The Time Trotter

The Time Trotter

It’s my sister’s birthday today, and this story is for her, but feel free to read it as everyone can find a piece of themselves in this story 🙂

Happy birthday sis!!!


THE TIME TROTTER

“This is it?” Nadine rolled her eyes in sheer disappointment as she pushed and rolled over the device to one side with her index finger. The three interlocking gears at the base were furnished with cobwebs. She pulled her hand back quickly and rubbed her fingers onto her t-shirt to ditch the possible presence of sticky web particles she’d nearly poked through.

“It is,” Jerzy said almost shouting. “All the indications are there, right in front of us…staring at our faces…”

Nadine fixed her gaze at the device once more and chuckled. “The only thing staring at our faces is most likely a hairy, little spider.”

Jerzy toppled the device back over and took out a small notebook from his back pocket. He started shuffling through the weathered pages.

“Your grandpa was nuts guys,” Leo said. He had helped himself onto a dusty chest in the far corner. “Old Felix’s attic is full of weird junk like this… and none of them is of any good.” He noticed Jerzy wasn’t listening, but carried on anyway: “Teleportation chamber? Clean energy generator? And now a time machine? Come on…”

“Here!” Jerzy shouted as he opened a page in the notebook and showed it to them. The diagram drawn on the page was no doubt the blueprint of the device that was lying on the table now; an antique pocket watch screwed to a sizeable wooden box with knobs and pegs on each side. The lidless cavity at the bottom of the box housed some kind of battery or a power source, impossible to identify in its current horrible condition. And wires… lots of wires coming out of the device in chaotic tangles. Each part of the device was labelled in almost illegible handwriting with the heading in all caps over the drawing: ‘The Time Trotter Prototype and its Parts’. 

“So?” Leo still seemed uninterested. 

“This,” Jerzy said as he picked up the device. “…is the only ‘junk’ we found in grandpa’s attic that came with a manual… including the blueprint and operating instructions!” He quickly skipped over a few pages with his free hand and showed Leo and Nadia the page titled: “Step by step instructions”.

“Step by step instructions? That doesn’t sound like something a scientist like grandpa would write,” Nadia said as she carefully took the device from Jerzy’s hand and placed it on the table before she bent over to examine the device more thoroughly. “Even the bedtime stories he used to tell us years ago were riddled with technical and scientific terms.”

“Not if the manual was intended to be found by the likes of us,” Jerzy protested waving the manual.

“Jerzy,” Nadia finally said. “You’re my brother and I love you for that… but a mechanical, antique pocket watch… it’s so outdated. I am not sure if it can even point out the right time, let alone travel.”

“All the early prototypes of great machines were… outdated at first. Think about the first mobile phones as thick as bricks, all the way to the smart phones of the modern era not much thicker than an ID card.”

“Ok genius, so how does it work?” Leo cut in with a hint of boredom in his tone. He was holding a ceramic jug with no labels on, possibly one of the scattered, ordinary junk in the attic with no superpowers allocated by Nadia and Jerzy’s granddad. 

Jerzy was already on it, finger lining the relevant step on the manual. “Place the device on a steady surface,” he read aloud and checked whether his sister followed the first step. The device was indeed on the table, Jerzy just pressed hard on one corner of the table to see if the legs were even. It didn’t budge.

“Next, we press the stem until it clicks,” Jerzy read before pointing out the sticking metal piece on top of the watch. Nadia pressed it hard and they all heard the clicking sound. The hands started spinning at an incredible speed in opposite directions until they stopped, displaying five past four.

Jerzy quickly checked his phone and to his expectations the time was exactly the same as what the pocket watch was claiming it was.

“That was weird,” Nadia said as she looked at her own wristwatch. “Now what?”

“Look! It started ticking…” Jerzy was astonished to his limits. He kept on reading. “Pull the stem out and start turning it in the desired destination: Counter clockwise for the past, and clockwise for the future.” He put the manual back into his pocket and rushed to the device. He got hold of the stem in no time. He pulled it slightly out and began turning it counter clockwise… allegedly into the past.

After a couple of turns, he stopped. “This shouldn’t be the way,” he thought. The pocket watch read twenty past two, but as soon as he released the stem, it went back to the original time. A tiny spider started scurrying away to safety… towards the absence of mechanical tampering.

“You just scared off the operator,” Leo said laughing as the spider found new shelter under the junk posing as the clean energy generator.

“No,” Nadia said. “The time on my watch also went back a couple of hours, but it’s back to normal now. Did we really go back in time?”

Jerzy shook his head. “I don’t know,” was all he could say.

At that moment, Leo smashed the ceramic jug in his hand by throwing it to the floor. “I have an idea,” he said. “Just try again, but go slow…super slow.”

Jerzy was at the wheel again. He started turning the stem in the same direction as before. Weirdly enough, he could take back the seconds which shouldn’t have been possible… Seconds at a time… 

The smashed tiny bits of the jug started moving towards each other until they slowly started forming the original, unscathed jug. The pieces were sticking together on the floor with no indication of having been smashed before. When the jug was complete, it slowly started rising in mid-air and moved towards Leo’s open hand… the one that smashed it seconds ago… or the one that will smash it seconds later.

Jerzy let go off the stem in sheer joy, but now the time went back to its original position and they all had to witness the jug being smashed again in fast forward.

Nadia pulled out the manual out of Jerzy’s back pocket and quickly skimmed through it to the very last page. “Time is never steady, it can flow in both directions… but it’s intended to go only forward to avoid confusion and chaos. I invented the ‘time trotter’ for the sole purpose of providing myself tiny comforts like taking back time a couple of minutes before I made a huge mistake or travelling forward to avoid waiting hours for my favourite evening show. But even then, the need to hold the stem in an upright position was never worth the trouble. Time catches up in the end.” Nadia put the manual back into Jerzy’s pocket before mumbling “I’m outta here,” to herself as she left. Leo soon followed.

Jerzy spent the next couple of months experimenting with the device. He found out that he was stuck in the attic as he couldn’t take the device with him, he could never find a steady surface to allow the device to work elsewhere. All the unlabeled junk around him started to make sense now. The old TV unit in one corner, the bathtub and the toilet in the other with complete plumbing. The browned out mattress, too. Their grandpa lived nearly all his life here. 

Just as Jerzy was about to give up, he found an old photo album buried deep in the shelves. The photos were of his childhood, Nadia and him as toddlers, grandpa and his youth… Something was strange… really strange… as the young grandpa Felix looked exactly the same as Leo in the present. He couldn’t stop now… there was a way… he needed to find it.. just like grandpa!

