....Blink... part2

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Part 2

Submitted: May 02, 2010

A A A | A A A

Submitted: May 02, 2010

A A A

A A A


4

A hand glided over my knee and proceeded up my thigh, rousing the thin hairs on my leg.  My blood flowed pensively and my heart shuddered uncontrollably.  A girl filtered out of the bed sheets on my right.

“Morning sleepy head,” she said and kissed me square on the lips.  “You look kind of peaky- maybe you should take the day off, call in a sicky.  I know you don’t like to, but you could do with a break.”

I was stuck for words- I hadn’t seen a girl so… naked before, at least not in the flesh and not in my bed before.  It was Claire.  The Claire I last saw head down in a table of ash.  She looked so alive, glowing like she belonged here- with me.  It felt so right, but deep down it also felt so wrong, in a split personality kind of way. 

“I have to go in,” I told her.  At least to see for myself if it was still there, I couldn’t tell her what was going on in my head because I wasn’t even sure that she was entirely real.  I climbed out of bed, shying at my sudden nakedness in front of my dream girl, when she spotted an innocence rarely seen in a lad my age as I cowered behind my fingers.

“You don’t have to hide it from me- you belong to me, every part of you.  I love everything about you,” and she drew my hand away, resting it between her breasts.

“You feel it- it beats for only you.  I love you.”  She pulled away and disappeared out of the room stealing the last breath from my lungs.  I stuttered and choked for air, feeling a head rush and fell back to the bed- clutching at the bed sheets.  My head hit the mattress as air again, filled my lungs.  Could this be love?

 

I made it into work.  The plant was still there and bustling too.  In all of my realities only this one felt closest to my own.  At least that is how I understood it- I blinked from one reality to another.  People came and went, existing only to me and plants blew up, only to still be there the following day.  Erratic as that might be- a pattern was forming, though not uniquely obvious to anyone but myself.  Leading to one conclusion- death for us all.  I could not help but wonder what part I had to play in these dimensional leaps.  I figured that I am supposed to prevent a similar catastrophe in my own world as I had seen in others or warn them in some way.  I had to be sure first, so I visited all the places where I had seen the alterations of a world that differed from my own.  From the medical bay, to main reception and the Christmas tree outside including the Claire from this morning- I had to know what, if anything was out of place. The posters on the wall, the paint it was all as I remembered and yet a sense of uneasiness quivered in my bones. 

“Gordon!”

It started with him- if I was really back then he too must exist here.  I ran passed the turbine hall and the siphon seal to the laundry building, quickly scanning through the turnstiles to the controlled area of the building.  I checked the locker room, finding only Davie and Scott and rushed into main stores.  He was not there.  I checked the base room- not there either.  Then it struck me, if Gordon did exist here, then he would have had a locker.  I re-checked the locker room, scanning the names on each one. 

“Found it!”

“What are you looking for?” Davie asked me.

“Gordon!”

Scott and Davie shared a puzzled look between them, “but Gordon is… gone.”

“Where?”

“Gordon passed away two weeks ago- you remember.  We all went to the funeral.”

I stood in front of his locker, gliding my hand across his nameplate.  “Are you alright mate?” they asked me.  I was not of course.  It was hardly the revelation I was hoping to hear.  I was confused more than ever.  If this was not my world then where was it?

 

Claire showed me where he was buried- the flowers were still blooming and the wreaths still fresh as the disturbed soil beneath my feet.  I could not believe it, but there it was, carved in stone.  My friend- tiddles.  I knelt down on the spongy grass, I finally found him.  For me to have the life I always wanted, my friend had to die.  In this world I found love, a life to cherish but at what cost?  I had to return to my world if for nothing else than to bring him back- he deserved more than this.  All night I preyed for another dimensional shift- it never happened.  I gave it a week and there was still nothing.  Then a month passed.  My life was everything I had ever dreamed, but it was never my life to live.

I figured that all my shifts were connected to one commonality and that being my death- I had died so many times and yet I still lived while my old friend lay beneath the grasses besides the decadent heads of the long time deceased.  I went as far as climbing the charge machine on top of the reactor- ten or so floors above the pilecap with the mind to topple myself from the upper platform.  I was winded just climbing the steps and my vision blurring at the impending fall.  I had a weakness for heights despite being an avid climber in another life.  I gripped at the handrail fiercely as the chargehall floor wavered below- people walked from the sub-change room across to the Diana rig store.  I always found the name funny and forced out a smile; even I was an Avengers fan, though I was only old enough to see the repeats.  I could see a couple of hard hats moving up to the one hundred and sixty five foot level, still way below my eye line.  Monitors just like me, carrying their probes with them, reminding me of what I used to like about my job. I leaned out forcefully pulling my grip on the rail and put one leg on the outside, it dangled free.  I could feel that gravitational pull.  The urge was there to let go- an urge we all have deep within ourselves.  It was almost like a huge tentacle crawled up out of the reactor and pulled on my ankle- it was that strong, almost too strong for me.  Luck must have been on my side when the insesive buzzing from my pager interrupted my desire to fall.  The number that flashed through the screen was 4-7-3-1.  I knew it right off; it was bin reception.  I clambered back onto the platform and climbed down the steps backwards, the view was too much.  Solid ground was a relief.  I easily forgot that a double reactor fissioned below my feet, splitting atoms and releasing 1100 mega watts of power.  I stood on a bomb of the modern era.  A new significance hit me instantly- radiation had a way of affecting normal matter around it.

