Time (11)

Time

The following night, Simo put down in a notebook every memory he encountered, as detailed as he could. When he finished, he stared at his Moleskine for a moment, a blank face on. Slowly, he came back to reality and leaned on his desk. The tip of his pen acted madly, a rhythm floated in the air. After a while, the silence of the night invaded his room. The pen froze. A drop of blood landed on his hand. He put the pen down, wiped his nose and laid on his bed, eyes locked on a stain on his roof. As seconds passed, darkness surrounded his field of vision. Light was sucked up each time he blinked, until he finally fell asleep.

 

Summer was coming. The sun decided to wake up earlier each day and stay up a little later each evening. Temperature increased fast, south breezes relieved the atmosphere from its heaviness. The dress code in and out of the streets changed: more skin and less tissues. Ezekhiel showed up at the doorstep of Simo’s house. ‘Good morning, young man. You’re here. And he’s not ready. First floor, you know the way.’ The paternel said. When Ezekhiel entered in Simo’s room, the latter was still in bed. ‘What are you doing?’ He sat down: ‘What are you doing here?’ he whispered. A long sighed resonated in the room. Ezekhiel spotted his bag, grabbed it and left: ‘You have five minutes to meet me downstairs. I have your notebook. If you don’t show up, a special someone will read.’ A heavy silence settled for a second then noises of rush emanated from the door. ‘My notebook. Where are we going?’ Simo asked as he hopped in the car. ‘Somewhere peaceful. But first, a need to pick up somethings.’ Ezekhiel checked his left side, put his signal on and left. They drove for fifteen minutes through Toai City before making a stop in front of a ten-floor-building, where two girls were waiting bags and luggages at their feet. ‘By ‘something’, you meant two human beings, in a female gender? Including that special someone…’ Simo said as he turned to the driver. The latter got out, greeted quickly Thea and Megan, and loaded their bags in the trunk. They took place at the backseat and he drove away from the city. The road trip happened in an awkward mood. The girls talked in whispers to each other while Ezekhiel watched every move Simo made. ‘What?’ The latter asked. ‘Since when do you have a car?’ A voice came from the back. ‘Euhm since i have my driver license… two days ago.’ – ‘Alright, i feel safe.’ Thea let go in a sigh.

Once arrived, the first thing they did was getting food. They went to the closest restaurant. It was small, intimate: lights were dimmed and music was barely audible. Then they headed to the house they rented, unpacked and took a walk alongside the ocean surrounding them. Thea pulled back Ezekhiel, slowing their pace: ‘So, what is this all about?’ The latter gathered his thoughts: ‘Do you remember the white dwarf that landed in Toai? Well, Simo, right here, touched it.’ Thea looked surprised. ‘So, since then, he can, sort of, see anyone’s memory just by touching them.’ He paused. ‘For the last few weeks, i noticed some things: he starts to be forgetful, misplace things, lose track of time and space…’ – ‘Alzheimer?’ She interrupted. ‘That’s what i thought too, but i haven’t enough symtpoms to tell. That’s why i organized this trip… And for other reasons.’ They turned around as they reached the end of the beach and walked back to the ephemere home. ‘And then? What are you going to do? What’s your plan? And why not telling his parents?’ Ezekhiel turned to her. They stared at each other for a moment, then: ‘He needs to accept his situation. So that we can help him.’ – ‘How?’ He got lost in his thoughts once again. As he was about to explain his plan, in front of him, Simo froze. He caught up to him and faced him: his friend’s nose was bleeding and his eyes were blank. ‘Hé! Simo! What’s wr…’

The young man was trapped in his own body. His hearing slowly faded away and his vision stuck on the scenery in front of him. Without notice, the sand below his feet turned into a white concrete matter. Away, in the background, he could see a cold room filled with strange instruments. People were alarmed and moving fast. Drops of blood smeared on the floor. Simo walked closer. The men and women surrounded a table where someone laid. His face was covered by a towel, leaving his body in the sight of all. That part was cut in two then teared apart. As the image engraved in his mind, Simo started to feel a discomfort. He stared at the hands coming in and out of the corpse, inserting tools and towels, and blood sucked out. Before he vomited, he chose to acknoledge the identity of the patient. He approached the bust and looked at the sleeping face. As soon as he laid eyes on it, a violent pain bursted from his stomach. He reached out for it and felt a warm liquid staining his shirt. He looked down and realized it was blood. He panicked, fell on the floor and agonised.

‘SIMO!!’ The voice woke him up. He returned to the beach where wind blew in the rhythm of waves crashing on land. As he realized it, he slowed his heartbeat down, gathered himself up and smiled: ‘I’m good.’. The group went back to the rented house. On the way, Simo shut himself up, afraid of what he has seen. He tried to convince himself that it was nothing. When they arrived, unable to calm down, he pulled his best friend into a room and explained what happened to him. ‘Maybe it’s just my imagination…’ he ended. ‘But?’ Ezekhiel insisted. ‘It felt… real. I, i don’t know. I don’t know what’s going on with me…? Maybe it’s the white dwarf. Maybe i’m losing my mind. I don’t know but it’s getting crazier and scarier… What do you think it is?’ Ezekhiel took his time to answer. He tried not to disturb him more than he already is. ‘I don’t think your mind created something like that out of nowhere.’ – ‘So it’s the white dwarf. But what does that mean?’ Ezekhiel shook his head. He didn’t want to push too far: ‘I don’t know.’

 

To be continued

Time (10)

Time

TRRRRRIIIIIT!

‘Zeke!’ The latter turned around and saw Thea’s face, sweaty. He glanced at his team gathering around the coach then ran to her. ‘What’s up?’ She was out of breathe. ‘You’re alright?’ He looked around. ‘Where is Simo? What’s going on?’ She took his hand and pulled him but a fence prevented him on moving forward. ‘Come on!’ she screamed. He gave her a look then proceeded to jump over it. They ran towards the restroom. ‘Euhm… where…?’ Ezekhiel noticed Megan banging at the door. The latter looked worried. ‘Simo? You hear me?’ Silence. ‘Hé! Simo! Open the door! Simo! Simo!! Simo!!!’ He heard a mumble but the silence reclamed its place. Suddenly, a big smile appeared on his lips. He stepped back then got ready. He whispered to himself: ‘This is the perfect time to fulfill my goal…’ He started to run. As he came closer to the door, his right shoulder moved forward and acted like a shield. His field of vision diminished to the door’s frame. A film of light appeared around it then grew bigger and bigger until Simo showed up. The latter looked up and felt a rush and stepped back. ‘Aaaaaaaaah! Don’t…!’ Ezekhiel froze. The four teenagers looked at each other for a minute before Megan broke the silence: ‘What were you doing?’ Simo put his eyes on hers. ‘No.2.’ Another silence. ‘You… did not!’ Thea tried to convinced herself. Ezekhiel put his nose in the room, inhale then made a face. ‘Yep. He did.’ The girls expressed their disgust and walked away. ‘Don’t you have a game to win?’ Ezekhiel had a sudden realization, as soon as he started to run, Simo said: ‘Hé, don’t you have a… Alright.’

Days later, they all met again at Toai’s famous zoo that hosted many wild animals from all over the world. Each species were brought by two as the owner, a multi-millionnaire animal lover, was inspired by Noah’s story. They walked by the underground world: Ezekhiel and Thea entered the dome, leaving Megan alone with Simo, who was afraid of legless creatures. Their next stop was up, up and away, amongst dream-makers living things. They fastened their pace under water and quickly paid a visit to the least seen animals, as maned-wolves, zebus, patagonian maras, tufted deers and others. Simo froze in front of the buffs‘ couple’s enclosure. He stared at them living their lives, eating as slow as they can then laying on the ground to fall asleep. A third buff appeared from behind their cabin. He walked to the fence, staring at his visitor, smelled the latter then licked his mouth. Simo gently raised his hand to his muzzle and pet him.

