Escape Pod

Each week, Escape Pod delivers science fiction short stories from today's best authors. Listen today, and hear the new sound of science fiction!

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Escape Pod 776: Tloque Nahuaque


Tloque Nahuaque
By Nelly Geraldine García-Rosas, translated by Silvia Moreno-Garcia




If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.

—Carl Sagan




I—The Particle Accelerator

They built an underground temple. A well of Babel sinking into the gloomy ground at 175 metres of depth. They wanted, like the Biblical architects, to know the unknowable, to discover the origin, reproduce Creation.

The desire to unravel the nature of the Everything floated permanently in the controlled environment of the laboratory. Hundreds of fans and machines emitted a constant buzzing, which the investigators called the “silence of the abyss”. This, combined with the smell of burnt iron, gave the ominous sensation of finding oneself in space. Doctor Migdal lay upon a nest made of coloured cables and, with eyes closed, fantasised that his body, weightless, floated, pushed by the breeze of the ventilation.

Sometimes, he would imagine that he was being attracted by a very narrow tube, a cafeteria straw, the ink container of a pen, or a bleeding artery. His feet, near the edge of the conduit, would feel a titanic weight that would pull him and make him push through the small space. Migdal could see how he would turn into a thick strand of subatomic particles that would extend forever.


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 2021-03-18  20m