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The theory of everything Serban Anghene

My Father is a Mad Bitch Approaching You at Inter-Dimensional Speed
Young Swyda-Mae was romping happily through the front door armed with two boxes of
gourmet chocolate ribosomes and a bottle of wine – which was what she always brought
home when her father sent her out to get two bottles of wine and sweets for the change –
when she heard a helpless whimper coming from their lab-converted dining-room. She saw
her father stooped over the pile of sundries that had once been his working bench, both
hands adjoined in a cot-shaped cocoon wherefrom the not yet hairless impression of a tail
was sticking out.
Swyda-Mae dropped the groceries and clambered over her father’s back, causing mountains
of scientific sediment to slide down from the desk. No attention was bestowed on her
exertion until she smashed a jar, though instead of being angry her father turned with a
candid beam on his face, unravelling the mystery.
“But I wanted a puppy!” Swyda-Mae protested. “This filthy old fleabag will be dead by
“It’s not a dog, darling”, her father said. “It’s a theory.”
“It’s an old theory then, and I think you should know it is weeing on your shirt as we speak.”
Paying no notice to the theory’s accident, Swyda-Mae’s father reached for the grocery bag
and pulled out one of the chocolate boxes from which he took a healthy swig that left most
of the ribosomes scattered on the floor.
“Theories are immortal,” he said. “Or so it is assumed.”
Swyda-Mae opened the wine bottle for him to prevent further calamity.
“So again you’ve used the big black greasy machine to turn something you believe into
something that can suffer.”
“No, I used the other machine”
He pointed at a disarray of old laundry. Judging by its lattice of square angles, Swyda-Mae
deduced it was hiding some fashion of reticular entity underneath. She browsed her
memory for similar experiments that had failed at some time or other.
“Is your theory hidden in the dog’s DNA?” she asked.
Her father frowned as if he’d been accused of something insultingly below his abilities. He
spoke while tucking the theory in a blanket-cushioned crate.
“When all devices of intellectual doing have been employed and their potency exhausted,
when knowledge has been stored in the body of time itself and equations flow directly from
the interbreeding points of simultaneous Universes, all that’s left at our end – the tip of the
iceberg, winding key, arch stone and faultless epitome of the whole thing – is, well, a
palpable object, anything from a giant star to a ballpoint pen. Happily in our case, it is a
perfectly formed and – why not admit it – reassuringly docile female of the canine genus.
The mere unfolding of her existence is the most concise possible expression of my theory.”
The epitome blinked at father and daughter in turns. It interspersed stifled whines with
water trickles.
“Don’t you need some newspapers or something?” the girl asked.
“The hassle of creation must have upset the poor dear. Reach behind my desk, you’ll find a
stash of old papers under the box with nuts and ball bearings.”
“But father,” Swyda-Mae protested while using one of the sheets to wipe black grease off
her hands, “this is the original manuscript of your never published PhD thesis.”
“We won’t be needing it anymore. For you see, this is not just any theory.
He allowed a pause to settle in while he quaffed wine with zest. He rose sternly and looked
his daughter in the eye.
“This is the end, my child. The final theory.”
Swyda-Mae reluctantly took the theory’s head into her hands for a close examination. She
gently pushed away its saggy lips to run a very brief count of what was left of its dentition.
“An all but toothless bitch with weepy eyes that can’t hold her bladder - call me squeamish
but I don’t think it’s doing its job.”
“It only has to exist,” her father said. “However, if want to present it to any society, we’ll
have to manage a way to transpose it into language. Since the answer contained in this
creature was summoned from all levels of existence, that someone or something that can
decipher my discovery lies somewhere out there.”
“So we’re leaving again in search for a bitch reader, is that what you’re saying?”
“I better tidy up a bit, tomorrow we set sail!”
“I’ll secure glass items.”
The Motorway would’ve been Swyda-Mae’s favourite place in the whole world if it didn’t
happen to be outside it.
Perched on her father’s library kick stool, she pressed her nose against the window to
wonder at the intricate mosaic of glimmering patterns that marked each exit towards the
unknown. Countless delights fleeted before her, making it seem like eternity since the
afternoon when they had replaced the wan city sky in the basement casements.
She thought things were going to happen on this journey that were going to completely
transfigure her world of boredom.
Her dad sat at the main control panel that also served as kitchen table, craftily pushing away
jars of conserve to find room for his algorithm-smeared papers that were supposed to help
steer the flat safely through the dense mishmash of luminous vortexes.
Swyda-Mae quickly lost interest in his actions and got taken away with the question of what
their travelling flat might look like from the outside. There had been occasions when it
assumed such avatars as that of a spaceship-carrot or a sabre-toothed toolbox. To SwydaMae the most impressive had been the ravenous stegosaurus set on Traskiton gloosefregs1,
but that one had broken down in the middle of the road losing reliability points.
Speculative taxonomy bore so heavily on the poor girl that she took no notice when her
father pulled into one of the portals that very much resembled a multilayered trench coat
button with an attitude. The kiss he gently lay in her locks, she ignored completely, trapped
in a reverie bubble that burst only when the door slammed shut and the theory woke up
Swyda-Mae cursed and swore at the shut door, perhaps more now than usual since she
hadn’t been left alone, but had been unwittingly appointed guardian to that strange form of
supreme knowledge that found it fit to inaugurate their cohabitation by repeatedly walking
headlong into the overly cursed shut door. As long as the theory wasn’t going to pass right
through the obstacle, Swyda-Mae decided it wasn’t even worth watching.
It was so much like her father to keep promising he would take her to the other places and
eventually leave without her.
She tried to go through his papers and decipher symbols. She pulled levers, pressed buttons
and made sure her hands were smeared with thick grease before she hammered at any
The Great Traskiton is unknown to the inhabitants of this side of reality and a description of it would be
virtually impossible due to the lack of common reference points; it suffices to mention that its uniqueness is
sustained thanks mainly to its amazing formations of gloosefregs.
touch pads. When she had exhausted everything potentially exciting she even had a look
through the homeschooling assemblage of equations and pathetic classical poems her
father had left sprawled on the kitchen table.
It was no use. Whatever room she moved to and whatever her labour, she would hear a
wheezy bay, followed by a sharp off key limp and, invariably, the unmistakable stench; the
pair of unequal perky ears followed her everywhere. Ghostly and purulent, the same
cataract-stricken gawp seemed to blink at nothing in particular from every niche and nook.
Swyda-Mae locked herself inside her room. She turned the dimmer to max intensity and sat
on the shore of her tropical island, watching monkeys pass coconuts to each other. She tried
to replenish her senses with the gentle swish of waves dying in the silk of red sands, at the
same scrutinizing the horizon for blue whale jets. It was not until the monkeys ceased their
play and the whales decided to protest by joining a union led by warm water penguins that
she had to admit to herself something was not quite right. All at once, the deep voice of the
whales shattered under a more immediate whine. The monkeys flickered in and out of
nothingness; the entire island dissolved and Swyda-Mae was left a puzzled meerkat on the
cheap parquet replica.
It is worth mentioning that, given her upbringing in the spirit of charitable values, SwydaMae would have never contrived towards breaking the theory’s paw. In addition, had the
incontinent thesis proved a sense of practical things worth a fraction of its yet abstract
weight, it would have known better than to bark in front of an unpredictable door.
“What do you want me to do? You shouldn’t have sat there barking in the first place.”
The bay had melted into a cry of dissolution. Whenever Swyda-Mae tried to touch its
cringed leg it sought to grab the girl’s hand in toothless clasps.
“Look, it’s gonna’ be ok. Dad said you’re immortal.”
It huffed and groaned.
“I see what you mean. There’s always hope, though. To tell you the truth, I didn’t bother to
give you a name because I didn’t expect you to carry on for so long. But if you’re lucky and
you die and we make you a proper grave we’ll need to put something on it. Don’t you
Swyda-Mae ran to the bathroom, sat on the toilet bowl and activated the keyboard. She
hadn’t used that device for years, since the day her father had given it the final touch and
she was so excited that she overworked it into finding names for every object in the house
until it crashed in a cloud of smoke. The small greasy box had since been connected to
numerous other applications from all over the flat, making it considerably more difficult to
use. However, if Swyda-Mae could still read her father’s technical lingo right all was needed
to work out a name for a bitch-shaped theory were a few hairs and some body secretions.
“Oh dear, tell me that’s not milk,” Swyda-Mae said stooping over the box.
She carefully examined the swollen red tits and the thick pale yellow liquid that oozed
therefrom. Its fragrance was a mixture of garbage truck with one particular rotten egg that
had sat in the trunk of her father’s car for two summer weeks.
“That’s almost cute”, Swyda-Mae concluded imputing the new data. “If indeed you have any
babies, I hope they look more like their father. It wasn’t nice of dad to take you from them
though. Perhaps we should return you to your home.”
The voice detector on the little black box whirled into life. LEDs flashed in glorious patterns
around the house. The toilet flushed a few times with solemnity and the walls started
shuddering again. They were backing into the depths of the Motorway.
“No!” Swyda-Mae shouted. “Stop! That’s not what I meant!”
It was too late. The flat struggled to dislodge itself mooring position; it looked as if parking
breaks had given way. Swyda-Mae looked out the window trying to remember what the
surroundings looked like, in the improbable event that she would survive Motorway reentry.
Then they came to a stern halt as the theory was flung over the girl’s head and into one of
the walls. The flat spun around its axis for a few times like a dying tumble dryer. Once
artificial gravity was restored automatically, girl and theory found themselves lying battered
on one of the walls, in a mess of small objects.
The screen on the small black box glimmered from what vaguely resembled the bathroom.
Because the theory now limped on three maimed legs, it looked as if there was something
wrong with the sound one.
To Swyda-Mae nonetheless, greater than the problem of the theory’s bones was that of her
father’s absence that kept extending beyond the norm. His craftsmanship with basic
dimensions had allowed him to adjust time in such a way that no outing would take more
than a couple of hours of in-flat time.
Swyda-Mae had brooded and sulked. She picked up a broom – the Hoover had been
dismembered and integrated into the vacuum assemblage that kept the Motorway in place
– and swept the whole place clean. She took her time redesigning shelving and storage now
that the flat lay on one side. All the while she did not once touch any of the clocks that lay
scattered all around her.
“Tell you what, bitch,” she said checking on the theory, “I’m not at all worried, dad never
gets the maths wrong. It’s me who normally cocks up. Once he let me do the algorithms
before a trip and I intended to surprise him with a luxury ferry ride but all I came up with
was a tandem and we almost toppled off onto the Motorway. That would’ve been the end
of us if dad hadn’t pressed the emergency button.”
She didn’t however feel like talking about the war that they’d left behind. She knew her
father was under surveillance but he tried to keep it away from her. Normally they would be
safe on the Motorway, but what if the military had found a side road to the other places and
ambushed him? After all, uncle Blueface and their friends had been disappeared in times of
As she shook the thoughts off, Swyda-Mae realized she was in desperate need of something
to keep her busy. And perhaps nothing was more likely to engage one fully than the astute
study of the biggest breakthrough in the history of science.
She unscrewed the shower hose and made sure it was clear of limescale, fitted lenses at
both ends and kneeled near the box. Keeping the theory’s mouth gapped was no tough
business and could be achieved with one hand, leaving the other free for manipulating the
endoscope. What posed certain problems was the theory’s jerked opposition. After careful
deliberation, Swyda-Mae decided to counteract it by the use of some of her father’s belts
and ties as straps. This distressed the theory even more as they pressed upon its mammary
As the hose went into its mouth, the theory stopped yapping for a moment. It seemed as if
it was curious of what was going to happen, increasingly bulging its eyes at Swyda-Mae.
Suddenly, a shiver went through the feeble body, too powerful to have been intentional.
Thunderous crackles arose from its chest, as if produced by organs not normally involved in
vocal communication.
“Hold still, bitch! Dad will be pleased.”
Swyda-Mae knew that much – her father was a thinker, she was a doer. If there was any
such thing as a reading pattern that had to be tried in the first instance, that had to be it.
She’d seen her father do it before when he researched the entrails of a dying star in their
own universe. True, the gorge of a dying star was expected to be larger than a dog’s gullet.
Still, if the bitch was indeed the theory her father claimed it was than it was expected to be
larger than all it encompassed – dying and living stars all together.
To Swyda-Mae’s dismay, the theory insisted on acting ever so much more like a bitch than a
gem of genius. It pulled in all directions, it chocked and whined, tensed what was left of its
muscles and tore at the binds. Turfs of grey fur exploded into the air, seemingly still
attached to patches of dead skin.
Then the theory fell silent. A final tide of foam covered the creature’s snout and its chest
rose and came down for the last time. Swyda-Mae jerked the endoscope healthily.
“What’s wrong with you? Are you ok? I always thought theories were a bit on the daft side.”
She peered through the tube into a pool of darkness. The dying star had brought its own
light in aid of the researcher. There was very little support from the theory’s stomach.
Moreover, it looked dead.
Swyda-Mae quickly weighed scenarios. It was bad enough to kill a theory, her father had
previously presented her with samples of scientific grief when some of his previous ideas
had fallen at the hand of other brilliant minds, but killing something immortal was a
different issue and she didn’t know whether there ever was anything quite as bad in any
world. Something had to be done.
First, she jumped on the canine chest, simultaneously punching at it from all sides in the
hope that she would eventually encourage whatever heart was hidden within to resume
activity. It was of little help that she wasn’t quite sure about the exact position of the heart.
She pulled two wires from a cupboard that was now embedded into the floor – it was the
same machine her father had used to create the theory – and set it to maximum voltage.
She barely had time to step away before the box was ablaze in a sphere of electric
maelstrom. An alien shriek exploded into the room throwing the electrodes away. A
remotely furry lump of carbonized scars was wriggling in the box trying to cough up the
endoscope, but only managing to spit out clots of bloods and several other things.
“Thank Heavens!”
All marvellously excited, Swyda-Mae pulled out the endoscope. Somehow, the electrical
treatment had upped the theory’s vocal range by a few tones. It yapped, it shrieked, it
emitted sounds for which Swyda-Mae could think of no name.
“Shut up! Shut up! I’m sorry! Shut up!”
Then she remembered. She ran to her room and looked through the cardboard boxes under
her bed. She shuffled through them crazily, under continuous pressure from the evergrowing supernatural whimper. She was acting to save her ears. Then she found it.
She ran back into the living room holding the saving object in a tight clasp.
“If this doesn’t silence you...”
She then put the ultra-sound whistle to her lips and blew heartily.
The whimper didn’t stop. She came within an inch of the creature’s ears and kept blowing
until monitors exploded and the windows were webbed in tinny cracks.
“You’re deaf, aren’t you?”
Swyda Mae put her hand on the creature’s head and felt a spot of soft fur, untouched by
fire and distress. It still bore the softness of a puppy. The horrible whine appeared to
“Dad,” Swyda-Mae shouted towards at the shut door, “this is not fair, I’ve been talking to
this stupid bitch all day long and she didn’t hear a thing!”
She felt thick tears rolling down her cheeks and couldn’t believe it; the theory was tearful
“So that’s why you always cry when I’m out of sight...”
As she went into the bathroom, the bitch yelped half-heartedly. It was losing its voice.
“Hold on, I’m coming.”
Swyda-Mae returned with a box of her father’s shampoos, sponges and patented
haemorrhoid bandages.
“Let’s get you cleaned up.”
The reality of the fact that her father was not going to be back at all dawned upon SwydaMae with the quaking force of a soothing epiphany. She started settling with the bitch in a
languorous routine that included baking hardtack cake with a little help from her secret
chocolate reserve; for Christmas she would play with the controls until the wall panels made
room for the holographic fireplace above which her father’s old sock hung down below the
inscription BITCH. Somehow, Swyda-Mae had never bothered to come up with a more
elevating name.
When the last mini-bag of chocolate Corgi apparatuses was gone, Swyda-Mae lay next to
the box, scruffy classical literature handbook on her lap, reading passages from gloomy
stories about starving orphans in fog veiled cities. Since they were both going to die, they
might as well do it poetically; poor girl in rags and feeble dog.
Just as they were going to tackle the woolly task of demising, the front door shuddered
under a trill of rapid blows. Hinges cracking, the lock gave way under pressure and SwydaMae’s father came tumbling in, followed by a cluster of rapacious tentacles of pure blazing
light that clearly aimed at the scientist’s throat.
His suit torn to pieces, he threw his helmet and goggles off and looked around the room to
discover his daughter and his theory cuddled up under a pile of chocolate wrappers.
“Good reason! I’ve only been gone 8 hours.”
He checked his watch.
“8 and a half, well...”
Swyda-Mae, whose mind had been overly stimulated by chocolate intake could not quite
discern between her mental plan of poetical death and her father’s actual presence.
“Sorry for being late, I could’ve sworn I left the flat slightly more uphill. It took me a while to
find it.”
She checked one of the clocks that lay on the floor and noticed that roughly 6 hours had
passed since she’d accidentally moved their home. Then she noticed the white tentacles
that were cutting through her father’s flesh like snapping whips, with one of them
increasingly tightening its grip around his throat.
“Oh, yes... Would you be so kind as to pass me the retragulator, please? It’s under the
kitchen sink.”
Swyda-Mae fumbled on all fours until she reached the cupboard. It was jam-packed with all
sorts of appliances and devices that had no doubt intermingled when the flat had turned
upside down. She threw her tortured father a puzzled theory-like stare.
“Reason’s sake, Swyda, the thing we normally fry chips in!”
In an instant, Swyda-Mae identified the fryer, plugged it in and passed it to her father who
opened it with a flick and vacuumed the blazing threat which he then returned to its place
of origin through one of the bathroom vents.
Swyda-Mae jumped into his arms and gave him a sturdy hug.
“Oh, daddy, I thought you’d never be back.”
Wrapping his gashes in trouser shreds, he stood up at once and patted his daughter’s head.
“Will you be even kinder and fetch me cup of anything?”
Swyda-Mae darted towards the kitchen.
“Oh, by the way,” she said, “I cleaned her up and fed her chocolate.”
He walked carefully towards the box, attracted by what other more magical thinkers would
have classed as a dark omen.
“Can you bring daddy a roll of paper towels? I’m afraid to say there’s more to her
incontinence problem than we would’ve thought.”
“No more towels.”
“See my bedroom bookshelf, third row from bottom – you should be able to find the first
unabridged edition of my M-theory. Very absorbent.”
The M stood for Motorway. The rest was a little more complicated.
Years had passed since the great scientist Fife McOne had provided the scientific community
with an irrefutable and final demonstration of the fourteen-dimension theory, flattening in
the blink of an eye the irrefutable and final theory of the thirteen-dimension palpable world.
To make things worse for his detractors, the self-taught researcher went on to officialise the
existence, in something like increasing concentric spheres, of the calculable, imaginable,
unimaginable, impossible, outrageous and many other types of worlds, some of them so
incomprehensible to even the sharpest minds alive that new adjectives altogether had to be
invented for their classification. At the intersection of these worlds, the reputed scientist
claimed were innumerable stances of existence, some bearing an ever-growing number of
coordinates; according to the maths, the stances were in number of infinity at the power of
infinity minus one. Fife McOne fiercely condemned the use of cheap pulp terms such as
parallel universes or strings. He never called the stances anything but other places. Finally,
feeling the need for a magnificent wrap-up, he coined one simple equation proving that
outside this thicket of worlds and other places there was nothing, the pure, unreachable,
unconceivable and – despite any apparently viable critique from antique philosophers – sod
all genuine nothing.
When the few remaining scientists who’d been able to keep up with McOne’s theories were
verbalizing wiped out syllables about the towel being thrown in, amateur technophile Fife
McOne announced that he had found a way to travel to the other places through the
nothing using his house as vehicle.
This was too much for the others to bear. It was also too innovative not to make less
innovative minds think it would threaten political order. Their first reaction was to confer
him academic titles and honours and publish whatever papers he wanted. Seeing that the
expected stifling effect on creativity was late to make itself felt, they started arresting some
of his old friends, including his cousin, the eminent logician Blueface. McOne himself was
stripped of all glory and pushed to live in a basement flat on one of the council estates with
uneducated people who worked in supermarkets and used God whenever they made
unconscious references to either the thicket of worlds or the nothing. McOne decided to
keep a keen eye on the person he loved most, therefore he retired Swyda-Mae from school.
It wasn’t difficult for him to provide her with good home baked education; when one day
she came to him crying because she’d heard from other children about the delights of
daytrips to the seaside, down the motorway, he only had to smile and say “I’ll show you an
even better Motorway”.
It was this Motorway of nothing that would eventually lead them to the bitch reader.
Swyda-Mae sat next to the window, as far away from the box as possible, her brains
waterboarded in deep thought. Supposing what they looked for was in one of the infinity to
the power of infinity minus one other places, even if they left the one out, they still had a lot
of popping in to do. True, they didn’t go round erratically, her father worked assiduously on
his algorithms every day, but sadly the amazements of the Motorway sometimes tended to
wane in glamour.
On this particular occasion, loss of enthusiasm might have well been traceable to sharing
the forbidding enclosure of the flat with a theory not estranged from issues of diarrhoea
and enuresis, topped with a mucus tract issue and swollen mammary glands. Contrary to
the initial judgement of the integrated main computer, the theory’s mastitis proved to be of
the puerperal type, that is to say the theory was indeed lactating. Swyda-Mae was reassured
by her father that puppies could not have been the case, as the same in-depth examination
carried on using a more refined medical programme also prompted that the creature was
unarguably barren. How barren theories manage to contradict the laws of nature by giving
milk, the renowned scientist preferred not to make an expounding of; instead he reassured
his daughter that such was the way of the better theories and also asked her to milk their
friend regularly. The abundant concoction of maternal protein and slightly denser pus put to
good use their collection of unreturned diary bottles together with the still vacant storage
space underneath their kitchen sink.
Unlike the depths of the Motorway, the number of bottles was finite. Once completely
exhausted, Swyda-Mae approached her father.
“Look dad, I’m not sure we ought to keep her any longer. She only stops going on herself
when I milk her but I’ve got other things to do. And it smells. Can’t we find a pet rescue
office somewhere in one of the other places or something?”
“I’m afraid she’ll have to stay until we find a way to read it. When I said she was the theory I
spoke the truth but I should’ve explained more. It is not her body itself that carries the
truth, but the entire course of her existence. The time she spends here with us is part of the
theory. The care we give her and the shit she gives us; through shared proximity, we too are
part of the idea.
Swyda-Mae had found an objection and opened her mouth but, following such exhaustive
explanation, her father had stuck his back between algorithms and daughter.
Before long, the last supply of paper towels was exhausted. Swyda-Mae had to rummage
through her father’s old laundry drawer for items that could be sacrificed. This activity did
not make her happy. It was also that Swyda-Mae spent all her time inside the flat that
brought her spirits down. Her father had said there was absolutely no chance he could
venture to take her out yet, for stakes were too high and dangers too many. Stops came and
went without visible results, though her father said they were getting closer. It was their
longest expedition ever. From her observation point near the window, Swyda-Mae spotted
something like a bevy of steaming teapots approaching them in a wicker basket. Her father
said it was the flat’s integrated translation software attempting to make sense of the
absolute unknown presented to them by the encounter of travellers from other places. He
added that such encounters in the nothingness were very rare, with a probability asymptotic
to zilch. However, completely ignoring the uniqueness of the chance that they were offered,
they pressed their face against the cold duck taped window shouting requests for
emergency paper towel assistance and any other possible indoor deodorisers. It is
impossible to tell what the teapots saw or whether their perception was anything like
human sight but sadly they took the stir of the other party for the commencement of a
grimacing standoff and huffed and puffed laughingly in return, speeding up as they drove
The great scientist Fife McOne was asleep when Swyda-Mae decided to do something. They
had pulled into an exit of strange beauty such as neither of them had seen before. There
was something intriguing about the place that had made her father run a two-hour
complete scan of the surroundings. He’d decided nothing could suit the dead spell better
than a quiet nap.
Swyda-Mae was not completely confined to the premises of the flat. Every now and then
her father would allow her to take a few steps in the chilly outside of some secure looking
portal. The places she was allowed to visit were in fact so safe that they didn’t even have to
wear their safety helmets, to the girl’s great excitement. Travelling on their kind of
Motorway didn’t quite compare to hitting a regular one. It wasn’t the flat itself that
travelled; after all, even from such an opulent mind as that of Fife McOne, no one would’ve
expected the achievement of removing the basement flat from a twenty-three story
building without any of the residents noticing. It was the great totality like a lump of dough
that cringed and wriggled, shrunk and bloated, tossed and turned and expanded and
dwindled to finally bring the desired other place to their doorstep.2 As a result, when the flat
pulled into some place it was as if one world came close to another.
Neighbours from the upper floors would experience a complete journey of McOne’s flat as nothing more
than a passing jolt, which is to say that such adventures took place almost entirely out of time (in a rather
understandable way considering how much out of everything nothing is); for this reason, no matter how hard
one tried, it was impossible to carry out such activities as filling in administrative paperwork or writing
academic papers on metaphysics while in the travelling flat, given that edifices made purely of wasted time
cannot be erected where there is no time to waste.*
*Swyda-Mae had often thought about what the other residents might think if they found out that the totality
of existence bubbled around them, but she came to the conclusion that if they weren’t told, they wouldn’t
In between parked worlds there was always an eerie gust smelling of world exhaust and
cooling inter-reality engine. Swyda-Mae’s father reckoned the parking lot was actually filled
with travelling parties at any given time, but due to the infinite number of levels the world
was structured on and the difference in driving algorithms, they never got to see or bump
into each other. But Swyda-Mae could hear the distant voices. And at the same time she
could peer across the Motorway in admiration of the myriad other other places, in stellar
numbers but intriguingly different and innumerably more.
She’d tiptoed out of the house holding the theory tight in a wrap of old winter scarves.
“Some fresh air will do you good. I know it’ll help me. It’s air like you’ve never tasted it. It’s
not actual air, it’s what dad’s algorithms make of whatever is here when we’re not. You
see... oh dear, so that’s why the teapots didn’t want to stop...”
