M a t t
Most people would probably consider their sister crazy for thinking she can visit parallel universes.
I, however, can’t. See, my sister is Vanessa James.
You probably don’t know her, but she’s incredibly smart. She skipped third and eighth grade, then graduated at sixteen. She hasn’t gone to college. Instead, she’s been busying herself with some science experiment that she’ll only drop vague hints about.
I’m sort of like her. I’m fifteen, the smartest in my sophomore class.
I plan to go to college. I’m thinking about becoming a journalist.
That is, if I survive this “job” Vanessa has for me.
I started going up the stairs, Xavier slowly following.
I stopped and turned to him. “You’re coming too?”
“Apparently,” he shrugged. “Is that a problem?”
“Nah,” I shook my head, then looked over the white railing. “Lex?”
“Since apparently everyone is going…” The auburn-haired girl came over.
The three of us walked upstairs, to the room at the end of the hall.
I opened the plain white door, pushing a tool box behind it.
The tall, raven-black haired girl in the back turned around with the screech on the floor.
“Be careful with that!” She exclaimed, running over to us.
“Sorry, what did you want?” I asked as she checked the floor for scratches.
Luckily, the box didn’t do near as much damage as it could have.
“I have a job for you guys.” Vanessa darted back to a table on the other side.
“Yeah, figured that out when you yelled it downstairs.” Lexine smiled, the same way she always does when trying to convince people she didn’t say something rudely.
“Can you just tell us what the job is?” Xavier asked, before Vanessa could respond.
She turned and smiled. “Yes, I can. But you have to come here.”
The three of us walked over, careful not to step on any loose screws or bolts.
We made it to the steel table which had tools and small, red stains scattered.
It was only upon noticing the stains that I noticed Vanessa had several bandages on her hands.
Should I have been concerned? Probably. But this was normal.
I remember being ten and helping my fourteen-year-old sister patch many wounds. Mostly small cuts, occasionally scratches. Usually on her hands, somehow one scratch was on her foot, but she refused to explain that one to me.
Five years later, I still don’t have an answer.
“Okay, guys. See these?” She motioned to the surface of the table.
There were several devices that I can only explain as a strange cell phone.
It looked like one of those older ones that you can’t text or snap pictures with.
What’s the point of those again?
The screen, however, looked like it was stolen off a camera.
Mostly the device was sky blue, while the dozen or so buttons were bright orange.
“It looks like a toddler phone,” I pointed out. “Y’know, the ones that don’t do anything?”
“Gee, thanks for insulting the invention I have worked three years on!”
Vanessa stared at me for a second, before moving on.
“Anyway, these things are teleporters.”
“What do they do?” Xavier questioned, clearly unsure why we all stared at him.
“Xavier…” Lexine sighed.
“They’re called ‘teleporters’ for a reason.” I chimed in.
A look of realization crossed Xavier’s face. “Ohhh!”
Vanessa sighed. “They teleport you to a different world.”
We all stared at her.
“What was in your coffee this morning?”
“What a positive response,” She noted. “Who wants to try it?”
Xavier raised his hand.
“I guess I will!”
Vanessa’s face lit up. “Great! Just hold this a few inches away from your face…”
She handed a teleporter to him. He held it about three inches from his face, while pushing his dirty blond hair to the side.
“Hit the button on the bottom left corner and smile.”
He did exactly that. He grinned in a slightly creepy way, and pushed the button.
“Xavier Tane. Fourteen. User One.” A robotic voice coming from the teleporter said.
He started to drop it as soon as it said that.
“Do not drop it!” Vanessa hissed.
“You almost did!”
“But he didn’t,” Lexine and I jumped in.
Vanessa shot a quick glare at both of us.
“Who’s registering next?” Xavier asked, probably eager to get the thing out of his hands.
“I will.” I took it from him.
I held it a few inches away and kept a straight face, then snapped the picture.
“Matt James. Fifteen. User Two.”
I gently tossed it to Lexine.
She did the same, except slightly more of a smile than I did.
“Lexine Evans. Fourteen. User Three.”
“Here ya go.” She handed it back to Vanessa.
Vanessa did the same thing, just smiling like you would on picture day.
“Vanessa James. Nineteen. User Four.”
She smiled at the three of us.
“Who’s ready for an adventure?”
“Can adventure wait until after homework?” I asked.
“And dinner?” The others chimed in.
Vanessa pouted a little bit.
“You guys are no fun. But yes.”
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« Charity »
so we raise our glass, pretend we're fine
i had a dream that you were mine
this ain't odysseus' odyssey.
it's a shame we're not soulmates
“A passionate, fragmentary girl, maybe?”