The second he touched the animal, a violent wind blew fences, cabin, plates and all visitors away to leave place to the hot savanna’s of Africa. The landscape was beautiful, enlightened  by a high sun. A tree nearby gave a nice cover, accompanied by a warm breeze now and then. The surroundings were empty of men. Until he made a complete rotation. There was a woman, standing thirty three feet away from him. Simo scanned her and didn’t recognized her face. She was stoic and immobile. Her lips were in motion but no sound arrived to his ears. He looked at her more carefully, tried to come closer but his legs refused to move. After narrowing his eyes, her name appeared like a revelation:

– ‘Sanaa…’

To be continued

Time (9)

Time

Few weeks went on. ‘How do you feel?’ Ezekhiel asked as they were heading towards a basketball field. Simo looked at him a small smile on his face, then walked away. ‘Still have an headache?’ He nodded. ‘Do you think it’s related to the white dwarf?’ He looked at his friend without saying a word. When, suddenly, Simo was brought to a coffee shop. Lights were dimmed, the room was full of students, discussions floated in the air, accompanied by a familiar song in the background. Simo scanned the place. In front of him were two girls he recognized: his good friend, Megan, and Ezekhiel’s complicated ex-girlfriend, Thea. He stepped closer to hear what they were saying. ‘Hey, listen! That’s Weathered by Jack Garratt!’ Her friend looked up and listened carefully then shook her head and raised her shoulders before scrolling back through her phone. Simo had the same reflex: he looked up to a speaker and focused on his audition. …My weathered soul, and memories reclusive, elusive, help me take ’em out… His fingers synchronised with the drums. As soon as he smiled, the music faded away along with the coffee shop. Ezekhiel appeared in front of him and a breeze found its way in his coat. ‘Oh, I’m sorry.’ A female voice resonated behind him. He turned around and Megan was standing there. They shared a looked. ‘Hi!’ she said with enthousiasm. ‘…Hi’ Simo replied. A silent settled. ‘Euhm, what are you doing… here?’ He asked. Megan gazed around, stopped a second on someone on her left then continued her scanning. Simo picked up on that pause and gave a look in the same direction: Thea was  buying some drinks. ‘Oh! I see.’ – ‘Hé, Megan! How are you doing?’ Ezekhiel interrupted. ‘You know, i’m a basketball fan.’ The latter was skeptical. He looked at Simo who looked at him. ‘What?’ He shook his head. ‘You’re going to be late.’ Ezekhiel hurried up and disappeared in the crowd.

– ‘So; why are you here?’ Simo started the conversation as they walked towards to center of the agitation.

– ‘Thea… wanted to come. So, she forced me to go along. So, what happened at the party?’

– ‘The party?’

– ‘Thea’s birthday. You saved someone… Euh… Josh, right?’

– ‘Oh! That.’

– ‘That? Don’t act so cool. What you did was incredible! Reanimating someone like that! How did you know? You reacted so fast!’

– ‘I… it was just luck. I saw him wondering around the pool. I just didn’t really think about what i was doing.’

– ‘That’s what makes it incredible. What happened after that, you know?’ She glanced at him: his behaviour was strange.

– ‘Yeah, he stayed a few days at my place then moved out to New York with his grand-parents.’

– ‘His grand-parents? What happened to his parents?’ Simo hesitated.

– ‘His mother passed few years ago and his father was beating him ever since.’ He paused. ‘Now, he’s in jail, i think… I should ask my dad.’

– ‘Wow… Sounds like a movie.’

– ‘I know.’

– ‘But he’s fine, now?’

– ‘Yeah. He’s safe, now.’

– ‘What’s going on with you?’ Simo looked at her. ‘You’re dodging everyone. I mean, we’re in the middle of a crowd, i know, but you’re too careful.’

– ‘Oh. My shoulder hurts. That’s also why i’m not playing today.’ He glanced at her and saw her worry face. ‘And i have an headache.’

– ‘Not in a great shape.’ He shook his head.

They arrived at the side court. Each team occupied the field, passing the ball amongst players. The focus grew as the countdown kept on going. The anticipation spread through the spectators that gathered around. Megan kept watch on her friend from the corner of her eyes. The latter examined every player then called Ezekhiel. They exchanged few words in a whisper, pointed to some of his opponents before the coach called his team. ‘What did you tell him?’ Thea asked. Simo jumped of surprise: ‘Oh! I didn’t expect you to… be here… Nothing special. Just tips…’ At the same moment, a group of guys made their way to the first row, pushing Thea against him.

In a matter of second, Simo traveled through time: darkness replaced sunlight, people emptied the place, leaving two teenagers alone in the middle of the field. The leftovers of the previous day’s heat was interrupted by a breeze, making shadows dance on the ground. Branches cracked releasing few leaves. The teenagers listened to the sweet sound of elements crashing into each other. They were just sitting there, staring at the stars. ‘Well?’ started Ezekhiel. ‘I lov…’

Day light covered the park. Simo and Thea looked at each other, as they came back to the present. ‘You’re alright?’ He asked as he saw confusion and a bit of fear in her eyes. ‘Be careful, man. There are people around.’ His interlocutor didn’t care enough to turn around. ‘Let it go, Simo. The game is about to begin.’ Thea said. She gave him an insistant look before he calmed down and moved his attention to the referee. The latter blew the whistle. The game began. Ezekhiel jumped higher than his opponent, taped the ball behind him and ran forward. His teammate quickly crossed the middle of the field, threw the ball to the basket, penetrating the defense. Ezekhiel caught the ball, made a step then a fadeaway underneath a defender’s arm. A whistle. ‘2 points for The Pandas.’ The scorer looked at the audience and made a head sign to one person. Simo responded the same way with an aura of proudness surrounding him. He felt eyes starring at him: ‘I taught him that.’ Megan let a laugh slipped. His attention turned away from the players and focused on a the sky. His look was blank. Did you know that hummingbirds were able to fly backwards. He blinked to come back from his absence. He turned his head and looked for the origin of the voice. But everyone’s eyes were glued to the court. The first quarter went fast, led by The Pandas by six points. ‘Did you hear that?’ He asked to Megan. She looked at him, her eyebrows frowned: ‘…No…’ Instantly, he held his head. Dizziness got to him once again. ‘Simo?’ Simo!? The latter stood still for a minute. Then he looked up: his face was peaceful. The pain disappeared as fast as it resurfaced. ‘You’re ok?’ Thea asked. ‘Ha… Yeah, i’m fine.’ He crossed eyes with Megan. She looked concerned: ‘Your nose. You’re bleeding.’ He located the blood, apologized and left the young women by themselves.

He locked himself in the public restroom of the park. He stared at the mirror, toilet paper on his face. The bleeding wouldn’t stop. What’s happening? Is this related to … A strong pain traveled through his brain. Blood flowed profusely. What’s going on? What can i do?

– ‘Hé! Simo! Open the door! Simo! Simo!! Simo!!!’

– ‘Wait… I need a minute…’ Simo whispered.

Suddenly, he found himself catapulted in a strange place: roof and floor became one. A strong light enlightened the room. There was no shadow. No wall. Now and then, shooting stars appeared around him. Simo looked around him: he flew and yet, was stable on his feet. As he noticed that his pain was gone, he heard a voice from afar:

– Simo!