She’d just turned towards the flat. In front of her stood a giant anvil on four wheels made of
velvet, though not without a red rotund happy face in the centre, with the two living room
windows as eyes. Thinking of what exactly in the velvet wheels had caused the teapots to
run away, Swyda-Mae heard a familiar voice.
“So there you are, enchanting daughter of the famed world traveller!”
“Uncle Blueface! You’re alive!”
Swyda-Mae couldn’t believe her eyes. But there it was, the picture she’d taken out time and
again from her father’s drawer for the sheer freak show excitement she drew from the
scrawny yet pot-bellied body with the massive oval head untouched by hair and so blue it
could blind red-oriented observers. Lost in astonishment, she barely managed to catch the
theory’s last integer leg before dropping her into the vast nothingness of the Motorway.
“Come in, dad will be thrilled to see you. Unfortunately we’re out of hot chocolate but
there’s some malt powder left and a lot of fresh milk.”
The theory was now completely crippled.
“Bluey, is that you?”
Her father did not exactly exceed her expectations in the field of enthusiasm. She thought it
was because he’d just woken up and thought he was still dreaming. As their hands coupled
up in a vigorous shake, her father seemed to let his linger a bit longer on that of his cousin,
as if taking great interest in the examination of skin texture.
care, as it usually is the way of people; however, she did think of charging for having them join a journey and
perform those activities which they had doubts about to see whether they were complete wastes of time or
“Fifey, most dear and long missed cousin... how strange to be reunited in a place and time
that don’t even exist. Or should I say which are not?”
“Still trifling along in the abysses of preternatural logics are you?”
“There’s hardly anything astray to your classical line of thought in what I said.”
Fife McOne gave out something between a simper and a sneer.
“Why don’t you sit down and have a drink?” Fife asked.
“I’d be honoured.”
Swyda-Mae didn’t wait to be asked and set herself to stirring in a boiling pan of theoretical
milk. The two men seemed to her unusually quiet, interrupting their exchange of casual
pouts and sealed twinkles only to pass trivial judgement about matters such as the weather
on the Motorway or the basketball playoff results that Blueface had missed when he was
arrested. From time to time, their honourable guest would be noticed to glance at the box
where the theory was licking at her newly acquired bone fracture.
When the brew was ready, Fife brought a bottle of brandy from the other room.
“Here,” he said to his cousin, “let me tune your drink to the finest tones of a world so well
known to us.”
With a quick slant he aimed to break the bottle against the blue balloon, but Blueface had
somehow predicted this move and ducked to the side. With the other hand, Fife threw the
hot drink into his cousin’s face, smashed the cup against the blue forehead, and reached for
the cleaver in the nearby dish rack. Before Blueface could fumble into his chest pocket, the
silver blade sunk halfway through his blue head where it got stuck and sunk to the floor
together with the great logician’s body.
“What have you done, dad? Wasn’t he like your friend and my uncle and like nice?”
“Don’t go near him, darling... Did you notice the way he looked at our theory?”
A widening pool of dark, genuinely looking blood threatened to engulf the soles of their
Fife stooped over the body.
“Oh dear, I hope I haven’t...”
“Dad, have you been drinking again? There’s a lot of explaining for you to do.”
Splashing them with gooey droplets, uncle Blueface stood up at once, the two halves of his
blue head arched sideways like open petals.
“I could’ve let this go further, you see. You’re lucky I know how limited your time is.”
“Ha!” irrupted Fife, “told you! After all, nobody in our family ever had a blue face.”
“ You never told me anything,” protested Swyda-Mae.
Indeed, he’d always told her the official version, the rest he’d only suspected. But how was
he to explain everything to her in such a short time. Or would there be enough time? After
all, he didn’t know what the other might do now. He felt that looking for a definition for
what he or it was could work as outset.
“Oh stop doing that,” Blueface said, “it’s disgusting.”
“Well, it’s not my fault that you can see through.”
“Fine, just stop it. I’ll do the explaining. But first, can I have some Scotch Tape?
Uncle Blueface spoke while wrapping his head together.
“My dear sweet Swyda-Mae, I’m afraid there was never any uncle Blueface as such. I have
no name for I am no person. In fact, the use of speech only adds to the difficulty of
explaining who or what exactly I am. I think, in your rudimentary makeshift communication
code, you could say I am the supreme form assumed by what you simplistically call
intelligence; I am not one but an infinity; we are in fact an entire civilisation and more than
that, we are a family of dimensions and worlds, some of us are time and others minus-time,
others are indeed impossible to describe in clusters of sound. Let’s just sum it up by saying
I’m more of a travelling ideal than anything else. When I assumed the shape of cousin
Blueface it was because my infallible mechanisms of prediction wavered as if there was
something in the yet inexistent work of a newborn freelance scientist from a marginal
existential branch that might touch on the truth that not even I had discovered. By the time
I left your world I’d understood that your father, Swyda-Mae, was wrong in assuming he was
on to what he thought he was. What you have there in the box is a remarkable discovery for
your timid kind, still far from the theory that we, ourselves, haven’t yet discovered.
“Is that so?” scowled Fife.
“Oh please, let us not waste too much time with such trifles. Take for instance the claim that
the theory is immortal. According to my algorithms of retrospective deduction there is an
excellent chance that at some point during your shared existence with the creature you
explained to your daughter that the theory is represented by more than just a hairy body
with a broken tail, namely that it is the creature’s course of existence, its simple doggy life.
Well, that in itself is a contradiction. For how can something that is limitless have a normal
doggy life? On the other hand, if the bitch is only the quintessence of the theory, the tip of
an unfathomable iceberg, then it can’t be immortal, nor can it be as important as you claim.
Have you tried not feeding it for a while?
Fife puffed derisively.
“You claim to be the highest form of wisdom and power in the entire jungle of worlds. But
you were never able to mimic a human body successfully. From over here your scientific
record looks somewhat attackable.”3
“That’s another matter altogether, and I will allow us to digress no more.”
To all this, Swyda-Mae strutted in between them, whence she silenced them with long
“If you are not my real uncle, mister, then where do I have my blue eyes from?”
“They’re from your mother, of course,” answered Fife.
“Ha! Your mother, indeed,” Blueface replied. “I can tell you the truth about your mother but
you wouldn’t like it. Or you might do, but I don’t know about your father.
“Darling, I wouldn’t listen to him if I was you, he’s far from perfect.”
“Indeed, I’m not perfect. Had I been, I’d probably be that theory that you haven’t
discovered. Look friends, I’m not here to argue, I’m here to help. When I pretended to be
disappeared I was planning no return so I abandoned my work in the analysis of thought
that I carried out more for fun and concealment than for anything else. But seeing you take
the tale further with your daughter’s unnecessary involvement, I decided to step in. All I’m
asking is for some time with your machine, the same machine that produced the theory, to
finish mine.”
