Nov 5, 2017

Unfinished Tales | Shadow Worlds | Part Two



'Are you ready to make history today?'

Thomas woke startled, Cale had slapped him on the shoulder as he asked the question. He stood there fishing around in a plastic carry bag as he waited for Thomas to wake fully, nodded and then disappeared down the hallway and into his bedroom.

Thomas rubbed his eyes and peered up at the spider he had been watching as he dozed off. It was gone. Slowly he stood up, he took his time following Cale. 'He can wait for me this time', he thought. By the time he reached Cales bedroom the missing part had been installed, somewhere, and the only evidence of it's existence was the discarded packaging, adding to the junk on the bedroom floor.

'What is it?' Thomas enquired.



'It's a prototype.' replied Cale, 'Once the preliminary testing has been completed I'll reduce the size and place it in a stylish case.'

'You haven't tested it yet?' Exclaimed Thomas. '...Hang on! What is it?' He insisted.

'It's an Atomic Reducer.' Cale beamed. He could see by the look on Thomas' face that he wasn't as excited as he should be by this, so tried again. 'It's a shrink ray!'

'Oh, okay so what is it really?'

'It's a shrink ray.'

'What? How? No, all I can see is a telescope wrapped in... what is that, tinsel?'

'No.'

"There's a lazer pointer taped to one end... and what's that a washing machine?'

'No, yes, well no, I've turned it into a small linear accelerator.'

'What?! Do you know how dangerous that is? What if something goes wrong? Someone could get hurt... Grace! Um... look, I don't believe you.'

'Don't worry it's only a small one.' Cale assured him. 'It only has to convert the 240 volt power supply here into the 12 gigavolts needed to magnetically induce the electrons causing them to reduce their orbits.'

As he spoke Cale tapped in a command on the computer keyboard and immediately a high pitched whine started. Soon the air in the room was electrified, the hairs on Thomas' arm started standing on end. There came a distintictive smell of ozone and the centre of the room was bathed in a faint red glow. The dust particles, and there were lots of them in the room, begain to glitter and pop.

Thomas slowly turned to look at Cale, an incredulus expression fixed on his face.

'Nothing to worry about.' Cale stated. 'It's just the dust particles being charged by the magnetic induction field. Take a look in the centre of the room, yeah there on that stool is our test subject.' On the stool sat a cheap model plane.

'Nothings happening.' Observed Thomas.

'Let's give it a bit more power then.' Cale tapped away at the small keyboard, and after a few seconds looked up at the test subject. There was no visible change, only the ubiquitious whine changed in tone, becoming even more annoying. Cale typed a few more lines of code and with a dramatic twirl of his hand, tapped the [enter] key. 'That's full power. Let's see what this baby can do!'

Thomas looked around and his eye caught the red glow of a cheap three digit LED display. It was marked power output. The numbers were quickly rising until they read 999, the highest output it could show. The electronic whine became an uncomfortable scream. The friends stood staring, transfixed by the small red glow surrounding the test subject.

Still nothing happened.

***

In another part of the house Grace was trying to dry her hair. She was used to her brother's crazy schemes and inventions and for a while she had tolerated the annoying electronic noise filling the house. It wasn't until all the lights dimmed and then exploded along with her hair dryer that she decided it was time to put a stop to this.

'You've gone too far this time, and you're going to buy me a new hairdryer, NOT fix this one!' Thought Grace as she stalked out of her room in search of her brother.

***

'l told you nothing would happen,' Thomas yelled over the electronic scream. 'All you’re going to do is blow us up with that linear accelerator of yours... if it is a real one.'

'Wait! Look at the model!'

The air around the model was starting to distort, it wavered like a mirage. The distortion was increasing and colours were starting to form. The model looked like it too was distorting, twisting, no, melting! Then folded in on itself.

'See it's working.' Cale cried gleefully.

Grace arrived in time to see the friends staring at a tiny rainbow coloured hole in the middle of the room. They were totally oblivious to her presence. Then it happen. With a sound of a roaring ocean it exploded outward expanding ten-fold. It paused, hanging in the air, a tear in the fabric of space and time. The edges rippled with a multitude of colours while the centre was deep black. A sense of intense cold emanated from it. As it hung there it disgorged a myriad of tiny fluorescent red and green particles. These particles quickly filled the room, surrounding the contents including the three humans present. For a moment everyone was transfixed by the other worldliness of the scene. The particles gently fell, coating everything in the room. Slowly the outer edges began to rotate, picking up speed on each rotation. The stillness ended as the hole became a swirling vortex, it began to assert its own gravity. The vortex pulled each stick of furniture, the electronic equipment and the two friends into its colourful void.

The room was finally clean. Only Grace remained, tightly gripping a power lead to save herself from being pulled in. She hung there sideways, inching toward the door until the cord ripped out of the power socket.

As the cord was pulled free it cut the power, the vortex closed instantly and the room became calm and still once more.

But Grace was beyond the event horizon, Grace was gone too.

The power cord fell to the ground, severed, the only remaining evidence that the room had previously been occupied.

---
Shadow Worlds | Part One  
Shadow Worlds | Part Two
Shadow Worlds | Part Three

When I was younger I tried my hand at writing short stories, but gave up before turning 20. You can find a shorten version of why in this article. I thought I had lost all of this work until recently my father discovered and handed over this manuscript. It was a fantasy story I had been working on way back then. The outline is lost, I was 'pantsing' (or writing whatever came into my mind.) but what is left is three small chapters which I thought I'd share.

Enjoy reading more and thinking more... with your favourite beverage!

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