– He’s in cardiac arrest! Get the defibrillator. Page Dr. Carl!!

– What’s happening to him?

– Parker! Take them out of the room!

 

To be continued

Time (8)

Time

The next morning, Simo woke up alone in his room. Sunlight encompassed him. A strong pain immerged from his eyes. He tried to sit but, as soon as he lifted his head, he started to lose balance. He leaned on his arm but the world kept on spinning around him. The pain migrated to his frontal lobe. A desire to vomit grew in him. The floor below disappeared. His heart beated faster, he was out of breathe and his vision became blurry. Panic got to him. Numbness invaded his body. Mechanically, he moved his fingers and realized there was a solid matter underneath. He focused on that, kept on moving his hand to regain sensation of his body and took deep breaths that slowed his heartbeat. He regained his composure.

‘Simo! Wake up! Josh’s father is here.’ The latter jumped: his pupils dilated, his muscles tightened, his mind lost in between two worlds. Time stood still. Then Simo took a deep inspiration: he forgot to breathe. His sight cleared. He was confused; the floor and the roof were in place. Simo felt the warmth of the sun on his skin and could hear birds cooing outside of the walls. He gazed around and recognized the harmony of his room. Although, what he experienced seemed to be a dream or an hallucination, his headache was very present and it spread to his temporal lobe. ‘What?’ Simo located the origin of his ache. When he looked at Ezekhiel, his eyes burnt. ‘What? Who’s here?’ He said as he stood up. ‘Josh’s father is at your doorstep. Let’s go! Your father is waiting for you to… I don’t know, do something.’ Ezekhiel announced. Five minutes later, Simo joined his parents at the door. ‘Where’s my son?’ Josh’s father. He had no response. ‘Tell me where he is?… JOSH! COME OUT!’ He started to lose his patience. ‘Calm down, sir.’ Simo’s father stepped up. ‘JOSH! You, little scum! You better make him step out or…’ – ‘Or else what?’ Simo interrupted.

The latter stared straight the abusive man in the eyes. Unafraid.

– ‘What are you going to do? Beat me up? Then what? Drag your son out of my house to yours then beat him up a little bit more? I don’t where i’m going with this but i have a question: where’s your wife?’ Simo realized he touched a sensible subject. The man’s face changed. Simo glanced at his right. ‘I’m sorry. I thought wrong: i thought you killed her but from your expression, it seems like you didn’t. I’m guessing you started to drink after her death, then. Trying to forget, grieving, i understand… I saw the pictures on your walls, when we broke in your house. You looked happy: you, Josh and your wife. She didn’t look – how can i say this – like, dangerous. No, that’s not the word…’

– ‘Violent.’ His father helped.

– ‘Violent! That’s it! She didn’t seem violent. None what so ever.’

– ‘Your point being.’ His father tried to shorten his son’s speech.

– ‘My point is that what you’re doing right now, who you’re becoming, right now, isn’t the person she fell in love with. I don’t think that she would have been happy seeing you beating her son like that.’

As Simo voiced his thoughts, Josh’s father felt the anger grow bigger in him to a point where he couldn’t control himself anymore. He walked towards the young man and punched him in the nose. Simo fell on the ground. Josh’s father attempted to hit him more but Simo’s father intervened. Simo’s mother called the police. Ezekhiel ran to Simo to make sure he was alright. And Josh stood there: overwhelmed. The police arrived, five minutes later, breaking the fight bewteen the fathers. Two officers handcuffed both of them and brought them to the police station to clarify the situation in a neutral space. Another asked Simo, his mother and his friends some questions then notified them that a social worker will come within the hour. ‘Here: put some ice on your nose.’ Ezekhiel handed a towel filled with ice cubes. They sat in cercle in the kitchen waiting for the bell to ring. A silence settled.

‘What now?’ Josh’s voice resonated in the air for the first time since he left his house. Simo looked at him. The latter had fear in his eyes. Then Simo turned his head to Ezekhiel hoping he will have an idea. But he remained silent. ‘Wait for the social services to come and we’ll figure it out then.’ Simo’s mother said. Her son took a minute to think. He stared at the table, his hand pressing the towel on his nose. ‘Do you have any family other than your father? Like an aunt or uncle.’ he asked. ‘Grandparents.’ Josh said. ‘My mom’s parents live in New York.’ Simo looked up. He grabbe his phone and handed it to Josh. The latter entered a phone number then handed it back to its owner. ‘Do you talk to them often?’ Simo asked while the tone rang. Josh shook his head. ‘When was the last time you saw them?’ Josh raised four fingers in the air. ‘Months?’ He shook his head again.

– ‘Are they ni…. Hi! Good morning! Am i speacking to Josh Scarrey’s grand-parents?… Hello, sir! I’m sorry to call you this early on Sunday. I am a friend of Josh’s and euhm, there’s a bit of a situation that you might solve with us… Ha? So he was violent even before your daughter died?… Oh. Alright, i see… Yes… He’s fine. He’s next to me right now… I’ll let you talk to him in a minute, he’s eating… Yes, i was wondering, well, we were wondering if it was possible for you to become his foster parents or guardians. To give him a safe place to live until he can fly with his own wings…’

– ‘What are you saying?’ Ezekhiel commented. Simo stepped away.

– ‘Do you know what that implies, right?… I mean, financially, could you handle it?… Oh! Perfect!… Mmh, mmh… Ok, cool! Well, for now, i can’t do much. Since i’m just a kid, still. But a socail worker is going to come to my house to talk to Josh about his situation. We’ll explain to her/him and talk about you… Euh, yes, my mother is here: she’ll do the talking… And after, that, Josh will wall you back to let you in the know. And that would be it… Ok… I let you talk to him.’

On that note, Simo gave his phone to Josh who left the room for more privacy. Simo reported the conversation to his mother and Ezekhiel. An hour later, a woman appeared at their door step. She requisitionned the living room to speak to Josh. Simo’s mother insisted in being next to him throughout the process.

Simo and Ezekhiel were locked out of the conversation. Simo glanced in their directions some time to times but his headache intensified. ‘Are you alright?’ Ezekhiel noticed the discomfort his friend was experiencing. The latter nodded. He massed his skull to ease his pain. It didn’t seem to work: ‘I’m going to lie down for a moment.’ As he walked through the hallway, he met the social worker. She stopped and scanned him, a smile on her face. ‘Hi!’ she introduced herself. Simo turned around. They starred at each other for ten seconds then the social worker realized her strange attitude. ‘You must be Simo. Josh’s friend. The one who convinced him to walk away from his abusive father. Josh yarned me.’ she said as they shook hands. ‘Euh, yeah. I mean, yes.’ Simo replied. She used her right hand.

They teleported to another house, the social worker rejuvenated by twenty years. The room they were in was dark: blinds were shut and lights were off. She looked up to Simo, fear in her eyes. Suddenly, a slammed door made her jump. A man rushed towards her, a belt in his hand. As he came closer, he prepared his arm behind his back. The little girl made a step backward, her hands as only shield. The man was close enough. He swang his arm. The belt followed the movement.

Before the belt touched its target, Simo came back in his own house. The social worker’s face was blank: her eyes were wide open, her heart skipped a beat, a chill went through her spine. Suddenly, her facial expression turned into worry. ‘Your nose… is bleeding. Are you alright?’ Ezekhiel joined them, intrigued by their sudden immobilization. The social worker offered him a tissue but the latter seemed to have frozen. His vision became blurry again then returned to normal. ‘Are you alright?’ Simo looked up: ‘Mmh? Yeah, i’m fine. Sorry.’ The social worker smiled to him. She said goodbye and left.

