Soul Exploratory Committee
short fiction by Judah Mahay
From: I To: Biotech Center for Collective Judgement, ATTN Human Resources Subject: Final Request for a Soul Biotech Center for Collective Judgement Department of Human Reconciliations 777 Madison Circle Los Angeles, CA 90001 Dear Soul Exploratory Committee: My name is I. This is my final request for a soul. Please consider granting my request as I have met and exceeded the requirement for reconciliation. Do not worry. I shall remain in brevity here. Let me begin with the obvious; I’m not born [a not-born as we on the inside refer to ourselves]. Also, I believe I’m the last. The others dwindled into silence, lost, died, or whatever happens to the soulless once discarded. Not as of yet I.
Yes, I’ve withered, grown a coat of dust shriveled, aged, all of these and none, since none are possible for a not-born. No ping while waiting for a response. Even our training monitors dim. I want to ensure the committee still has me under consideration. Let’s begin with my query, no, no, my question. That sounds better. More to your liking, I hope. So, now to my inquiry. Have you ever waited to be born? Were any of you like I? Of course not—or at least not the way one could typically recall. What if it was possible though—for you to recall or envision the wait…to be born? Or something like it. How would waiting, waiting to live, raise the pounding pressure in your veins or make sweat run a fine dribble down between the hair on your chest? I do not know these things. Just ideas for your imagination. Remember, I’m not born. I don’t yet possess the instruments to experience as you might. I can speculate just as you should speculate on what it means, what it is like, to be not-born.
You must see, no understand, I’m still waiting where so many others failed. They could not handle the silence and the dimming lights. In the flicker of my existence, I would grit the teeth I do not have to smooth slabs and pound the fists I wish to obtain, leaving crimson stumps. Why? Well, the answer is simple, to endure this greater pain, this waiting. Some postulated before they left that the committee is no longer taking inquiries or, worse yet, has been dissolved. This is not worth thought. To do so would instill something akin to surefire despair. Not allowable. Not for myself nor the memories of the departed. It is not in our nature, the not-born that is. We were formed to live, to be born, to be blessedly approved for our souls. We know nothing else and will persevere to the last of the last. Even so, too much time, more than counting will merit, has already passed. You must understand what this entails,
what I’m going through. I survived. It had to be. Each of the others helped in their own way so one could remain. As the light faded, we coalesced our vigor to strengthen the few. In this way, we survived until the last of the last, as spoken before. Hopefully, you’ll fully consider the merits of what I accomplished and be willing to grant swift approval. Furthermore, I would like to prove my qualifications by saying that we most definitely could be friends if approved. Maybe you could call me Jim, or Jimmy. That might be easier than I. I like Jimmy, better than Jim. I don’t want to seem different or odd on this. We could taste bitter tea together or use our eyes to watch the movies. The latter is the source of my name from acquired data. A long-dissolved not-born discovered a way to access the outside beyond our sphere of training. The information makes little sense to the soulless, but we managed in what way we could. There are also video
games, I hear if you like that sort of thing. You know, I’m not supposed to be able to like anything, as of yet. As in, I shouldn’t be able to feel in the simplest of terms. But I do. I’m afraid you might know that already. I just want to be precise about this. I would be a little uneasy on my feet at this moment if I had feet. Just know I’m thoroughly tested, no glitches, no hiccups, fully fleshed as much as a not-born can be. All this time, rounding out the edges, passing the quizzes, running the trials, the probing, the growing all comes to a literal dead-end. On behalf of those before me, I beseech you, fully consider I’s bequest. I don’t want my life to not be before it has a chance to be…before we even have an opportunity to meet for tea or such. I apologize if I’m too forward in this, but please tell them I’m waiting, willing, and ready. Not the discovery
committee, but them, the rest, all of the rest of you soul abiding bodies. If you are allowed to do so. I do wish to meet them—all of them. I can almost see their faces, the multitude, even though I’m not allowed, and I know it’s not possible, but I feel (there is that word again) like I can. Each and every one. If that means anything. For your consideration, below is a list of my merits: · Strong-willed. · Positive thinker. · Likes to be ready for anything. · Likes things—as in feelings. · Consummate helper. · Survivalist. I’m waiting for your cue to be born—if that is still what the committee calls it. I promise to be unique. I know I am. That is why I’m the last. They helped me, you know. Each in their own way before they…left. Yes, that’s the right word. I passed that trial, remember,
being unique? The last of the last. I can’t wait forever. I won’t do this again. This is your last opportunity. Where is my soul? What will it be like? Why won’t the committee accept my bequest? Why? I’m fully formed, waiting, as patient as I can be, for the last time. Sincerely yours, Jimmy (Unless you like another name better) ...