifts to the rings enclosing the world. The rings consist of layers, this he already knows, that stretch from the planet out into the cosmos. Each almost appears artificial, perhaps created long ago to portray the world’s true beauty for all the System to see in amazement. Maybe, just maybe, in a distant, almost faint recollection of past inspiration, the words of Lear are true: that civilizations flourish beneath the magnificent rings and colors.
    What? He can see something below, driving through the thickest layer of the rings. Slowly – far more slowly than the world’s rotation, an object moves with great ease like a gentle bird migrating through calm skies, leaving behind traces of a trailing gleam, coming into view only because of the distant Sun and its reflection off the atmosphere. What do I see? What are you? The object continues to move slowly, delivering its sign of artificiality. Good God.
    The object is of immense size, but moves with the pace of a deteriorating ocean vessel. However, it does move – it does exist. Moment after moment – minute after minute, Norman stares at this object streaming in a pattern through one of the outer layers of Saturn’s rings. At times he questions himself, only to notice the slow, continuous movement: What – What do I see? Am I seeing You?

    Before him moves something unknown. Just as the figures in the room, this anomaly is an enigma, moving mysteriously without explanation. However, it does move, and, therefore, it exists. God, can You tell me what moves within the rings? I know of us – of Earth’s accomplishments, and what I see cannot exist. What is it? Who are they?
    There is no reply to Norman’s question, only a stream of silence within his mind. Yet, the lack of a response does not frighten him; he only stares in amazement at the movement before him. Despite the absence of guidance, he feels within a state of comfort – of knowing that something other than man exists in such a stage of advancement.
    Miraculous, pure and exquisite. He questions as to whether or not he is the first to see such a thing: the existence of the unknown. How can I reveal such cosmic beauty to the world? Please tell me – I beg of You – how can I do it without destroying Your grace and message? I am a Christian, but the universe exists – it exists, and it’s infinite. Surely, I am not the only one to know that.
    Like a great whale synchronized with an ocean’s current, swimming in harmony, the object glides gracefully as though the rings are its natural home.  Are you of the living? Is it possible that You…
    Norman’s mind comes to a halt. He continues to stare into the rings of Saturn, watching the majestic object cruise with ease, leaving behind a contrail of shining beauty. Questions and theories begin to race through his mind, one after the other, each more unanswerable than the previous; a victim of racing thoughts.
    Is it You that moves before me? Is it You that I see in the colorful rings? Ever so slowly, it moves like a gentle giant amongst microscopic mortals. It does not appear to seek pure praise and glory, but only to be known – to be in view as an entity of reality. Is it possible?
    Norman takes closer notice of the derelict, free-flowing magnificent entity. It appears aged, and in possession of great experience. The hull appears like that of an old man, one who has lived a life of happiness and success. Now, alone, it seems to live solely off the memories of times past, cherishing every last one of them, each more magnificent than the last.

    The hazy creatures move about in slow motion, each one nearly identical to the other. The figures are out-of-focus, and their voices, though extremely faint, are like the gentle white noise of an off-air broadcast. The hum flows into his thoughts, and, with the visions before him, creates an ambient scene of pure relaxation. The sounds continue, both gentle and peaceful, releasing the ecstasy even further.  
    The drugs they insert into his vein make the world a place of perfection – a utopia. With their aid there exists no worries, no fears, no problems, and no hate: a pure, and absolute heaven on Earth; something of absolute non-sense and unreality. Yet, to Norman, it is in fact pure, and absolute reality.
    “Your son’s condition has worsened, I’m afraid,” Says the physician in a soft whisper to the elder man beside Norman. “Over the hours he has submerged further into the coma, and, it appears, his kidneys and pancreas are failing.”
    The hazy figures begin to draw close to one another, each with gazing eyes upon Norman. They are in shock – deep in confusion and anger. “What do you mean?” They all seem to utter.
    Norman can see the figures before him, noticing their movements and faint speeches of strangeness. He continues to gaze, his eyes growing heavier by the second.
    Was it You – was it You that I saw?

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Raised in the city of Monroe, Louisiana, Hanson now attends Full Sail University, working to obtain a degree within the Creative Writing for Entertainment Program in Orlando, Florida. His passion for writing emerged in 2007 while taking a creative writing course. Seeking nothing more than exposure, he continues to write both in and out of the classroom, using the works of authors of lunar anomalies and space oddities as inspiration.
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