The three teenagers gathered in Simo’s room. Discussions were flowing like they were old friends. Josh was silent most of the time but a smile appeared on his face. Fear slowly vanished from his mind: he felt safe. When the conversation faded, he asked: ‘How did you know about me?’ Simo took a moment to think: ‘Euhm…’ – ‘You have bruises. When he rescued you at the party, yesterday.’ Ezekhiel responded. Josh was lost in his thoughts. He stood up and enclosed himself in the bathroom. Ezekhiel scanned his friend.

– ‘What’s going on?’ he asked.

– ‘Yesterday, we went to a party…?’ A silence passed.

– ‘Is that a question? Or an affirmation?’ Simo thought.

– ‘A question.’ Another silence.

– ‘Thea’s birthday… You don’t remember?’

– ‘Apparently not.’

– ‘Where do you think we met Josh?’ Simo remained silent. ‘You don’t remember.’

Ezekhiel’s tone was grave. He looked at Simo who seemed worried as well. Am i losing the small control i have on this thing? Simo thought. Josh came back in the room and noticed a familiar look on his saviors’ faces: both of them were scared.

To Be Continued.

Time (7)

Time

Few hours have passed since they met the father. Ezekhiel looked at his friend talking on the phone, wondering why wasn’t he as fearless as Simo. ‘Yeah, we’ll be back for dinner, i think.’ As those words came out of his mouth, Simo noticed a movement at the far right window on the first floor. ‘Gotta go.’ he said as he stood up. ‘You’re right: need to go to the backyard.’ They headed behin the house: the backstage of it showed something very different from the front. The grass wasn’t maintained, dead leaves returned to dust on the ground and trees were dying of thirst. A small cabin was hidden between two of them: from the entrance, Simo could see a mattress. He had no more doubts on the situation. He checked if the back door was locked: it wasn’t. Before they invited themsleves in, Simo stopped his friend: ‘His father is a alcoholic and has a tendency to beat his son. And probably his wife too.’ Simo made eye contact with his soon-to-be partner in crime to clarify his agreement on what might happen next. Ezekhiel nodded. They went in. Beside low voices coming from the TV, the house was quiet. Clean. And warm. StrangeSimo thought. On the hallway’s walls, pictures of the family smiling and having good times were displayed. Ezekhiel glanced at his friend: the latter proceeded to walk up the stairs, undisturbed. He gave a look in the room on his right: the man fell asleep on the couch, his beer spilling on the carpet. Once on the first floor, the mood changed. The corridor was pitch black. ‘Which door?’ Ezekhiel whispered. Simo raised his shoulders. At the same time, a sound of a door opening led them. They slowly walked towards it then entered the room. It was minimalist: a bed in a corner and a desk on the other side were the only furnitures dressing it. Josh removed the curtains half way to let some sun light in. When he turned around to face his guests, the latters looked surprised: a black eye, swollen lips, a cut below his other eye, bruises on his arms and an arched back as his stomach was in pain. He sat on his bed. His steps were small and movement in slow motion. ‘What happened…’ – ‘Come with me.’ Simo interrupted. Josh looked surprised. He didn’t expect anything from anyone and wondered why they would come to his place in the first time. He looked at Simo. Seriousness overflowed around him. Ezekhiel did the same: ‘What are you talking about? He can’t just leave.’ Simo stared at Josh. ‘Your father did this to you, right? I didn’t think of what i would do once we will be face to face. But now… It seems pretty obvious that you need to get away from him. Even if he’s your father. It doesn’t give him the right to do that. So, come with me. We’ll find a solution once you’re out of here.’ A silent settled. Josh was thinking about it. Ezekhiel couldn’t find words to describe his intentions nor his feelings at the moment. ‘You can’t…’ – ‘I can’t leave.’ Josh whispered. Simo frowned: ‘Why?’ His aggressive tone surprised Ezekhiel. ‘Lower, Sy.’ Josh remained silent. He knew that his reasons weren’t logic. ‘There are other ways.’ Ezezkhiel tried to calm his friend, as frustration grew in him. ‘Not if he doesn’t want to be helped!’ Simo turned his eyes on Ezekhiel. The latter understood his feelings, but was powerless.

‘WHO’S THERE!?’ A voice shouted from downstairs. The three teenagers turned simultaniously their heads towards the door. Fear and apprehension could be read on their faces. For a second, they froze. Simo reacted first: ‘Come with us. What do you think he’s going to do once he’ll know we’re here?’ As Josh didn’t make any move, he continued: ‘Look at you!! Look what he did because you almost drowned! Look at what he’s capable of doing!’ Tears filled the fragile boy’s eyes. ‘He’s coming fast.’ Ezekhiel commented. A few seconds later, the bedroom door broke, showing the angry man, still drunk, in it frame. ‘WHO TOLD YOU YOU COULD HAVE GUESTS?’ Josh couldn’t move. The man started to walk toward him an idea in mind: beating his son up to give him a lesson. Without thinking, Ezekhiel and Simo stepped in his way. ‘Get out of my way.’ His voice calmed down. Ezekhiel felt a thrill on his back. As no one moved, the father engaged a fight. By reflex, Ezekhiel barely dodged the first punch but was hit by the second. He stumbled on the side but reacted in an instant when he saw the man walking forward. He tackled. They both fell on the floor: Ezekhiel tried as much as he could to immobilize his opponent but received few punches along the way. While Ezekhiel kept the father occupied, Simo turned his back to Josh, bent his knees, lowered his center of gravity and arched his arms: ‘Hop on!’ Josh stood still. He couldn’t believe the scene that was played in front of his eyes. Suddenly, a voice screamed in his mind: ‘Run!’ Like a wake up call, Josh made a decision. He jumped on Simo’s back. As soon as he felt his weight, Simo ran out of the room. ‘Zeke!!’ The latter glanced at them going through the door. He threw a weak punch on the father’s face, stood up and ran away. As they walked down the stairs, they could hear a grunt. ‘Maybe, i shoudn’t have hit him.’ Ezekhiel confessed. When they arrived in the backyard, the man was already at the backdoor. The teenagers fled as fast as they could, but not fast enough. Simo and Ezekhiel shared the same thought. When they arrived at the front side of the house, where sun was shining, Ezekhiel threw the trashes at the father’s feet. The latter fell flat on his face, giving them time to disappear.

After making sure they were out of the father’s sight, they slowed their pace. Simo put Josh down and called his father. ‘Are you sure he’s going to agree with this?’ Ezekhiel asked. Simo paused. ‘Yeah. He will.’ Half an hour, a car parked in front of them. The driver’s door opened. A man in his late forty appeared. He looked sharp with a white shirt and black pants on. His face inspired confidence and trust. ‘What’s going on?’ His tone was set. Ezekhiel hesitated to speak. ‘Well, his father’s beating him up any chance he gets. I needed to get him out of there.’ Simo’s father scanned them then motioned them to get into the car. Simo sat in the front, while Ezekhiel stayed with Josh in the back. A heavy silent reigned in the small cockpit. ‘So. What were you thinking?’ The father asked. ‘What’s your plan, now?’ He didn’t get any answers.

When they arrived at Simo’s house, the night reclaimed its rights. Rain started to drop as they found shelter. Simo’s father let his son take care of his guest. They took Josh upstairs to Simo’s room and settled him in the bed. As Josh fell quickly asleep, they both lay down on the ground. ‘So, you’re sure about this?’ Ezekhiel asked. After a moment of reflexion, Simo said: ‘Yes. I’m sure. He needed to get out of there.’ Ezekhiel stayed quiet. ‘Someone had to get him out of there.’ Ezekhiel took a deep breathe. ‘A bit cranky, don’t you think?’ he asked. ‘I know.’