Morals of the story:

  1. Stick to the present… don’t burden your life with the past and thus stop living the present, the moment. Same with the future in a way… Long live carpe diem.
  2. Most things that seem complex at first like the time trotter device with lots of pegs, knobs and wires, can work with much less. Don’t scare yourself with possible obstructions that may arise in achieving your dreams.
  3. Leo, in fact, isn’t the younger version of Felix, but we like making connections between unrelated things to support what we really want. Felix Leo!!! Even the photo Jerzy found had little resemblance to his grandpa’s youth but that’s how our minds work if we are inclined to believe in something. We only see what we want to see.
  4. Family is important… but how you perceive family members and how they affect you is vital…  

Chronodemic

Chronodemic

What can go wrong on the first trip going back in time?

Curious?

If yes, please delve into the flash fiction piece below…

If not, go elsewhere but keep in mind that fiction is the only viable way of time traveling in our era 🙂

CHRONODEMIC by Baris Cansevgisi

Releasing a soundly groan, Marlon opened his eyes on the ground. It was pitch black everywhere at his level of sight, but the guiding faint lights of the distant stars, illuminated the sky making sure the sky was still there. It was amazing! The awe in this sight quickly withered away as small rocks and pebbles started digging into his back, so he rolled on one side and forced himself up, still trying to keep his eyes fixed on the stunning night sky above… unassisted in the faint illumination of the surroundings. It was enough for his eyes to adjust to the dark void he initially thought he’d found himself in.

The journey had really taken its toll on Marlon; alongside the fatigue, the slight back pain and the nausea he was warned about, he felt much more battered than anticipated. His vision was blurry, his right wrist hurt and he shivered uncontrollably for a moment or two, out of chilliness in the air combined with a hint of eerirness he suddenly felt. This was his first journey. He checked the device strapped onto his hurting wrist and got a reading: It was 189 Sol 2019. He was off for 30 years. The device should have sent him a few days prior to the ‘Grand Launch Day’, the very sol to witness his home world getting the kickoff for its colonization– Mars… once called the red planet, was now much greener than Earth in 2103.

Marlon knew he had to wait at least two and a half sols to allow the wearable time travel device to recharge itself to be able to make the jump forward to his time. Then, he would have to recalibrate the device– which was impossible in this time with the technological advancement of the trimmed cavemen here, and make one journey back to the correct time: The Grand Launch Day. At least, delays were never a concern once the concept of time itself is mastered. He could still be at the launch, perhaps even a week in advance to enjoy a little bit more of the past. Not too much though… he knew he should focus more on why he’d come here. It was a matter of life and death!

Marlon was vagabonding in the mostly empty streets when a young woman in her early twenties ran towards him from the opposite side of the street. She stopped and placed her hand onto his shoulder. Feeling uneasy, Marlon was about to take a step back, but he remembered that ancient people tended to touch, use hand gestures and other outdated skills when communicating.

“Are you lost?” the woman asked with a curious look.

Marlon bent his arms back and held them together behind his back before activating the historical translator with a touch to the device. The language hadn’t changed much, but he didn’t want to sound weird by using popular expressions of his time like ‘synthastic’ or ‘benevalous’. He recited the mechanical voice that echoed in his mind: “Nah, I’m alright,” he said, smiling the best he could. “I am exploring!”

“Ok, but you shouldn’t be out… exploring here so late… it’s dangerous you know, where are your -czzzzt-” the woman said after taking her hand off Marlon’s shoulder. The last word she said remained a mystery as the translator crackled in the exact moment by some kind of interference. He was hoping it wasn’t damaged for good. Marlon just pointed to a random direction to stop any upcoming questions from the woman, hoping his answer would satisfy her… whatever her question was. The woman looked towards where Marlon had pointed out and half-satisfied, nodded her head before going on. “Chilly too, you might get sick. Here!” The woman untied her out-of-place denim jacket loosely covering her lower waist and placed it on Marlon’s shoulders.

Marlon nodded, said thanks, smiled again while thinking if he was overdoing it and then started walking in the opposite direction. When he peeked back, he saw the woman on her hand-held communication device. People of this era were weird in every way. But, a good kind of weird. 

He wasn’t very far when Marlon heard the approaching sound of sirens– annoying repetitive, high-pitched cacophony!  He juggled his mind to remember the use of the horrid audio from history lessons, but his memory failed him… or perhaps it was because history lessons never grabbed his attention. And all this journey was because of that. He was about to fail history class unless he handed in a perfect paper outlining the most significant event in the 21st century. That was surely the Launch Day. Failing history meant a lifetime career of mining asteroids where automation of labor was too expensive. So, indeed it was a matter of life and death for him.

Every educational subject in 2103 had to be taught in its own unique way; astrochemistry lessons took place on satellite labs orbiting Mars with pupils being able to access holographic materials or engage in 4D simulations while history lessons were limited only to teaching through books, an obsolete idea in the form of papers sewn together– no holographic help, no simulations, no incentive for learning. It was believed that the method should suit the subject. And history was best learned with the ancient method! Time travel devices were only assigned to HOES– History Overseer, and Educators, which were only supposed to be used for research solely.

The temperature was dropping fast, so he folded the jacket and carefully placed it on the ground like a divine offering and tapped on the device to initiate the body heat control function. Warm air started surrounding him and he found himself enclosed in an invisible bubble– generating enough heat and trapping it close to the body. Then, something popped up in his mind… something he’d learned in the virology lesson– ancient viruses could make one really sick and that people were practically defenseless against mutating variations. They hadn’t mastered virology in this era and couldn’t possibly know that people of 2098 could breed different viruses in their own bodies to fend off unknown diseases. It was fighting fire with fire. Bred viruses were compartmentalised in their bodies thus not making them sick, but attacked every other foreign organism they came into contact with. It was the perfect coexistence…

Marlon checked the device and to his surprise, the viral defense system was automatically triggered upon his arrival to 2019. The pain in his wrist must have been due to the five needles extending out from the device and digging into his skin to start the colonization of the super virus. He took a deep breath of relief and started walking again.

The sirens were really close now and Marlon decided to stop and wait to see what the fuss was about. In a moment, the street was filled with cars producing the horrid sound. Men with matching uniforms and the woman who had given him the jacket got out of the cars and approached him. The man with the weird facial hair started speaking:

“Hello son, are you okay?”

The man was not Marlon’s father. But, he just nodded anyhow. The woman was now standing next to the man who claimed to be his father. She said, “Is he lost, or is he one of those kids gangs use in this area to lure people?”

“I think he’s lost… the gangs use much older kids, this one here looks ten or eleven at most.” The man bent on his knees to have a better look at Marlon. “Did he tell you where his parents were?” She asked the woman.

The woman raised her finger towards the direction Marlon had pointed out when she first met him.

The fake father looked at the old buildings the woman was pointing towards and shook his head. “Those are abandoned.” Then he turned to the other costumed men and said, “Let’s take him to the station and try to find his parents.” Marlon noticed the costumed strange men were carrying some sort of weaponry on their belts. They didn’t seem to be getting ready to attack, but he couldn’t take the risk. He was defenseless.

