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Stories from the Verse
Versers Versus Versers
Chapter 3: Takano 1
Table of Contents
Previous chapter: Chapter 2: Beam 42
Tommy awoke in a shaded quiet place, but a brief wave of pain passed through her body at which she winced. She wasn’t really accustomed to pain, and tried to avoid it as much as possible. What had happened? It was very dreamlike, walking in the moonlight on the bright grass--no, before that, when she was home. Her grandfather Tomio had given her that new gadget, a portable video player connected to the cloud so you could watch just about anything as long as you paid the monthly subscription. She was less interested in watching the videos and more interested in how the thing worked. After all, she could watch the same videos on her phone or her tablet, and get them from pirate sites for free. But it had a logo on the outside that said “ScriffInside”, and she’d heard of scriff but hadn’t ever actually seen it. Ignoring the label that read “No user serviceable parts inside” (her father said those were there to prevent people from learning how things worked, and he, being an engineer, encouraged her to explore how things worked) she had opened it, gotten a nasty shock, and blacked out.
The good news was she actually saw what she took to be the scriff, a gold metallic liquid not unlike mercury in appearance save for the color.
The bad news was that the shock apparently really did her brain some harm.
It was very dreamlike. Wait, she already thought that--but it was. There was a moon above, a very bright but oddly geometric moon which lit the light-colored grass. In the distance she could see what looked like a crystal castle gleaming in the light. She took a few steps toward it--and abruptly it was like passing through an invisible curtain, maybe like what happened to those kids in that wardrobe in that story her grandfather used to read to her when she was young. Suddenly her way, even her view, was blocked by what may have been hundreds of things of all kinds, from trucks to microwave ovens to tea sets, not exactly scattered but haphazardly gathered and piled. It had been so sudden she had stepped back--and as she did so it all vanished. So she stepped forward again, and there it was.
Then with another step, something hit her, hit her so hard she blacked out.
Did she mention she did not care for pain?
She opened her eyes. This was a different place--an entirely different place, a place that could not have been within driving distance of the open plain on which she had been walking a moment before. It was a forest, or a wood, or whatever you wanted to call a lot of trees with undergrowth beneath on a warm afternoon with sun shining above the branches somewhere.
It had to be a dream.
There is a behind-the-writings look at the thoughts, influences, and ideas of this chapter, along with ten other sequential chapters of this novel, in mark Joseph "young" web log entry #319: Quiet Worlds. Given a moment, this link should take you directly to the section relevant to this chapter. It may contain spoilers of upcoming chapters.
As to the old stories that have long been here: