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Thursday, July 18, 2019

Microstory 1149: Téa Stendahl

Literally in another life, Téa Stendahl was a tailor. She was originally born a man named Ed Bolton in the late 1700s. Years after the turn of the century, Ed jumped forward exactly one year, and there he remained for precisely three seconds, at which point he jumped forward again. He spent three minutes here, until it happened yet again. He continued to do this unwilling, both increasing the number of years he passed over, and the amount of time he spent upon his return. He would skip years according to the Fibonacci sequence, and spend three somethings (minutes, hours, days, etc.) there, before moving on. In the mid-20th century, he died in a car wreck, but he was an old man by then, and felt he had lived a decent life. He had eventually accepted his new pattern, and helped a lot of people along the way. He would never see is best friends again anyway, as they were traveling through time in the opposite direction, so it was all right that it was finally over. Except it wasn’t. Téa Stendahl was born a normal child, into a lovely family. She enjoyed fashion and sewing, but had no clue that this was not the first life she had experienced. As she grew up, though, she started recalling events that never could have happened to her. Her parents figured she just had a grand imagination, but they still sought help from a child psychologist. He was unable to understand what was happening with her either, but she eventually no longer needed his help. As time went on, she remembered more and more of her former life—or perhaps, more accurately, her former lives. While most jumps allowed him to retain all his memories, there was one thing that never stayed the same.

Bolton stopped going by his original name, instead adopting a new variation each time he jumped. In different time periods, he was called Ned, Teddy, Eddie, Edward, and Theodore. He could always remember the names he used to use, but was unable to revert to them at will. The people in charge of his time traveling were messing with his brain. They must have been messing with the minds of Téa’s new parents too, because her newest name couldn’t have been a coincidence. As the powers that be would have it, Téa was able to see her friends again. After they too were reincarnated, they suddenly jumped in the opposite direction, and met back up with her near the middle of the 21st century. They were surprised to find their companion with a new gender assignment, but not bothered by it. Téa felt that she was a woman, and it was unclear whether the powers that be transformed her on purpose, or if at least part of the reincarnation process was out of their hands, and subject to nature’s whims. Either way, she was happy. She later returned to her roots as a tailor, opening a clothing shop on an island on another planet, in another galaxy. There were others like the three of them, who were sent to various time periods, completing various missions. They weren’t always wearing the right clothing to blend in with the natives, so she was there to provide them with authentic clothes and accessories. They couldn’t just look like they should, like one might find on the set of a historical film. They needed to utilize materials and dye that could be found in any given time. Sometimes, her customers wouldn’t remember that they had ever gone to The Hub at all, instead believing they blinked, and were just suddenly wearing new clothes in the past or future. She even did this for the past version of herself, which was an interesting opportunity to gain rare perspective.

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