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The existential tortoise

Winston the tortoise paused. He thought - 'Today would be a good day to go the whole five yards'

As he waited to start Winston enjoyed the stillness and peace of non-movement, because he liked being still and going nowhere. Sometimes the whole hurly-burly world seemed too much for him and he would simply withdraw his head into his shell for a while, and think about it.

'Right, time to get going', thought the tortoise. He focused his mind on the task ahead and expanded his intention into it. He could see the universe of possibilities opening ahead of him as he transversed the whole five yards. He could feel the sun on his back as he stood, waiting for the first step to come.

As his mind expanded into the task, Winston realised he wasn't really standing still at all. The sun moved slowly overhead, the earth span round and the whole planet he stood on was hurtling through space at a massive six thousand miles a second, part of an infinite expanding universe.

He thought for a moment.

'I wonder where it is we are going in such a hurry?' He drew his head back into his shell and thought about this for a while.

Eventually he emerged again, fit in his surety that time, space and distance are just meaningless constructs we have invented to explain the impossible. So close to the first step, but then, he thought for a moment,

'Just where is it that I am going? If time, space and distance are meaningless constructs, then why do the 'whole five yards' thing at all?'

It seemed pointless, an infinitely miniscule space to travel. In the same time he walked the five yards, the planet would move him over 270,000 miles through space. It seemed irrelevant.

He popped back in and thought about this for a while.

It seemed to him that if you could just change time for even a fraction of a second, then you could travel huge distances. So Winston decided to try it. Safe inside his shell, he moved his intentions, weaving them into a fabric of energy that spat like frying bacon. He cast his net to the matrix around him.

ZAP! A crackle and a rift opened around the tortoise, snatching him into its light. Winston made his first journey in time for just a few seconds. As his head emerged from its shell, he was eighteen thousand miles outside of the orbit of earth.

'Aw, bollux' thought Winston. 'Well there's always tomorrow for the five yards.'

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Posted Jul 9, 2006