Writing Prompt: Every time you fall asleep you wake up in a new dimension. This time it’s a little different. This time you meet someone who can do the same thing.
“Partners?” Norm asked, almost pleading. He was all too aware that his survival perhaps hung in the balance.
Norm wasn’t a fighter, he was barely a thinker, he was… well, he was average. Not three or four dimensions back he’d nearly been eaten alive by a Chimpanzee when he tried to pet the not so friendly critter. As it turned out the Chimpanzee was in fact a rouse, a sort of bate for the enormous quadruped style plant-based being that leered beyond those adorable primitive eyes.
When the quadruped slithered over Norm, tentacles wrapping round its newly captured prey, Norm fainted. And thank goodness for that, for technically fainting counted as sleeping, a fact that had saved Norm’s life on one too many an occasion.
“No.” Silas replied, rather simply, “I don’t need a partner, and if I did,” he took a quick scan of Norm, a soft red light emitting from his bionic eye, “I sure as hell wouldn’t choose you.”
“Why not?” Norm folded his arms, trying to act defiantly. Unfortunately at that same moment a fly buzzed past his ear, gave him a fright, and caused him to scream.
“Do I really need to explain myself?” Silas was scavenging the bodies of what looked to be enormous, robotic bears. A layer of fur coating the steel base beneath. One juddered, perhaps a frayed wire sparking, threatening to call life back into the bear. Silas let off a single shot, without even caring to look for his mark, a spray of white light erupting from the muzzle of a pale pink handgun, shocking the bear, sending smoke filtering from out its jaws.
“I’d prefer it if you did.” Norm stepped carefully around the bodies Silas had already searched, his eyes fixed between the dirtied ground and the dizzying sky of hypnotic black and white fuzz. “What if you trained me? To be like you.”
Silas stopped, flexed his back to pop open the skin coloured hatches on his shoulders. Limbs that looked neither metallic nor human slid from out the hatches, the fog from which they’d been formed settling on a bear behind Silas, delicately stripping the fur from the steel then dispatching of the creatures head.
“You could never be like me.” Silas shrugged, “You’re from a different world, a different dimension. What I do might seem impressive,” Silas turned to face Norm, causing the mere mortal to stop dead in his tracks, “but it’s not.”
“Maybe not to you…” Norm tried to think of an argument, but he knew nothing of Silas or where this man was from. He could argue that on Earth, on his Earth, humans couldn’t produce gas from their bodies, much less gas that could manipulate physical matter. But perhaps in Norm’s where this was simply common place. He settled instead upon, “But surely what we can do is impressive. Fall asleep and then ka-blam.”
“Ka-blam?” Silas looked at Norm as if to say – really?
“Yes, ka-blam.” Norm coughed, pulling up his trousers as he made his way through a puddle of slick, silvery oil. “What I mean is, dimension hopping.”
“Cute name for it.” Silas laughed, it was a sound full of sparking, “I know what you mean, and frankly it’s not that impressive. Statistically speaking it’s rare, but I’d wager at least a handful of others from your Earth are able to hop. What’s impressive,” Silas smiled sarcastically, “is that two beings that are able to hop just happen to meet in the same dimension, as you call it.”
“I suppose so.” Norm heard the distant cry of something feral, something viscous, something headed down their way, “But don’t you think it must mean something?”
“Like what?” Silas split open another of the bear bodies, revealing a core still fluctuating with a faint green shimmer. The core was steaming, a wet mist emanating from the dense fog that followed. Silas cursed as the mist shocked his system, nothing fatal, more of an unexpected jolt.
“Is that…” Norm sniffed at the air, his stomach grumbling. The core seemed to smell of fresh oranges, and… gingerbread? “Never mind.” Norm decided it was more likely he was going mad, his mind finally caving under the strain of waking up every morning in an entirely new dimension, in an unfamiliar place on a foreign world.
“This’ll do the trick.” Silas unplugged the core, carefully detaching the wires from the body before dunking the cylindrical lump into his leather holdall.
Norm had seen Silas hide a great number of things inside that holdall, but he’d only ever seen one thing come back out. And that one thing had terrified him.
“Look, kid,” Silas climbed atop a small boulder, his head poking just up above the tall weeds that surrounded them beneath the trees. He could see mountains some way in the distance, but before this he could see smoke, rising from a chimney; not too much further.
“You can follow me all you want, hell we can settle for sleep in the same damn bed, but there ain’t a thing to say that we’ll be waking up next to one another.” Silas turned to look behind them, noticing the weeds swaying in the near distance as some unseen creature made its approach, “I’ve met others before, unlikely as that might seem. We got on for a while, but it never lasts. This… gift… it’s unpredictable.”
“I know, but we have to try, don’t we?”
“No, we really don’t.” Silas sighed, “But it doesn’t hurt to have someone to outrun.” he jumped down from the boulder and held out his hand, a patch work of metal joints covered thinly with skin.
Norm shook it.
“Wait, outrun?” Norm decided to ignore this, and asked instead, “Partners?” a new hope in his voice.
“Sure,” Silas shrugged, then smiled, “If you can keep up.”
Norm watched as Silas ran on through the thick valley of weeds, almost disappearing from sight. Then from behind him Norm felt a cool breeze carried on the back of shrilling roar that raised even the tiniest hairs on his arms and the back of his neck.
Norm didn’t look back, he didn’t need to. All he knew was he’d found someone, someone that might understand what the hell was happening to him, and who might be able to protect him from the madness that roamed between dimensions. So he ran, all the while screaming, “Silas, please wait up!”
Copyright © K R Perry 2019