Bombs rained down around the village, now a target in a tyrant’s senseless war. Heorhiy thumb the cracked screens on the electronic gadgets in his hands hoping the screens and circuitry survived the concussive force of nearby explosions.
He was a farmer, not a fighter but she knew he would defend his homeland to the end. First worked to secure safe passage for his family. Lesya did not want to leave him but he insisted. She understood and accepted his need to see them safe. She watched him frantic, harried, as he searched for a signal from anywhere. Seeking information on the safest corridor, ensuring they safely fled to refugee centers across the border.
As they joined the convoy of millions moving north she could see he was torn, tempted to stay. She begged him to abandon this foolish fight and stay with them. The losses inflicted were enormous. She knew staying was a death sentence.
“I knew it was going to be one of those days,” Jeannie started. “When I pulled back the curtains, the bright blue of the spring sky burned in my eyes and my temples pounded — boom / boom / boom — from the wings of a butterfly that fluttered by the window and too much cheap wine.
“I didn’t think it could get any worse,” she continued, “but my mouth dropped open when some dark haired naked dude stepped through the bedroom door and into my living room. ‘Babe, what a night; you got da bod and da moves,’ he said in that greasy New York accent I despised.”
“I wished I was a ghost, I wanted to disappear into the weaving of the couch fabric. Unfortunately, I can recount too many stories like this one. I was scuffling and knew it, I’d hit rock bottom. That is why I am here seeking help. I am Jeannie and I am an alcoholic.”
The tick of the clock slams like a hammer against Arianne’s eardrum. Her eyes growing heavy as the itinerant sun slips towards the western horizon. Endless reds, oranges and yellows spill from the heavens, onto the blue canvas sky Great billowing cloud herds transiting the azure ocean are set ablaze against the fiery sunset. Arianne sits by the open window, hypnotised by the meadow sages bending in the evening breeze. Luminecent fireflies dance leaving fading trails of ghost strings amongst the old grey stones. Whilst wisps of fairy dust swirl in the magical air, like lacy strands gilding her already flaxen hair. She know not who the traveller is, only that the journey ends at the old weathered gate. How much longer must she wait before her limit hath been reached. For as long as she has a heartbeat she has sworn to help her weary guest reach the finish.
It had cornered her in a back alley in one of the rougher areas of Antares City. The backwater center of Antares Prime, a mining colony along the outer rim of the asteroid belt beyond the settlement worlds of Caleb and Karon. The mineral rich rocky band provides the resources that power the tech hungry settlements and keeps the portal to Mother Earth open. The new frontier and the promise of wealth brings all kinds of fortune seekers through the wormhole, the galactic 49ers of the asteroid belt.
Celesta, a bounty hunter by trade knew the creature would bring her a small fortune. The aliens normally avoided the colony, preferring to remain on the more remote rocks of the belt. Only showing themselves when seeking shots of Synth, the highly addictive narcotic preferred by miners hoping to find respite from the hell of this place. The drug had been introduced to the locals in the early years when relations between our species were less strained.
Leaving for the last time, in the black of night. An ill wind cutting through the 1964 Ford truck I called home. Dust of the past unable to settle, a sign of the treachery that left my heart and home broken.
Wrapped in silk sheets, she has the honey, he has my family. I’m left with only a hunger, And a few pictures in books.
Remi had worked for this moment for as long as he could remember; no handbook or road map had guided him to this point; only his dogged determination in the pursuit of scientific discovery and an innate ability to harness his imagination to reveal impossible solutions.
He quivered as the machine sighed and rumbled to life; the air cracking just above the tension of the shimmering surface.
The multiverse was only a theoretical mathematical construct before he’d discovered a way to open the portal that reached beyond the heavens.
Remi envisioned an expansive network of universes hidden behind the opening’s viscous filter.
The autonomous probe entered the diaphragm, wearing immediately in the wind like current; the camera glimpsing only shadows before going dark.
His greatest triumph, although successful, would come undone as the armies of the multiverse poured through the gate…
Fraught with fear, Amari glimpses the shape of the intruder shift in the low light of their living room. Her sharp glare freezing the children behind her in the hallway.
Sensing an opportunity, Amari recognizes this momentary gap in focus might be their best opportunity to escape. She sighs then draws a deep breath, “Go! Go! Go!” Leading them by the arms, she thrusts past the threat and out the front door. They keep on running to safety at the neighbours.