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Stories from the Verse
Versers Versus Versers
Chapter 77: Hastings 184
Table of Contents
Previous chapter: Chapter 76: Kondor 167
Lauren landed on hands and knees, and was able by reflex to prevent herself from falling on her face. A burning pain engulfing her entire body reduced to a brief tingle in under a second, and she realized that it was from having been burned alive by a combination of her own spell and the flames of the fire elemental she had hopefully eliminated. She would have preferred not to have removed herself from that battle, particularly with the alien still involved, but she had confidence particularly that Shella would be able to handle the creature.
In a moment she realized she was kneeling on grass, and rather lush well-maintained trimmed green grass at that. She attributed her position to the fact that she had been grappling in the air with the beast before dying, and supposed that she could have landed on her back so this was fortunate.
Shifting to a cross-legged sitting position she looked around. She saw swings and a slide, climbing bars and one of those spinning platforms that she tended to call merry-go-rounds but that they were powered by kids pushing them and had none of the typical decorations, horses, carts, et cetera, of the so-named amusement park ride. She was in something like a public park and playground, mid to late twentieth century from the look, very like home. Since there were no children playing, either school was in session or there was some more serious problem.
A vaguely familiar sound caught her ear, and she turned to see a car coming down a street alongside the park, across a cement sidewalk, moving rather quickly. It couldn’t be as much as thirty yards from her position, she thought, and it looked both new and nostalgic, that is, a car from her childhood not pristine as if a preserved classic but still in near new condition.
Something within her dictated caution. The last time she was in a world so like her own in appearance it did not go well.
Satisfied that she had learned about as much as she could from her position, she stood, and then relaxed to attempt to sense her equipment. It would be nearby; she hoped it wasn’t buried, since she was airborne and it was on the ground at the moment they left. Her gear was all in one direction, but there was also the sense of another verser somewhere in the opposite direction. She would have to investigate that as soon as she had her equipment organized.
Suddenly she heard several noises, but one was the scream of a woman. She whirled toward it, the direction of the road, and saw a young girl standing confused in the road, and a truck barreling toward her.
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 #343: Worlds Explode. 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: