The Writers of the Universe
6. Out of the Mind and Into the Page
They appeared in Jeremy’s apartment. Noal wasted no time and was up and shouting. “Too lucky! We were too lucky! They must have further plans or they would never have let us escape that easily.”
Tal-sen stood silently by the princes, his eyes never stopped moving around the alien apartment. Everything in the room could have been a weapon for all he knew.
Jeremy responded. “What should we do?”
“We have to run,” Noal stated more calmly. “We have to go somewhere you’ve never been before.”
Jeremy was already charging to the door. He pulled it open only to come face to face with Cis.
They both paused with frightened looks before collapsing into a manly friend hug.
“I can’t believe you’re alive! Thought for sure they had yer head in a baggie,” Ringer exclaimed.
“They’ll never get me,” Jeremy bragged. “Look, we gotta run. It was a mistake to come back here…”
“Holy shit! What the hell is that thing?” Cis yelled at the top of his lungs after looking past Jeremy and seeing the craziest freak show. Tal-sen jumped forward, ready to fight. Noal calmly nodded his head, as if expecting the reaction and Saesha merely looked at him with no expression at all.
“They’re all friends, from other worlds or universes…” Jeremy tried to explain. “I’m not really sure how everything works out. I told you I was abducted by aliens, only this time I brought them back with me.”
Still white as a ghost, Cis looked over the strange creatures once more. “Who or what are they?”
Jeremy shook his head. “Introductions later. We’ve got to get out of here before that psychic lady realizes I’m back. Are you with us?”
“Look, bro. I messed up last time. I shoulda stuck with you. I’ve been running this whole time too. I tried to go home, but I got super paranoid when I saw about 50 men packing serious firepower outside my crib. I got nowhere else to run, but with you.”
“Don’t apologize, I wouldn’t have gone with me either,” Jeremy responded, truly touched by his friend’s kind words.
“We have to get going this instant,” Noal spoke, breaking the bubble of happy feelings.
“I’ve been living under a bridge for the past few days. We can crash there then make our next move,“ Cis offered.
Jeremy did not hesitate as he started walking towards the exit. Only turning around did he see that Noal, Saesha, and Tal-sen had not followed.
“We no go,” Tal-sen raised a twisted red finger. “Strangers in a strange land. We frighten all in day like bad night think. No go, until over body not shown.”
“We’re going to run, we don’t have time to hide,” Jeremy countered.
“I think Tal-sen is correct,” Saesha explained. “We are far too abnormal. Eyes will follow us and report our whereabouts. We have to remain hidden.”
Storming back into his apartment, Jeremy looked around for something to cover them with. “We don’t have time and I don’t have anything big enough for the three of you.”
Feeling frustrated and unsure how to handle the situation, Jeremy tore off the sheets from his twin sized bed and threw them over Tal-sen. “You be a ghost and…uh…uh…you be a freakin’ angel.” He said as he tore a curtain off of its rungs and flung it around Saesha.
Saesha pulled off the sun-baked curtain, giving it an incredulous look. “I think we just need to relax. No one knows we are here.”
“He did,” Tal-sen pointed at Cis.
Cis put his hands up, “It was dumb luck, I swear.”
“What are these?” Saesha asked picking up a piece of paper from Jeremy’s previous folder fumble. On it was a unique drawing of a dragon Jeremy had made when he was much younger.
“Just a drawing.”
“How is it so that separated by an entire universe, you were able to recreate our most fearsome predator.”
Jeremy gave a frustrated sigh. “When I was younger and couldn’t handle the real world, I’d get trashed, put my headphones in, and draw all my fears and feelings into monsters. I would let my mind drift into these imaginary worlds and escape from whatever was haunting me at the moment.”
She knelt down and picked up another. “Such imagination. All these are very real monsters that hunt our people at night. I have no doubt that they were just as real to you.”
“Thanks,” Jeremy muttered, better words failing his tongue. He was surprised and touched by her kind words. For he had always felt somewhat ashamed of his drawings due to the bad memories associated with them. But they really had helped him through some tough times.
“I think I’ve learned some things about how those quills work over the many years I was imprisoned,” Saesha spoke turning to Noal for assistance. “They use them for basically everything. I saw them create an entire world with a few strokes of a quill. But that’s not all, they can create people and control them.”
“You saw all those millions of them writing stories for Earth. When I arrived in the hive for the Fifth world there were maybe only ten of them. Each writer can handle six different stories at one time. They have no imagination. It’s the only way we can beat them.”
Noal was next to speak. “She is mostly correct. But the reason we have so many worlds and so many responsibilities is because of the reckless abandon that imagination can be. We had the power of the universe in our hands, and we were too young to understand anything like responsibility. And so we created universe after universe, story after story. Each story creating another universe full of characters all real and very much alive. It took us a long time to realize that we were breaking reality. On that day, we grew up as a people. We created laws and oaths to maintain what had already been created and to ensure that no further damage could be done.”