Fife McOne pondered a while.
“What then?”
“Then I’ll present it to you. And we’ll debate.”
“What about my mother?” asked Swyda-Mae.
To this day, it remains a ground for scientific wonder how much human imperfections can interfere with the
clockworks of the supreme intellectual entity, so as to hinder it from accomplishing perfection in imitating the
human body and have it, despite intensive efforts, come up with no more than a blue balloon instead of a
human head.*
*Apparently, superior intellects have always gone through dire straits trying to match head with physiognomy
and hairdo, a truth to which Blueface was ready to provide a perfectly digestible explanation, were it not for
the further hindrance of spoken words that rendered most of his attempts to communication futile.
“You will first need to arbitrate our debate,” Blueface was quick to answer. “If you do it
properly, all necessary answer will reveal themselves to everybody.”
“No foul play?” asked Fife.
“I’m too evolved for that.”
Uncle Blueface who wasn’t really anybody’s uncle sat himself at the kitchen table and
started working at the machine. He scribbled and typed, hammered and filed, glued wires
and uploaded droplets of encoded secrets, not even stopping for a cup of hot malt milk
Swyda-Mae had tiptoed behind him while her father was still asleep.
“Yes, noble lady, how can I help?”
“Well”, she started, “I don’t want to seem impolite or anything but dad said they used to call
you Dirty Blueface or something when you were teaching at the university...”
“Insalubrious Blueface, yes.”
“Dad said that was because you sometimes forgot to shower for weeks because you didn’t
think that was disgusting...”
“Again you are right.”
“Because you think thinking is more disgusting...”
“To my unappeasable chagrin, something of my transcendental condition condemns me to
seeing your thoughts in full nakedness. It’s the way chemical goo and electrical impulses
keep mixing with each other to give birth to this... well... mood swing that you call thought
that so puts me off to the point of physical sickness; nothing personal.”
“You mean like this?” Swyda-Mae asked with increasing excitement while trying to think
hard about things she did not fully comprehend, such as the theory or her mother.
“Yes. Luckily, your innocent mind is less sickening that that of adults, let alone scientists.”
“But is it more sickening than this?”
She lifted the theory from the box and shook it well in vertical position until it let out a few
spurts of watery waste.
“I’d say it’s comparable.”
“And if I were to...”
She’d pulled her trousers down and already squatted over a chamber pot when her father
held her up by the armpits.
“He’s still our guest, darling. Let him work.”
When the work was done, Blueface presented father and daughter with the transparent
inner container that he’d detached from the main production chamber.
“Don’t rush to conclusions,” he said seeing Swyda-Mae’s puzzled face next to her father’s
radiant apprehension. “I’m not claiming this to be perfect. Don’t forget it was partially done
with your own Stone Age tools. What gives it the lead over any previous attempt at a
critique of thought is the part that came from me, that is to say from the unreachable
remoteness kind enough to host my burrow.”
Blueface paused to check on Fife, and squinted.
“I beg you, dear fake cousin, do not attempt categorization under the umbrella of
mathematics of the logic or logic of the mathematics, I assure you it transcends both, and
no human mind could ever produce anything of its greatness.”
“And now, for the inauguration.”
“But it’s empty,” Swyda-Mae protested.
“Ah, about that...” was all Blueface said before he slid open one of the glass cube’s walls.
Nothing happened for a while until a swish was heard from the theory’s box. Then came a
thud. Whinging in its barely perceptible way, the theory shuffled brittle bones trying to
scratch her body.
“I thought I’d said no foul play,” bellowed Fife reaching for the shower hose microscope.
“Don’t tell me you are so lacking in confidence for the glorious offspring of your mind as to
fear a petty flea sized threat. I’m disappointed, Fifey!”
The theory was now trying to scratch with all four legs at once, only succeeding in rolling its
back against the cardboard bottom of the box.
“Take a good look, Swyda-Mae, that’s the genius of your meagre kind in chaffing self-revolt.
It itches all over. Gaps of void in human thought tend to itch a lot.”
“It’s not void or gaps,” Fife said, “it’s your damn fleas!”
Trying hard to cover his thoughts from the other’s insight, Fife grabbed the hairdryer SwydaMae used to air the theory’s sores and pointed it at Blueface. One extra tempo was wasted
switching the settings from home appliance to mortal weapon and the enemy managed to
jump out of the way.
Blueface fended off a second and a third, laughing all the while at his adversary’s unusual
burst of furry. For the first time in a very long time, Swyda-Mae started crying, joining in the
theory’s recital of yaps.
The only thing Blueface hadn’t taken into account was the theory’s faeces’ coefficient of
friction, that is to say, how slippery it happened to be. The glitch in itself was truly
understandable, for the theory had indeed been begotten by the unpredictable genius of an
imperfect species. Unfortunately for Blueface, excuses were of no help when Fife
accidentally slipped in a puddle of canine diarrhoea, consequently touching the general
hand break with his elbow, which made the anvil flat to give a hefty jerk, which in effect
gave Fife extra time to pick up the hairdryer and shoot Blueface a few times while with the
other hand pressing the remote control that opened the main door.
Hanging from the doorframe above the vast openings of the portal, his head split in half
again, Blueface had abandoned all traces of jest. He addressed Swyda-Mae with the
outmost gravity.
“Here, take this matchstick and insert it into the machine! I’m not asking you to save me, I
can do very well without your flesh and bone shell. You are the reason I came here in the
first place. I think you are so much more than your father. I also know you have your doubts.
If you want to know everything about your mother and the theory, and how you came to be
who you are, stick the stick into the slip, throw the salad bowl on your head and become
one with us. This place is too cramped for your genius!”
“It’s a trick, Swyda-Mae, darling, don’t listen to him!”
The theory yapped.
Swyda-Mae looked around for a clue to what was right to do. She decided enough was
enough. Grinding her teeth, she did what Blueface had asked her.
In an instant, a blinding light manifesting from under the silver bowl filled the room, but
Swyda-Mae was too busy to notice it. Trapped in her own world, she could clearly see how
she came into existence from the very same machine, out of her father’s equations for a
better theory. She was also introduced to the internal chemistry of the bitch’s
decomposition. All the time she grew stronger and stronger, a sense of almighty aloofness
imbibed her entire being, making it part of something not quite singular, nor plural. Then
the lights faded. Besides the two main tentacles of light that linked the machine to the girl
and the girl to Blueface, a third one stemmed from the salad bowl, making its way through
the theory’s perked ears and into Fife’s skull.