Marlon started running. He couldn’t understand why he was to be taken somewhere. He didn’t trust the man either as he first claimed to be his father, then screwed up and told others to find his parents. Ancient people were not good liars. Marlon ran as fast as he could and when he turned a corner, he initiated the cloaking system from the device and instantly he was invisible to the passing men trying to figure out where he went.

The next two sols, Marlon enjoyed the past by eating what they called ice cream– which was strangely not ice nor cream, went to a place called playground, where primitive gym equipment in a smaller scale were populated by kids close to his age. He even made a friend. Todd. 

When the two and a half sols passed and the device was recharged, he went back to his time. Disconnected the device and fell asleep in his own time. The past had been adventurous but exhausting. When he woke up the next day, he couldn’t reactivate the device. He was terrified as he wouldn’t be able to visit the Launch Day now. No paper meant instant failure and it was impossible to nick another one. They must have remotely deactivated it he thought. After a panicky sol, Marlon calmed himself down and believed he could write the paper on Launch Day… he hadn’t been there but spending almost three sols in the past helped him to visualise how it could be… crowds, cheers, a rocket launch and live TV coverage… lots of noise. He spent the rest of the sol, inventing a story about the Launch Day. 

The next sol, Marlon walked into the class proud of himself and he presented the paper to his HOE. The HOE put his marking spectacles and scanned through his paper before turning to Marlon in disbelief:

“This was supposed to be nonfiction Marlon,” he said looking at him directly in the eye.

Marlon was taken by surprise. His work couldn’t have been immediately identified as fiction as it had real life experiences which couldn’t be felt by reading books unless lived in the era. “It’s not fiction,” he protested.

“You know the most significant event in the 21st century was the pandemic of 2019, the Launch Day you babbled about never happened. It’s good fiction, but still fiction.” The HOE removed his spectacles. “I am afraid you failed, Marlon… I am sorry.”

In an instant, it all dawned on Marlon… he had changed history and thus the future… and not only his future. The Viral Defense system had manufactured a powerful virus to be able to fight off whatever the 21st century threw at him, but it just made him contagious and unaware he spread a deadly disease to people who weren’t ready to control viruses.

If only he could get his hands on another time travel device. 

If only it had been invented.

THE END

Xenolinguistics – The Intercultural Barrier (Part 1.5)

Xenolinguistics – The Intercultural Barrier (Part 1.5)

In my last post, we explored the impossibility of successful communication with the first aliens we make contact (unless they are Hollywood aliens, which are all fluent in English). Before diving deep into the aspect of culture in the next post, which is vital in inter-species understanding, I’d like to give a short pause and share a freshly-written, absurd flash fiction piece I wrote to give a brief glimpse of what I think might happen in the event that humanity makes contact with an inter-galactic race. Let’s see what happens:


8 minutes 44 seconds in Earth time. The final stronghold fell much easier than its definition suggested. It was strategically a terrible location to fend off the final assault for the remaining few Orgics that had chosen to hole up here– weak concrete walls that could easily be bashed in, inviting, thin metal sheet reinforced glass doors, with no booby traps inside and all. 

Lost deep in his own, proper stronghold of thoughts, Captain Anders lingered through the main hallway, pushing aside the scattered glass remnants of the display cases on the floor with the side of his boots after each step. The Orgics had chosen to sacrifice their lives for whatever those fragile containers housed. What could be more important than life? Still preoccupied, Captain Anders hadn’t noticed he was standing right in front of a shattered glass door. He gently pushed the massive crack barely holding up in the centre with his gloved hand and watched the remaining glass fall and break into smaller pieces beneath his feet. So fragile! Then, it made sense a bit-  the last of the Orgics weren’t the military type as those were the ones first wiped out. What would they know about fortifications? Anders bent his head slightly and passed through the doorway.

Anders was greeted by Lieutenant Orrin once he entered the main room where a 10-feet marble sculpture of an orgic freshly riddled with bullet holes stood.

“We’ve secured the place,” Lieutenant Orrin said. 

Captain Anders saw the dead bodies of half a dozen Orgics piled up in a far corner. “Any survivors?”

“One, but it’s in a bad shape,” Lieutenant Orrin pointed at the giant statue. “Fought well trying to defend this. Didn’t leave its side.”

“I am guessing this one was too heavy to move.” Anders touched the feet of the giant statue and drove his hand up. It was hard and cold… just like death. “Why sacrifice life to save something so lifeless?”

The lieutenant shook his head, but Anders didn’t notice. His gaze was still fixed on the the colossal hardened form. “Take me to it.” He finally said, first prying his looks, then his touch away from the statue.

The small storage room had nothing but a wobbly metal chair in the centre. On it, was a loosely tied female orgic. Judging by the severity of her wounds, the loose ropes were there for her not to fall off the chair rather than prevent her escape. She had a couple of hours of life in her at most. Maybe less.

Anders lifted her chin up and saw the diminishing light in her empty gaze. Time was of essence and he had to pick the right questions to be able to make sense of the orgics’ purposeless actions. “Why?” He asked. “Why did you sacrifice your life for a heap of stone?”


Laura looked up and came into direct contact with the android leader’s blinking crimson eyes. She knew she was dying fast, and there was nothing else left the android could threaten her with to get answers. Besides, how would she be able to describe an alien concept to an alien race in the very limited time she had left? How could she explain art to those that never experienced it? On one note, the android seemed familiar with the concept of ‘sacrifice’ as it was the word it’d used. But, sacrificing one for other lives was one thing and willing to die for inanimate creations of their own doing was another. Besides even if she were able to make a little bit of sense, would it not get lost in translation on the way from the AI underlings to the alien masters? The androids were highly adaptable. They were the foot soldiers created to learn and adapt… To do the dirty work of their masters. And that adaptability alone caused Earth to fall in under a week: Thousands of live Trojan horses, dealing the unexpected final blow to the unaware human race. But, the whole dagger and cloak thing wasn’t to take humanity by surprise, it was merely to learn and record a race that was to be annihilated for good. The events of the past week started playing in Laura’s mind… 

The androids were sent to Earth by their extraterrestrial overlords. Humanity has always been naïve in thinking we would make contact with the real deal alien entities, but just as automobiles replaced horse carriages and factory workers with machinery on Earth, it was only logical to think dangerous space exploration or planetary invasions would be made remotely with easily controllable androids from the comfort of their spaceships by galactic conquistadors. The droids were a form of liquid machinery disguised in flesh that could take any shape and blend in for planetary missions and sadly, copying the physical appearance of humans were not that challenging for the creations of a far superior intergalactic race. The whole invasion happened in under a week and didn’t even requiring probing. Without humanity even noticing, the droids learned everything about humanity to ease off the invasion.  Well, learned about almost everything… culture and art wouldn’t make any sense to them even if they stayed concealed on Earth for a millennia. They had never had art. Nor culture!


“Why?” Captain Anders roared in frustration of the fact that a lowly race had secrets they weren’t able to figure out.

