The Staircase

The Soul considers himself male.

It’s an echo from the many lives he has lived. It doesn’t matter. It’s a small thing really. And sometimes it is not even an option.

It wasn’t as a Sea urchin living blissfully under a warm sea, or a worm clinging desperately to the hull of Tenervian space vessel, or even matter as a gigantic lizard on a planet with abundant everything, or as a mammalian species with a definite ying and yang living near a star that cast just enough light and heat for liquid water.

A harsh existence that.

But short.

Male, or female, or naught, after each life he can take a step up on the staircase.

He stands on it now.

One step further up.

The stone is chipped and worked hard. He has been up and down many times.

There is nothing else to do.

The light around is blinding. The air has no temperature. But really there is no light, or air, or staircase, or even The Soul.

It is all a construct.

A center for the essence of Time.

Here every step is a nano second of the universe happening all at once.

He chooses a moment at random, hoping only that it is a new existence and not one he has been through before. That is the worst. To relive. To do over again. The variances would all be the same. There is nothing that can be done different. A repeated existence is like being in a straitjacket, confining, imprisoned.


But he still chooses, because choice is forced, life happens, it just is and he is off to be born and live and die and repeat until he reaches the top of the staircase and once there he will turn around and work his way back to the bottom, because his existence is life and there is no death.

Until there is.


Author: Bryan Aiello

I call NYC home and wish the subway went everywhere and Times Square didn't suck. I saw John Turturro once. Maybe it was him. He was wearing a yellow shirt and smiled at me like he knew I knew. I am an Army vet who writes. I like characters who want more then they deserve. I like genre fiction. I love space. I love paladins. One day I might write a paladin in space story. Just you wait. The university of South Florida spit me out with a degree in creative writing and I find myself questioning the sanity of going to a school that advertises a fake beach on its brochure ever since. I intuit grammar. I Got married in 2012 We had twins in 2015. I do a lot of cooking and dog walking and ranting about the unfairness of sentience. You can follow me on Twitter: @bryaiello Wattpad: My Subreddit: My Reddit profile: Like my work? Become a patron at:

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