What Happened When Frank Died: The Unified Consciousness


Frank died.

A light that could blind the sun went off around him. He stood in a winding cave of smooth white stone. He looked down at himself, dressed in white, soft, virginal. He began to walk. The ground was a little warm. He touched the walls. They were smooth.

Eventually the passage opened into a vast cavern, the insides of a yawning pearl. Frank gawked up and down.

“Holy–” he muttered, before movement caught his eye.

“Hello?” He called. The movement paused. Barely discernible from the backdrop, Frank squinted. It was a dog. A great big white one. It turned.

“Hello!” it said, in a friendly, child’s voice.

“Oh hell no,” Frank cried. Frank ran. The dog bounded in toe. A moment later, Frank slammed into something big, soft, hairy. Him and the man he ran into crashed to the floor.

“Oh boy!” The man said. Frank pulled himself into a sitting position. He looked around. A man lay beside him, big and bearded. He smiled. The great white dog sat not far off, watching.

“Who might you be?” The man asked.

Frank looked suspiciously at the dog, then back to the man.


“Charlie,” Charlie said.

Frank looked back at the dog.

“Oh don’t worry, he won’t hurt you.”

Frank still backed up a bit.

“What’s going on?” Frank asked.

“Oh, we’re in hell.”

“Shut up Charlie!” The dog snapped in its childish voice. Frank couldn’t peg whether it was a girl or a boy. Charlie laughed.

“Okay,” he admitted, “we aren’t in hell. But you will be if you touch that mutt.”

The dog moved forward. “We aren’t a mutt,” it growled. “We are the unified consciousness. If you touch us you will see, and if you wish, you can join us.”

Frank only stared. Then, almost giggled.

“What–what?” he managed.

Charlie laughed.

“It’s true,” Charlie said.

“You touched it?” Frank asked.

“Oh yeah,” Charlie nodded.

“Then why are you here?” Frank asked.

Charlie shrugged. “You have a choice.”

“Everyone joins us,” The Unified Consciousness cut in.

Charlie stood up. “Not everyone mutt.”

He held out a hand to Frank. Frank took it. He stood next to Charlie, looking at the Unified Consciousness, almost eye-level.

“What does it show you?”

“Everything, everyone, the whole universe. It’s cute.”

The Unified Consciousness growled.

“Why didn’t you join it?”

“Because he’s a coward.”

Charlie laughed. “I had no one and nothing in life, what use have I got for everyone and everything?”

The Unified Consciousness rolled its eyes. “Boo-hoo.”

Frank frowned.

“Why are you a dog?”

The Unified Consciousness shrugged, the best a dog can shrug. “Who doesn’t love a talking dog? It comforts people, plus it doesn’t hurt to be politically correct. No one gets mad that god turned out to be a talking dog. You see?”

Charlie chuckled, darkly. “You’re not god, you’re a cage.”


There was a snapping sound behind them. Frank and Charlie turned. An obese man popped into existence. He turned. He looked at the three of them in turn. Finally letting his eyes rest on the Unified Consciousness. Suddenly Charlie ran forward, grabbed the man around the shoulders and cried,

“Run man! for the love of god run! It’s going to eat you!”

Blood drained from the man’s face his eyes went wide. He screamed, turned, and ran.

The Unified Consciousness bounded after him. As it passed it growled, “Dammit Charlie, you’re a real piece of shit.”

Then, as it rounded the corner, it called back “I’ll be back for you later Frank!”

Charlie was keeled over, nearly pissing himself laughing.

Frank couldn’t help but smile.



  1. It was rather gloomy when I met him; one of those drizzly days that, at times, seemed to subside into a mist. I had been walking along a small brook looking for fresh leeks and morel mushrooms.
    He was sitting under a tall white pine tree. His cloths were a mixture of browns and greens. These colors plus the mist and fog almost made him invisible.
    I was already past him when he said “Hello.”
    It was a soft “Hello.” The softness plus the mild tone did not cause me alarm. This feeling of ease occurred even though I expected to see no one in this dark remote forest.
    “Hello” I echoed. I hoped it was as pleasant as his hello. I continued on with “What are you doing out here in the rain?”
    “I don’t know” he responded. This was followed up by a “Maybe the same thing as you are.”
    I asked him “Have you found any morels or leeks?”
    “No. I am not looking for morels and leeks. Is that what you are doing?” He answered with a question. He spoke in a mild and non threatening manner.
    “Yes, I am” said I. “But, then, what are you looking for?”
    “A thought” he responded. “I am looking for a lost thought.”
    Wishing to be empathetic I said “Yes, I know the feeling. When I need a new insight about a problem I often go into the woods and sit on the biggest log I can find. New ideas come to me.”
    “No.” he said sadly. “I am not looking for a new thought. I am looking for a lost thought.”
    My remark must have been harsh instead of empathetic. The man under the tree broke into tears.
    I quickly offered an apology. “I’m sorry. I just did not understand what you were telling me. In fact I am still not quite sure what you are saying. You said ‘A lost thought’ as if it was really lost.”
    The man confirmed my review of his statement with a simple “Yes.”
    “We all lose our train of thought from time to time. Are you lost?” I questioned.
    “No, that’s not it” he responded.
    “I believe I am going to need some help with this” said I.
    “Yes. I can see that this has not happened to you, this losing of a thought” he answered.
    For some unknown reason we seemed to bond with just those few words spoken between us. He appeared comfortable with me and I had no reason to be concerned about this apparently sad gentleman. I spied a short log that remained from a previous timber cutting of those woods. I set down my basket which contained my finds; a few morels and two handfuls of leeks. The man remained quiet as I rolled the log over to where he was sitting. I offered him a cigarette and he accepted. I lit both his and mine. The smoke seemed to disappear into the fog and mist.
    “Please explain your dilemma” I asked as I sat down on my wet log.
    I expected an explanation that would take about the length of a cigarette. I planned to get on my search for mushrooms and wild onions as soon as he finished. But it was not after one cigarette. We finished the pack before he finished his story. I have never heard of anyone losing a thought the way he did.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you. Yeah, we are always trying to get better and better. I’m glad you love Frank. After this year is over I think our main focus will be working on something bigger with his story.

      Liked by 2 people

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