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Forever Endeavor

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Forever Endeavor is an incomplete short story by Jonathan Bowers.[1]

Synopsis Edit

A greedy everyman known as Mr. Bentley spies an advertisement offering $1 million to build ten "counters." He takes up the offer with no knowledge of its contents, and finds himself trapped in a locked room with a mysterious man known as Compadre. Given a seemingly infinite supply of wheels marked with the digits 0-9 and magic rods that grow to accommodate the wheels, his task is to place one wheel on the first rod, 10 wheels on the second, then \(10^{10}\) wheels on the third, \(10^{10^{10}}\) wheels on the fourth, etc. while Compadre uses the previous wheel as a counter to keep track of Bentley's progress. The total number of wheels is known as Bentley's number. After he completes this task, he will be freed and given his reward, but until then there is no escape from the room.

Bentley slowly loses his sanity over the centuries he spends building counters. His emotionless, wordless, robotlike companion thwarts all of his attempts to escape, and mysteriously neither of them seem to age throughout the process.

Some time after finishing the third counter, Bentley belatedly realizes the amount of time he will spend. He faints in shock and wakes up to find himself outside in a park. He falls in love with a woman he meets there, but as they are about to lean in to kiss, Bentley wakes up to find that he was merely dreaming this scene, and returns to work on the fourth counter.

Over time, Bentley tries and fails to return to the dream world, and looks for more ways to escape by analyzing the room he is trapped in with places that sound hollow. He uses his keys to gradually dig a hole in the bathroom without Compadre noticing and finds a place he calls the Hallway of Echoes. As he digs a second hole, the technology is tinkered with, causing Compadre to worry for the first time in the story. Eventually Bentley finds someone to talk to and potentially save him. When he has those people erase the whole, he gleefully sees the man rescue him until he realizes that it is Compadre, who promptly seals up all the holes.

Sources Edit

  1. [1]

See also Edit

Main article: Jonathan Bowers
Works: Array notation · Extended Array Notation · BEAF · Forever Endeavor
External link: Personal website

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