I’ve said before that one of my favourite books is ‘The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’. In one episode Douglas Adams explains what happens to all the missing biros that we lose without being able to fathom where they have gone:
There followed a long period of painstaking research during which [Veet Voojagig] visited all the major centres of biro-loss through out the galaxy, and eventually came up with a rather quaint little theory which quite caught the public imagination at the time. Somewhere in the cosmos, he said, along with all the planets inhabited by Humanoids, reptiloids, fishoids, walking treeoids, and super-intelligent shades of the colour blue, there was also a planet entirely given over to biro life-forms. And it was to this planet that unattended biros would make their way. Slipping quietly through wormholes in space to a world where they knew they could enjoy a uniquely biroid lifestyle. Responding to highly biroid-orientated stimuli, in fact, leading the Biro equivalent of the good life. And as theories go, this was all very fine and pleasant, until Veet Voojagig suddenly claimed to have found this planet and to have worked there for a while, driving a limousine for a family of cheap green retractables.
So I had this vision of this wormhole, this crack, through which these pens slipped. Much like the crack in the universe in Phillip Pullman’s ‘His Dark Materials’:
There, somewhere in the middle of the air, was a tiny, microscopic crack in her universe. It felt as if the air was numb around it. [Lyra] wiggled her fingers around the tiny crack. Yes, it was still small enough; no specter would pass through.
I love the idea that we are so close to something else, within a paper of another world, close enough to sense it but not experience it. Multiverses. It’s an area, ripe to explore in fiction.
This week’s prompt from Charli Mills is July 30, 2014 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that involves a crack. I toyed with the idea of a multiverse in a flash piece but, since I have been continuing the story of Mary and Rupert I had to drop that for another time and tried this…
Crack in the Façade.
‘Come on Mum, they’re here.’
Following Penny, Mary eyed Rupert and his mother.
While Rupert and Penny bought drinks, Mary sat opposite Alison, surprised how Alison had aged.
Alison said, ‘Thank you for coming. I wanted you to have this. It was your grandma’s.’
The ring was beautiful. ‘Your father should never have given me it.’
Mary nodded. Her anger – how could he have given this to his mistress – was tempered by the touching gesture.’
‘He said the stones matched my eyes. Fool.’
‘Careful, Mum. Your face has cracked. That’s a smile.’
‘It’s not. It’s wind.’