Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Microstory 1118: Richard Parker

Richard Parker was not just a tiger. He was a man, with a brother named Saxon, and an eventual husband named Allen. While his brother would go on to become an astronaut, pioneering missions to Luna, Mars, and beyond, Richard chose to remain grounded. He met Allen on a camping trip in Colorado. At first, everything seemed normal. They were just two dudes who liked the outdoors, and ended up with tent lots next to each other. But the more they talked, the more they realized they had in common. Not only were they both on a lifelong mission to camp in every single state, but as if by magic, they had both already done this for the same four states. They lived on opposite sides of the country, though that didn’t matter. They went back to their separate lives, but kept in contact, and coordinated their vacation times, so they would always end up in the same place. After about a year of this, Allen found himself in between restaurant jobs, and decided it was time to move closer to his boyfriend. Richard was in construction, and could live just about anywhere, so they settled on Kansas City. A year later, they were living together, and still going on monthly trips, and a year after that, they were getting married. This all may sound nice and happy, but they had plenty of obstacles up ahead, because starting their lives together was just the beginning of their story. The beautiful early days of their marriage quickly descended into struggle and danger. It’s important to note that these were not the only versions of them. Similar events had transpired in an alternate timeline, but they had also met a woman named Ulinthra, who they ended up marrying as their third. She was a salmon, who lived each day twice, and used her gift to save as many lives as she could find in the newspaper. She did this with a partner named Reaver, but it would turn out they were both murderous psychopaths, who also used their gifts to hurt people, free of consequences. This timeline collapsed, giving way to a new one, in which Reaver attempted to prevent Richard and Allen from getting caught up in the death and drama by simply keeping them apart. But this was terrible as well, because they would end up alone, and separately working for Reaver anyway. It wasn’t until the next timeline after this that things started going well for the two of them, but that didn’t mean it was going to last forever. They soon found themselves once again in the world of time travelers, battling a powerful woman with psychic abilities. It would seem time did not want them to lead normal lives, and the history they don’t even remember would come back to haunt them when they were recruited to help stop Ulinthra yet again, this time many decades in the future. Then things got real crazy.

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