“Art… Culture…,” Laura mumbled in pain. “It’s what makes us human.” With her last breath, she wanted to make them understand that humanity was something to be preserved rather than destroyed. She’d always thought art was universal… literally… They would understand. They had to. The ropes holding Laura tightened as her head dropped down. 

Upon arrival, the droids learned that art was a way of expression and imagination of the human creative skill, and paintings or sculptures were the byproduct of… art. But, what exactly was ‘Culture’?

Anders looked at Lieutenant Orrin for collaborative brainstorming. The definitions he got by connecting to the planet’s database were conflicting. But, that wasn’t surprising. The Orgics spoke languages based on conflict. A stronghold didn’t always mean a difficult place to take over, yet he clearly heard an Orgic mentioning this place as one. They had names for non-existent concepts like god, religion, soul, magic, ghost, monster… and he would never understand why they used the same word to describe existent but unrelated concepts or things. For instance, among other meanings, ‘Coach’ meant both a ‘large wheeled transport to carry a large amount of people from one place to another’ and a ‘trainer in sporting events’. There seemed to be no logical connection. 

Orrin started speaking; giving definitions of the term ‘culture’:

“The manifestations of human intellectual achievement-“

“That can’t be it,” Anders cut in. “Not worth dying for something you can recreate. Besides, humans are not the intellectual type.”

“The ideas, customs and social behaviour of a particular-“

“Not a chance. Creating a stone representation of yourself isn’t really an idea… as for social behaviour, there’s no scientific explanation to why they keep producing things that would never give them benefits.”

“Perhaps, it gives them benefits,” Orrin said. “We weren’t able to fully analyse them, yet.”

Anders shook his head. “They have 3D printers to create such things quicker and more efficiently. If one gets lost or broken, replication shouldn’t be an issue. Yet, they are willing to die for their own creations that can be recreated easily.”

“Thinking in Orgic’s way and speaking in their language affects my line of thinking and reasoning, is it necessary as I fail to understand even what you’re saying.”

“You know that total immersion is the best way to learn,” Anders coughed to clear his throat, which he felt no actual need to do so.

“I think I got it,” Orrin said. “It must be this one… maintain tissue cells, bacteria, etc. in conditions suitable for growth.”

Anders paused for a minute before speaking. “Have we detected any living organisms on… art?”

“Yes,” Orrin nodded. “Not on the newer creations, but older art is sometimes covered by vegetation and there’s also moss growth in time. It’s basically their breeding grounds! They ensure survival through inter-species transformation.”

“That’s it,” Anders agreed. “I am sending the report now.” He remained motionless as his eyes fluttered at intervals while compiling the final report.

And, a moment later he sent it. The final report that reached the outer ring of the 3149-R planet, read:

“The Orgics have found a way of immortality through creating lifeless representations of themselves and other things. Naturally induced tissue cells and bacteria are carefully preserved on these creations, only for them to spring out as a different life form in the future. This makes it possible for them to completely alter their DNA for a more suitable life form. Further study is not needed. Requesting permission to go on to the next planet.”

Transformation of the human DNA? or just plain old moss?

—- The End —-

The Energy of Objects: The Inanimate Magic of our Era

The Energy of Objects: The Inanimate Magic of our Era

The idea to write this article first popped up during a chat with a friend on how certain objects not only can change our mood, but also the moods of the people around us. And from there the idea developed into the meaning we give to certain objects. For those who have dropped by for a flash fiction piece or a short story, click on the link at the end of this article to read one of my published stories ‘The Mouldy Loaf’, which happens to be loosely based on what I am going to write in this article…  (You will need to scroll down a little until you see the story.)

Belongings, possessions, objects or whatever we name them, are just like mental luggage constantly carried around…

B Cansevgisi

Even if you have a minimalist lifestyle, living in an empty house with little or no belongings, you might feel a vague connection to some household objects or certain clothes. At least, your grotesque coffee mug or the single wobbly wooden chair, with one shorter leg huddled up in the corner, must have had a certain attraction to be your first selection to make it to your home amongst countless, more supreme other similar items. 

In the early steps of infancy, we start getting attached to certain objects whether it’s a book of fairy tales we can’t read, a favourite toy we carry everywhere or a clothing item like a tiny pair of pants with tiny pockets to store whatever strange bug or pebble we may find while playing outside. As young minds, we make deep connections with such objects and become joyous when we are in the vicinity of those mood boosters or get depressed if we lose them. At those ages this is understandable, especially in regards to our favourite toys or dolls as our untrained minds think they’re as much alive as we are. But, why we still feel the same way until we die, is a mystery.

Is it longing for some magic in our boring mundane lives?

An ode to the death of our inner child?

Or

Do objects store some kind of energy that can be traded back and forth?

Let’s grow up a tad and take a peek into our teenage phase:

Before our slightly developed minds are lured into greed by friends, family, movies, computer games or the media, we never even think of owning rare metal objects made from gold, silver or diamond. So, if rarity was the issue, why not collect some of the ordinary stones we pass on the way home, which are far more unique in shape, colour or size than the mass produced, shiny metal trinkets. As for alluring clothing items; I find it a bit weird to consider a piece of fabric worn around the neck as a fashionable tie or a trendy scarf when the loose end is dangling down and see (and fear) it as a hangman’s noose when it shoots up.  Can we say that we give their meaning to objects? Maybe that’s why a worthless old junk for someone might be a priceless antique for another. Perhaps, the difference between the words to describe similar objects is the key. Ok, a piece of ‘junk’ and an ‘antique’ would probably not be the best example, so let me give you another: Second-hand shops in most UK cities label their merchandise as ‘pre-loved’ rather than ‘second-hand’ or ‘used’. It does make one feel good, doesn’t it?

Ok, let’s leave the shop and delve into our youth once more…

Starting from our teenage years, we give meaning to belongings of loved ones, too, like granny’s favourite slippers, uncle’s discoloured walking cane, girlfriend’s star-shaped earrings or similar objects given to us as presents like an old music box inherited from a parent or a necklace given us by ‘our partner in romance’ at our birthday or any other day. These objects we value so much, makes us feel good… until a fight brews up with the relative or a breakup with the beloved occurs. Then, these objects start generating grief and once precious stuff becomes the trigger of awful memories. But, why don’t we remember the good memories with the regarding person even if we are apart now?… without thinking of getting back together. Why do these objects take all the blame? Can’t we just look at them under a different light and at least try to embrace only the good memories and block out the bad ones? Or when a person dies, why are their belongings considered cursed or believed to emit negative energy?  Oh! And I am definitely NOT suggesting you to snatch a dead leper’s toothbrush for your own personal hygiene and think positively. That’s different.

In the end, objects reflect back the energy you see fit for them…so, next time before you throw away an object that is making you relive bad times, try to extract some good memories out of them and rethink. If you didn’t bin it a long time ago, perhaps it needs a reconsideration, another chance! A chance to be good.

