a tale in weekly parts
This story is open for suggested continuations. I will publish here, with links to your own blog, all I receive. The one I like best will become (or form the basis for) the next episode of this collaborative tale.
You can see the full story so far at this link.
Albert’s face was a picture of confusion. His knotted brow above one raised eyebrow belied his state.
“Xander. We didn’t gift you that dream. It was entirely your own.”
“But you know what I was dreaming, you’re not denying that.”
“Of course not. Your abilities, cognitive and physical, are developing rapidly, and there is a certain amount of risk in that. We need to monitor your mental activity, particularly when you are asleep, to be sure you’re not at risk of suffering damage.”
“Yes, damage. When you’re asleep, your brain lays down memories; it mulls over past events, categorises them and files them with the appropriate linkages. The reason many dreams are so weird is simply that your mind is trying different pathways to make sense of your experiences. Don’t worry, we will gently wake you if we see anything amiss. Anyway, the upshot of this monitoring is that we are fully aware of the details of your dreams.”
“And you had nothing to do with the latest one, the visit to the non-Newtonian planet?”
“Nothing whatever. Hell of a dream though.”
“Tell me about it.”
“I thought it was cool,” Kr’veth’neq’is said from behind him, “especially my part. And that trick throwing the stone to stop myself was awesome!”
Xander turned around, “Wh-what? How long have you been there?”
“Take it easy, Xander,” she said. “We all came together after we had tea with Mum and Dad. You fell asleep as soon as we entered Jarvis; my fault, I’m afraid. We decided you needed some solid rest.”
“So we didn’t go to the centre of the galaxy?”
“Nothing can survive there,” Jarvis intoned, “it would be pointless, and we would be putting ourselves in grave danger; the black hole’s event horizon is something of a movable feast, it would be easy to get too close.”
“So when and where are we really going, Unkie?” Xander asked.
“We’re here, we’re now,” Albert replied. “We are in what we know as dimension eight. It’s parallel to your own dimension and almost identical except for the way time works. In your dimension, time is cyclical. It starts at the Big Bang and continues until the big crunch, when the pressures are enough to trigger another Big Bang. It’s always been like that, and it always will be.”
“So how does time work here?” Xander asked.
“Random,” Jarvis interrupted.
“Random?” Xander asked, “What kind of silly talk is that?”
“Why don’t we go out and see?” Albert suggested. Jarvis opened his main door, and Albert, Kr’veth’neq’is and Xander stepped out into a scene that resembled a mix of historical tableaux and speculative futuristic scenarios. People were dressed variously in Tudor, Elizabethan (first and second) and even prehistoric garb, while mixing with others wearing apparel that wouldn’t have been out of place on the set of Space 1999 or any of the incarnations of Star Trek. None of the people present gave any indication that they were even aware of the light drizzle; there wasn’t a single umbrella held up, no raincoats, cagouls or anything suited to inclement weather. In fact, they seemed to be dressed for a warm summer day.
“Have we arrived in the middle of a convention of some sort?” Xander asked.
“We’ve arrived,” Albert replied, “in the middle of a normal market day on Terra. Every day is a normal market day here, in fact every day is today… or not, depending on your viewpoint. Come. Walk with me.”
They set off into the throng and ended up on a street that didn’t look unfamiliar to Xander, being a mix of ancient-looking market stalls and the very latest high-end shops.
Xander approached a young man dressed similarly to himself.
“Excuse me,” he said. The young man turned to face him. He looked disarmingly familiar to Xander. “Can you tell me what the date is, please?”
“Date? Hmm… date. No idea. Are’ll you one of these linearists I’ll been hearing about? Did you thinken Terra was’ll be flat, too?” the young man asked, followed by, “You looken familiar; willen I knew you?”
“I doubt it,” Xander replied, “my name is Xander; Xander Grahamson.”
“That’ll been interesting,” the young man said, “I will recently changed my name from Xander. When I’ll found out that I’ll haven [pronounced like haven’t, but without the ‘t’] special abilities, I thinken Alex woulden suiting me better.”
“Albert!” Xander half-shouted, half-whined. “Got a minute?”
“Hi, Alex,” Albert said, cheerfully [of course, he knows everything Xander does, thinks or says]. “Hey – you two could be brothers, you’re so alike. What’s your family name, young feller-me-lad?”
“Fitzgraham, Sir. Haven we’ll met?”
“No, but humour me. You told Xander you have special abilities.”
“Care to enlarge?”
“I’ll not been sure you woulden understood,” Alex replied, “it been complicated.”
“What if I tell you that I am bitek? Xander’s father is my hybrid son, and has no abilities, but Xander and his sister are both advanced hybrids.”
“This iswas incredible. My father’s mother will met a bitek and had my father, who’ll been normal, but I’ll developing abilities. I’ll hopen to met my grandfather, but no.”
“Is your grandmother still alive?”
“Of course. She’d expecting my father.”
“What’s she called?”
“Her name had be Arabella.”
“Oops,” Albert exclaimed. “Xander, meet your second cousin.”
This story remains open for suggested continuations. All I receive will be published here, with links to your own blog. The one I like best will become (or form the basis for) episode 34 of this tale.
This story was started in response to Kreative Kue 18, issued on this site on 30 March 2015.