Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Microstory 1112: Orson Olsen

Orson Olsen, who was psychologically incapable of recognizing how funny his name sounded, was a member of the Community of Christ, which sprang from the Latter Day Saint movement. He was indoctrinated into his faith from birth in Independence, Missouri, and never thought to question what he had been taught. When he grew older, he started taking on more responsibility in the temple. One day, he was copying some missionary files when a young girl appeared outside the window, literally out of nowhere. He wasn’t certain he could trust what he thought he saw, though, so he watched her as she snuck in, and approached the podium in the sanctuary. She then conjured a bird from the aether, wrapped a message around its leg, then sent it on its way. This was not the first time he saw this girl, or witnessed her miracles, but it provided him with proof and confirmation. She first appeared to him earlier that morning, in his backyard. He had been so mesmerized and shocked by it that, though he did what she asked of him, he didn’t know what to think of it. She appeared to him a third time later that day, and charged him to change everything about his life. She told him that he should stop believing in the prophets, and to worship the only one real higher power in the whole universe, which she claimed to be time itself. It wasn’t as difficult for him to take on this new task as one might assume. He had believed every single thing his family and church taught him, but they had always demanded faith of him. This girl was the only person to ever show him real evidence of an almighty power. She disappeared from this life, but his drive to seek others like her was not lost. It’s not every day you encounter someone with temporal powers, but once you do, and you have some idea what to look for, it’s a lot easier to spot a second time. He remained in the church for the next few months, but all the while searching the metropolitan area for anyone who exhibited the same kind of abilities as that first girl. He found it in a man who could transport an object from one hand to the other. If he was willing to suffer through a psychic nosebleed, he could send something a meter or two farther, but that was his absolute limit. It wasn’t a very useful ability—but not all of them are. He incorporated it into his magic show, to make a little money on the side, but he was at little risk of becoming famous from it. With this man, Orson had real proof that time really was something to be worshipped. The magician knew of others like him; those with more powerful abilities, and Orson realized this was just the beginning. It would be pointless if this new church consisted only of himself, though. Orson was surprised at how easy it was for him to recruit others. He was smart enough to start with the people he knew were already doubting their faith. Once their numbers were high enough, they started thinking outside the original church. At that point, the new movement was unstoppable, and it was destined to cause more than a few problems for people with time powers.

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