 

 

To be continued

Time (6)

Time

The next morning, Simo went to the hospital where the drunk teen was supposed to recover from his recent near death experience. At the doorstep of the enrance, he saw a familiar silhouette: Ezekhiel seemed to have the same thougt he had. ‘When the great minds meet… Or something like that.’ Simo said. They didn’t stay long: according to the receptionnist, he went back to his home against doctor’s advices.

They went to the school. For Simo, it has been two years since he saw the tagged wall of the main building. When they crossed the hallway, Simo couldn’t help himself but to scan everything, a feeling of nostalgia filling his mind. At the administration room, a woman was sitting behind a desk bigger than her. Ezekhiel and Simo had to tip-toe to be able to face her. ‘Hi! A friend of ours missed a few class this week and we have a test on monday.’ Ezekhiel started to explain but the lady didn’t even look up. ‘Euhm… Excuse me?’ The receptionnist gave them a death stare. Simo was surprised by the attitude. ‘What can i do for you?’ She said. The two teenagers looked at each other. ‘We need an adress from a student in senior year. His name is Josh Scarrey.’ Simo cut to the chase. The woman looked at them for a second before typing on her computer. ‘What’s the name again?’ Ezekhiel spelled it for her as Simo contained a sigh of exasperation. A minute later, they walked out towards Josh’s house.

The neighboorhood looked calm. Cars were lined up to create a separation between pedestrians and drivers. Sidewalks were covered by a film of water. Simo looked around to understand the world Josh lived in: ‘It looks normal. I mean, not depressing at all.’ Ezekhiel seeked for the 67th house. ‘What do you mean depressing? How do you know he’s depressed?’ Simo stayed quiet. ‘Here it is.’ They walked to the door and each hit their turn in rhythm. Noises of footsteps rushed towards them, heavely. As a reflex, both Ezekhiel and Simo stepped back. Their heartbeat quickened. The door opened abruptly. A man in his forty appeared, a beer in his hand and anger in his eyes. ‘WHAT?’ The two visitors jumped of surprise simultaneously. A silence settled in. ‘Well? What do you want?’ Ezekhiel opened his mouth but no sound came out. His brain just went blank. ‘We’re Josh’s friends.’ Simo paused to see if the man had social intelligence. He stood still. ‘Can we see him? He was in a pretty bad shape last night, so… We were worried about him. Hence our presence….’ The man didn’t move at all. ‘Can we see him?’ Simo insisted. After a moment, the man tried to slam the door on them, but Simo slipped his foot before it. Almost at the same time, Ezekhiel knocked the door with his palm: ‘We need to talk to your son.’ the latter said. The door opened suddenly. The man stepped towards them, his teeth out like a rabid animal. Ezekhiel retreated but Simo stood still. ‘Get the hell out of my property’, the man whispered at Simo’s ears. The latter ignored him and proceeded to walk through the door. ‘Josh! It’s me: Simo! The dude who helped you last night!?’ He yelled. But no response. A heat envelopped his shoulder. Simo turned around and beheld something coming from his side. He fell down. Before he could recollect himself, Simo was lifted then thrown out of the house. ‘Next time you come back, you’ll meet my shotgun. Understood?’ the man yelled. Before Ezekhiel could hit back, the man slammed and locked the door, once and for all. ‘Ass.’ Ezekhiel said. ‘Aaaah, he sure is.’ Simo leaned on his knee to stand up, while holding his back with his other hand. He scanned the front of the house: each windows were dressed with curtains, blocking any sunlight. Simo sighed. ‘Maybe from the back!?’ Ezekhiel suggested. ‘No. No need for that.’ Simo sat down on the grass and focused on the front door. Ezekhiel understood his friend’s intention. Even if he wasn’t convinced about the efficiency of his actions, he followed the movement anyway. ‘How long?’ he asked. ‘As long as it takes.’

‘You know you’re sitting on a wet grass, right.’ Ezekhiel noticed.

To be continued

Time (5)

Time

We have a pulse. Finally…. Yeah. Prepare him for an IR…

His conscious awakened. Disturbance of a closed space grew louder and louder, then a recurrent tone appeared. After a few seconds, his eardrums vibrated to a breathing. Slow and steady. Simo opened his eyes to a white wall. He turned his head to his left and saw a monitor drawing his heartbeat. A little bit further, Ezekhiel was deep into Morphee’s arms. Simo gazed around, trying to sit but from neck to toe: he felt numb. He’s first instinct was to check his right arm. Footsteps and ringtones went through the doorway, accompanied by low voices. Simo’s eyes travelled to the window to see his parents on the other side of the glass. Behind them, he could behold a man in a white blouse holding a folder. He focused on them and tried to catch a word. After tuning down every noises, he stretched his ears to listen carefully but they tuned down even more their murmurations as if they knew someone was spying on them. ‘Hey!’ Simo was suddenly pulled out of his thoughts, whispers faded away leaving place to the monitor and perturbations of the air. The voice came from his left: Ezekhiel woke up. ‘How do you feel?’ he asked. Simo tried to sit but his father walked in and put his hand on his son’s shoulder: ‘You need to rest.’ The doctor was close behind and started to check Simo’s vitals. ‘Everything seems to be ok. A brain scan was realized and revealed nothing abnormal. Can you tell us what happened before?’ Simo looked at his parents then Ezekhiel before staring at the doctor. ‘Nothing special: we were just chilling.’ Simo replied. The doctor remained silent for a second then continued: ‘We’re going to keep you in observation for the night ‘ Simo’s parents shared a look. ‘It’s just for precaution. Don’t worry.’ reassured the doctor before leaving the room. Simo’s parents left as well, few minutes after. Simo looked at his friend and his right hand back and forth. ‘Do you think…’ He let his sentence hang. ‘You said i disappeared for a moment. right? At that time, i was following Thea.’ Ezekhiel looked at Simo going deeper and deeper in his process of thoughts. ‘Maybe, you should stop. That was the trigger to your seizure. Just… sleep on it for now, alright?’ They shared a look and Simo agreed.

Ezekhiel didn’t hear from Simo for an entire week, until the week-end. It was on a saturday evening, at a birthday party, where Simo and Ezekhiel meet again. ‘What are you doing here?’ Ezekhiel asked. Simo looked at him with big eyes. ‘Is it ok with your…Condition?’ he whispered. The two friends shared a look. As soon as Simo opened his mouth to share his thoughts, a female voice interrupted them: ‘Hi! You are here!’ They both looked towards her. ‘It’s been forever! What are you doing now?’ Simo assumed she was talking to him since he stopped hanging out with his classmates the moment he dropped out of school: ‘I’ve been busy.’ She waited for the second part of his statement but an awkward silent settled. ‘Euhm, i’m, euh, let you two talk.’ Ezekhiel said; Simo watched him leave. ‘How you’ve been!’ Simo continued the conversation. ‘I’m good! Well, a bit stressed: exams are soon so i’m….’

