Parallel, Part 2

Here’s the second part of the short story. If you haven’t read the first part, go here to do so, or this won’t make any sense whatsoever.

*****

            I had looked under and behind all the furniture, in the cushions of the couch, counted all of the dishes, sorted through all the toys and books, and nothing had turned up. The storage rooms yielded nothing.

            The only place left in the house was the Silver Cabinet. I unlocked the glass doors with the little, tarnished key, and began counting.

            One teapot and four cups…that’s right.

            All the silver cutlery seemed to be in order.

            Two of the heirloom lockets…wait! Two?

            I took down the delicate necklaces and inspected them. The silver heart, woven intricately of silver, with a picture of my great-great-great-great-grandmother inside. Completely identical.

            I found it.

*****

            I stowed the extra locket in my room inside my bedside table drawer and waited anxiously for Other Me to appear.

            She didn’t show up until the next morning. I woke up to see her waking up in a mirror bed. We both jerked up, completely awake.

            “I found it!” We exclaimed simultaneously.

            The two lamps’ light bulbs broke again. We sighed.

            “The locket?” I asked. She nodded. I pulled it out of the bedside table.

            “How are we going to get it back where it belongs?” Other Me whispered.

            I shrugged. “I could just…hand it to you, probably. Once it’s back with you, everything should go back to normal. Right?”

            “I don’t see why not.”

            I handed the locket over. Our hands touched for the briefest instant, and a pain that felt like all of my fingers were breaking fanned out from where we made contact. We both winced and waited for something to happen. Suddenly, the mirror image of my room vanished—but Other Me stayed.

            Our eyes widened and we looked down at the locket between us in a panic.

            “What happened?” She exclaimed shrilly.

            “I don’t know!” My voice was just as shrill. “Maybe I gave you the wrong locket?”

            Other Me’s lower lip trembled. “We need to fix this. I can’t be here! Isn’t that some sort of paradox?”

            I realization hit me. Hard. “Wait…if the locket’s what caused the rift in the first place, and now you’re here, that means the rift’s even bigger now! Stuff could start pouring into our dimension from yours!”

            “This is bad.”

            “You officially win the ‘understatement of the year’ award.”

            “More like understatement of the century.”

            “I’ll…I think the only thing to do is go get my Peter…he’ll help us.”

            Other Me nodded. I slipped out of my room and into Peter’s. I stood over his bed and poked him.

            “Peter!” I hissed. “Peter, get up! It’s really, really important.”

            He rolled over and groaned. “How important?”

            I paused to consider. “Like, the-fate-of-the-world-and-maybe-the-entire-Universe important.”

            That got him out of bed. We tiptoed to my room, and I stopped before opening my door. I spoke in one quick breath.

            “So-you-know-how-I-was-asking-you-about-two-dimensions-colliding-well-it’s-really-happening-and-I-accidentally-anchored-myself-from-another-dimension-in-our-dimension-and-now-I-need-to-fix-it.” I swung open the door quickly, pushed Peter inside, and shut the door behind me as fast as I could. I wedged a chair underneath the door knob.

            Peter stood staring at Other Me, who had seated herself on my bed and was staring mournfully at the locket in her hands. She looked up at me and Peter.

            “Hullo,” She said, her clipped British accent more pronounced in her anxiety. “Good morning.” The bed’s legs collapsed.

*****

            The three of us were sitting in a circle on my floor, to avoid any more furniture spontaneously collapsing. Other Me and I were waiting expectantly for Peter to talk. We’d already told him everything we knew. He cleared his throat, paused, then cleared his throat again.

            “I…um. Ahem. In class…I’ve been leading a project. It’s a prototype. To travel between dimensions. It’s never completely worked; but we’ve gotten close. The time we got the very, very closest…was the day you guys were on your way to see me. I think…since I was the one manning the controls…something integral to our family punched through that day. That must be what it is. I’m sorry, Olivia.” He looked at both of us apologetically.

            We nodded and Other Me cleared her throat.

            “Alright,” She said. “So. What we need to do is go to your school and get me and the right locket back through to my dimension. Right?”

