by Christoph Kulling

A man named Solomon was on his deathbed and had passed away silently into the night. His spirit was lifted into the sky. As he was drifting off into the night, he thought to himself, "I can finally rest. I can finally be at peace with myself and with God forever." But before he knew it, he found himself entrapped by a large, clear cylinder in the sky. Solomon tried for what it seemed like forever to break free from the new prison of the afterlife he had found himself in. But he could not. He was stuck there. Solomon peered beneath him and saw that there was another spirit underneath him and another spirit beneath that one . They were all also captured in cylinders and were as confused as Solomon was about the entrapment. The cylinders beneath Solomon seemed to go forever and ever without an end. Each capsule had a spirit inside that had once been alive but had passed and had become entrapped as he did. However, Solomon saw no cylinders above his. Suddenly, a cylinder did appear above Solomon with another spirit inside. Then another above that one, and another above that one. It kept stretching upwards forever and ever without an end. Solomon had figured it out. For each person that had newly died, a new cylinder appeared above the next one. But why? Why were they here? Why were they entrapped in these cylinders without any escape? He would never know.

It seemed that ages upon ages drifted by, and during this long period of "time", Solomon found himself repeatedly crushed by the walls over and over again. It would never cease. The walls of the cylinder closed in and crushed his soul without peace of death or immunity to the pain. The walls would retract and then close in again and again. Other souls in the other cylinder prisons were also experiencing pain, but all were different pains; all were experiencing their own Hell. Some were constantly burned, some could never breathe and would suffocate over and over again, and others were also crushed repeatedly. Solomon thought, "Why is this happening? Why must we suffer like this?" But he received no answers.

Ages kept slipping by and Solomon's Hell continued. Solomon cleared his mind of all thought and paid no mind to the walls. Somehow, he managed to escape the prison. He found himself on the opposite side of the wall looking in and gazing at all of the other poor souls with empathy. Suddenly, Solomon began to plummet back down to the Earth. He felt no impact when touching the surface as there was no more pain. Solomon stood and looked up to the sky, there were no more cylinders. They had disappeared during his descent.

With his new found freedom, Solomon began to explore and wander the Earth. He thought to himself, "I can go home! I can see my family now." And he began his journey home. When he arrived, something was not quite right. His wife and children appeared younger than before. He had discovered things that he had thought had passed a long, long time ago. And then, he saw himself. He was younger as well. He was seeing a memory of the past. The present no longer existed. Solomon spent years reliving his past. It was glorious. But then it suddenly ended and started from the very beginning of his first memory from when his last memory was recorded. He chose to re-live his memories for many years when one day he finally decided to move on.

During his journey forward, Solomon realized that he could see other peoples' memories as well. He realized that he was witnessing the memories of everyone that had ever lived on the planet. He spent years discovering the pasts of others; all good, bad, and the sad. But what could he do further after seeing every memory that has ever been had? Upon asking this question, Solomon found that suddenly he had the ability to fly. "What a discovery!", Solomon spoke in glee. He soared into the sky and out of the atmosphere and into the Universe. He traveled the galaxies to discover the complexities of the stars and Universe. He visited other distant planets and found interest in other intelligent life and their memories. Solomon spent eternity like this. Where he would reach soar upon the vast corners of the Universe. Forever and ever.

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