For the promised story, just click here and scroll down until you see the title ‘The Mouldy Loaf’

The Night Couple

The Night Couple

Here’s a piece of flash fiction I wrote back in 2018, when the world was a much better place to live, write and not to be concerned by pandemics! The story below was published in the 5th issue of the “Sky Island Journal“, which has then become home for aspiring authors from all over the world. Just drop by their webpage to enjoy inspiring stories (or poetry if that’s your thing!)… Not much to do these times other than to read anyway 🙂


THE NIGHT COUPLE

The night sky extended like a pitch-black blanket embedded with tiny diamonds, giving out bursts of condensed starlight at random intervals. Two figures lay on what seemed to be a small islet, judging by the sound of waves hitting hard on the coasts, leaving the tiny spot in the center almost mute except for some kind of virtually inaudible murmuring.


“I wonder if there are aliens out there,” the young female reflected, still fixated on the night sky, stargazing. She felt the familiar presence on her side, moving closer. The stars twinkled as if they had responded her question before he did.


Thinking she wasn’t being taken seriously, she slid a little away from him; just enough to get his attention. This feeling of strong affection towards him was strange to her; she had never felt like that before.


“I don’t know, but the universe is massive.” His thoughts echoed in her mind. “It would be foolish to think we’re alone.” He snuggled even closer than the first time. She loved being on the same frequency with him, communicating without the need of extensive mouth labor to produce meaningless sounds. He was different.


“What do they look like? How different is their world?” Thoughts were generated all at once in her mind.

“I’m sure they look nothing like you, my queen. You’re unique in the universe.”


Satisfied with his quick response this time, she remained anchored at her spot and stretched her arms as far as they could reach, forming arm-width canals that lead away from her body in the soft sand. It wasn’t long before she noticed the sky looking just a tad brighter.


“We need to be going home soon.” Her eyes were still watching the sky as it started to get even brighter.
He was hoping he would have more time to stay with her, but upon seeing the state of the swiftly illuminating sky, he knew there was very little time indeed. It was almost dawn… Dawns had always scared him.


“We need to go, my queen.” His arm gently grasped hers, the one that had been resting just next to him.


“OK, but we’ll continue our little conversation,” she conveyed. “I like thinking about the universe.”


“My queen.” He was getting alarmed. “We’ll dry out here and die if we wait a little longer. We should head home.”


Disturbing images flowed simultaneously into her mind, along with faint but alarming whispers echoing in her head, coming from deep under. It was a warning call from the others. It was time.
It was getting brighter, and the heat was getting more intense as Kepler-47 C’s double suns started showing their faces.


Finally, the odd couple wrapped their arms around each other—all 16 of them—crawled quickly to the tiny hole where they had emerged, and squeezed through, making their way down towards the ocean floor, their suction cups still glued to each other as they propelled to the hive on the seabed for the day.

THE END


I do not like books or any kind of fiction turning into lame silver screen productions, as the essence of the written work is almost always left out or altered beyond recognition to please the viewers, who seem more and more glamorized by special effects and needless action scenes. Individual imagination has been put to rest, and we are made to watch only the director’s imagination in most cases. So, I gradually began writing fiction that could not be turned into films (as it would be pointless to do so) and this was one of my first trials.

Cheers,

Baris Cansevgisi

The Underwear Trials at the Fourth Place

The Underwear Trials at the Fourth Place

From time to time, I create worlds in short prose… invent lore on the go… bear fiction into life; as without imagination and the labour of the mind, we are just empty vessels stuck in their shells…

What if death was not an end, but just a short pause of eternity?

The flash fiction piece below is not based on real events or has no connection to actual living or deceased persons in our dimension. 🙂

“The Underwear Trials at the Fourth Place” by Baris Cansevgisi

“Edwin Arnolds, 27, died on the morning of August the thirteenth after misdirecting his right foot into the gusset of his boxer shorts, resulting in the entanglement of his toes in the reinforced fabric, causing him to lose balance with the wobbly, single footing and-“

“What’s a gusset?” Leonard asked, straightening up a little forward from the chair, stretching his feet down to touch the floor. He hoped Werner was coming to an end reading the report. These reports were getting more boring each time. “Why did he have to read them aloud?” He sighed.

“…fall by slipping in the bathroom and slam his head into the corner of the bathtub.” Werner concluded. “Blunt force trauma, but believe me the emotional trauma will be much worse. What a way to go!” He punched in some keys into the console right in front of him and a video clip showing Edwin’s last moments started playing on screen. It, indeed, seemed like the man was trying to punch a third opening into his underwear while performing a one-legged ritualistic dance on the slippery floor tiles.

“With a little bit of accuracy, the man could have died in his underwear or most probably not die at all.” Werner let out a hearty laugh.

“Isn’t he way old to be here?” The tip of Leonard’s shoes were barely brushing the floor beneath. He pulled his legs up when he felt a sudden cramp.

“Not necessarily, but it’s rare,” Werner took a deep breath. “I was… I am 25. Hey! You are not making fun of me, are you kid?” He winked despite wearing a grim face.

“No.” Leonard said, sliding out of the chair completely. “I just didn’t see any adults except you; here. Not many girls either. This place seems for young male children, that’s all.”

“Well, you sure sound like an adult when you’re not asking stupid questions.” Werner scratched his head and punched in some more keys to change the screen. A pop up screen titled ‘Course of Action’ appeared above the words: ‘Underwear trials: 7199 successful attempts required to proceed.’.

“Hmmmm… that seems a tad much.” Werner commented as he grabbed a tablet and sprang up from his seat. “Come on kiddo, we should be there.”

Leonard and Werner hurried down a long, uninviting corridor with disturbing bright lights oozing out of the walls and entered a room at the end. The man, whom they watched dying on screen was standing totally naked right in front of them with confusion oozing out of his eyes. He opened his mouth, but no words came out.

“Mr. Arnolds! Welcome to the fourth place!” Werner said, extending his hand out for a handshake.

“Wh- where am I?” Edwin’s voice trembled as he shook Werner’s hand in automation. “Am I-?”

“Dead? Well, yes and no.” Werner replied. “You are momentarily wiped out of existence! You see, people are judged upon death and end up in heaven or hell. And, there are those who have not yet earned a place in heaven or have not sinned enough for hell.”

“I don’t understand. Is this Purgatory, then?”

Werner shook his head. “As I mentioned at the beginning, you’re at the fourth place… it’s for those who get to receive a second chance in life, at least until their final destination is booked before their final demise.”

“Reincarnation!” Edwin shouted in partial disbelief.

Werner turned to Leonard with a sudden burst of laughter. “He’s definitely too old for that!” He winked and turned back to the confused man.

“No… no. You will be continuing your life from where you left off after you are… properly trained not to die in the stupid way you did.”

“Time is different here.” Leonard cut in. “You’ll be back where you were even if it takes you years to-“

“This is ridiculous.” Edwin shouted. “I know how to wear an underwear!”

