Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Science Fiction’ Category

Horizon

by: Colette Calapristi Casey
© Copyright 2014
I have fought long and hard for my beliefs. I have been passionate and resolute. I have taken each step of my life with my best foot forward. But this. This battle has taken its toll on me.

I’m not saying I’m giving up, I’m just saying I’m so very weary. When is the time to fight or to lay down the sword? I was born into this world in the wake of the third great World War. A child of war, born during the bombing of London, a city resilient in its efforts to return to full glory and with that spirit, my life force was born.

But this war, this is a different war. This is a struggle for my very own identity. When even the slightest deviation from the expected tone unleashes a firestorm of attacks and then to be brought into the chamber for reprogramming.

My body is strong, my will resilient, but my mind, my mind is being monitored. How my mind directs my facial muscles, my hands, my passion. How do you win a war against yourself? When yourself is turned against you?

The regime has dictated what is acceptable and what is not. We wear the same clothes, we make the same jokes, we cut our hair the same, some of us with more diverse features have gone to the “shop” to ‘adjust’ their look.

When you flow against the river, you create turbulent rapids. But isn’t there beauty in that collision? Would this not be the same with humanity? We have taken acceptable behavior and removed the individuality that was once celebrated.

I have read about artists in the 1800’s, 1960’s and 2100’s being celebrated for their individuality and differences.

It seems the only place allowed for expression is childbirth and even that is dulled down with the new ‘Horizon’ drug that so many of us are forced to take. I find it funny that through such great emotional strife that something beautiful is born.

Wouldn’t that be the same for life? Without freedom of expression, where is the rebirth?

“Good afternoon Jane 401 it is time for your required dose.”

I heard the nurse’s voice and cringed. What if I didn’t want it? Could I refuse? No. This is one battle I can no longer fight.

“Thank you Jane 600.”

I take my Horizon as expected and fall into the abyss of numbness.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

time_travel_dials_by_eddyhazeTimeline
by: Colette Calapristi Casey
© copyright 2014

I was very aware it might come to this. I saw the signs, I felt the energy. Everything was telling me to run and I didn’t.

There were finite elements that had to be respected, but I didn’t care because if I showed new perspectives then a whole new universe would be opened.

The seven strands of time had only been managed one by one. Only one strand per traveler; that was the rule. But, because of the parallel universe, who is to say which is the ‘one’ strand?

My hypothesis was based on the variable that within one strand, multiple paths could be supported. This was due to the origin point. Each time a decision was made, it was a new decision point and therefore the time strand starts all over again. The possibilities were endless!

This morning was no different than any other morning. I suited up and checked into Quad-deck. The Quad-deck was first introduced in early 2150, after scientists cracked the stabilization of the wormhole. Before that discovery, scientists were focused on retro light travel only. While good in Einstien’s theory, it proved unstable because humans couldn’t withstand the force of travel. The wormhole technology was the most reasonable option because it overcame the challenge of reverse gravity. With Norenburg’s theory, the centrifuge was made safe and humans could now travel both forward and backward in time.

The challenge was the seven strands. As observer we can’t change time, I get that, but it still doesn’t stop me from trying. It was just that one moment that I would give anything, ANYTHING to change.

The day started off as planned. I was to ride the seventh strand. I could take it backwards 7 years and ‘observe’ but I have to admit, I wasn’t just there to observe. I was there for the 7th decision point of July 7, 2183. That was the day life changed for him. That was the day that I would live my life to change.

I boarded the centrifuge like any other normal day, but once the door slammed I punched in the coordinates and hacked into the program to release the security. I was in.

Within seconds, I was there. It was seven years earlier and my kids ran about the apartment, my sons were wrestling as they always were and my youngest was preparing to leave for football practice.

