The Opus Imperfectum

Looking through the many files on my computer in my “Stories” folder, I imagine a future…

…a future following the sudden obliteration of civilization on Earth in the year 2019 by a meteor or a zombie Apocalypse. In the future, the decimated human race slowly pulls itself together and builds itself back and one day, a thousand years after the Apocalypse, an archaeologist sifting through the dusty ruins and remains of Earth comes upon…my computer.

With his high tech and sophisticated gadgets, he will recover the archaic bits and bytes, piece them together and begin to read the same files that I read today. In subsequent digs, he will uncover hundreds, thousands more stories of this kind, scattered all over the broken world.

Some time later, he will write a thesis on his findings. He will be invited to speak about his work at an intergalactic archaeology conference, a very prestigious one, probably held on Mars. I can hear him address the great minds there…

“…the predominant genre of literature on Earth at the beginning of the twenty-first century appears to be a curious form of prose wherein the author simply… doesn’t finish the story!…”

He will call it (using Latin, one of Earth’s older and more impressive languages) the Opus Imperfectum (unfinished work) or perhaps Semiperfectus (half finished) or Scriptum est Medium (half written).

A craze will sweep through the stars. People will hold the stories up as philosophic and spiritually enlightening, puzzle over the deeper meaning of the stories, speculate whether the author was writing about the great mystery of life or death or the vagaries of time. Was the premature end meant to teach people to think for themselves or did it allude to Fate? School children will be made to write papers interpreting them and the great writers of the twenty-fourth century will emulate them…

…so if the zombie virus wipes us out, I figure I’m still going to be a famous author.


❤ DragonBeck