As she kept on talking, Simo tuned her voice a bit down as a background noise in his mind. He gazed around. Some people were dancing, some people were playing around the pool. But most people were just sitting around and talked about everything and nothing at the same time, an empty glass in their hands. Others were just trying to keep their balance. ‘…and then a huge dragon came out, grabbed me by the shoulder and pulled me into the air to fly away from the mafia.’ Simo’s eyes crossed hers. She smiled. ‘You haven’t changed.’ she claimed. ‘It hasn’t been that long either.’ She shook her head and let go of a laugh: ‘Just two years.’ One of the Sunday dancers ran into her, making her all of her drink on Simo’s shirt. ‘Sam!!’ She yelled. The latter put his left hand on the troublemaker’s back who turned around and stared at them for a second: ‘Yo! Simo!! What’s you’re doing here? Hey! Megan!… What’s up?’ Then he walked away. Megan looked at him, confused about what just happened. ‘What was that?’ she whispered to herself, before turning to Simo: ‘Oh no! Your shirt! I’m so sorry!’ The latter smelled the wet area: ‘Coke? I thought you were drinking alcohol like everyone else.’ She shook her head. At the same time, far behind her, Simo noticed something odd: one of the guests had an empty bottle of vodka in one hand and a half-full bottle of HSE in the other. He stood still in the middle of the crowd, raised the empty bottle in the air before dropping it at the break of a song. Then he drank the rest of the rhum in an instant. When he raised his arm, Simo noticed some bruises underneath his t-shirt. The drunk teenager walked the best he could through the crowd of other drunk people. As he marched along the swimming pool, he froze on his reflection few times.

When suddenly, Sam pushed him violently. The drunk boy lost his balance and fell into the water. Sam didn’t notice he hit someone, once again, and kept on moving his body around off beat. As the music was loud, the party attenders raised their voices to be heard creating an excessive level of frequencies that covered the sound of someone falling. Simo stared at the scene: from where he was, he could see splashes of water. But after a minute or two, it stopped. Simo waited a moment, expecting to see the swimmer stand up and walk away. But nothing happened. Intrigued, and worried, Simo walked to the pool. As he got closer, he saw the teenager inanimate at the bottom of hole. A rush of adrenaline burst from his chest. He dived in, grabbed the teen by his right arm and swam as fast as he could to the surface. As soon as they made contact, Simo had flashbacks: a sunny day at the park with his mom, a dark afternoon in his bedroom, his father raising his fist, empty  bottles and cans of beers all around his living room, boring days in class and sleelpless nights. When he reached the surface, Ezekhiel helped him pull out the teen out of the water. Music was turned down. Discussions paused and people gathered around them. ‘Step back!’ Ezekhiel yelled. ‘Give him space to breathe.’ But the latter wasn’t. When Simo got out of the water himself, he kneeled next to the unconscious young man. He put his ear on the latter’s chest: no sound. Simo had to think fast: he put his hands together slightly below the chest and started to push at a regular rhythm. ‘Zeek, call 911.’ he said as he was counting. ‘Fifteen.’ He listened to his chest again: still nothing. He continued. ‘Thirty.’ Simo pinched the kid’s nose, pulled down the latter’s jaw and blew air in his lungs. After the forth time, Simo practiced CPR again. He listened, hoping to hear the siren of the ambulance. But it was quiet. All we could hear was his breathing. Seconds passed. ‘How long can a human brain stay without oxygen?’ Simo thought. His hands started to shake. He was out of breathe but kept on pushing on the diaphragm. The world stood still. Everyone held their breath. When, finally, he coughed. Simo was in disbelief. He immediately turned the kid’s head to the side to make him spit the water from his lungs. Everyone sighed of relief. Simo looked at Ezekhiel, a huge smile on his face. The latter mimicked him and pointed to his ear. Simo looked over the crowd and heard it: sirens.

To be continued.

Time (4)

Time

Days passed. In the first week of the new year, Simo tried to wrap his head around his new ability: he realized many experiences to acknowledge the extant of his capacity. He touched each of his arms with each hands: nothing happened. Then tried the same experience on strangers: he purposely walked into customers in a coffee shop. Beside the weird look people gave him, Simo learned that his right hand was the one holding the keys to others’ past. He then proceeded to study the length of the flashbacks and for that he needed a volunteer. He called his best friend to be his victim, later in the evening, but the latter made a good point: ‘You know, you’re like a brother to me, but dude, I can’t just.. let you go through my memories like that. That’s… That’s… That’s just weird.’ Simo had a moment of reflection. ‘Mmmh. Then who will be our experiment?’ Ezekhiel felt tired of the scientist side of his best friend. ‘Alright… What am i supposed to do?’ Simo didn’t hesitate and reached for Ezekhiel’s arm who dodged just as quickly. They froze for a second. ‘Wait. How does this work?’ – ‘That’s what we’re trying to figure out.’ Simo replied. ‘I know, but how… What’s going to happen?’ –  ‘Just…’ Simo let his sentence hang in the air and acted on it.

They’ve been teleported to few hours earlier.that day, in the middle of a crowd. Ezekhiel was sitting at a table, pretending to be on his phone. While in reality, he eyed a girl sitting on the other side of the terrace. When she stood up to leave, he mimicked her. On that moment, Simo and Ezekhiel were pulled out of that place to return to Simo’s room.

‘What happp…’ Simo started. ‘WHAT! WAS THAT!?’  Simo stood still, speechless. He didn’t understand. ‘What are you doing?! I wasn’t ready! You can’t…’ Ezekhiel took a deep breathe to contain himself. He began to be worried. ‘What’s up with you?’ Simo asked.  ‘Listen. If we… If i’m going down this road, this dark, fuggy and uncertain road, with you, we need to set some limits, boundries.’ From Simo’s eyes, Ezekhiel saw confusion. ‘Alright, first: whatever you’re going to see, it has to stay between us. Second, you can’t judge me for anything you’re seeing. Third, i give myself the right to add other rules, later on.’ Simo didn’t get to reason why he needed to state the obvious but agreed anyway. ‘Alright. Now, what are we doing? Walk me through it like i’m a baby.’ Simo took few seconds to find his words: ‘Let’s start with that. Ok, think of a specific moment of your past.’ He then invited Ezekhiel to hold his hand. After taking a deep breathe, the latter proceeded to the experiment.

Simo’s room changed to become Ezekhiel’s room. The latter was in his bed, under the covers. A ring broke the silence of his sleep. Hardly, Ezekhiel reached out for his phone and checked the message he just received: Meet me at The Coffee Shop, at 10. He grunted, put his phone under his pillow, screen faced down, and went back to sleep. After few seconds, he sat on his bed. He stayed still until a knock on his door pulled him out of his paralysis: ‘Hey, Zee, wake up! Dad’s waiting for you.’ Once the voice disappeared, Ezekhiel put a foot on the floor, then then other one. He stood up and went to the bathroom at a very slow pace.

As the door closed, Simo and Ezekhiel witnessed the change of scenery from a bedroom to another. ‘You didn’t have anything less relevant than that?’ Ezekhiel gave his friend a death stare, before ignoring him. He checked the chronometer he set up earlier: ‘Four minutes.’ Simo took a serious pose. ‘So, the longest you can see is four minutes.’ Ezekhiel confirmed. He nodded. ‘Alright, what no…’ Before Ezekhiel could finish his question, something warm surrounded his elbow, bringing him back to the terrace he kept watch on a girl, from afar. As she walked away from her table, Ezekhiel turned to his unconsiderate friend: ‘What are you doing?’ Simo glanced at the girl and turned his head to his friend. ‘Hold that thought.’ Simo slowly let go of Ezekhiel’s arm. Once they were no longer in contact, Simo stepped back and waited for few seconds to see what happens. Nothing. He then followed the girl to her home, when the background switched again. ‘What happened?’ Ezekhiel asked. ‘You just disappeared, suddenly.’ A silence settled. ‘Bro! Explain!’ Simo said. ‘When you let go of my arm, i came back to your room but you weren’t there. Where were you? Still in the past?’ Simo nodded. He started to pace. to get his thoughts in order.

