It was summer vacation for me, and I enjoyed every moment of freedom that I had after a grueling junior year of high school. After watching this adventure movie featuring a chosen hero fighting a dark overlord, I did what most people do after viewing a movie; go on Wikipedia and search for the movie’s article and find out what happened during that one scene, or what was that guy talking about.
As I read about the movie, I found myself in the maze of articles that left the reader learning not only about what they searched for, but knowing about “development hell” or a certain breed of coyote. On this certain visit, I found myself learning about philosophy.
I admit to skimming through metaphysics and the like, but I found a certain interest in how people debate the meaning of “good” and “evil”. I started to think about the meaning of values while looking at certain philosophers and their beliefs until I looked at the time.
It was 2 A.M., and I needed to get to sleep. I decided to peruse one last article about a certain philosopher named Charles Groviche who proclaimed that our “goods” and “evils” are incorrect, as they embrace humanity’s limited knowledge of the world.
He argued that our morals are useful in a solitary existence, but he suspected that there were more beings than just us. He stated that our simple minds would not be able to comprehend what is right and wrong, unless we had help. There was nothing else other than the paragraphs describing his main points of his philosophy, which I found to be odd.
I laughed as I read the entire article. I questioned how a guy believed in aliens knowing a better way to live regarding how we should treat others, and how he had a name in philosophy. What would these aliens say? Would they declare our idea of not hurting others to be ineffective, and praise hopping on pogo sticks to be morally good? As I thought about it more, I realized that Groviche was just providing another theory to think about. We don’t know everything after all, so why act as if we did?
After I climbed into my bed and closed my eyes, I started to think about Groviche. I didn’t fully understand what he meant, but I started to wonder if being “good” was not good at all. Before I dozed off, the picture of Groviche from the wiki page popped in my head, and noticed what appeared to be a hint of fear in his eyes. I was too tired to think about it, and I let the embrace of sleep overcome me.
I woke up groggily the next morning, and I tried to remember what I had done the previous day. After perusing my mind, the memories of scenes from the movie came up in my head, and also my lesson in philosophy floated to the top. I decided to read more of what I read the previous night, and checked my browser history to pick up where I left off. I found Groviche’s name, and clicked the link. Oddly enough, the page wouldn’t load. Being impatient, I went to Wikipedia and searched his name, but there were no results.
Typing his name into Google proved to be useless. I then pondered over what I read on the article the night before, and remembered the ideas of the philosopher. After searching “Good worshiping evil”, I found only one result. I was then brought to a page consisting of only a few paragraphs. As I read, I began to grow uneasy. I felt something watching me, but a quick scan of the room showed that paranoia had taken me for a brief moment. The text was full of complicated words that I couldn’t understand, so I decided to close out of the window.
My computer froze for a minute, and then it shut down. I tried restarting it, but it simply would not start up. After cursing my luck, I realized my computer was probably infected by some virus from the site I went on. I left my house, resolving to do something to get my computer off my mind, like getting pizza or playing basketball.
After a few hours, I came home, with my computer still on my mind. My mind started to try and measure the upcoming wrath that my parents would inflict on me after I told them about how my $3000 laptop got a virus. My dad would kill me since it was my fault it happened; if only I'd updated my anti-virus program, my computer would have been safe. I prayed to every religious deity that I knew of as I tried rebooting my computer. It miraculously started up, and I smiled as I logged in. I waited as it loaded but I jumped out of my seat as it finished, as my wallpaper had been changed to the image of Groviche I saw the day before!
During my time, pondering over how it got there, I stared at the image. The subtle expression of fear on his face was still there, but further observation revealed something being reflected in his eyes. After scrutinizing his pupils, the illusion of the picture was shattered. This wasn’t a picture taken in regular circumstances. The eyes acted as small circular mirrors, which reflected a writhing mass that resembled a tumor. Behind the abomination, on a windowsill, was a camera partially behind a curtain.
Groviche must have predicted what happened, so he prepared for it. Stupefied, I shut down my computer. As the screen went to black, the realization that my fears were not over dawned on me as I looked in the reflection of the screen. I hoped my eyes deceived me, because according to them, the twisted flesh beast that horrified Groviche was right behind me.