Inside the tranquil world of supreme genius, they were all sat round a table having cocoa.
“What is this, Swyda-Mae?” enquired Blueface.
She ignored him.
“Dad, is it true what Blueface showed me about mother?”
“I’m afraid it is.”
Silence again. The theory slurped noisily.
“If the theory turns out to be unreadable and remains like this for the rest of her life, can we
keep it?”
“Well, I suppose... Someone will have to take better care of it, I mean her; a dog is serious
responsibility, you know.”
“Dad, I want to keep her.”
“Also, immortality makes the question of succession quite tricky.”
“Dad, you’re really not in a position to negotiate here.”
“Don’t do this Swyda-Mae!” warned Blueface.
“Fine, we’ll keep it,” concluded Fife.
“You’re the best daddy in all the other places and further beyond,” Swyda-Mae said and
hugged him.
The lights exploded again from under the bowl and the cocoa cups dissolved. Swyda-Mae
looked at Blueface one more time, quite apologetically her father later recalled – but then,
he was blinded – and released an army of ticks upon him. They travelled through the beam
of light in casual skips and entered his brain with a mighty explosion. The matchstick burned
at once in a phosphorous flame, leaving Swyda-Mae and her father flat on the floor.
Uncle Blueface was dwindling in the distance, ebbing away from the open door while
scratching at the same time and laughing the laugh of perfect thought being probed by
perfect thought into non-existence.
“I’ve anticipated all this but refused to believe you people can be that stupid... My
calculations were right, the blue face remains my only imperfection... Once again, you were
wrong and I was right!”
They didn’t speak much after the incident, though they took a day or so to do the cleaning
together which stitched a few patches to their tattered bond. It was the fleas that finally
banished silence when, following nights and days spent in fur scrubbing wake, Swyda-Mae
released the juices of her anger.
“It’s pointless! They just keep multiplying.”
Her father waved his hand as if to restate that they should be happy the buggers kept to the
Although she had little experience with flea multiplication rate, due to her father’s previous
prohibitive pet policy, Swyda-Mae couldn’t restrain her surprise as she noticed that the
insect population had become so dense it gave the theory a fluid aura when viewed from a
distance, as if the theory’s unworthy constitution had been draped in a shirt of selfconscious shape-shifting plasma.
The rags she slept in had to be changed daily, a task which fell on the great scientist. SwydaMae was busier than ever trying to find new receptacles to accommodate the milk that
threatened to burst through the overly swollen udder, for cracks had already webbed
around the theory’s nipples and, each time she pounded at her own ribs trying to scratch,
ominous white droplets splattered all around. Swyda-Mae would have been more than
happy to pour all the milk down the drain but, because someone’s lacking design skills had
caused the drainage to give directly into the Motorway while the flat was en route, her
father had asked her to refrain from leaving a trace of perfection behind them, in case
Blueface might recover and pick it up. Swyda-Mae found complying with this particular
request increasingly harder; stress had its bearing upon the quality and, more important,
the smell of the milk, which tended to be quite hard to ignore especially when stored in
open containers.
Soon, the theory gave up the few simple activities that had composed the main body of her
life to concentrate exclusively on scratching. She refused food and almost smashed her head
against the kitchen wall when presented with water. Inside the living plasma garment, the
feeble body had lost all coordination; scratching became an uninterrupted, uncontrolled
spasm that burst out at the mouth as yellowish foam.
By some inexplicable phenomenon, the four lame legs hardened all at once in meandered
stances and carried the theory to the tall windows, on which her irregular jumping left drab
snout shaped trails.
At first, Swyda-Mae thought the gunshot was part of her dream. It was not until she heard
the second and third blasts that she shook off heavy exhaustion and ran to the living room.
Her father stood gun in hand in front of the whining theory, seemingly pondering over the
necessity of further shooting. He anticipated her leap of rage and caught her in his arms,
pointing at the theory. Fife had used a hunting weapon, meaning bullet holes were
numerous and spread all over the theory’s body. Only that instead of bleeding they were
closing up leaving outgrown meaty scabs that reminded Swyda-Mae of her childhood
picture books that her father used to show her before bed where exceptionally large
cancerous tumours bulged out through healthy skin. The bigger the hole, the bigger and
livelier the scar. And the theory kept whinging.
Swyda-Mae came down from her father’s embrace.
“Don’t go to close, darling. She’s rabid.”
“It’s the fleas.”
Swyda-Mae instantly thought her father must have gone off the rails himself, for she knew
all too well what any little girl knows that spent her childhood in the exclusive company of
an eccentric genius, namely that rabies can only be passed from mammal to mammal. Fleas,
for all the science Swyda-Mae had come across, were not mammals, not even in the eerie
space of the Motorway.
“Have a look,” her father said passing her the shower hose fitted with microscope lenses.
At first there was darkness, then, moving the lens from scab to a furry areal she was met
with the homey picture of a family of fleas gathered around a point of blood extraction on a
quiet flea-time afternoon. While papa flea was playing a variant of checkers with the older
children, mama flea was offering her tit to a greedy newborn. Sensing she was being
watched, she raised a candid look to the microscope as if thanking God for the amazing gift
of motherhood.
“I knew there was something deceitful and untrue about his work,” the scientist sighed. “He
couldn’t stand a base form of life such as we are to discover the supreme secret of
everything, so he infested it with the madness of perfect logic. I doubt it that she... it can be
read at all now. It won’t die, only look at how the scabs grow. I dread to think what would
happen if we blew it to pieces. It will only grow madder and madder.”
Having said that, the great homespun scientist Fife McOne abandoned the gun and retired
to his bedroom-study where he set to doing what he normally did when there seemed to be
no way out: swig alcohol while thinking of a way out.
There were many things Swyda-Mae didn’t think it was worth a bother to think about,
although she found it hard to ignore them completely, like for example what the theory
would sound like in actual words now that it had been contaminated, or whether
immortality had been within it all along or only bestowed upon her by the impeccability of
pure thought. However, rather than reflecting at the theory as an it, Swyda-Mae preferred
to see it as she’d gotten used to, that is as a she, a bitch, the beloved unnamed bitch that
she had cleaned all along. For underneath any scientific sorrow caused by the alteration of
content, lay an even bigger one; the bitch was in visible suffering.
Swyda-Mae could not witness heartlessly the theory turmoil as she shivered, scratched,
bashed against sharp edges and spread foam all over the house. Her mind was somehow
still set on getting rid of the pests. Just as she was brooding over how repellent concoctions
and shaving had failed to drive the fleas away, an interesting thought came to her mind.
