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World Story (concept not by me!)

Page history last edited by Volkes_Wagon 12 years, 5 months ago

23 December 2010 – Pacific Coast Time – Monday
18:43 12.007

"Danny. Hey, Danny. Daaaannyyy-" Exasperated, Elise yanks his head up by his ear. "Time to get up, bozo! Plane's already landed!"

     Daniel bangs his elbow on the airplane's metal armrest and shoots upright, cursing. "Effin' – what – What!?"
     "We're home."
     He blinks hazily at Elise. Oh, right. That time of the year.
     "Looks like you're back on Earth. Good," Elise pipes, and lets go of his ear. Immediately she starts smoothing back his hair and straightening his tie.

     "Hey, it's just gonna get messed up again when I drive you there," he mutters, pulling away. "We've still got, what, three hours on the road?"

     "I can't stand you looking like that," she titters, forcibly pecking at his collar and cuffs. "My parents would die if they saw you all ruffled up, okay? Personally I think casual suits you best, but..."

     He snatches her hands and wrestles them still. He tries to rub some warmth back into her icy cold fingers. "Just relax," he says. "Whatever happens, happens. I can't change who I am, so they might as well know what they're getting into."

     She tears our from his grip and slaps his shoulder. "How could you say that!? This is important! My life depends on this!"

     He smiles. The hyperbole was kind of sweet.

     The airplane stops at the drop-off area, and the young couple unload their luggage for unboarding. As they make their way to the airport parking lot, Daniel calls his own parents to let them know that, no, the plane had not crashed in a feak accident, no, they were not lost, and yes, they were going to Elise's home for Christmas and would be back (or Daniel would be back, at least) by New Year's at the Brayals. Things had already gone excellently on that side of the family tree. It would be a hard comparison for Elise's side to pass.

     "Alright, here's the drill," she breathes as highway road slips beneath them by the mile. The night is black as soot. "My parents are super super super overprotective of me, so you've gotta make sure you give off a big-brother aura."

     "'Big'...? What the heck?"

     "It's like, when you first meet them, you say 'How do you do?' first, all mature-like, and shake hands and all. Got it?"

     "Right."

     "Okay. And also, act smart. Just say how great bio-engineering is or something, my parents will have no idea what you're talking about. Never try to impress them with anything that has to do with law. Even if you actually had a brain on your shoulders, they'd chew you out in no time."

     "Got it."

     "And never let me get into any kind of trouble. Like if I'm taking the kettle off the stove, you have to rush over and snatch it from my hands with a dramatic declaration of how dangerous that was."

     "Yeah, yeah."

     "Are you even listening?"

     "Sure I am."

     "Danny, please put your heart into this and actually try, for once. Do it for me. Alright?"

     "I will. Don't worry, love," he chuckles, "I'll have you if it kills me."

     The headlights on the car sputter out and die.

23 December 2011 – Pacific Coast Time – Friday
16:23 41.264

     The IM balloon is ringing like a telephone.

     He pictures himself throwing the computer out the window, relishing the imaginary sound of metal and plastic smashing against concrete. But his physical body lies motionless on his bed, and the sound, of course, continues without a care in the world for his pathetic desires. Stretching his arm to the open laptop computer on his desk, he slaps his hand down over a few keys.

     "Danny!" a metallic voice whines, transmitted to his ears from a house with velvet drapings three miles away. "Are you there, sweetie!? Did something happen!?" 

     He sighs. His mother has found him. Again.
     The ghostly image of his face pops up on the screen as he sits down: sallow face, dark eyes, chapped lips twisting bitterly. The carpeted floor of his three-room apartment squeaks in protest.

     "I'm fine," he mumbles.
     Elizabeth Brayal beams, pixilated teeth and gums stretching across the computer screen. "Hey there, sweetie!" she warbles. "It's been a while since we've seen each other, you need a haircut!"
     "What do you want?"
     "Tomorrow will be Christmas Eve, you know."

     "..."

     "So I was just thinking, you don't have any plans over the holidays."

     "...No."

     "And what a coincidence, neither do I! So you know what I'm thinking about doing?"

     He rests his elbow on the desk and covers his eyes with his hand.

     "A family reunion! Wouldn't that be just absolutely wonderful, dear!? I'm getting hyper just thinking about it!" she squeals, happy as a three-year-old.

     "Thanks," he mutters, "but I'll pass."

     "What!?" she screams out in melodramatic dismay. "But you can't, sweetie! This is the chance of a lifetime! Lottie and Angel and Chris and everyone finally have slots open tomorrow, and you know what busybodies they are all the time, but they put all that work aside and said they'd come over to see you!"

     He stares at her stoically. "You've been planning this for a while, huh."

     She giggles sheepishly. "But dear--it's important!"

     "You're enough to keep any party alive, love."

     "Aww, see that!? You can still be cute, I knew it! You used to be cute and energetic though, what happened!?" 

     His lips twist upwards sarcastically. "Sorry about growing up."

     "

 

I remember when I turned 20, I thought the world was going to end, it was insane. But then I thought, well, at least I've still got 21 to live up."

