This is a new short story I recently thought up and am currently working on. The title is a work in progress, as is the story itself. I hope to continue it more over the coming weeks. Feedback and/or constructive criticism are very much welcome! Thanks for reading.

It’s funny how, no matter what you do or where you go, you never really know what’s gonna come out of it. Of course, that night I did know where I was going, even if nobody else would have guessed it in a million years. Hell, if you had told me a couple months back that this was even possible, I would have said you were crazy. But not now. Not anymore. Now I knew exactly where I was going, or at least I thought I did. Not that knowing it really did me a whole heap of good in the end, though.

“Where are you going?” Mona asked me as I grabbed my coat and rushed for the front door.

“Out,” I said.

“I can see that, Rob,” she said. “I’d like to know where you’re going when you get out of the house.”

Street Corner
Photo taken from Flickr Creative Commons. By Chris Dorley-Brown.

“Just around town,” I said. Technically, it wasn’t false. Not exactly.

“When will you be back?”

“I don’t know. Maybe a couple hours. Probably not much more.”

“Right,” she said with a scowl. “I’ll believe it when I see it.”

“No, really. Just a couple hours. I’ll be back before you’re in bed. I promise.”

“Just leave if you’re going to,” she said. “I won’t wait up.”

“Fine!” I shouted. “You’ll see! And I will see you when I get back!” I slammed the door and walked off onto the sidewalk and down that street.

Sometimes I couldn’t believe that woman, always nagging and criticizing me for no good reason. I mean, sure, nobody ever said I was the perfect husband. I’ve made my mistakes and I got my fair share of secrets. Who doesn’t? I guess it kind of made sense for her to wonder what was up, considering how much I was keeping from her lately. But whatever I may be, I do know that I’m not gonna flat out lie to my wife. And I’m also not one of those lazy bums who just stays out all night doing nothing and going nowhere. When I go out, I damn well know how long I’m gonna be out. If I say I’ll only be a couple hours, I’ll only be a couple hours.

I guess it started one of the first times, a week or two ago. Well, not all of our problems—most of those started a lot longer ago than that—but I mean the thing about her doubting how long I’m gonna be out. Mona wanted me home at seven for dinner or something one night, so I made sure to only stay out an hour and be home promptly by seven. But she insisted that it was closer to seven-thirty, that I was late and being careless, that I didn’t make time with her a priority. Which is stupid. See, I work as a security guard for hours on end at a fancy lab with big brains who put out all kinds of high-tech developments. What’s more, I may be one of the few bums there who actually gives a crap about his stupid job. So you better believe I’m used to keeping track of time and I know exactly where I am from one minute to the next. It makes absolutely no sense for her to tell me that I wasn’t home in an hour when I know for a fact that I was. And besides, like I said, I may not be perfect, but I wouldn’t lie to her. After all, I love her—or, at least, I thought I did at one time. It’s just that things change over time, and sometimes I needed to get out a bit and get a change of pace, is all.

Which I guess is what brought me to where I was right at that moment. Standing at the corner of 5th and Higgins, just a few blocks from the house, right near that old worn-down country church we used to go to few times a year. I usually did it at this spot because it’s a low-traffic area, or at least it was at that time of night. Nobody else had seen me do it yet, so far as I’d been able to tell. I took a couple quick glances around to make sure the coast was clear. Then I lifted my wrist and pulled up the sleeve of my coat, revealing what would look to most people like a fancy silver watch underneath. I glanced one more time, took a deep breath, and then pressed the button on the side.

My entire body tingled with an electric sensation for a quick second. My vision went black for a little bit too, but I was more used to it this time than I had been before. Almost immediately, I opened my eyes and found myself standing in the exact same spot where I was before. Like I had told Mona, I was just staying nearby in town.

Dimension City
Photo taken from Flickr Creative Commons. By Katrin Shumakov.

Except that I wasn’t in the same spot. Not exactly. I hadn’t moved at all, but I wasn’t on the corner of 5th and Higgins anymore. Instead, the street signs read Gatz Rd. and Avenue E. And instead of the weathered steeple that had dominated the skyline just a minute ago, a local bar and restaurant advertised its name on a flashing neon sign: “Miniver’s.” The place all around was the same as home, but just…it was different. Things had changed in the blink of an eye. I started walking down the sidewalk toward the restaurant.

To be continued…

Click here for part 2!

4 thoughts on “Parallel, part 1

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