What if the fleas were presented with a new host? At the very same moment, the flat
passed by a canine playground where happy dogs scampered around their owners. With a
swift pull of the wheel, Swyda-Mae drove the flat into the familiar surrounding and landed it
quietly. Her father had not noticed or otherwise he would’ve come running out.
Swyda-Mae put on her autumn coat and walked to the door. The bitch ignored her, too busy
running around after its own tail. Swyda-Mae hoped that a bit of fresh, inter-world air
would allured her immediately, therefore she flung the door wide open.
And then she understood why the playground had seemed so familiar.
The soldiers stormed in, pushing the girl against the wall.
“Where is it? We know you’re hiding it here somewhere.”
The canine area was none other than that behind their own block of flats. The Government
scientists had no doubt found a way to boggle her young mind from a distance. She had
been the one allured by the home air.
“Where is the bitch?” asked a bald man in a black coat that seemed to be the operations
manager. “We don’t necessarily need to keep you alive, you know.”
Understanding just how much truth the man’s words carried, Swyda-Mae pointed towards
the theory’s box while opening her mouth to state the visible obvious when she ran out of
words. She had no idea where the bitch was.
“I can hear something coming from that room,” the man murmured to the others.
It took one hefty shoulder to shift the bedroom door off its hinges. What they saw when the
lights were turned on and the dust descended made the bald man grin.
Dishevelled, Fife McOne sat on a chair next to a speechless theory, her eyes half closed.
“So this is it,” the man said.
“This is nothing,” answered Fife.
The man approached the theory and gave it a jolt.
“What’s happening to it?”
“She’s dying.”
“We know it’s immortal.”
“Have a look for yourself.”
The man hoisted the body up into the light. Swyda-Mae swallowed a whine much like that
of the theory. The unnamed immortal bitch drew its last breath into a stranger’s hands.
“This is a lie,” said the man.
“I’m ready to explain,” answered Fife.
“That won’t be necessary for now. We’re taking her in. But beware, we’ll be back.”
The dead theory was hoisted once again over a shoulder and Swyda-Mae could clearly see
its last standing yellow tooth sticking out of her upper gum.
As the soldiers walked out, their upstairs neighbour, Mr Jeremiah Singh, was running down
the stairs, waving his walking stick.
“Arrest them, that’s right, throw them in prison! I’m sick and tired of having God bloat and
crimple around me like a ball of dough. Nobody would believe me, dear sirs, they say I’m
crazy and senile. But now they’ve got a dog too and it stinks and it’s against the rules. Who’s
senile now, Mr McOne?”
As father and daughter closed the door over the sound of the silencing gunshot, Fife waved
the girl’s sadness away; he rolled his sleeve up and showed her the bite mark.
Swyda-Mae’s father started to sweat the following night. He tossed and turned, threw up a
few times, nose bled and chocked with a barky cough. Before his voice was lost completely
he called Swyda-Mae and asked her to do the takeoff algorithms. Walls shuddered, lime
dust rained, game of marbles resumed wandering; only this time Swyda-Mae ignored her
spot near the window, for she somehow knew that the great outside woudn’t be able to
supply for the lack of hope that loomed within the walls.
Without the theory, Swyda-Mae’s life revolved around nursing her sick father. Same job,
different body. However, in the few moments of complete solitude generally spent sitting
on the toilet, Swyda-Mae admitted to herself that a sick father was far worse than the sick
bitch, for the father groaned and moaned in a way that brought about the indiscretion of
Or so she thought until one night she thought she heard the theory again. She stood up
from the living room sofa where she’d recently camped to be closer to her father and ran to
his bedroom. The first impression was that his body had shrunk under the sheets but she
put it down to poor lightning. When she drew the blanket away it became clear that such
was the truth. Her father was shrivelling and shrinking, his knees were bending backwards
and some tuffs of grey hair started to appear here and there. Somehow Swyda-Mae felt at
ease with the outcome. After all, the only reason why she hadn’t given in to despair was
that she hoped that someday her father might bite her too, for the perspective of a mad life
in nothingness seemed more appealing than anything she could think of.
A few days later her father’s face was unrecognizable, having grown whiskers and a pointy
snout. When she offered him brandy and he refused, she knew the transformation had been
complete. And she rejoiced.
However, something was not quite right. Though the fleas were gone, the theory had
retained its madness. It smeared the house with organic waste as it ran madly around on
crooked legs, it bashed against walls and doors, it bit and ate chinks of wall and rolled its
eyes so forcefully that they bled.
Swyda-Mae tried not to think too much about everything. Again she opened the door to her
room and showed the theory what an amazing tropical island with arctic penguins her
father had made for her birthday. She turned on the Christmas atmosphere and put the new
food generator to a test. They baked, ate cake, they’d sometimes get drunk with the very
little brandy left. Sailing through the nothing that never existed within or outside time, they
did their best to instil the nothingness of small things to their indoor life.
Then, one night, Swyda-Mae turned off the carols, abandoning the living room to the bland
rapping sound of the father-theory’s head against the flat door.
“You want to get out, is that it? That’s all you ever wanted...”
Swyda-Mae removed the cap from the toilet bowl. She drained the water into the tub and
connected the main pipe to the hole in the wall right behind it. She peered through the
protective filter her father had installed there before even knowing what the final theory
would look like, and waited. The black vastness of the Motorway revealed itself to her in
unspeakable beauty.
What was to come and where the theory was to go all by itself, she wouldn’t know. At the
end of the day, it was only a bitch. But it was her bitch, the bitch she held dear. She’d
cleaned and fed her. But Swyda-Mae could not take her out for a walk. The bitch was
infinite and needed infinity to bury her bones.
She howled and yanked, yapped and barked, peed and shed while Swyda-Mae squeezed her
into the tight enclosure of the toilet bowl. After laying a gentle kiss upon her forehead,
Swyda-Mae put the cap back on and pressed the button. The pipe enlarged at once and a
vacuum sound dispersed into the bathroom while the theory ebbed on a swirling path into
the distance.
Swyda-Mae was alone for the first time. But now she was old enough to do the algorithms
by herself. And to replicate food; and not to let herself tricked into ever returning home. She
would live and, if she was mortal, die outside time, worlds and dimensions. She worried
somewhat about falling prey to boredom. But then she remembered the little pile of ash left
when the matchstick from Blueface had caught fire. She would have a look into it and use
the machine to create happy families of pure logical fleas that she would then sell to
petshops all over the other places.
As for the theory, she’d be alright. Perhaps eventually it would run off track and impact
some part of the world dough at unimaginable speed; it would finally be absorbed into the
only reader there ever was: the world itself. And then something would simply have to
happen, otherwise what would be the purpose of having a perfect theory of everything?
Swyda-Mae was looking to that moment with hope.