It was Cis who raised his hand to speak. “None of that made any flippin’ sense, but doesn’t that mean Jeremy’s quill thingy could create a world.”
Chuckling softly, as if he were talking to a child with wild ideas, Noal responded. “Yes, but I had to give Jeremy a fighting chance. I could not stand idly by any longer while Director Radfewx mucked about with your life. For every other story I have written, I knew the beginning and the end. But for you, Jeremy, I was never allowed to see either. They plopped your sheet on my desk and fed me pointers on a year-by-year basis. It was inhumane. I gave you that quill because I know you are a great writer and I felt that I could trust you with the responsibility to not go wildly creating worlds.
Jeremy sheepishly brushed his fingers through his hair. “I gotta be honest with you. I’ve never written a single story in my life. I mean, sure, it’s all laid out in my head or on an outline, but I’ve barely even started one of those.”
“Oh dear,” Noal responded with a worried expression.
“What’s that supposed mean?” Jeremy asked.
Saesha interrupted them. “Ignore him. They tried to control you and you fought them all through your life without even realizing it. They’ve corrupted nature. Now it’s within our power to fight back. I think if we use your quill and your imagination. We can run and run for as long as we need until we have an army strong enough to fight them.”
“Couldn’t Jeremy just create an army?” Cis poked his way into the conversation.
Noal shuddered. “Theoretically, yes, he could, but it would be unethical. I say…”
“You’re as bad as the rest of them, unethical my butt. We would be wise to abandon you here and get as far away as possible,” Saesha roared.
Huffing with indignation, Noal continued. “I was just saying that it would be more useful to use what is already created versus risking the creation of an entirely new universe and then having to live with the responsibility of finishing all those stories. Or abandoning them in their half-written states of half-living existences, as was done with your planet Saesha.”
The room hung in careful silence as they all pondered Noal’s words. Jeremy did his best to take in all the information that was flying around but couldn’t help feeling overwhelmed by the informational session. Looking around the room, he could tell everyone else was having similar thoughts. His eyes caught Saesha’s wondering gaze. They both considered each other’s silent thoughts before looking away.
Noal broke the silence, “So where are we going?”
Jeremy circled around from Tal-sen to Cis to Saesha to Noal, looking for some indication of what they should do. No such help was forthcoming from any of his compatriots.
Saesha was the first to speak up. “I think we should get as far away from this place as possible.”
“And go where?” Noal asked.
She pulled up another picture, this one contained a dragon attacking a spaceship. The juxtaposition of fantasy lore with science fiction had always made Jeremy laugh at the ridiculousness of the idea. He smiled brightly at the winged beauty who was holding some of his silliest artwork in high regard.
Cis cut in, “Didn’t the giant six-armed dude say not to make things up with the quill?”
“Right so,” Noal cheered as he picked up Jeremy’s notebook and casually perused the many pages within. “It would be most unwise to use that as a landing zone. You got lucky before when you went to the Fifth world. It is not likely that the world will be fully formed. It could collapse around us and the people created therein.”
“I think we should follow Jeremy’s imagination. He was the one that came and found me. I believe you can lead us to victory,” Saesha responded.
Tal-sen echoed her sentiments, “I will follow always the princess anywhere, but if we had not found you, always I would be follow Germy.”
“Germy?” Saesha covered her mouth trying to stifle a laugh from the pronunciation of his name. “I like it.”
Feeling bold and empowered by Saesha’s cute laugh, Jeremy decided that he would trust her advice about Noal’s warning. “Dragons in space, eh? I bet Radfewx would never expect us to go there.”
Looking around the room one last time, Jeremy asked. “If you’re coming with the princess and me, grab on, if not…make like a rabbit and hop on out of here.”
Cis cracked up laughing at Jeremy’s unusual phrasing. “I’m in.”
Tal-sen stepped forward with the princess, ready to go wherever Jeremy’s drawing would take them.
Only Noal hesitated. “Let’s put it on the record that I think this is immature, dangerous, and unwise, but I will go. As it stands, I have no alternatives.”
Jeremy accepted that they were all coming with him. He took the paper from Saesha’s hands. For some reason, he felt more nervous about this than he had at any other point when using the quill. He summed it up and decided that each time before had been a rushed action that hadn’t had time for any forethought or preplanning. Now, this was going to happen and he would be responsible for the outcomes. His messy scrawl cut across the page as he wrote, Dragons in Space.
The void broke between the grain of the white printer paper, revealing itself and asking them to step through into some wild adventure with dragons in space. One by one they stepped into the void between the universes.
Next Chapter – The Writers of the Universe – 7. Dragons in Space
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2014 © Stew Stunes