The Staircase

The Soul considers himself male.

It’s an echo from the many lives he has lived. It doesn’t matter. It’s a small thing really. And sometimes it is not even an option.

It wasn’t as a Sea urchin living blissfully under a warm sea, or a worm clinging desperately to the hull of Tenervian space vessel, or even matter as a gigantic lizard on a planet with abundant everything, or as a mammalian species with a definite ying and yang living near a star that cast just enough light and heat for liquid water.

A harsh existence that.

But short.

Male, or female, or naught, after each life he can take a step up on the staircase.

He stands on it now.

One step further up.

The stone is chipped and worked hard. He has been up and down many times.

There is nothing else to do.

The light around is blinding. The air has no temperature. But really there is no light, or air, or staircase, or even The Soul.

It is all a construct.

A center for the essence of Time.

Here every step is a nano second of the universe happening all at once.

He chooses a moment at random, hoping only that it is a new existence and not one he has been through before. That is the worst. To relive. To do over again. The variances would all be the same. There is nothing that can be done different. A repeated existence is like being in a straitjacket, confining, imprisoned.


But he still chooses, because choice is forced, life happens, it just is and he is off to be born and live and die and repeat until he reaches the top of the staircase and once there he will turn around and work his way back to the bottom, because his existence is life and there is no death.

Until there is.


Published by Bryan

I am an army vet, husband, and father of twins, I am currently working on my next publication, a collection of military fiction, and next year will be publishing an apocalyptic science fiction novel. My urban noir novel, "Compounded Interest," can be purchased on Amazon. I host a podcast on creativity called Origin: Stories on Creativity and co-host the soon-to-be-released show on speculative fiction called Mirage with fantasy author R. Emma Hardcastle. My youtube channel is: The Origin podcast feed is: For updates on "Mirage" and future publications follow me on twitter: @bryaiello More of my short fiction can be found at: My amazon author page is:

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