His First Multiverse

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A high school boy gains the ability to connect with his other parallel universe selves, granting him the option of taking multiple choices at once at any given time.

Submitted: May 27, 2009

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Submitted: May 27, 2009



Welcome to the Multiverse

William James. He didn't belong there, down on that practice field. He knew it and so did everyone else, including the coaches. Mostly this was known because he was a freshman and had never before played football, plus he was very unathletic. He had been proving this last point to everyone the past week and a half during summer training, as he failed at even the most basic of tasks. He wouldn’t be in school for another three weeks and he was already paying for it. You see, this school that he wanted to go to, it cost a considerable amount more than a public education system. He wanted to go here of course because that’s where all his friends were going. All both of them. In order to go to the expensive school, however, he had to be a pawn for his parents to live vicariously through, and because his dad more than anything missed football, that’s what William would do.
The next day, 8 am ish, at the school again and standing in front of the locker room door, William just stared at it. You know that feeling where you know no one would miss you if you weren’t present? yeah, so does William. Actually even more than that, he thought, they would probably all be a bit happier if he wasn’t cramping their space. All these jocks wanted to be here. William did not want to. Not because he hated football, he liked it as much as the next guy, but because he didn’t choose to be on the team for himself. And, being that he was a teenager, he resented doing something that he didn’t want to do. William had a choice; he could walk through that door and start taking this more serious, maybe force himself to like it and see what he can do, or he could turn and leave, just skip practice until he eventually got cut from the team. He wanted to try both.
He grasped the handle, turned it down and to the left, and walked in. He slunk over to where the other nothing freshmen were and looked for his locker. He didn’t know it by number, because it was missing the number, so he just memorized the rust design that covered the edges of the door. He came to a stop in front of the rust arrangement he recognized and got his crap out. One of the more confident freshman guys was pumping up the others, or trying perhaps, by stringing meaningless phrases , yells, grunts and motions together. He yelled to William too, calling him ‘James’ because he was too cool for first names, as were most all of the football players. Woot, William thought.
Suddenly, but not to his complete surprise, he was outside. The last of the freshman had just been dropped off and went into the school. He had been waiting for the coast to be clear with a concerned face on and pretending to talk on the phone. He did this so that no one would suspect what he was planning and maybe would infer that he was going to have to leave, or something. Maybe something was wrong and whoever William was talking to would have to pick him up soon. Whether his fellow footballers made any such inference at all, it didn’t matter, as soon as they went inside William booked it to the corner of the school. He ran around the side and toward the sidewalk. Not really sure where he would go yet, but knowing he didn’t want to be in that locker room, where he was now putting on his cleats and padding.
After he was dressed he slowly made his way to the door with the other freshmen and followed the upper classmen to the practice field of dirt and dead grass. He could feel himself still running down the sidewalk farther from the school and off to do whatever he wanted as he stepped onto the field about to stretch and do everything he didn’t want to.
While running down the sidewalk William felt a certain triumph. The kind of triumph one feels when they reject something they have been forced into. He did feel bad for himself, down on that field dancing around back and forth in lines of stretching and whatnot. As he ran he turned his head back a bit and glanced at the school one more time which caused him to trip and fall to his hands and knees on the concrete. He laughed the pain off and smiled big at what he was doing. he couldn’t believe he was ditching like this, it wasn’t like him to disobey.
Back on the field he was let down a bit from his triumph high. He still felt both choices while he was on the sidewalk away from this stupid practice field but at least when he was there, he wasn’t here. Even though he still was. It was slightly confusing to him. It wasn’t something he could explain in words, which really makes it something unexplainable to those not experiencing it. Think of it as understanding how to wiggle your toes if you had never been educated on the science of it; it would just be something you could do. You think it, and it happens. Well this is how William decided this power, or whatever it was, probably worked. So as he finished up his absurd stretching with the rest of the team and split off to the tackling station he thought of the path he had also taken, where his knee was bleeding and he was walking toward wherever.
William liked this reality a bit more, currently anyhow. This parallel universe was about doing the opposite of what he was supposed to do, he decided. He thought, what’s the opposite of forced exercise? Perhaps voluntary eating? He knew there was some type of burger place up ahead so he walked along, and tried not to think of where he also was. He shook his head and smiled again at himself, how ridiculous he was to go through so much trouble just to get out of playing football. This walk home would be almost equivalent exercise. However, the walk home is what he wasn’t supposed to do, and that felt pretty good. He was slightly troubled though by the implications of this path, what if his coach calls his parents or something? Or what will he do once he’s cut from the team? He would have to do some major clean up if he wants to stay at the school with his friends. Maybe he could join the soccer team, at least one of his friends was on that team. Or he could do track maybe. So many choices to make, and as far as he could tell he could make all of them. Or perhaps there was a limit, who knows. Oops, the crosswalk sign says come hither, so William hurries to cross. And the idiot driving the big red truck says, I’ll run this light, and so he does.
William is hit hard and his useless too-big helmet does nothing to stop the ground from punching him in the back of the skull as he lands on his back. Those upperclassmen sure hit hard. Man, he couldn’t even feel himself right now, where was he, was he still there? He looked up at the sky and strained. He wasn’t there, or he barely was, slipping quickly. The coach yelled for him, James get up now! He did, slowly, and walked to the side of the practice field. He knelt slowly still and vomited. He was there on the field but he knew he was dying; head smashed open and blood wrapping his broken limbs. His fellow footballers scoffed and made comments about him, while the truck driver fell out of his car and looked on in horror toward, but not quite at, the life he had cut short. The coach yelled more and sirens flared up in the distance. William knelt there and laid; his peers not knowing that he was dying and the driver not knowing that he was still perfectly alive and safe, although slightly miserable.
William stood up and let go, he was there alone now. He felt like he should be more disturbed by the fact that he just died, but now that he was disconnected from that reality it no longer felt real. He was only here now, and he was more concerned about what waited for him here. He did not want to turn around and face those jerks, but he was grateful that he made the choice to be here too. He saved his life making that choice. He was alive and with a power these football player didn’t have. He decided that he was at another fork and he was unsure of what to do. He could walk up back to the school and wave goodbye, signifying his resignation, or he could turn around and endure until he was able to knock them back on their asses. He wanted to try both.

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