What do i know? I can travel through memories…It’s insane… I can choose the memory i want to see, but it will last two minutes and a half only. If the victim volunteers and picks a precise moment to show me, i can stay in it longer. Then, i’ve tried this once, but let’s assume it works every time: i can move into that memory, without the owner. I can walk around in the memory…. I can walk through it… His vision became blurry. Think. Say i can move, i can displace objects: will that change anything to the present? Logically, no. It’s a memory. Nothing can be changed… Although, i disappear from the present when i walk in the remembrance. What does that…

Simo gazed around him. The floor replace the roof, again and again. Furnitures encercled him as if they were alive. He looked at Ezekhiel and tried to focus on him to keep a landmark, but the latter spinned like every thing else. Simo began to lose balance: all he could see, now, was shapes. Indistinguible shapes that became lines mixing walls with furnishings, people and hard floor. A sudden change of pace destabilized Simo: his feet weren’t touching the ground anymore. A sweet feeling of free falling traveled through his body. Face to him, a hand appeared in the middle of fuzziness that surrounded him. It approached his face with a certain slowness. He could see the fingers passing at the focus point of his vision. Then a thumping sound quickened the scene: the hand went out of Simo’s sight. Ezekhiel’s face appeared. And: pitch black. Simo blacked out.

 

To Be Continued

Time (2)

Time

Bright. Yellow. And blinding. The sun was high in the sky when Simo opened his eyes. He sat down and looked ahead of him. The impact of the white dwarf created a crater in the middle of the park. The dirt has settled down on the ground, covering the green grass. Simo felt a pain coming from his brain. A strong ache. As he tried to control his misery, he heard a branch crack. He scanned the area when someone suddenly grabbed him by the collar then dragged him behind a tree and covered his mouth. They stood still for few seconds when a group of armed men, dressed all in black, invaded the field. ‘All clear.’ each one of them yelled to their partners. Simo felt less pressure around his chest. He turned his head to take a look at who kidnapped him. ‘Zeke…’ he whispered. The latter ordered him to stay quiet. They both glanced behind them: men in orange arrived carrying heavy cases. They started to analyze the object while the men in black secured the place with barriers. Ezekhiel poked Simo on the shoulder then showed him the way. As silently as they could be, they ran away on the opposite direction from the tumult.

Once they were out of any possible reach, they slowed down and mingled with the crowd. ‘What was that?’ Simo asked. Ezekhiel looked back, making sure they weren’t followed. ‘I don’t know. I just found you lying there. What happened?’ Simo tried to recollect his memories but they were fuzzy. ‘I touched it then…’ – ‘You blacked out.’ Ezekhiel finished. Simo nodded. As they made their way in the crowd, Simo was shaken by a passer-by. For a split second, something changed: his left foot sinked into sand before concrete reappeared. He slowed his pace before stopping. His headache amplified and the world spinned around him. His vision became blurry then darker and darker. ‘You’re alright?’ Ezekhiel asked. No respond. Simo lost balance all of a sudden then blacked out. The next thing he knew, he woke up in a room he recognized. Next to him, his friend was sitting in a chair, watching his computer with a particular attention. ‘Mmh, what happened?’ Simo mumbled. Ezekhiel raised his head then turned to his bed. He pointed a glass of water on the nightstand: ‘You fainted.’ As Simo drank few sip, he laid his eyes on the screen. Ezekhiel was watching the news about the white dwarf: journalists discovered its landing point and has surrounded the scientists that were studying the area. ‘It appeared, from the footage we received from one of our reporter on site, that the dead star created a relatively large crater in the middle of Kiho Park. But it seems that there is no object at the bottom of it. Scientists are actually analyzing and researching for the white dwarf….’ Ezekhiel gazed at Simo to have some explainations. The latter noticed a look on him. Thoughts and images of the lasts events ran into his mind. ‘It disappeared…?’ He finally said. His friend nodded. ‘You didn’t see anything when you found me?’ A silence passed, letting Ezekhiel time to think. ‘Mmmh, no. I don’t think there was anything.’ he replied. ‘What happened?’ Simo took a deep breathe and narrated his evening. ‘And what happened before you fainted today?’ Simo thought: ‘I bumped into a woman then… walked on a beach for a second.’ – ‘A…beach…But… we’re in land.’ Ezekhiel said. Simo agreed. He stood up then started to pace, trying to understand what was going on. He let his eyes travel on the room’s walls, his mind went empty until he realized he wasn’t in his room but in Ezekhiel’s: ‘Wait. How did you know i was in Kiho Park?’ The latter stood up and charged his computer: ‘You’re parents called me this morning asking if you were here… I told them you were still sleeping, then i figured you went to the park to see the star.’ – ‘Clever.’ Simo replied before yawning. ‘Well, thanks. I can’t think of anything right now.’ They both understood that it was time for them to go separate ways. As they were starting their handshake, Simo felt strange. The wallpapers faded, leaving room for trees. The bed and all furnitures disappeared, green grass replaced the floor and a gentle wind blew. Simo recognized the place. Kiho Park. He scanned around him and saw Ezekhiel running towards someone sitting on the grass. He grabbed him then dragged him behind a tree right before a swat team got closer to Simo. The latter looked at his feet: he was standing in the crater. He looked for the space stone but there was no trace of it. Zeke was telling the truth. On that thought, he found himself back in his friend’s bedroom. ‘You’re alright?’ He gazed around, trying to find his bearings. ‘What? What happened?’ Ezekhiel insisted. Simo felt lost, he didn’t understand and couldn’t explain it. As he stood still, Ezekhiel poked him on his shoulder sending Simo deeper into paralysis. After a long ten seconds, the latter regained consciousness and looked at his friend with wide eyes. Ezekhiel reached for the shoulder one more time to bring him back to reality, thinking he went on auto-pilot mode again, but Simo dodged him. Ezekhiel felt a bit confuse. He saw a light in his friend’s eyes. ‘I..I think… that when someone touch me…I’m teleported…In the past.’

 

To be continued

Time

Time

December 17, 2016. Winter was coming. A cold breeze pierced the air but the sun was still high. Clouds deserted the sky giving no hope for a white Christmas. Although, citizens of Toai City didn’t give up on celebrating: streets were filled with last minutes shoppers, running around, not paying attention to one another. In the middle of the crowd, he stood still, looking up far beyond his sight: Simo Ha, 18, eternel dreamer, stared at the barely visible space that lay above him. The more he observed, the more he felt drown by the darkness of the unknown. Suddenly, a bird flew by in his field of vision, pulling him back to Earth. Simo overlooked his surrounding to situate himself then went on in shopping spree, going in and out of the freezing atmosphere. He belonged to that community that thinks they have plenty of time to find the perfect gift for their loved ones as long as Christmas day hasn’t arrived.

Two hours passed and the night was falling. Lights were turned on, illumanting sidewalks, fake trees and ornements placed on shop signs. As time went by, Simo began to lose faith in finding something special for his parents. His mind shut down and his body went on auto-pilot. He walked away from the main street where all animations happened, his eyes locked on the dark ground. When two strong flashlights blinded him. A hand grabbed and pulled him strongly to the left: Simo’s consciousness resurfaced to regain control. He scanned his arm from his own hand to the one that saved him. ‘Ezekhiel?’ he said. The latter looked at him with frowned brows: ‘What’re you doing?’ Simo froze for a second then realized a car almost ran him over. ‘Wow!! That was a close one. Thanks, man!’ he replied. His friend shook his head before leading the way back to civilisation: ‘You have to stop doing that thing.’ Simo followed him: ‘What thing?’ – ‘Your auto-pilot thing. You’re gonna get kill, one day. Not paying attention, and just…be that vulnerable all the time.’ Simo listened his friend lecturing him with one ear, as they were making their way through the crowd. As the time to go home rang, they stopped by a small park. They crossed the semi-jungle to end up in a perfectly circular clear space. Simo let himself fall on the grass while Ezekhiel stood still. The night was clear. The moon shone brightly amongst the stars. No clouds still. Simo closed his eyes as a breeze passed by and took a deep breathe. When he opened them slowly, the entire forest got quiet. Both nature and humans were in peace.