     "That's great Mom. Really great."
"Oh, come on dear, I know you don't have any plans for today."
He sees it coming. "Actually, yeah, I do, so-"
"Go over to Lottie's house," his mother presses on. "She has a surprise for you, and I've just got this wonderful feeling that you'll love it. Can you make it by four?"
She waits expectantly. It's hard for her to tell fifteen miles away what venomous feelings are pouring into the silence, and this is probably a good thing.
"…Sorry, but I'm busy," Daniel squeezes out. "Really busy. I've gotta get back to work now."
"Work? I thought you didn't have any on the weekends."
"Stuff happens. Overtime. Kay?"
"Please, dear, just come over real fast. It's your birthday!"
"I don't want to hear it."
"Please, I want to see you living it up again like you did when you were little. Just relax! Give it a break!"
"I said, I'm busy. Bye now."
"Oh, you can't really be busy, can you?"
He moves to disconnect the messaging. His mother sees the impending danger, and a flash of panic shoots through her perfect face.
"Forget Elise!" she blurts out. "It's your birthday!"
Someone had once told him that only the most holy, wise, and powerful can freeze time. He can now safely disagree and say that all you need is an ability to annoy, utter lack of tact, and very bad luck. His mother flaunts all three.
She might as well have punched him in the gut.
"I didn't mean that," Elizabeth wails, breaking the spell. "I didn't mean that. I only meant you should – you know – put the past behind you, that sort of thing, you know-"
He clicks. The computer gives a blipping sound and then softens to a steady hum. After a moment's deliberation, he turns the power off too.
Silence drips sweetly through the room. The birthday boy sinks back into the chair and runs his fingers through his hair, breathing deeply. What would she know? Running away from the past needs a future to run towards.
There is no future for him.

16:58 00.000

The screech pierces through Daniel's ears and makes him jump up like an electric shock. Out of nowhere it comes, and leaves as sharply as it had arrived. The silence almost hurts.
He slaps on a sweater and starts to step out of his dingy apartment room, thinking to check on the neighbors. But he stops. The sound, he reasons to himself, was probably metal or something weird that wasn't his business to meddle with. And even if he did find out what it was, he wouldn't be able to do anything about it. Checking on the neighbors would be nothing but an awkward hassle.
He closes the door and flops back onto his bed.

16:59 00.000

Wind kicks up now. It rises from the ground and crystallizes into dancing sheets of white, unzipping empty space like a razorblade. A seemingly solid breeze passes straight through Daniel.
He opens his eyes and stares at the spectacle.
The gusts are being sucked into a point inches from his nose. He props himself up with his elbows and examines the cloudy vortex, musing at its elegance. Was he dreaming? At the center of the spiral forms a shimmering white bead. It hovers contentedly for a while, and then, with a barely perceptible click, it slides a notch up. A silver line marks its trail.
He tries to touch the wind's ghost, but his hand slips through it was smoke. His fingers brush against the bead.
Click; and the bead slides up another notch.
A painful shock shoots up and down his arm before settling down as a tingling in his hand. He jolts upright and rubs his palm while cursing under his breath. This dream is getting annoying.
Click; the thin white line is over a foot long now, shimmering and rippling from side to side. In fact – he looks closer – it's made of two identical lines drawn close together. Now that their lengths are longer, the ripples are beginning to separate them slightly, so that occasionally he can see through the space between them.
Click; the bead is level with his eyes again. Beneath it stretches a long silver gash, pure black bleeding from the wound. Simultaneously, another revelation finds its nest in Daniel's mind.
You aren't supposed to feel pain in dreams.
"Ah," he says to himself. "So I've gone crazy. Took long enough."
Click.

17:00 00.000

     Something explodes out of the rip in time and space, shooting into Daniel and knocking them both off the bed.
     "Ow! God – wha–"
     A girl springs to her feet and brandishes a sad-looking butter knife in her small hands, snarling. "On your feet! Hands in the air!"
     Daniel lies stunned on his back for a brief moment. Then he listlessly picks himself up and obeys. "Roger," he mumbles dutifully.
     "Alright, civilian, listen closely," the girl snaps.

 

She peers at him skeptically with her bright green eyes. Odd, there seem to be numbers running vertically through them. Her short-cropped hair must not have been washed or combed for months, and her clothes – he can't describe her clothes. The words "barbarian" and "rag-dirty" would run to the other side of the page if they ever saw what she was wearing.
"…This is the Pre-TG era?"
"Look, I don't mind hallucinations, but I'd really rather they make sense."
She lowers her knife carefully. "You're a normal human. No Lilans. No Bloody Ans."
He gave up on following his own imagination. It was surprisingly good, that. He should have taken a creative writing course back when life actually mattered. "Yeah. Sure."
"…Oh."
She turns around and sees the hole she had erupted from. Daniel's eyes follow. Through the tattered lips of the yawning mouth a pitch blackness seethes with energy, as though it would chew and swallow him if he ventured too close.
She clambers up the bed. "Wait, stop!" cries Daniel, half of him worried about her, half of him ridiculing himself for taking any of this seriously. But she's already face to face with the blackness.
To his surprise, she grabs the bead without any sign of pain and yanks it down.

17:01 37.067

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