Miranda Kate’s Picture Choice: 1
Title: Interdimensioning Part 6 - Off Kilter
When the giant bear-like creature stepped forward and made a strange grunting sound, Elise couldn’t help herself and giggled. This seemed to elicit confusion as the strangely dressed humans looked at each other. But the bear gave another grunt and this time offered his paw.
Elise glanced at Logan. “What do you think he means?” she whispered.
Logan gave her round eyes and a shrugged. “Beats me.”
Then there was a shuffling at the back and something was passed from hand to hand until the bear took hold of what looked like a flower and proffered it to her.
Again Elise glanced at Logan. He said, “Take it.” So she did, with a smile, saying, “Thank you.”
This seemed to work as the group all nodded at each other and gave off sounds of laughter.
Elise brought the flower to her nose. It looked like a sunflower, but the yellow seemed brighter, more vibrant. She stroked it with her finger and sniffed it. The circular way the seeds ran round its centre made it seem like it was moving, like a wheel being turned. Elise watched it, unable to take her eyes off it. Round and round they went, on as on with no end.
She heard a sound to her right where Logan was standing. He was speaking but she couldn’t quite hear him, all she caught was “…fading, can’t see you, what’s happening Elise?!”
She tried to turn her head but it wouldn’t move, and the seeds just kept turning, round and round. She wanted to move her eyes from them but couldn’t. Then a wind hit her face and broke the spell.
The view shocked her. How did she get here? Where did this field come from? She spun round in a pirouette, but she was alone, and all she could see right out to the horizon in every direction were green fields. No trees, no shrubs, just grass; long whispering grass. And it was whispering, something was being said, she was sure of it. She leaned down, trying to hear, trying to make out the words. If she could just get a tiny bit closer she would be able to catch them out, she was sure of it.
Then she fell, tipping right over; her forehead hitting the ground – hard.
The world crowed in again and she could hear movement around her, lots of bodies, and Logan’s voice.
“Elise! Are you alright? What happened, you were gone for a few seconds. Elise!”
He was at her side, pulling her up into a sitting position. She could feel a trickle of blood down her nose. She looked at him stunned. “Where am I?”
“You’re here with us – me and Reginald, and…well whoever these people are, in the Tree world. Remember?”
It came back to her, and she looked round at the faces. The group of Star Wars dressed humans. There was something not quite right, something off kilter.
She was still clutching the flower. She chucked it at them, and shouted, “You’re not real, are you? The trees made you up? What do you want from us?”
Shocked faces looked back at her, but then there was a shudder in the ground and a collective shimmer ran through the bodies before they winked out.
Logan breathed, “Oh my God they were a projection of some sort.” He stepped forward and wafted his arms around the space they had inhabited. “How did they do it?”
Reginald gave off a couple of bleeps before saying, “Shouldn’t we be asking why they did it? What were they trying to achieve?”
“I don’t like this Logan, please try and get us out of here.” Elise wiped her forehead and showed him the blood.
“I will Elise, but where did you go when you sniffed that flower? You disappeared for a couple of seconds.”
“Fields, just open fields - of grass. I couldn’t see any landmarks.”
“Maybe some kind of hallucinogenic, Mr Logan; the Trees would know all about the plant life here.” Reginald pointed at the discarded flower.
“But her body actually physically disappeared. That’s like some kind of transportation device. Maybe we could use it? Or maybe they were offering us a way out?”
“Logan, we can’t afford to mess about with some kind of unknown device that could take us to God knows where. You said you thought you could reprogram Reginald, so let’s stick with that.”
Logan pulled Elise up onto her feet. “Yeah, you’re right. I’m just curious that’s all. It’s a chance to explore.”
“I’m bleeding Logan, I want to go home.” Tears welled up in Elise’s eyes. She’d had enough.
“Okay, Elise. I’ll see what I can do.”
Logan turned to Reginald who had his keypad open and ready. He bend down and started punching in sequences again, across and round the keypad. More bleeping and staccato sounds were emitted as he did so. Then Logan stopped abruptly, and stood up, taking a careful step backwards.
“Logan?” Elise didn’t like his expression. “What is it? What’s the matter?”
“Where are you really from Reginald? What is your true purpose?” Logan’s tone sent a chill through Elise; it was firm, but it had an edge, like he’d uncovered something that scared him.
Reginald went through another series of bleeps, and then stopped all movement. His eyes were still open, and directed at them, but they were no longer focused.
There was silence. The very definition of this scared Elise. She side stepped until she could feel Logan’s arm against hers, and whispered, “There’s no sound – from anywhere.”
Logan’s eyes flitted round at the trees. The stiff movement of his head indicated his fear. Then Elise felt his hand slip into hers.
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