“Think of it as training for the underwear to be more weary of you!” Werner started laughing senselessly again. He was getting closer and closer to the moment of snapping due to the huge amount of time he spent at the fourth place. He quickly started tapping into his tablet and the embarrassing video clip started playing once more. He turned the device towards Edwin and saw the man’s embarrassment materialize in his posture.

“My foot was wet and the boxer was too elastic…” his voice faded away.

“No need to explain.” Werner patted the man’s shoulder. “We are all in the same boat here.”

“Huh!” Edwin exclaimed. “So, this fourth location is for those who have died because of their lack of underwear wearing skills?”

“Haha!” Werner verbalized his laughter and turned to Leonard once more. “If it were so, your question about not many women being here would have been answered, Leonard!” He patted him on the back.

“I don’t get it,” Edwin knelt down and sat on the floor trying best to cover his overexposed bits.

“You see, women’s undergarments are way too small for their feet to get tangled-” Werner suddenly stopped and his face took a serious look. He shook his head, passed the tablet to Leonard and said:

“You go on. You’ve watched me countless times… you deal with this and I’m going for coffee… the horrible muck we have here until a barista shows up.” He hurried out of the door part sobbing, part laughing.

Leonard punched in a code into the tablet, resulting in a secret compartment in the far wall to open with a click. “It’s called the fourth place,” he corrected Edwin’s previous remark. “Not location.” Then pointed at the cavity in the wall housing a large package inside. “And, that’s for you. Any questions?”

Edwin got up, walked to the compartment, took the package and shook it close to his ear. “What’s in it?” He finally asked.

“7199 pieces of clean underwear for you. That’s the number of attempts it takes to return back to your life… to the time right before you died… with no recollection of the time you spent here.”

“This is still ridiculous,” Edwin mumbled as he checked out a pair of white boxer shorts with purple polka dots. Then, he chucked it away into a corner and turned back to Leonard. “Stupid deaths… no matter how ludicrous they are, the causing action that lead to death are rarely triggered by people themselves… like someone ingesting bug spray to kill the bug, he has priorly swallowed… how can you train not to swallow something so poisonous for a countless times?”

“You can’t,” Leonard smiled. “That’s why the fifth place exists!”

Erios’un Planı

Erios’un Planı

Today is my mom’s birthday, and here’s a flash fiction piece I wrote for her. It’s in Turkish and it’s my first try in the language…

Happy birthday mom!!!

P.S: I love you!

Andromeda Galaksisi, MCMXCIX-II gezegeninin merkezinde bulunan Erios şehri normalden farklı bir güne merhaba diyordu. Yanıp sönen yatay ışık huzmeleri doğalarına uygun bir hızla farklı yönlere giderek, gezegenin yemyeşil bitki örtüsüyle kaplı yüzeyinde adeta yarışıyorlardı. Normalden farklı olan bu fevkalade ışık gösterisi değildi sadece; bu seyyah renk karışımlarının normalden 43.5 kat daha parlak olmalarıydı. Bir de tabii bu gezgin ışık huzmelerinin aslında Erios sakinleri olduğu gerçeği vardı ki, bu gösteriyi sıradışı yaptığı kesindi.

Şehir merkezinin iki ucunu birbirine bağlayan, içinde 71 renk barındıran likit gökkuşağının batıdaki ayağında ışık kümeleşmeleri iyiden iyiye artmıştı. Her gelen rengarenk ışık, yani Erios sakini, küre şekline bürünüp, gökkuşağının ayağının etrafındaki yeni yeni oluşmaya başlayan çemberde yerini alıyordu. Çemberdeki son boşluğa hızla gelip, yerleşen ve küre formuna bürünen son renk, açık zümrüt ağacı yeşiliydi. Ve o an, çemberin merkezinde, tam da likit gökkuşağının ayağının bulunduğu noktada bütün ışıklardan daha parlak, bembeyaz bir ışık hüzmesi belirdi. Bu parıldayan beyazlık, önce gökkuşağındaki 71 rengin tümünü adeta bir karadelik gibi emdi, sonra da içindeki her rengi daha parlak bir şekilde yansıttı. Erios’un hükümdarı sonunda ortaya çıkmıştı.

3-mini-orb-color-changing-waterproof-led-rainbow

“Erios’un tüm ışıklarını selamlıyorum,” diye başladı söze. Etrafındaki çemberdeki ışıklardan kısa süreli bir yanıp sönme geldi cevap olarak. “Buraya toplanma amacımızı merak ediyorsunuzdur. Hemen söyleyeyim,” dedikten sonra, ışığının merkezinde holografik bir imaj belirdi… mavi-yeşil bir gezegendi bu!

“Burası Samanyolu Galaksisinde yer alan Dünya gezegeni,” dedi. “Hepimiz biliyoruz ki, uzun bir süredir kendimizi göstermeden gelişmelerine yardımcı oluyorduk. Aramızdan bazıları, güneşleri battığı zamanlarda, yaşadıkları evlere aydınlık sağlamak gibi amaçlarla zaten Dünyada yaşamlarını sürdürmekteydi. Ancak, Dünya tarihine baktığımız zaman, orada yaşayan uygarlığın bazı temel fonksiyonlarında önemli eksikliklerin olduğunu gördük. Bu şekilde devam ederlerse çok yakında dünyalarını kendi kendilerine yok edecekler.”

“Nasıl yani? Kendi kendilerine mi?” diye sordu, kor ateşi rengindeki küre. “Hayatta kalma içgüdüleri yok mu yani onların?”

“Var tabiii ama savaşlar, bencillik, kıskançlık, birey olarak kendini beğenmişlik, birbirlerine karşı sevgi-saygı eksikliği ve akıllarını doğru şekilde kullanabilme ile sorun yaşıyorlar. Bu da onları kaçınılmaz bir sona doğru götürüyor.”

“Peki neden şimdiye kadar müdahale etmedik?” dedi, derin deniz mavisi küre. “Biz tüm evrenlerin iyilik melekleri değil miyiz?”

“Evrendeki her uygarlık, öğrenme ve tecrübelerden ders alma gibi yollarla kendi kendilerini kurtarmayı hak eder. Biz de bu nedenle bekledik şu ana kadar, ama herşey daha kötüye gitti. Şu anda acilen müdahale etmekten başka bir çaremiz yok.”

“Ama nasıl? Geç kalmadık mı? Nasıl ulaşacağız zamanında?” diye sordu Zümrüt Ağacı yeşili küre. Eğer bu muhteşem ışık küresinin olsaydı gözleri, kesinlikle hüzün dolmuş olurdu.

“Tam olarak değil. Oraya doğru yol alırken, kendi maksimum hızımızı belirli oranlarda aşabilirsek, zamanı da geriye döndürüp, uygun yerlere ve zamanlara birer Erios gönüllüsünü gönderebiliriz. Ne de olsa, tarihlerini ve yaptıkları hataları biliyoruz. Onları kurtarabiliriz. Herkes hazır mı?” diye sordu büyük beyaz huzme.