It was an ordinary day, sunny and bright as I dropped him off for practice. It was only 14 years later that I learned what had happened on that bright and beautiful day. When I picked him up from practice he seemed different. I remember asking if everything was okay and he reassured me it was fine. But it wasn’t fine. The son I had before that day was gone and in his place was someone that was trapped behind a wall of pain. A wall that would not let in family, friends, therapists, anyone. I remember taking him to memory reprogramming to try and erase what was causing him pain, but without knowing what caused it, the technicians were unsure they could completely remove it. He wouldn’t talk no matter how much I begged. I just knew something was wrong.

So I changed my assignment from Colonization to Time Travel. I was determined to reach the seventh point of the seventh strand. If it meant giving my child the life he deserved, than I would take that chance.

I was wrong. I inserted myself into the timeline and kept him home from practice. But then the timeline shifted and instead of what happened to him that day happened on the sixth timeline and so on. No matter what I did, it always happened, he always changed.

I had fractured the timeline so many times that I had to ask; not what will happen but when will it happen. Today I found out. I was in the middle of changing the timeline from football practice to a day at the park when everything began to fall apart. The trees of the park began to collapse, the sunshine day had turned to rain with hail. The warmth had turned to cold and the light to dark. I had tried to re-write destiny and it was rebelling. No matter how many alternate scenarios I introduced to the timeline it would always be the same. Now my efforts had consequences.

The seventh strand was deteriorating. To the laymen it means nothing. Time past is gone, but to the time traveler, it means everything. Babies who will never be born, discoveries never discovered and challenges never overcome. I had removed all of that.

So now, I am a fugitive. If you were to ask me if I would do it again, I would say I was not sure. It is because I believe in a future. A future the presents opportunities not endings. I guess what I should have realized is that the future I dream of exists in spite of what has happened. The human spirit is stronger than any single moment in time. That is because there are so many variables to the timeline. Time is bigger than one moment, one event. How we manage the events within the timeline is what makes a life.

All my boys ended up just fine in their lives in spite of my interventions. I wondered why I had tried to change their life path. To change something that was theirs and theirs alone. I have finally realized what I have done, after it was too late. Because of what I did to the timeline, the cure for Alzheimers was delayed 50 years, the colonization of the moon happened 100 years later and now we had only six strands to our history vs. seven.

I now spend my days in isolation on the seventh star. I guess I can live with this, because somewhere on another timeline, life goes on. I am having Thanksgiving dinner with my family including my beautiful grandchildren that weren’t born in the existing timeline. I will have loved until the day I died. In my heart, I know I did what I needed to do at the time. We must follow our hearts, but realize life will happen in spite of ourselves. That’s the funny thing about time; it goes on.

Prompt:  Write about the number 7

Read Full Post »

“Dream a Little Dream of Me”
by: Colette Calapristi Casey
©2014

Willie James was not much to look at and not much of a conversationalist. He was an ordinary man that by most accounts would garner no attention nor would he inspire an interaction. His 6’0 foot husky frame, disheveled hair and second hand clothes looked like any other man out in the Alaska wilderness.

Since moving to Alaska, Willie had been a man to keep to himself. He would hunt year round for food for his table. He smoked his own meats, chopped his own wood and on the rare occasion he went into Bent Fork to pick up groceries, he would look away from anyone making eye-contact.

His job consisted of long road trips hauling whatever anyone wanted him to haul and deliver to some of the most dangerous places on earth.

Willie was part of a breed of trucker, known as Ice Road Trucker. These were the men that would drive to the outer-reaches of the most northern points to deliver goods, manufactured items, even living quarters.

Today’s trek was no different. Today Willie was heading up Old Bison highway to the ice bridge that would take him to Paradise, Alaska, home to about 100 native peoples and one science station.

After six hours of heading North, the solid country road would begin its end. At this point would be the beginning of the ice bridge. The ice looked solid enough, better than some days even. Willie shifted down to slow the rig and started across the frozen ice. The normal sounds of the ice groaning beneath his weight welcomed him like a song. All in all this would be a good run. A few more of these this season and Willie will have earned nearly $100,000 for the year. As the ice groaned and the rig responded, Willie could see the shore in sight. As he began to prepare for finishing this part of the rig, Willie saw something out of the right side of his windshield. It blinded him for a minute and made him grip the wheel tighter. He wanted to keep his eyes on the road but the ball, sphere, disco ball, whatever it was drew him in.

