I wish this story took place in Zimbabwe by Can Taskin

I wish this story took place in Zimbabwe
By Can Taşkın

March 14th, 2036. I had just arrived in Sydney, it was a calm day, I heard someone yell “John, while James had had ‘had’, had had ‘had had’; ‘had had’ had had a better effect on the teacher” from the school across the street. I had just prepared my equipment for my journey to Ayers’ rock. But this story isn’t about this, it’s about what happened when I arrived there.

March 15th. I  arrived at Ayers’ rock this morning and after admiring it for a while and taking a break, I decided to get on top of it. I had climbed on top of the rock when I saw a bright light. When I opened my eyes, there was an asteroid in front of the famed rock I just so happened to be standing on. I had gotten closer to inspect the astronomical object when suddenly a sort of ‘gate’ appeared on the side of Ayers’ rock. I wasn’t even thinking, my mind was blank and, when I had walked through the gate, I found myself in a humongous room, impossible to explain. There were weird stacks of big cubes made out of an extremely shiny metal that had a little blue pigment to it. When I looked up, I couldn’t see the ceiling; was I underground? Ayers’ rock isn’t this high, I had most probably descended below floor level. There seemed to be a path, not in the room, but in my mind; I followed it and reached a stairway going even deeper. I then reached a closed room, nowhere left to go, there was a locked safe in front of me, I approached it and discovered that I needed a combination of 5 numbers to unlock it.
That’s where I got stuck, was this it? a locked safe, maybe 10 kms below the surface? I traced back my steps, I looked everywhere. And finally I found a tiny piece of paper with seemingly random numbers on it: “13-25 2-15-24”, I entered the combination on the safe, and it worked: the safe opened. I reached it to grab my well-deserved prize, took it out and it was… an Australian tour leaflet about sandboarding. I was extremely confused, I checked inside the safe if there wasn’t anything else, but it was hopeless; that was all there was to it. I went back where I started, looking under every stone, but there was nothing more to be found. I left the chamber, it was night time; I decided to check the asteroid one last time but still nothing. I went back home with a frown on my face and a useless leaflet in my hand.
When I had come home, it was around 5:30 am, I lay on my bed and fainted from exhaustion.

March 16th. I woke up at 1:00 pm, I was feeling horrible. I poured myself a cup of coffee and decided to check out the leaflet for the eighth time, there was nothing new, it was about sandboarding, nothing interesting.

May 27th. I gave up. After spending 2 months of my life on this, I realised there was nothing else to it. I realised not all stories have to have a satisfying end to them. Some stories hide the answer in little places no one will find, but not this one. This story doesn’t have an end, not because I was too lazy to find one, nor because it’s an unsatisfying one that I find better to keep hidden, but because the ending is what makes a story memorable, and I know there is no ending that satisfies everybody, so I simply didn’t put one: I let you decide the ending; make it something you like, something you are happy with, something you will remember.

Can Taşkın

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