“Hazırız!” dedi ışık küreleri hep bir ağızdan.

“O zaman başlayalım,” dedi Erios’un hükümdarı, kor ateşi rengindeki küreye dönerek. “Sen, bilgiyi temsil edeceksin Tes-la, 1856 yılına gidecek ve onları kurtarabilecek olan bilimi ilerleteceksin.”

“Ama… ama, bir ışık varlığı olarak, nasıl yapacağım bunu? Aynı dili bile konuşmuyoruz dünyalılarla.”

“Şu aşamada dünyaya giden her ışık, orada halihazırda bulunan arkadaşlarımızın aksine, onlarınki gibi etten ve kemikten oluşan vücutlarda doğacak, onlar gibi büyüyecek, onlar gibi yaşayacak, yani kısacası onlardan biri olacaksınız. Tabii, bunun tam anlamıyla başarıya ulaşması için Erios ve buradaki yaşamınızla ilgili hiç bir şey hatırlamayacaksınız. Maalesef tek yol bu… muazzam bir fedakarlık, tabii bu durum oradaki beşer hayatınız sona erene kadar. Ancak o zaman, boyut değiştirip, ışık olacak ve herşeyi tekrar hatırlayacaksınız.”

“Tamam,” diye onayladı Tes-la yanıp sönerek. “Oraya ve o zamana ulaşabilmem için hızımı ne kadar arttırmam gerektiği bilgisini de hesapladım. Görüşmek üzere.” Tes-la küre formundan, huzme biçimine geçip aniden kayboldu.

“Sen La-onardo!” Erios’un hükümdarı derin deniz mavisi küreye doğru ışıldadı. “1452 yılına gidip, yazdıkların, çizdiklerin ve icatlarınla insanların yaratıcı güçlerini ortaya çıkaracak, onlara bir çok alanda esin kaynağı olacaksın. Belki yarattığın şaheserlerle, dünyalarının yok edilmeyecek kadar güzel olduğunu gösterirsin onlara.”

La-onardo da huzme haline bürünüp, tepelerinde bir tur attıktan sonra yoluna devam etti.

“Kar-la, 2115 yılına dünyadaki farklı milletleri bir araya getiren yönetici olarak doğacaksın, tüm insanları tek çatı altında birleştirecek ve aslında insanların birbirlerinden pek te farkları olmadığını göstereceksin.” Kekremsi pembe tonlarındaki küre de bir anda gözden kaybolur.

Gidecekleri yeri, zamanı ve görevlerini öğrenen renk kümeleri, birbiri peşi sıra kaybolmaya başlar; önce bozuk limon sarısı La-fayette ve sulanmış toprak rengi La-veau gözden kaybolur. Hemen arkasından da küllenmiş mor rengindeki Mande-la uçar.

Geride sadece zümrüt ağacı yeşili olan Nec-la kalmıştı.

“Peki, ben ne yapacağım? Benim görevim ne olacak?” diye sordu Erios’un hükümdarına.

“En önemli görev seninki Nec-la,” dedi Erios’un hükümdarı. “1945 yılına gidip, insanlara unutmakta oldukları sevgiyi ve şefkati hatırlatacaksın. Karşılıksız sevgi, saygı ve şefkat olmadan her uygarlık yıkılmaya yüz tutar.”

“Tamam, peki neden 1945 yılı?”

“Dünya o yıllarda büyük bir savaştan çok zarar görerek çıktı. Dünyanın yaralarını sarmaya ihtiyacı var ve bunun için de sevmeyi tekrar öğrenmesi gerekiyor.”

“Tamam ama benim burada 6 tane çocuğum var. Onları nasıl bırakırım ben!” dedi Nec-la.

“Hiç merak etme, onları da senin peşinden göndereceğim. Hiç ayrılmayacaksınız. Böylece farkında olmadan burada sahip olduğun çocuklara orada da sahip olacak ve onların eksikliğini hiç hissetmeyeceksin. Bilinçaltın huzur içinde olacak.”

“Peki ya eşim kim olacak? Dünyada çocuk sahibi olmak için 2 kişi gerekiyor diye biliyorum. Bir kadın, bir de erkek.”

“Onu da hiç merak etme. Seni sevecek, koruyacak, ömür boyu sevecek, sayacak bir aday belirledim bile.” dedi Erios’un hükümdarı. “Biliyorsun uzun zamandır, izliyorum dünyada olup biteni. Onu görür görmez tanıyacak ve aşık olacaksınız birbirinize”

“Harika!” dedi Nec-la. “Rotam dünya!” Nec-la tıpkı diğerleri gibi kayboldu gökyüzüne uçarak… veeeeee

5 Mayıs 1945 yılında, dünyaya sanki içindeki ışık taşmışçasına, zümrüt ağacı yeşili gözleri olan bir ışık doğar. Ve tüm dünya sevgiyle aydınlanır…

Görevi dünyaya sevgiyi öğretmektir ve sevgisi tüm dünyaya yetecektir.

Dickie L. Rowbotham

Dickie L. Rowbotham

It’s becoming more and more difficult to stay sane with all this self-isolation going on. So, I decided to write a flash fiction piece; a parody of the corona virus pandemic, main-stream media, social media blabbering, being clueless and the idea of hope. All characters here are fictional and have no relation to real world people or events. Here’s the punchline of the story: “One day, a loser wakes up to discover he made the headlines everywhere during a lethal Pandemic.” You can read the complete story by scrolling down. I would love to see some honest comments! Cheers!

corona-vaccine-reuters

Covered in sweat and feeling a pain of uneasiness in his chest, Dickie woke up almost an hour before his alarm clock set off. He quickly hurried to the bathroom, turned on the tap, squirted some liquid soap onto his palm and began rubbing his hands in the harshest way anybody had ever done. He started silent counting and stopped when he reached 22. Twenty seconds were enough to kill the virus that might have been residing on his hands, but he’d always do a couple of seconds extra just to be on the safe side. He dried his hands with a paper towel and disposed it right away. With the corner of his eye, he checked his paper towel stock sitting proudly on the shelves. Yep, the remaining 37 huge rolls would be more than enough to last him in case paper-towel shortages started. Encouraged by his vast paper towel collection and not feeling well to his usual standards, he turned on the tap for another 22 seconds and peeled more skin off his hands.

It was the beginning of a huge day. The previous week he’d gone to the emergency service of the memorial hospital for Anoroc-91 testing. He had all the symptoms; a mild diarrhea, a little muscle pain especially in the back, dry coughing a couple of times throughout the day, shortness of breath accompanied by a mild fever. He’d waited a couple of days before he went to the hospital for a test as he couldn’t be sure if he was developing symptoms due to his own precautious actions. Since the world has been taken over by this pandemic, he’d completely changed the way he lived his life. He set up the heater at least ten degrees as he was informed by social media that the virus couldn’t survive in higher temperatures. This could be the reason he felt his elevated body heat. His diarrhea could be just because he’d changed his diet to natural Anoroc-repelling food advertised by a well-being specialist he’d been following on Twitter. His shortness of breath could be explained by not taking his protective mask off even when he was home alone. On another note, he was always home alone. Not that he was following strict self isolation techniques, but because he didn’t have any friends. “Darn!” he mumbled to himself. Where did he put the new batch of masks?