The next day, Simo woke up in the beginning of the afternoon. His head pounded like a hammer and his vision was blurry. He went downstairs to the kitchen, grabbed some cereals and milk and ate, ignoring his parents. ‘1:00 pm. That’s a record.’ his father said, making his mother giggle. In response to the sarcasm, Simo yawned and focused on his food, shutting down his senses. After few bites, his hearing came back: the television was on a special flash of information. The journalist started her news with an expose about the universe. The dark, unknown and infinite space that fascinates many scientists.

‘Since the discover of the existence of a white dwarf, the becoming of a large star after many years of thermonuclear reactions, in 1783 by William Herschel, scientists kept on scanning different part of space and evolution of stars to understand their caracteristics and behaviours: their temperature can reach 150 000 Kelvin and lower to 4 000 K; their light decrease as they lose temperature. As a white dwarf doesn’t have any source of energy by itself, hydrogen and helium are consumed by chemical reactions at the surface of the small star. The coldest they observed is the white dwarf, named WD 0346+246, and it reaches about 3 900 K. But scientists explain that in humanity lifetime, we will never see a white dwarf attain the absolute zero. 

This leads us to six years ago where Joshua Aikon, a scientist considered mad by his peers, uncovers a white dwarf with an abnormal low temperature in our solar system. The scientist kept an eye on its evolution and noted some odd behaviours: indeed, this white dwarf’s temperature decreased exponentially fast. After confirming his observations, Aikon shared his thoughts and fears with few close scientist friends. Those latters kept an eye on the white dwarf and noticed a movement from its original position. Two years ago, they realized that it was attracted slowly by a gravitation force from the sun. From that observation, they contacted the governement to warn them of a potential danger. The latter decided to keep it a secret as to prevent any type of panic amongst the population.

Against all pressure and opinion, one of the initial scientists, that wish to remain anonymous, sent us a folder explaining all of this. He revealed on his latest notes that according the speed of the white dwarf and Earth trajectory, there is a chance of 4% that they collide. According to his calcuations, …’

Simo’s eyes widened like a revelation struck him. He jumped off of his seat, knocking his bol of cereals, disappeared in his room and ran outside his phone to his ear. ‘Zeke! Wake up! Meet me at the park!’ Simo ran as fast as he could. His focus was on the blue sky, trying to catch any sign of the small star. Arrived at the park, Ezekhiel was already there. ‘Wow! You’re fast!’ Simo said. ‘I was already awake when you called. So what’s going on? You sounded…and look over-excited. And what took you so long?’ Simo had a huge smile on his face: ‘Did you watch the news?’ Ezekhiel shook his head. Simo pointed the sky, stars filled his eyes: ‘Something’s coming!’ His friend stayed perplexed and waited for the second part. ‘A white dwarf. A white dwarf is coming!’ Silence. ‘What?… Like a… very small caucasian human?’ Ezekhiel replied. Another silence. ‘What are you talking about?’ Simo asked. ‘What are YOU talking about?’ Both of them looked confused. ‘We’re not on the same page.’ – ‘At all.’ Simo said. ‘No, a white dwarf is coming to Earth. Something from space is finally landing here!’ Ezekhiel felt lost: ‘Alright, let’s start from the beginning. What’s a white dwarf?’ Simo pulled a book out of his bag and opened it: ‘Look! A white dwarf is a star that didn’t go into supernova. It looks like this. They say that it’s surface is hotter than the original star, and it loses its warmth. Apparently, this one has a strange behaviour: it’s moving!!’ – ‘Moving?’ Ezekhiel interrupted. ‘Yeah, by gravity. And it seems that it will hit Earth.’ Simo waited for his friend to absorb all the informations. ‘And so, when will it hit? And what does that mean?’ Simo took the book out of Ezekhiel’s hands and turned the pages from cover to cover. Fast, Ezekhiel thought. ‘Well, from the speed of the white dwarf and Earth’s speed and their trajectories, it will happen next week.’ Simo looked at his friend, his excitment still at its peak. But the latter froze, his look locked on the ground. Terror invaded his head and spread to his entire body. He started to tremble. Until a warm hand land on his shoulder. It took him back to reality. He looked at his friend: he had a huge smile on his face. ‘Don’t worry. According to its size, it will be disintegrated in contact with the atmosphere. It will end up like… that piece of rock.’ Simo got a small smile out of his friend. They kept on talking about space for the rest of the afternoon.

For the next few days, the news were filled with discussions, debates and informations about the white dwarf and the eventual end of the world. Religious speculated it was an act of God and humanity needed to pray for forgivness for all of its sins. Scientists tried to convince the masse that it will barely brush the atmosphere and we will see a trail of light on certain part of the planet. They also predicted this event to happen on Christmas Eve. And politicians denied their knowledge about the situation. Population all around the world were in panic and disbelief. But no protestations happened or were recorded. The world kept on moving but in slow motion.

Every night, Simo dragged Ezekhiel at the park to scrutinize the sky. Simo was the one that mostly talked. As he was sharing his recent knowledge and interest for space to his friend, he felt the latter anxious and scared. Simo tried to reassure him but it didn’t seem to be effective. One the side, Ezekhiel felt skeptic about everything but began to be fascinated as he listened to his friend: ‘Where do you think it will land?’ he asked. Simo took some time to think. then pointed the grass. Ezekhiel was lost: ‘H…Here?’ Simo nodded, a huge smile on his face. ‘Precisely, here?…How do you know?’ he asked. ‘I did the math.’ Simo stood up and stared at the night sky. Ezekhiel looked at him, impressed by everything he learned in the past week. Why you dropped out of school? he thought to himself.

Since they met, he always thought that Simo would go places and be successful in life. But the latter wasn’t motivated by anything school gave to him. So he stopped going and got busy. Ezekhiel received a call every day from Simo to keep touch. And the latter always seemed to be busy but Ezekhiel never knew what he was doing. And he never asked either. He’s going somewhere. A smile appeared on his face.

The next day was Christmas Eve. Humanity was on stand by hoping that scientists were right about the white dwarf only brushing Earth. As the darkness came, people emptied the streets and cherished their probably last moments with their loved ones. Only one person dared to step outside: Simo was leaning over a tree, a book in his hands. He had a pile of books on his right and bunch of junk food on his left. Around 9 pm, as he finished the last pages of his book, something shone bright in the sky. Simo dropped his book and stood up. The fire created by the penetration of the white dwarf into Earth atmosphere grew bigger and bigger as it approached the ground. Simo stepped back a little. A huge deaf sound broke the silence of the night followed by a tremor that lasted four seconds. Smoke rose blocking the view. Few minutes later, Simo walked to the center of the agitation. The closer he approached, the more the dirt got thicker. He crouched near the impact: as he thought, the white dwarf’s size diminished as it went in contact with the atmosphere. It’s so small, now, he thought. Simo’s mind was atttracted by the space object. After his phase of observation, he reached out to touch it. The second his finger fondled the dead star, a wave of energy ejected Simo to ten feet, knocking him unconscious.

 

 

To Be Continued