“Sometimes, you have to step outside of the person you’ve been and remember the person you were meant to be. The person you want to be. The person you are.”
Herbert George Wells, Author, 1866 — 1946
Parsons noticed a spider-web gleaming in the sunlight, crossing the virtual boundary separating the twenty-first and twenty-second century Toronado Motor Inn Unit 13’s lined up like cars in a carny ride. The web was rigorously exact, scrupulously symmetrical – not like that of a Northern Black Widow, whose nest was untidy – but whose attitude provided a world of hurt to an 8 or 10-year old child, possibly death.
He realized that the mind-listen, mind-speak routine that Gracie, Visitor Two, had surreptitiously taught him was part of the time-travel protocol. If Parsons began vocalizing, talking real loud, would the family in Unit 13 Version 2002 bolt and run?
If they fled, cut out, burning rubber in the big car with the boat trailer, would the little girls, Paula and Pauline, not vanish? Is that the reason for Ghosts ? Ghosts are really guardian angels?
If the girls lived, would the parents, Marilyn and William, presumed but not proven guilty, change course? Who are the draftsmen which draw the line of evil? How many of them are out there – a few, a majority? Do they know who they are?
Can that line of evil be removed without leaving a lingering impression?
William watched his girls setting up camp on the floor of Unit 13 Version 2002. He was becoming immune to the Irish Whiskey Coffees. He visualized a pack of Fortune-Telling Cards, the ones employed by mystics and occultists, on the glass table in front of him. What shall it be, Toronado Tarot or Jameson Jinni?
William was convinced there are answers to most problems. The hard part was defining data, determining algorithms, sorting semantics. Proof abounded that luck trumped talent, patience prevailed over panic. He glanced up and across towards Marilyn, who shined always, even at the Toronado Motor Inn, the one-star disaster dirty walls and green synthetic field grass floors.
“Yeah, I was out of touch… But it wasn’t because I didn’t know enough… I just knew too much”
Cee Lo Green, Gnarls Barkley Frontman, Lyricist
Marilyn loved William, Paula, Pauline, and the Ocean. Bundle up girls. William – always William, the man was not a Bill – wear your sweater! Bring your hat and gloves. You know you get cold, your metabolism changes every seven years…
Marilyn knew the square root of eighty-one – William would talk crazy stuff in his sleep – a nutty quiz-show kind of guy, but he never watched the shows on television – then he would pop up, wild-eyed-sleep-talking and ask her questions about square roots of integers and could she spell hypotenuse?
William was vaster when awake. Last fall, on that same Ocean, but a nicer place, further North, and really summer, not early April. He stated the Ocean in addition to containing life, was alive itself. Sentient.
Watch! He said, as the four of them approached with trepidation the white breaking swell waves riding fat aquamarine piles of sea. The snow white tops obediently edged closer, like friendly creatures. Dogs wagging tails. Sea dogs.
Magnetic attraction, announced William. It made no sense, any third-grader knew that. But! All four of them felt the magnetism in the waves, the smaller magnets in their soft bodies comprised of water and salt and copper and zinc and iron. Iron! She knew.
The Ocean was a large flowing disorderly green magnet. They were tiny metal filings.
Gracie tugged Parsons’s sleeve gently. Tiger by the tail, a colloquialism she had discovered while prowling inside Parson’s left hemispherical cortex. He nodded sleepily. It was 2102 for Gracie and somehow, contrary to known science Parsons wasn’t dust – because of her, and the Black Jet Time Machine. If he, Parsons, was born nineteen-fifty, approximately, he would be one-hundred-fifty.
Rather, he was merely under-caffienated and hypnagogic – halfway between wakefulness and sleep. Gracie liked him a lot that way. His sub-species were Sapiens, from which The Visitors – annointed Tempus by Parsons, meaning Time – came from. Still he was very different. More to it.
He weighed about double what she did, and seemed to be made of iron. She knew that even among the Sapiens, he was a physical, mental, and psychological anomaly. Gracie understood what that felt like, or thought she did. There was a growing conviction, feeling, among their group that the Tempi lived a different awareness than people, especially Parsons. Perhaps they didn’t feel at all…
She and the three: Angela, Karl, Slim; were they Human at all? They were more cosmetically uniform and cognitively efficient, weren’t they? Parsons was a revenant psychopathic white trash terror. Gracie taught him rudimentary mind-listen and mind-speak, but Parsons was an awkward student. Determined.
However. There was at least one thing Parsons could do that they could not.
“…hey must be a devil between us…”
Black Francis, The Pixies, Boston MA
Pauly, they called her that – sort of the Emily + Emmy thing. Some words tasted differently than others. Made no sense. Pauly was very protective of Pauline two years her junior. Their mother, Marilyn – when she was little they told her she was prettier than Marilyn Monroe, but who in ’02 knew – cherished the girls.
Mother dressed the two identically when she had the right combinations in the clean clothes pile.
Pauly was watching her sister. Her un-designated, self-appointed duty. Pauly was in the fifth-grade, aged ten. Pauline, third, eight. Big sister understood, but couldn’t say exactly why, that people were much more different even though they originated from the same parents, and had lots of common letters in their names. Originated. Pauly’s favorite new word.
Pauline, therefore, was free to scan the Atlantic Sea, now they had been introduced by Father Mother Sister. A little green and black Zeiss Monocular Telescope. Father initially reminded the small girl that the thing was a tool. Not a toy.
What’s the difference, William? Asked eight-year Pauline?
Both are lots of fun to play with. If it gets lost and you miss it. It was a tool.