As Willie drove the rig back to solid ground he brought the rig to a stop. There was a pull within him that propelled him to want to see more of this shining ball of light. As Willie hopped from the rig, he kept his eyes on the item. Before he could reach the sparkling globe, he heard the voice.

“Hey, mister! I need some help here. Please!” A young man in his early 20’s was standing there, naked and shivering with the look of desperation and confusion written all over him.

Willie surveyed the thin young man and remembered a time when he was that age.

“What the hell you doin’ out here kid? Especially naked!” Willie bellowed.

The young man shivered some more before continuing. “Get me in your truck and gimmie some clothes and I’ll tell ya, I’ll tell ya, but you gotta help me.” He shivered some more.

“Oh. Yeah. Right, come on son, I got some clothes in the back, my cab is warm and I got a nice hot thermos of coffee I’d be happy to share.” Willie slipped off his coat and wrapped it around the man and walked him to the truck.

The man flinched when Willie touched him, but Willie just chalked that up to standing buck naked in sub-zero temperatures.

Once inside the cab, Willie went into the back and came up with some long johns, jeans, socks, shoes and a shirt, a nd of course a belt.

“Here ya go son. Now these are mine so they’ll be plenty big, but beggars can’t be choosers.” He looked at the man, shook his head and started laughing.

As the man slipped into the clothes, a blush of color started to return to his face. Willie handed him a cup of hot coffee which the man quickly accepted.

“So, I gotta tell ya son, looks like you’re going to be with me a bit, aint nothing out here except the small town where I’m heading. Are you from there?”

The man took another sip of coffee and shook his head no.

“Well, they ain’t got much in the way of aid stations. Where do you need to go, where you heading?”

The man sat back in his seat and breathed a sigh of relief and smiled as warmth became familiar again.

“Names Bill.”

Willie nodded, “Well, nice to meet you Bill.”

Bill smiled. “Thanks for helping me out man. I had a rough go of it. I’m not sure how I ended up out there naked as a jaybird.”

Willie laughed. “Yes sir you were indeed.”

Bill continued. “I can’t remember anything. This is nuts.” Bill looked at Willie again and added, “It was nice of you to stop. I didn’t think you saw me.”

“I didn’t. I mean I didn’t see you. I stopped my truck to check out something I thought I saw, then I found you.”

“Well, hell Mister, I’m glad you stopped. I’m not sure how long I would have lasted out there.”

Willie looked at Bill and saw a familiarity but couldn’t put his finger on it. Like he knew the man, but didn’t.

Willie and Bill drove on for several hours talking about the wilderness, the cold and about everything except how Bill ended up in his predicament.

“Welcome to Paradise!” Announced Willie as he drove into the small town with his haul. Willie pulled off to the side of a street near about a dozen buildings.

“There’s one general store over there. Go get yourself some clothes that fit and I’ll make my drop. We’ll stay here for the night and then head back to Bent Fork tomorrow.”

Willie handed Bill some $20’s and patted him on the back. Again, that haunting feeling came over him, almost a melancholy now.

Willie and Bill met up in town and grabbed some dinner. Willie was amazed how much they had in common. Same music, same clothes, Bill bought a flannel jacket, and they even shared some of the same philosophies, although Willie had abandoned some of them years before.

“So, what’s the one thing you regret most in your life Willie?” Bill asked while shoving a piece of bison steak into his mouth.

Willie stopped and looked at him. He felt his blood turn cold and a lump form in his throat. “I do. But I would rather not discuss it.”

Bill cocked his head and leaned back in his chair. Willie did the same.

