I story I started working on a long while ago. I'm working on it tonight, as well.

Ugh, multidimensional loopholes can be so annoying.

First day of volleyball practice, I chase after a fly-away ball, and accidentally fumble through a soft spot between dimensions. I reach for a ball and grab a lypsin instead. I hate Mondays.

Okay, let’s back up. MD mechanics 101: Loopholes and warps and all that jazz are pretty common, but not everyone realize they’re experiencing them. Like, you know when you’re just doing your thing and then this moment passes where you don’t know if you just blinked or if the sun went out for a split second? Or have you ever noticed blurred areas of landscapes or it looks like things are sinking into space or spinning? Some people call that vertigo or vision impairments or something, but it’s really just a little glitch in space. Some people can’t handle the glitch and it ruins their eyes or balance. Thankfully, I haven’t had that problem. I can’t explain how it all works or why some people experience glitches and can’t handle it—I’m a sophomore, not a rocket scientist… or physicist… or Trekky. Whichever one knows most about multidimensional coupling or whatever you call it.

I know a little bit from my biology teacher, Mr. Varges. Freshman year I had a huge crush on him, but I’m over it. He’s still pretty cool, though. After all that time in the lab trying to act interested in biology, I think his love of science somehow rubbed off on me. Now I go to lab on weekends just to see what cool new research he’s found. Last semester, he found a new species of beetle in the area. Gross—but the way he talks about it somehow makes me and the rest of the class excited, too.

Anyway. That’s how I know about the multidimensions—well, that and the whole “oh, no, I tripped over my shoelace at the grocery store and now I’m stuck in a desert surrounded by beetle monsters” thing. I’m debating telling him about that stuff. I don’t know a ton of people who would think I’m sane in saying I can step through dimensions super easily. Except Tessa and Daniel. They’re the only people who understand, other than a couple of others I’ve met in the other dimensions.

So, here I am, Madison Gregory: high school volleyball champion and shrewd shopper extraordinaire, among other things (most of which I’m dragged into by my parents or grandfather). I play piano and clarinet, ride horses, volunteer teaching swim lessons, trip through realms, and I don’t take anyone’s crap—especially not Alison Itagaki. Speaking of which, she was the one who got me into the lypsin mess.

I hated her in Freshman year photography club and orchestra, and I hate her now. To my disgust, she joined the Lakewood Trapskins (stupid name, I know, just listen to the story) after her previous team quit because of some drama and their coach moved away. Now our coach, Mr. Calvin, positions her as right side hitter when I’m playing left side hitter on the other side of the net. Now I have to put up with this:

“Gregory, do you shoot as bad as you talk?” Ali coos as she dodges her teammate’s elbow. The ball flies over the net and my setter pounds it right back over.

Focus on the game, Maddi, she’s just being a jerk. I leap and send the ball over.

She grunts and dodges her teammate again. “Aren’t you supposed to be good at this game? You’re as bad as I remember from last year.”

“Shut up and play the game, Alison.” I ram my fists into the ball.

She scoffs and jumps to punch the white ball. I leap at the white fireball, but I’m not tall enough. The missile jettisons clear over the court and into the woods. I hear the coach nearby, but I’m already on my way.

“Your ball, Maddi.”

I’m already jogging, red-faced and adrenaline-shot, over the fence and into the trees. All the while, I’m cursing under my breath: “Stupid Alison. Stupid ball. Stupid…”

Right as I’m reaching for the ball, the world spins. I stumble, off-kilter, and land on my side with an oof! The world rocks back to normal and I’m then in a shallow, dank cave. I smell must and hearing dripping water. At least I have the ball in my lap. Unfortunately, something snatches it away. By the sound of cackling and flapping and high-pitch hissing, I already know what it is.

“Stupid lypsin!” I jump to my feet and race after the sound of chattering teeth and flapping wings. Why are the winged creatures always the mischievous ones?

I chase him out of the cave and I manage to grab the ball…

…Just as I skid to the edge of a cliff.

So, get this. It’s me and the lypsin, both hanging onto the ball. My tippy-toes are crunching gravel on the very edge of the rockface, and the lypsin is flying midair, making me lean over, like, a hundred-foot drop. Have I mentioned I hate Mondays?

The stupid thing snarls something at me and will not let go, so I try pulling. Urgh! That bugger’s strong! “I don’t like your tone, mister!” I grunt at him, shifting, trying to bring the ball closer to me. Pull… Pull… snarling… grunting… then:


The little bit of cliff under my feet suddenly crumbles and my weight sends both me and the lypsin hurdling down toward the large mushrooms below. The wind is whipping my hair around, me skin is wiggling, and the stupid lypsin still hasn’t let go. He’s just hugging the ball with me, screaming. His wings are flapping, but it only slows our speed barely at all.

Seems like forever. The lypsin is still screaming, and it’s hurting my ears.

“SHUT UP!” I yell at him.

He shuts up, blinks at me surprised.

POOF! We land on a spongey mushroom top. I see spores floating around the perimeter. Thankfully, the fungus is soft enough to keep us unharmed, but we both land weirdly on our sides because—you guessed it—we’re both still holding the ball. We’re wrestling over it now. He’s on my stomach trying to pull it away.

“Let go, you little gremlin!” I growl, my voice strained.

“No, you!” He hisses in that ugly, gargly voice lypsins have.

“Literally what are you gonna use it for?” I manage to flip us over so I’m kneeling. I push myself to where I’m standing, hugging the ball to my chest. The dumb creature is still holding it, too. His feet are dangling in the air. “Let go, doofus!”

He growls at me. If that’s the way it’s going to be, then so be it. Two can play this game.

I huff and look around, holding now both the ball and my unfortunate acquaintance. Nothing but mushrooms for miles. But I see huge—like, gargantunormous—trees way, way off in the distance, practically blue because they’re blending into the atmosphere. Well, there must be giants around here somewhere. Might as well find them.

I look at the lypsin. “Are you going to let go?”

He shakes his head: “Never!”

“Then I’m going to name you Dumdum, if you’re coming with me.” We set off—just me, Dumdum, and the ball between us.

Submitted: December 15, 2020

© Copyright 2023 Aia Bunny. All rights reserved.

Add Your Comments:


Black Dog

Really imaginative, I really liked it and, Madison's a good character.

Tue, December 15th, 2020 8:52am


Thank you!!

Tue, December 15th, 2020 10:49am

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