“Gordon!”

 I returned on my own to the cemetery with a shovel and dug out his grave, it took me to the early hours.  It took every ounce of strength in me to reach his coffin, mud splattered my face and arms while blisters burned my fingers.  I discovered something I hadn’t expected- it was lined with lead.  I smashed open the lid, breaking the shovel.  Now I understood- I could feel that invisible flame again burn the top layer of my skin with such poetry.  I leaned in and touched his chest.  The pain overwhelmed me.

5

 

“Backdoor!” a voice yelled from the stores- before I knew it Gordon had run for bin reception.  Flashbacks struck me like a migraine and almost knocked me to the ground, only Jason managed to catch me in time.  Then I remembered.

“Gordon wait!”  I ran after him, with Jason quickly behind me.

“I’ll do it,” I told him.

“No, no- we can both empty the bins.”

“I insist- let me.  You can turn the coveralls with Jason as they come out the dryer!  There isn’t even that many anyways, I’ll manage fine on my own.”

As Gordon and Jason left, I got into my respirator and pushed my way through the plastic curtain to empty the bins.  I looked back- so wanting to say a meaningful farewell but without the words I pushed on through.  They were all lined up across the rollers when I removed the lids- tossing them into a nearby trolley set up by Gordon.  I had an RO2 with me to monitor my radiation levels- it soon shot off the scale.  I found the source and the trigger for my shifts.

There was a flash and the room lit up like a Christmas tree then everything went dark. 

6

 

I was alone for a bit, lost in the dark when voices bellowed out all around me.  Their form familiar and yet their words eerily not- faces flew passed speaking words unconditionally worrying like phantoms of the night. 

“Where am I- who are you?” I shouted, turning about and hoping to see the smallest glimmer.

“Show yourselves?”  I said.  I was obviously dead… again, but this time I think it was for keeps.  Though I did not like the dark.  I even considered the idea that I was merely in limbo; maybe an ancestor would come for me.

“Killing us!” a voice filtered through the thickened black.

“What!” I replied, “I don’t understand.”

“Stop…must!” It said like I was to blame for something. 

“Stop what!” The faces shot passed me again- I almost recognised them too. 

“You…stop.”

The words were incoherent at best until a face flew up and met with my own- it was me, I mean it was me, a younger me.  The face of the young boy I used to be and then another appeared beside it and yet another.

“Stop the killing, release us.”

“You kill us.”

“Help us.”

The voices of my past begged again.  “What are you?” I asked them.

“Life!”

“Life- what does that mean?”

“Life.”

“I know but what?”

“Life!”

“Christ you’re starting to sound like a broken record, ok you are life.  But what life?”  This has to be the weirdest Passover in existence, “You are alive, is that what you are telling me?”

“Stop the killing.”

“I don’t understand, killing you how- who is killing you?”

“Stop!”

This just isn’t my idea of the afterlife, “Is it me, have I done something?”

“Stop!”

“How?”

“Free us from the vault.”

“Vault, what vault.  I don’t know anything about a vault.  You are going to have to explain?”

The faces switched around each talking over the other confusing me all the more.  “Think, a vault what could it mean?”

“Trapped!”

You are all trapped in a vault, “wait you mean the reactor vessel, you are trapped inside the pressure vessel of the plant.”

“Trapped.”

“Life…trapped inside the concrete vessel, but how did you get in there?”

“Your kind.”

“My kind- you mean people, humans?  So you’re not… you’re from another planet?”

“No”

“You’re not from another planet.  Then what, where are you from?”

“Life.”

“I thought we got passed that already.”

“Life.”

“How did I know you would say that?”

“Seen already.”

Now what the hell is that supposed to mean, “listen I don’t…?”

“Release us.”

This isn’t helping any.

“Released us before, release us again.”

“Release you, I released you before…it is the explosions.  You are talking about the plants blowing up.  You caused my shifts, am I supposed to blow up a power station?”  The faces vanished.  I thought about Gordon again and bin reception.  Maybe part of it was in the bin, I touched it and it sent me into quantum realities.  Life couldn’t exist inside a reactor; it can’t be true none of it made sense.

 “I can’t see you, where are you…I don’t know what I am supposed to do?”  The space around me changed from a lifeless black to a glimmering white and I was back in bin reception again, listening to the buzzing sound from my power respirator.  I ran out, Jason and Gordon were turning coveralls at the dryer. 

“Are you done yet?” Jason yelled.

“Do you need help with the bins?”  Gordon asked me.

 

My shift ended.  I drove home to an empty house- no Claire just me.  I was restless and without realising it, I was half way to work in the dark.  I pulled into a lay-by overlooking the sea.  I could see the power plant in the distance- all lit up.  I thought about all the realities I had experienced and the people I met, but despite the loneliness I cherished this one the most.  I could not give this up, not for a new life form, trapped or not. The consequences of a melt down with one station never mind every other station in the country was enough to destroy generations of families for years to come. 

“No, I couldn’t- I wouldn’t!”

 “Forgive me… forgive all of us.”

I drove home and went straight to bed.  That night I woke up at three am staring at the clock- preying for it to strike a minute past.  I did not blink- I waited. 

It never did.

 

 

 


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