Turning around quickly, I gazed upon its horror, as flailing tendons wailed around its form. Slits started to appear on its being, which opened up into mouths with sharp fangs dripping with purple ooze circling the openings of each maw. It had no eyes, yet it seemed to leer at me with a piercing gaze. The numerous tentacles swirled around this horrible being like phantoms surrounding a cemetery on a cold dark night.
The putrid mass, although moving its limbs, did not move towards me. It simply stayed where it was, as if it delighted in the fear it demanded in its presence. I choked on my own screams as I backed into my laptop slowly, wishing that my parents would come in and help me. The monster somehow silenced my screams, and I was helpless against it.
I looked at the few options I had in this nightmare: attack the beast, run out of the room, or stay still. I wondered about my first option, but I realized that angering such a foul creature may be the ticket to a gruesome death. After dismissing this option, I thought about fleeing. I certainly did not want to be near the creature, but his position in the room would have put me close to his dripping fangs. I was then left with the third option: standing still. As there was no other way out of this situation, I held my ground.
I could only think at this point about how terrible my death would be. I pondered over how painful a tentacle squeezing my organs would be. While I thought about such horrible my end would surpass, the gaping maws of the fiend began to whisper incoherently. The whispers gradually became louder, and eventually he spoke to me, in a condescending and bitter voice:
“You gaze upon me as if I were something that should not exist. Tell me, why are you fearful?”
I was struck by the nature of this question. At this point I felt death was inevitable, so I was able to say: “I’ve never seen a...being such as you. I’ve only read about things such as you in horror stories”
“I would expect as much from such a lesser being. You have not answered my question though, so I must repeat: tell me, why do others of your kind fear me?
“Who isn’t afraid of their death? Your appearance tells me you are not the friendly type, so-“
“Death is of no consequence, but I’ve seen many who still fear it. The reason I came here is to examine your thoughts. I wish to see why you fear-“
My survival instincts broke at this point, as there was clearly no way out of this, so I dared to interrupt the creature and angrily state, “Examine me? What is there to examine, pure fear? I fear the unknown after death? If that is the answer you came for, then you have already seen it, so why bother-“
“I am surprised you were able to break your fear and actually use logic instead of uttering utter nonsense! Now then…I wish to tell you a message of truth; your “goods” and “evils” are nothing more than fallacies. One of your people, Groviche, discovered this, but questioned what was right and wrong in the true sense. Thus, he was contacted by the higher beings such as I.
We are the “unforgiving”, the “immoral”, the “mad”, according to your logic. We, however, follow the true order of existence and beyond, and can see beyond petty rules made by inferior beings. You might ask why I have revealed myself to you; it is quite simple. We offer you the same choice that we gave Groviche. Come with us and we can show you the secrets of the cosmos, the knowledge of the universe!”
The monster began salivating; its purple ooze ushered out of its multiple maws as it bribed me to accept its offer.
“Groviche accepted, but we had to erase his existence here, like he never was. He tried to outsmart us by trying to leave evidence behind, but as he has learned, we know all. We chose you to know about our first candidate, among others in the world, for our own reasons, which we can reveal to you and the others later on. Accept my offer and you will be too… but your knowledge will be supreme.”
“I have to say no. I cannot leave everyone behind.”
“Very well,” the creature muttered. “I shall leave my offer as it stands. When you seek the truth that is, travel to a forest at night, with nothing but what you wear.”
After he delivered this message, he faded away. No sign of his presence was left, not even the pool of purple liquid he left on the floor. For obvious reasons, I pretended like it never happened, as I wanted to make it seem that my sanity was still intact.
It has been two years since then, but his last words left me curious as to what really is out there. Every time I hear someone call someone “bad” or “good”, I wonder if those are the real things. I have researched many philosophies regarding this topic, but the doubt of whether I can actually find the truth here on Earth leaves my thirst unfulfilled. I don’t know whether the truth is worth knowing, but since my life has taken a turn for the worse, I believe I might have to find out.