The rest of the night the two barely spoke. In the morning, Willie picked up the tab for breakfast and the two returned to Willie’s rig to start heading back.

Only a few minutes out of town, Willie turned to Bill. “What’s your mother’s name?”

Bill scoffed. “What?”

Willie repeated. “What’s your mother’s name?”

“Judy.” Bill answered, with attitude.

Willie heard the answer like he expected it.

“Is your father’s naming William?” Willie asked.

Bill looked at him a surprised but not completely. “Yeah, but lots of people are named after their dad.

“Your first pet’s name was ‘Skip’, your first kiss was with Lisa Partridge and you played football on the Santa Clara Central High School football team.” Willie continued and then looked at Bill with grave concern.

Bill started to fidget in his seat.

“How do you know all that man? Are you the one who dumped me out here? Do I know you?”

Bill was demanding now and Willie could see a temper welling up in him.

Willie shook his head. “I can’t explain this son, but this is what I know. You have a scar on your right forearm and on your right leg from where you blew out a tire on your motorcycle. I know every damn thing about you.”

“Let me out! Get me the hell out of here!” Bill started pulling on the door handle, but it was useless, Willie had already hit the central lock. He wasn’t going anywhere.

“Calm down boy, I’m not going to hurt you. I think I may be able to help you.”

“Look Willie, you know I don’t have any money, you know I don’t know how I got here. I really appreciate everything you’ve done for me, but I think I can make it to Anchorage on my own. Just drop me anywhere.”

Willie shook his head. “I’ll drop you off, but not just yet. You asked me last night if I ever had any regrets. Well I’ve had more than I can count. But the greatest regret was the day I took another man’s life. A day that is coming your way unless you change.”

Willie stopped the truck where he had found Bill the day before. He unbuttoned his cuff and rolled up his sleeve to show a long scar. Then he reached down and pulled up his jeans and long johns to reveal part of a scar that ran on the right side of his leg.

“I don’t know how. And I don’t know why. But you are me before I ruined my life. I’m gonna share some words of wisdom with you. If you want to end up alone, if you want to hide in the shadows of this life, then continue your life as you are. However, if you want more than that out of your life, then I recommend you get counseling for your anger. One night, you will become so enraged, that you will kill a father of a two year old girl and newborn baby boy. You will leave a woman widowed and having to raise two kids. You will bounce from job to job and never, ever forgive yourself. You will spend time in prison.” Willie paused.

“Do you hear what I’m sayin?” Willie asked Bill pointedly.

Bill nodded cautiously, but intently.

Willie continued to speak but then his “disco ball” was back on the lake. He turned toward Bill, “You think on that a bit. I’ll be right back.”

Willie hopped out of the Truck and turned to look at Bill who was watching him.

Each cold step towards the sparkling object made it brighter. Willie started to run. He stepped on the ice and it felt solid, he walked towards the object. It spun and turned and shot colors from its very center.

“Wow, ain’t that the prettiest thing you ever saw.” These were Willie’s last words. At once there was a large crack and Willie disappeared under the ice.

Bill shot up straight in his bed. His heart was pounding, he head spinning and he felt a little chilled even though it was mid-summer in L.A.

The woman next to him rolled over dreamily. The bruise on her right eye had almost faded. “What’s wrong hon? Did you have a bad dream?”

Bill ran his hand through his hair. “I think so,” but it felt like more than a dream and that terrified him.

He lay back down and rolled over to look at Susan. He reached up and touched her eye. “You know how sorry I am about that.”

The beautiful blond smiled. “I know, but it’s never happening again. So we are okay.”

Bill took her head in his hands and kissed her forehead.

“No, it’s not. I’m going to find a counselor today. I can’t keep losing my temper like this. I can’t.”

Susan smiled. “Good. I’m glad to hear it, because you are so much more than this.”

Bill sighed and rolled on his back. “I want to say that at the end of my life that I had no regrets.”

Ice Road Trucker
Disco Ball
Country Road
Daytime

Read Full Post »