Author: David Henson

The days were all the same like links on a chain. I had to break free. Then came a flash in the middle of another toss-and-turn night. I got to the window in time to see a beam of light retracting into the sky. In the yard was a shape — glowing white, irregular with sharp edges and about the size of a person.

I went outside and circled the form, which appeared to be two-dimensional. When I pushed a stick into the shape, the stick disappeared and reappeared when I retracted it. I posted online several photos and a video of the vanishing stick. I eventually sat in a lawn chair beside the shape and fell asleep.

My first thought when dawn woke me was that it had all been a dream. But there was the form twinkling in the sunlight. I checked my postings and saw they’d gone viral. I went inside to clean up and was surprised the shape drifted along behind me.

I called in sick, uploaded more images and videos and spent hours watching the number of views explode.

A few days later, a local TV station sent a crew to interview me. I hesitated at first, concerned my boss might see I wasn’t really sick. But I didn’t like my number-crunching job anyway.

When the reporter swept a stick, it disappeared as it passed through the form. “What’s the trick? Mirrors? Projectors?” I assured her it was real. She decided, fake or not, it was a good story. My shape and I got five minutes on the news. I also got fired.

The broadcast snagged the attention of a physicist at the university. He asked me to bring the shape to his lab. I realized his tests might make for some good posts.

The scientist reached a startling conclusion: The shape was comprised of nothing. No electrons, photons, quarks or even quantum vacuum fluctuations. It was Absolutely. Nothing.

I uploaded a video of the physicist describing the miraculous form and launched my own website dedicated to Nothing. I posted images of Nothing in a flower bed, by the kitchen sink, with a puppy. Nothing became an internet sensation. I monetized my website and thought I’d never have to work again.

One evening, I was out back admiring the night sky. Nothing, as always, was beside me. At the sight of a shooting star, I disappeared a finger into Nothing. “I wish you could talk,” I sighed.

Next morning when I awoke, Nothing was gone and a beautiful woman was in its place. “I’m the answer to your wish,” the woman said.

I thought this was a good thing. But when I uploaded a video of the woman explaining how she used to be Nothing, the views slowed to a trickle. Then came the comments — “Boring” … “Who Cares?” … “Fraud.”

If that wasn’t bad enough, the woman thought I should get a job as a website designer. She wanted us to start a family. She wanted a puppy. My head whirled. “I wish you could go back to the way you were,” I said.

“I’m so sorry,” she said. “Tomorrow.”

I deleted the video of the woman and promised my followers that the next day I would do the unthinkable: Stick my head into the shape.

That night I could hardly sleep knowing I would have Nothing to live for again. Sometime after midnight, there was a bright flash out back. I ran to the window just in time to see a beam of light pulling Nothing into the sky.