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Fantasy Science Fiction Coming of Age

"I spy, through my telescope's eye, something strange and unusual!"


"What is that supposed to mean?," a swaggering wise guy asks.


A meek geek wearing a striped shirt and broken glasses brightens up and starts rambling.


"My name is Norman. Tonight is the night of the Full Moon. I peer through my Big Red Telescope and what do I see? Something very strange and unusual! A world where one exists but are polar opposites. Winter here, Summer there. Shy and awkward here, confident and popular there. If you are successful here, a total loser there. You get my drift?"


Norman has a dramatic way of trying to sell his telescope fantasy. He spends hours polishing his telescope, counting the hours until he could turn it on and peer through the lens and enter the realm of "What-If"!


This haughty guy dresses impeccably, reads all the correct scientific magazines, is a popular guy, has a nice smile but also a superior opinion of himself.


"Why don't you come on over to my house on the night of the full moon and take a peek at the "What-If" Cosmos. You will see your polar opposite in a parallel time, an opposite kind of life than you are living here on Earth. Your "opposite" will be a sweating geek, like me!"


Norman nervously rubs his hands together listening for the minutes to tick away just waiting for the time of the full moon when the veil of the "what-if" time would open up.


"I don't just jump into situations without thorough research! I will call a few of my elite friends and see if they concur with your findings. If they lean toward the positive, I will ring your doorbell on the full moon. Later, Geek."


"He will probably be a no show, but I will still take a peek at my polar opposite. I want to see how the better half lives!"


____________________


The Night of the Full Moon Midnight


Norman spends weeks getting his telescope set up toward the night skies. The skylight window is wide open. It is a clear night with no clouds and a full moon. Perfect. There is a knock at the door.


"Sheer Perfection here. You are probably wondering what my name is, but that's my secret. Maybe my "what-if" double has a weird name like you, Norman. Now lets get going."


Norman and wise guy go upstairs and and into the realm of the "what-if" telescope.


"Who wants to go first?"


"I will", Norman says.


Norman peers through the telescope and zooms into the planet Pluto or is it a planet anymore? He watches as a room full of teens are dancing and laughing. He sees himself with longer hair, his face is clear and his glasses are gone! Norman is dancing with a girl! Intrigued, he continues to gaze through the "what-if" telescope as he notices a few trophies on the wall. Football trophies. He zooms in further. His name is on the trophies! "I don't even play football! I can't run and bounce a ball at the same time. Oops, that's basketball. Anyway, I am cool. I want to trade places with the "what-if" me. I want to be him!"


This high-handed wise guy shoves Norman out of the way.


"Let me have a turn at the telescope. You invited ME, remember?"


"How can I forget?"


"Norman, don 't be a wise guy. I want to see what I look like as a Geek. I will bust a gut laughing!"


The arrogant jerk peers into the big red telescope and gasps. He spies a sad boy wearing a dirty T shirt. He has a paper bag and takes out a dirty bologna sandwich and is stuffing it in his mouth. He is starving. A gang of well-dressed young boys approach him and steal his lunch. He chases them but they trip him and laugh. He is filthy, his knees are bloody and it seems impossible to catch up with the cool boys. He stops, looks up at the sky and screams. "I wish I could trade places with the "What-If" Me!

I want to be him so bad! I wish! I wish! I wish!"


Poof!


Suddenly, he goes up in a puff of smoke.


"What-if" Boy appears next to Norman.


Norman laughs. "You know I thought I wanted to trade places with my opposite but its much better having you here. You are way nicer than that snob and you don't have his EGO!"


Meanwhile, the wise guy is no longer cool. He is dirty, sad and has bloody knees from trying to outrun the cool gang that is always faster than he is.


"What was I thinking? I want to go back. Why did I think it would be better here? I am no longer elite or cool. I AM NO LONGER RELEVANT!"


The group of "cool" boys stop suddenly. One walks over, and helps him back up. "It is never better here. It's never better there. You just hope it gets better, but it is all an illusion. Do you think we are real? We are only here on the full moon the rest of the time we are nothing at all. It's our only time to live!"


______________________


Back at Norman's house. The pizza has arrived and Norman put the telescope away in his closet for good. Life if good if you don't keep looking to switch places.


"I am a geek but now I see that I have a friend from the other side of my telescope. He looks like a Nerd but if you zoom in close enough, our strengths outshine our weaknesses. His "what-if" opposite is saying "Who's sorry now." but it is too late for tears. Be happy with your life as it is."


Beware of the "What-If" Telescope!



February 19, 2022 01:56

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12 comments

Charlie Murphy
19:31 Feb 26, 2022

Awesome story! Reminds me of the Futurama episodes with the What If machine.

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Graham Kinross
08:42 Feb 26, 2022

It's interesting that even concepts like opposites can have different interpretations. In art school the term 'negative space' is used a lot to describe the space around an object. If everything was the opposite, everything that exists, would the opposite be a lack of existence? There are so many reference points in your idea in science fiction tv shows and films. Have you seen Fringe? It's basic premise was this kind of thing and all of the ways interfering with other realities can mess up both. What If is also a Marvel tv show that asks wh...

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14:51 Feb 26, 2022

No I never saw Fringe. I honestly wrote this story on the keyboard with my imagination. I watch alot of Irwin Allen shows and of course Star Trek. I heard of "negative space" as I draw and paint but just wanted to show contrast between wise guy who thinks he's all that and a bag of chips and the nerd guy who dreams of being a big shot but realizes he has it alot better if he just appreciates the world he lives in now and stops thinking it is up there somewhere, unattainable. He has it all within him and around him. And he found a friend that...

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Dustin Gillham
20:40 Feb 21, 2022

Kathryn, Please consider the following. Think of my suggestions as an opportunity to learn. (1) Many commas in your first paragraph need to be added or removed. (2) replace the word "nice" with "friendly [also remove comma]. (3) Watch redundancy. If a word appears cluttered throughout the work, i.e., "superior-minded," pluck it and add a synonymous alternative. (3) Even hyphens can appear redundant. Consider alternatives. (4) Verbs need to agree with the sentence. I like to try and make my verbs carry consistent tense throughout the ent...

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20:54 Feb 21, 2022

Thank you. I was using the "superior-minded" wise guy as his name but i can change that. I was trying to make him a polar opposite of the geek.

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21:42 Feb 21, 2022

I made a few adjustments and changed the guys name to a few synonyms for arrogant. If the story is too dumb, I just may choose the story Life inside a red balloon. It is much better.

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Dustin Gillham
21:59 Feb 21, 2022

They are both great. Don’t say it’s dumb. None of your stories are dumb. You are a wonderful writer! :-). Be confident. Good writing comes from the soul. Your stories have soul.

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22:14 Feb 21, 2022

Thanks my husband thinks my writing is a waste of time. He offers no support.

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Dustin Gillham
22:18 Feb 21, 2022

That’s dumb. Ask him to write a short on “why my wife’s writing is a waste of time” and we’ll see how well he does? Lol. Writing is like painting. It’s art. Art is a reflection of God’s beauty. “Worthy of time” does not always mean “makes a lot of money.” ;-)

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23:15 Feb 21, 2022

LOL . Yes it is all about the benjamins. He doesn't understand my right brained thinking and my creative soul. I would like to see him write anything at all except a grocery list. He always misspells words. He even had the nuns like I did and the spelling bees. He has no excuse for sloppy writing skills.

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04:15 Feb 22, 2022

I think it's 100 percent better. I went back to the prompt and kept it simple. I cut out alot of fluff and cleaned up the sentences. I know its better now!

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