Copyright 2022 by Ezra Azra
4 from Pixabay
opened her eyes. It was night. She was asleep in bed. She was
irritated. Another nightmare! She squished her eyes tight, turned on
her side, pulled the blanket over her head, and wished she could go
back to sleep immediately to erase the nightmare.
bedroom light came on. What! In shock she moved the blanket from over
her head; swung herself to be on her back. "Vivian. Good. You
are awake." She looked up to see who it was in her bedroom. "Who
Easy. In your language, I am a nurse." "I am in a
hospital?" "Something like that. You are not hurt. What is
your last memory before you went to bed, Vivian." Vivian looked
at her, trying to remember. She spoke, guessing hesitatingly. "I
was in bed." "Yes." "People were there."
"Yes." "Some of them had tears,--" Her voice
trailed off. She looked at the nurse. The nurse was slightly smiling,
and nodding, barely noticeably.
spoke softly, struggling to believe herself, "I was dying?"
"Do not be depressed, Vivian. Yes, you died; but you are not
dead anymore." "I do not understand." "That is
normal. In a few minutes more you will understand everything, and be
most happy. Keep in mind the meaning of your name, Vivian."
"Alive." "Yes. And now alive forever and forever."
nurse continued speaking as she went about arranging things in the
room. She wheeled a screen into place. There were items of clothing
draped on parts of the screen. She opened the curtains; bright
sunlight flooded into the room through the window. Other persons
entered the room, carrying things to erect a table, and place on it a
table cloth, and tea things, and so on.
you dress, I will tell you." Vivian went to behind the screen
and proceeded to change out of her pyjamas. "You lived for
twenty-eight years. You fell ill during a world pandemic. You died,
and you are now here."
is here?" "Where you were on Earth." "I am still
on Earth?" "Yes." Vivian paused in her dressing; she
popped her head above the screen and looked wide-eyed at the nurse.
"Finish dressing, Vivian. You need to be sitting for the rest of
the happy news."
nurse moved to the table and set about pouring tea for the both of
them. Vivian hurried finishing dressing, and sat at the table. The
nurse served, and then sat opposite Vivian, and continued speaking in
a soft matter-of-fact tone.
are on Earth, Vivian, in a different concurrent time dimension. Where
we are here, there are Earth people occupying this space as well,
right now. Their time dimension and ours function in the same areas
at the same time, but do not interact with each other. Our physiology
frequencies are different. That is why we are invisible silent
spirits to humans."
we are invisible to you?" "No. Human physiology functions
at a frequency so much lower than ours, that humans to us are as
are quiet for a few seconds.
did I come here?" "We do not know. That is why we are still
on Earth. We are studying the situation to find out." "You
are not of Earth." "No. We travel all over the galaxies,
looking for life. Hoping to find our kind of life. Along the way we
have found worlds like Earth, that have some life that can interact
with us, as you have interacted." "How many, so far?"
far, in the millions of years we have been here, fourteen: three
humanoids, you are the fourth, four cats, four dogs, and one
mosquito." "And, so far, are you making progress in finding
out why? How?"
why or how. Not yet. But a little of what. We have established one
tangible fact. The time difference between our dimensions is 1-to-a
little over 21 million minutes. That is, when one hour passes in the
human dimension, twenty-four hundred years pass in our dimension."
long silence followed, as each sipped tea and nibbled on biscuits.
spoke softly, almost to herself.
other words, in the five minutes-or-so that I have been here, about
two-hundred years have passed in my human years." The nurse
if I were to return, everybody I know, will have been long gone."
The nurse nodded again, slightly. "Can I return, anyway?"
say the word, Vivian. We sent the animals back the instant they
three humanoids?" "They did not want to even think about
going back. Quite afraid, in fact." "Criminals?" "That
thought occurred to us; especially because they arrived here wide
awake and handcuffed to one another. In this dimension nobody has the
ability to hurt anyone. And, so, we ignored the probability that they
were criminals." "Righteousness means nothing here?"
The nurse shook her head, nearly imperceptibly, "Sorry."
"Female, male?" "All women; about your age. All the
cats and the dogs, too, female. Probably the mosquito, as well."
are those persons now?" "I do not know." "Can
they return to the human dimension?" "Not without our help.
It is a complicated process."
long silence. Softly, "What is my life expectancy in this
dimension?" "As ours is, forever, at your present age. And
that is not the best part. Here every life has the ability to
temporarily change its outward appearance."
eyes opened their widest possible. The nurse smiled, "I will be
happy to teach you, Vivian. In a few hours, you will be an expert."
species has been on other planets in the universe?" "Are on
other planets in the universe, Vivian." "Millions of
years?" "Millions of years." "And still no
answers?" "Just the one. The beginning one, that we are of
a different and excessively high one-of-kind life frequency, that
makes us immaterial to all life forms we have encountered, so far.
And this fact we discovered only by forms like you making the
are immaterial to us." "Yes." "Are we immaterial
to you?" "No. To us you appear to be solid stone."
"And so, you are unable to study us as living forms."
"A hurdle that can be overcome if I went back with my as yet
inexplicable capacity to access both time dimensions."
nurse was stunned speechless, wide-eyed. She spoke slowly, softly, in
amazement, "And we have those eight animals and a mosquito
already there, more-or-less immortal and definitely ageless."
"It might not be easy locating the mosquito." They laughed,
lifting their teacups in a toast to each other.
awe, "And you, Vivian, will have another inside track. Humans
have a genetic affinity with stone. So close, that in cement and
brick they have created stone that is not found in their natural
world." "So, in a sense, we relate to stone as you relate
admiration, "Yes, Vivian. Brilliant. I insist you return. You
will definitely be of significant help in our search for answers."
thought I heard you say fourteen." "I did." "Four
humans, four cats, four dogs, and a mosquito. That's thirteen." A long
am the fourteenth," said the nurse, softly. "They tell me I
was the first, about a million years ago. Of a species naturally long
gone extinct. It has been so long ago, I am practically not my
species anymore. They have taken me to other planets.
Want me to
change into my species for you now, Vivian?"
a whisper, overawed, "First, tell me your name. Please."
course. I did not have a name when I arrived here. I was this age. My
species did not give ourselves names. I was given a name when I
arrived here. Azra."
"Yes." "What does it mean, Azra?"
of the message
won't know where to send it.)
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