‘’October 31, 2018. When I was driving through the woods near Warsaw in my white Toyota, I suddenly felt a sense of inexplicable terror. A female voice was whispering in my ear, ‘Paul Novak, come to me. Paul Novak, come to me.’ I glanced at the electronic car clock. 3:44 AM. The Devil’s hour. I screamed, ‘God, get me out of here!’ It took me a long time to understand what had happened to me. Was it schizophrenia? Some sort of a psychotic break? No. It was something far worse. I was being spiritually attacked by the cosmic psychopath called the demiurge. The trickster who pretends to be God. The narcissistic manipulator who brainwashes his victims by masterfully blurring the line between reality and fiction. I was so sure the cosmic psychopath would never enter my life again. Little did I know that the demiurge had other plans for me.’’
I know only two things about you, dear reader: you speak English and you aren’t from the same reality as me. Yes, you are reading a novel written by someone living in a parallel universe. The universe where American English and Polish are the two official languages of Poland.
Why mention Poland? You’ve guessed it: I’m Polish. Now, tell me. Does the name, ‘’Switzerland’’ ring a bell? I hope so! If you have never heard of Switzerland, then you must be from a dramatically different reality. I’m going to assume you have never heard of Switzerland. If you have, please bear with me. I want my writing to be inter-dimensionally inclusive so that everyone understands my frame of reference. Switzerland is a neutral country in Western Europe.
The country of beauty, bank vaults, discretion and euthanasia. I certainly wasn’t a typical Polish tourist in Switzerland. Instead of admiring all the architectural marvels, I made my way to a euthanasia clinic.
I was taken to a room where I kept staring at a chemical cocktail on a round wooden table. Drinking the cocktail would mean my death. I wasn’t paralyzed. I wasn’t terminally ill. In fact, there was nothing wrong with me physically and psychologically. Being of sound mind is a legal requirement for euthanasia in Switzerland. Maybe it’s different in your reality. Still, our worlds must be pretty similar if you can understand my English. Why euthanasia?
Prepare to read the most unusual explanation ever. I just wanted to live in a different dimension and I saw death as a way to cross over to that dimension. I even coined a phrase , ‘’Planetary entrapment syndrome.’’ The civilization was collapsing all around me and there was nothing I could do to stop it. I was fortunate to volunteer with a children’s hospice for a year. A small contribution to make the twisted world a better place. But my little victories couldn’t change the big picture.
The climate was going off the rails. A lung-destroying virus had killed millions around the planet. As admirable as it was, helping others just felt so pointless. I wanted to leave the world on my terms. Surely it wasn’t too much to ask? Looking at things logically, there are two options after death: nothingness or infinite possibility. Either way, I was embarking on the adventure of a lifetime. What was I going to see on the other side?
Infinity or eternal darkness? I was taking the ultimate existential gamble. By facing death, I felt more alive than ever. Oh, the irony! As I was clutching the glass and mentally preparing to say hello to eternity, a man appeared out of the blue. He had walked through some kind of a blueish, shimmering portal. More of a tear in the fabric of reality, to be exact. I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was me. Well, another me. A more fashion-conscious me.
‘’What the hell?’’ I muttered, shaking my head. ‘’Why the hell am I hallucinating? I haven’t even drunk anything yet!’’
‘’You’re not hallucinating,’’ the man smiled. ‘’You know I’m real. You can sense it. I’m you from an alternate reality. Paul Novak from a parallel universe. Well, I’m also one of the euthanizers. That’s a dramatic difference between us.’’
‘’One of the euthanizers?’’ I suspiciously eyed my counterpart. ‘’What does that even mean? Alternate realities? Come on, man! It’s supposed to be theoretical. Are you telling me you are my alternate self? How’s that possible? Do I see other realities because I’m close to death? I’ve read so many stories of people talking to invisible beings hours, even days, before dying. Nah, that’s wishful thinking nonsense. Who the hell are you? A figment of my twisted imagination? An imaginary friend waiting for my death?’’
‘’For someone who’s a firm believer in an infinite number of realities existing all around us,’’ the man grinned. ‘’You sure are skeptical. I’m you, Paul. How much more obvious can it be? I’m you from another reality. Back in my reality, I’m a billionaire inventor and investor. I help save lives.
Jumpers are the most dramatic cases. Imagine their surprise when they get sucked into a shimmering portal right before hitting the ground. You wouldn’t believe how quickly their desperation turns to gratitude. This is why I’m here, Paul. I’m here to help you. I’m here to save you. From yourself, if need be. That’s what euthanizers do.
Well, not every euthanizer, to be fair. I’ll explain who the euthanizers are later. Patience, Paul. Patience is a virtue. Confucius said so. Nah. Kidding. I’ve made it up. The Confucius part.’’
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