            Peter nodded. “It will be risky. But I think it’s all we can do at this point.”

            Other Me’s eyes hardened with determination. “Then that’s what we will do.”

*****

            I pressed my ear to the kitchen door.

            “…taking her to the college. She wants to see what I’ve been working on.” Peter was asking Mom if we could go to New York. To his school.

            Mom sighed. “Fine. But please try to get back by midnight tonight.”

            “Will do. Thanks Mom.” Peter came out through the swinging kitchen door and winked at me. “Now all we have to do is get your…friend out of the house,” he whispered.

            I switched out the lockets, so now Other Me had the right one. Then we heaved the window up and lowered her the six feet to the ground.

            Peter and I went downstairs and cut through the kitchen to grab some road snacks. It was about a three and a half hour drive to New York from our place in New Jersey.

            We piled into Peter’s car and he started it up. Other Me and I exchanged a look as the engine clunked, clattered, and finally started.

            “To New York!” Peter exclaimed.

*****

            The car ride passed slowly. I dozed off, but woke up after only a half hour. We devoured all the car snacks. All of us chewed our nails to the beds in our anxiety; what if it didn’t work? What would happen to Other Me? What would happen to the world?

            We didn’t know.

*****

            “Alright!” Peter flicked on the lights in his Physics classroom. “I have some things to rewire and safety checks to do. You two sit and wait. It should only take about ten or twenty minutes, okay?”

            We nodded and sat at a table. Other Me nervously fiddled with the locket; I chewed at my raw fingers. I looked over at Other Me; she had clicked open the locket and was looking at the picture inside.

            “Here,” I said, taking it from her. I clasped it around her neck. “It looks great on you.” I smiled.

            She smiled back. It couldn’t hide the worry in her eyes. “Do you think it’ll work?”

            I nodded. “I’m sure. Peter wouldn’t let you go through if he wasn’t sure it would work.”

            “Okay. I just…I’m scared.”

            “I know. It’s going to be okay.”

            We spoke quietly for the next ten minutes. Finally Peter looked up.

            “It’s time,” He said quietly. Other Me nodded stoutly and followed Peter to the machine. “I’ve triple-checked everything. I’m sure it will work this time. The screen will turn green and you’ll completely disappear when it works.”

            “And if it doesn’t?” Other Me swallowed.

            “It will. If it doesn’t, you’ll be frozen in between and the screen will turn red. But you don’t need to worry about it, because it will work.” Peter smiled encouragingly.

            I stepped forward and pulled her into a hug. It didn’t hurt this time, which was far more concerning than if it had hurt. “Goodbye. Thank you so much for helping me.” I smiled at her.

            “Bye. It’s been an adventure.” She smiled back. “Bye Peter.” She climbed up onto the platform and grasped the locket that was around her neck.

            Peter smiled. “Good luck.” He pushed the button. The screen started to glow with a greenish tint, and Other Me began to slowly disappear.

            She was half-way gone, and the screen began to turn yellow and she stopped fading.

            Peter cursed and hurriedly adjusted some levers and knobs. Slowly, agonizingly slowly, the screen turned solid green and Other Me disappeared completely.

            Peter and I exchanged a look of glee. Then I launched myself into his arms and squealed. He laughed and spun me around.

            “You did it!” I cried.

            “You helped,” He replied.

            My smile faded. “I hope she’s alright.” I looked at where I’d last seen her.

            Peter put his hand on my shoulder. “I’m sure she’ll have a wonderful life.”

*****

            I never saw Other Me again. Peter aborted the project at school so that nothing could ever get through again. Everything returned to normal.

            Well, as normal as it gets.

The End

…or is it?

Oooh. How ominous of me, that ending.

Feel free to follow the blog, like the post, or comment, but if you don’t want to I gotcha. Thanks for reading!


3 thoughts on “Parallel, Part 2

  1. Just a note, but in the first on you say quizzically twice. The second one could use another word. But otherwise I loved it! I didn’t want it to end!😘

    Liked by 1 person

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