Thursday, August 19, 2021

Microstory 1694: Constant in Life

If looking at a normal universe from the outside—as I do on the regular—is like staring at a still painting, looking at Fickleverse is like trying to spot one particular mosaic tile that’s glued to a powered up a room full of powered up mosaic chainsaws. I have an idea of how it works, but it’s incredibly difficult to make out the details. It’s too chaotic, too unpredictable, too messy. So I can’t give you many specific stories that took place on this world. I can’t even be a hundred percent sure whether the only populated planet is an alternate version of Earth, or some other place. I had to work really hard to find one interesting story by digging deep, and trying to find the most linear of proverbial needles in the haystack. Like I said in an earlier installment, people in Fickleverse know that they’re in Fickleverse. They recognize that time moves in more than one direction, and events almost never add up to an inevitable conclusion. I found one woman who kind of seemed immune to the sort of temporal changes that most people experienced here. Her name was Corain Flint, and she lived a pretty standard life; or at least, as standard as it could get. She was born in one year, and died 74 years later. In that time, technology in her immediate area advanced 74 years, and she aged along with it. Her parents remained the same throughout her entire life, until they passed when she was in her forties. She never had any siblings, but she had two children with a consistent husband. They all stayed as they were until she was gone. Like everyone else, she too could see that time was fickle, but she was more perturbed by it than most, because she felt more like an observer, and less like a participant.

It was tough for her, trying to convince the people around her that some things didn’t make any sense. Her neighbor’s first name kept changing, and while everyone else automatically adapted to each transition, she could never keep it straight. She had to actually ask what his new name was, and when she did, he would be confused and upset, because to him, it seemed obvious. Yes, his name changed, but how could she possibly not know that that was the next logical step in his nominal development? Most films played in the right temporal direction, but not all, and though everyone else was able to comprehend a story out of the backwards dialog, she didn’t have any idea what the hell was even going on. They usually wouldn’t give her her money back. Corain eventually gave up, and realized that she was pretty much alone in her feelings about time and reality. She just tried to live her life in the best way possible, and ignore the discrepancies unless impossible. Several years later, she started thinking about it again when a friend she had known her entire life simply disappeared. No one else who knew this person believed Corain when she claimed he was real. They had no recollection of this man, and no reason to suspect that something had been done to their memories. Nonlinear time was one thing, but a whole person spontaneously being completely removed from the timestream was unfair, and the last straw. She decided to go against her friends’ advice, and start a support group for others like her. She didn’t know if such people even existed, but she had to try. There had to be someone out there who could see where she was coming from. There was. There were many someones. As it turned out hundreds of people around the world also experienced time more like her. A chapter sprang up in every major city, and no one else ever understood what their deal was.

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