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Funny Happy Speculative

TW: Swearing.

A featureless, sexless being of pure black light held my hands and told me I would be a wanderer. Clicking my fingers would take me to the next universe. Clicking the other fingers would take me back. With no more explanation, the multiversal god vanished. I stood alone in the car park of a fast-food restaurant, drunk.

“Yeah right,” I said, clicking my fingers. Night became day. Tarmac became a field of red poppies. I became the multiverse’s biggest moron. I could only click the fingers of my right hand.

Bright blue sky stretched out to a horizon far across fields of every colour. Flowers bloomed in blocks of red, orange, yellow, blue, and pink. Turning a full circle, the only landmark was a single tree.

“Fuck no.” I clicked my fingers again. Day became midday. Burning heat glared down from a golden sun. Heat haze shimmered over a lake before me. My shoes sank in the wet sand of the bank. An alligator gave a welcoming grin as its foreleg took a step towards me.

Snap.

Unknown constellations winked over the skyline of an alien city.

Snap.

Cars swerved around me, standing in the middle of a ten-lane motorway.

Snap.

A cat purred around my ankles. Both eyes glowed yellow.

“Can I help you?” Asked the ginger tom.

Snap.

Trees as far as I could see in every direction.

Snap.

“Back?” A dark car park. The same restaurant. “Thank fuck for that.” I walked home down the road. “What was in those burgers?”

Wind blew a garbage tumbleweed past me. A man in brown rags pushed a rattling trolley filled with bags. I tried clicking the fingers on my left hand then stopped. I was home. Why jinx it?

My tower block loomed high over the graffitied walls of the playpark. Teens in hoodies played basketball with nothing but the streetlights to see by. Legs hung limp from a dumpster at the base of the stairs. I tried not to look as I rushed past. See no evil. Hear no evil. Speak no evil. Snitches get stitches, in the morgue.

The lift smelled of new paint and newer piss. I looked with alarm and yet envy at the used condom flicked against the corner, beneath the buttons. Pushing number six with my sleeve pulled up over my thumb for hygiene, I waited.

Orange lights on the tiny screen counted up. A bell chimed. I stepped out into the cool air again, thankful that it didn’t smell of condom or urine. Shuffling to my door I dropped my keys.

Picking them up I tripped over something new on the balcony. Swearing as I fell, I caught myself and scuffed my hand. Looking at grit driven into my palm I gave a catlike hiss in pain. The plant pot which had tripped me stood nonchalant as if it hadn’t done anything wrong. I showed it my middle finger and told the thing to fuck off. Where had it come from? There were no plant pots when I’d gone out a few, I looked at my watch, more than a few hours ago.

My door was wrong. In many ways the door of number 605 was different. Mine is green with flaking paint. It was brand new blue with a silver sign instead of the brass numbers on mine.

“Weatherworths. Who the hell are they?” I looked around, over the balcony wall. A city not quite my own stared back and shrugged. Instead of the community centre across the road there was a cemetery surrounding a pyramid.

“Again?” I clicked the fingers on my right hand.

Falling.

I clicked again.

I hit the balcony of the fifth floor and wheezed.

“What the fuck?” Lights flicked on at the window by 505. I picked myself up and limped away. My ankle hurt. My mind was twisted even worse.

I sat in the stairwell. Down below somewhere, people were having sex. I didn’t say anything to stop them. Years of living in a high-rise block had taught me to cope with the constant sound of loud and often very angry sex.

While Nathan did whatever the girl was telling him not to stop doing, I thought. Looking at my left hand, I tried to click my fingers. A limp nothing rewarded the effort. Just as well. I didn’t want to fall to my death in the previous universe.

Sobriety was setting in. The words of the god were finally starting to leak in through the drunken stupor. I felt like crying.

Walking back up the stairs I got in the lift and went down to ground level. I flapped my left middle finger against my thumb again and again until it slapped my palm with an audible click.

The housing block vanished. A patch of trees stood before me.

Click.

No.

Click.

Not yet.

Click.

Nope.

Click.

Click.

Click, click, click.

Pretty flowers. Almost there.

Click.

“Home. Please be home.” I ran up the stairs all the way to the third step. Cardio isn’t my thing. Wheezing, I made it to the second floor then sat in the lift up to six.

“Please, please, please be my home.”

Green door. Flaking paint. No plant pot. Electricity bill final warning envelope hanging from the letter box.

“Thank fuck for that.” My key gave the door a few more scratches before committing to entry. It turned reluctantly and the smell of undone washing and old pizza hit me like a warm hug.

“Home.” I closed the door. Then I closed it again because half of the time the lock is on strike. More bills kissed the mud from my shoes. I kicked off the Nikes and rubbed my face with the sore hand. I had cream somewhere didn’t I?

A black cat sat among the hoodies and T-shirts that covered my bedroom floor. I threw a porn magazine from the bedside table and picked up the antiseptic cream that sat next to the lube, not two things you want to mix.

Smearing the white stuff across my hand I winced.

“Rough night out in the multiverse?” Asked Marley, named after Bob. I was high when I adopted him, don’t judge me.

“Yeah. I couldn’t click the fingers on my left hand. I saw some weird crap tonight.”

“I bet,” he said without moving his lips. He leapt up onto my chest and turned in circles to get comfortable.

“Wait, since when can you talk?” I asked my buddy, stroking under his chin to start his engine purring.

“I’ve always talked Mike. You just weren’t paying attention. Go to sleep. When you wake up, we can wander the multiverse together. I want to show you around.” He lay his tiny head on my chest. My tired lids surrendered to gravity’s seductive ways.

I had some weird dreams. I’ll tell you that much.

July 27, 2022 13:41

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3 comments

Graham Kinross
06:39 Aug 07, 2022

If you want to read the next story in this series then you can use the link below. Thank you for reading. https://blog.reedsy.com/short-story/otdz6j/

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Michał Przywara
21:46 Aug 01, 2022

Heh, very funny :) The intro here is great. Not only do we get an ominous being bestowing an unbelievable power arbitrarily, but the main character immediately screws himself over by using it. His sense of dread grew as the story progressed and he moved further away from home, and some of the scenes were quite alien. In this case, the simplest solution was the best and all he had to do was put the time and practice in to learn to snap with his left. Maybe earlier, the liquor clouded his judgement. I liked the line "A city not quite my ...

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Graham Kinross
22:15 Aug 01, 2022

I think most cats are gods, they just can’t be bothered showing off. It’s where their casual superiority comes from.

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