Time (3)

Time

‘Pfff….Pfhahahahahahahahahahaha!! You’re kidding, right? Right? Oh no, you’re serious?’ Simo stared at his friend, his face as serious as it could get. Ezekhiel stayed quiet for seconds, he tried to contain his laugther. ‘I don’t care if you don’t believe me.’ Simo said as he turned his back and left the room. Those last words resonated in Ezekhiel’s ears. He reacted as fast as he could and grabbed Simo’s arm before he disappeared. Time froze. Ezekhiel’s mind was transported to his eighth year of life. He was standing in the middle of a baseball field, surrounded by other kids his age. Bats were thrown on the ground, particules of sand flew in the air. Ezekhiel looked upset: he gesticulated violently towards the group that kept its smile. Despite the fact that kid Ezekhiel was screaming his lungs out, no sound resonated. Ezekhiel had a spam and felt something between his fingers. He turned his head and saw Simo looking at him straight in the eyes. A strange feeling spread in Ezekhiel’s body, when a wave of dioxygen disturbed the atmosphere, followed by another one. And another one. Until the frequencies aligned perfectly: ‘BACK OFF!’ Kid Simo shouted. All of the other kids shut up. They stepped backward as Simo walked in between Ezekhiel and them. ‘Pff, it’s not funny anymore.’ one of them said before leaving. ‘They said…my…my father’s dead…’ Kid Ezekhiel confessed, tears flowing on his chicks. ‘They’re…they’re lying! He’s… He just left. He said he’ll be back! He said he’ll be back!’ Sobs didn’t allow silence to settle in. ‘He said: he’ll come back.’ The calm gained the boy’s mind and body. A urge to scream grew in him, but more tears came out instead. Ezekhiel remembered that feeling: being at the edge of facing the hard truth of reality. ‘I know.’ Kid Simo’s voice pierced Kid Ezekhiel’s thoughts. Simo turned around: ‘. I believe you. He’s gonna come back.’

As he let go of his friend’s arm, Ezekhiel found himslef back in his room. He gazed around then put his eyes on Simo’s. They stood in silence for a couple of minutes. Simo looked astonished and yet excited. Ezekhiel understood then: ‘I believe you.’

 

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