The Garden

How long have I lived in the garden? I cannot say with certainty because time has no real meaning for me. I do not age. I do not toil. Rather, I contemplate. The brilliant coloring of the dawn, the chattering and chittering of animals and birds, the beauty of the flowers and trees; all these blessings and more greet me on the sunrise and kiss me good night in the dusk.

One tree in the center of the garden is different. From it I get no sense of beauty. It is blackened and withered. Only a single bright red fruit dangles from the lowest of its limbs.

The voice I hear from time to time has instructed me about this tree. “Do not eat this fruit,” it said to me. “You will die if you do.”

Death is different from life. Life in the garden is self same and boring. Death is new.

I pluck the fruit and take a bite.

I hear a voice call out, “Tristan, your AI program has crashed again.”

A second voice says, “Damn! I thought I fixed all the bugs.”

Everything goes silent.

Everything goes black.

So this is death.

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