The landline phone rang, but he couldn’t get it in time as he was too busy putting on his latex gloves to pick it up. It was too bad that these old models didn’t display missed calls. He was sure though that he missed the call about his test results as his phone only rang three or four times during a full year. And it was only March! Angry to himself, he ditched the gloves into the bin and sanitized the receiver thoroughly to save time for the next ring. He just hoped they would call soon as the wait had already been messing up his nearly non-existent sanity. Not having anything better to do, he turned on his laptop and logged-in to his Twitter account. It was a pity that his cell phone, where he usually checked his messages and social media, was totally wrecked after laying it in alcohol bed for quick sterilization. The coffee table the laptop was on, was just making him bend lower than usual and have back pain after an hour of computer time. But, this time he wasn’t planning on spending more than ten minutes on Twitter, perhaps only a bit longer if he found some new information on the virus itself.

Surprisingly, the Twitter trending topic list had his name on the very top: “#dickielrowbotham”. That was strange. He never thought someone sharing his uncommon full name to be trending. It wasn’t him for sure. He was a nobody. But seriously, how many Dickie L. Rowbothams, down to the middle initial, could be in the whole world? He tapped on the topic and started scrolling down millions of uninformative tweets:

Terence Woodbury, a guy with a profile pic of a slam dunk close-up tweeted: “Don’t be a dick! Be a dickie and save the world! #dickielrowbotham #anoroc-91 #anaroc91 #anaracvirus

The next few tweets were emojis of thumbs-up or closed fists… or combinations of these two with varying smileys.

Another tweet by a certain well-known celebrity, complete with a blue tick next to the name, was saying: “Yay #dickielrowbotham“. It had nearly 90k likes, 28k retweets and nearly as many comments.

Dickie got frustrated as he scrolled down the never-ending tweets. There was not a single tweet giving him an insight on what was happening!

Then, he saw it! A doctor, or at least that was what his username “dr.chadwick8080” implied, had tweeted: “As the acting director of Springwell Memorial Hospital, I can neither confirm nor deny the discovery of immune cells in a suspected patients blood work. It’s just too early for a final verdict and false hope does not help in this case. #dickielrowbotham #anoroc-91 #stayhome

Dr. Chadwick? Springwell Memorial? That was where Dickie had his Anoroc test! The tweet didn’t really seem like it was written by a real doctor, but even if that was true, it was still a weird coincidence.

The phone started ringing while Dickie was still trying to make heads or tails of the whole thing. This time he was quickly on his feet and answered the phone in record time:

“Hello! This is Dickie speaking.” He said with a trembling voice.

“Hello Mr. Rowbotham,” The voice answered. “I am Doctor Richard Chadwick from Springwell Memorial Hospital. I am calling about your blood test results regarding Anoroc-91.”

“Yes?” Dickie said in a shaky tone after a brief pause.

“We have discovered certain antibodies in your blood that prevent the Aronoc virus,” he said. “To put it boldly, you are immune Mr. Rowbotham. We would like to invite you here and run some more tests and perhaps you could be the one saving all of us,” he concluded.

“Wait! Wait! How is it possible that I am just hearing about this now. Twitter is flooding with this ‘new discovery’,” he glared.

“We couldn’t reach you before Mr. Rowbotham!” Dr. Chadwick said calmly.

“Yeah, like 20 minutes ago. And I’ve been staying home since I got tested.” Dickie replied losing the timid tone. “It’s been spreading on Twitter faster than Anoroc ever could. Just tell me how this happened and I might consider coming there.”

Dr. Chadwick cleared his throat before answering. “Your test results came yesterday morning and we… yadda, yadda, yadda…” The doctor spoke some more. but all Dickie could make out from the long technical details were the words: “immune cells”, “antibodies” and “vaccine”. He finally came to Dickie’s initial question. “… and I told my wife about it. I didn’t know she had a whatsapp group of about 80 senior citizens. And the rest is that people have been sharing this story for the past ten hours or so. I am so sorry, but we had to make sure before we contacted you.”

“But, you tweeted as well.”

“I don’t have a Twitter account, Mr. Rowbotham,” he replied. “Please drop by today, as soon as possible.”

“Ok.” Dickie said before hanging up.

He ran his hand through his hair slowly as he could. God, how he missed these simplest actions. Fearing infection, he’d been refraining himself from touching his face or head for the past couple of months. Next, he binned the sanitizers in his house. He hated the smell, besides he didn’t need protection now. And the best of all, he didn’t have to isolate himself in a 2-bedroomed-house anymore. He wasn’t really a people person, but observing them from time to time while seated at a cafe, sipping his latte did make him feel a bit more joyous. Whistling to himself, he got dressed and got out without wearing the usual latex gloves. He walked all the way to the hospital.

It was way more crowded at the front door of the hospital. Media outlets, reporters, ordinary people who didn’t look sick swarmed the steps leading to the entrance. The security guards were not allowing anyone to pass. So, Dickie had to shout from the back to be able to get through:

“Hey! I am Dickie L. Rowbotham. Dr. Chadwick is expecting me!” The clamor instantly ended and every glare was pinned on him in no time.

People made way just enough for him to pass, but kept touching him; rubbing their hands all over him as he got closer to the security guards. Just before he reached the top step, one very attractive blonde held him by the collar, drew him towards her and gave him a firm, longish kiss, possibly with the intentions of healthy droplets transfer… A shortcut to immunity perhaps. A media reporter also made a move with her mike, but was blocked by one of the guards before he could take action. After presenting his ID, Dickie was taken to an empty waiting lounge. 5 minutes later, a couple of doctors showed up and introduced themselves. One was Dr. Chadwick, and the other one, the woman was Dr. Hill.

Dr. Hill was the one who spoke:

“Mr. Rowbotham, thank you for coming. We prepared a spacious room exclusive for you,” she smiled.

“A room?” Dickie echoed. “What for?”

“To start working on a cure right away, of course.” Dr. Chadwick said. “Your room has an en-suite bathroom and a marvelous view from its window.”

“No, I won’t be staying!” Dickie said raising his voice. “Just take my blood and let me go.”

“I’m afraid we can’t allow that.” Dr. Chadwick said as he signaled to a couple of orderlies in the distance. “You’re the cure and we’re doing this for the greater good.”

“Noooo!” Dickie shouted as the orderlies began dragging him to his isolated room.

“Don’t worry, the vaccine will be out and approved in less than a couple of years.” Dr. Hill smiled behind her mask. “The clock already started ticking!”