#Multiverse #Experiment this week: Tomorrow’s Story Written Today
Will this week’s story turn out as #ClaraBranon writes it?
Excerpts, below, from Volume II, the sci-fi/ romance/ paranormal/ multiverse/ utopian ebook in #TheSpannersSeries, This Changes My Family and My Life Forever, by Sally Ember, Ed.D., available for pre-orders via Smashwords, Kobo, iBooks and nook, April 15 – June 8, 2014, and for sale via all those and Amazon as well, release date June 9, 2014.
Logo and cover art for The Spanners Series by Willowraven.
Pre-order Links will be available after April 15 and buy links after June 9 on http://www.sallyember.com
Here is what Dr. Clara Ackerman Branon, 59, the main character of The Spanners Series, writes while reminiscing about her life in 2014 from the vantage point of 2018:
It is a dark and stormy night. Picture “Snoopy,” Charles’ Schulz’s humanized beagle from the much-loved Peanuts comic strips, typing away on his old black typewriter atop his doghouse, hard at work on his novel. He always writes that line, first, with the ALT [According to Linear Time] “was” in place of “is.”
It is fun to begin this story with that infamous line, especially because it is true, and unusually so. At the end of February, 2014, California and the rest of the drought-plagued West are finally getting some of the rain we so desperately need.
Road conditions are not the best. However, I have an appointment to meet with Epifanio that I am unwilling to give it up, even for bad weather, because it is now several months since our last meeting.
Driving myself somewhere and traveling alone feels like two long-lost privileges regained on that day, even though it’s only been about a year since I acquire chauffeurs and staff. I set off in the noontime light for our late afternoon meeting.
Listening to the weather reports all week, I know the light rain I drive through now is expected, especially near the coast where Epifanio lives at this time, to be a deluge beginning in the early evening. High winds, falling trees, local flooding and poor visibility are to accompany the increasing rainfall starting at about the time I would be planning to return to The Campus.
Knowing the weather and road conditions are likely to prohibit my driving back tonight, I am ridiculously energized about seeing him. I even go so far as to add to/bring my overnight gear: daily blood pressure and thyroid medicines (enough for four days; one never knows!), extra clothes, some food we can share, and my pillow and nightshirt are in my car: a Girl Scout is “always prepared”!
Maybe today? Maybe tonight? Maybe, if I stay the night and still can’t leave safely, we spend the day tomorrow, also?
It’s always about the “maybes” with Fanio.
I seem a tad insane, driving to see him on my own, given my role and public status,in horrible weather. I feel like a teenager on her way to a rendezvous. Of course, to be a tryst, the trystees both have to want to tryst.
“Ay, there’s the rub.”
Does he or doesn’t he?
“What dreams may come?”
Let’s find out!
On my drive there, it isn’t dark nor very stormy, yet, but it is raining and the rain clouds are darkening and gathering. The wind is picking up slightly by the time I arrive, but there are not yet any fallen branches.
Do any of you know how dangerous the trees are in California? I am officially going off on a rant about the defective trees around here.
Rant starts here.
I live in California after many years in New England states and growing up in the Midwest of the USA, with a recent detour in New Mexico. In all of these places, the weather is much worse. Hurricanes, ice storms, lightning and heavy snows can bring down trees, of course. Everyone knows that. But, rain alone? Seriously?
How in the world does rain bring down trees? Huge, old-growth trees, not just saplings, not just the odd one or two. Not always with flooding, not always with wind, either. Not in California. That is the reason I label these trees “defective.”
Every year when it rains here, and sometimes not even when the rain is heavy, there are people, cars (even moving ones!), houses, animals and roads that are wrecked, injured or murdered by randomly and unexpectedly, and worst of all, for no apparent reason, having trees fall and crush them. Downed trees cause loved ones, pets, property and access to roads to be lost daily during the “rainy season” or during any rainstorm, it seems to me.
At first, I am hearing blame rests on the “shallow roots” of the non-native eucalptus trees and rain-caused erosion. These could be the worst culprits. But, redwoods are tumbling at alarming rates, and I do not ever hear plausible explanations as to why they fall.
image from: http://www.independent.com
Whatever the causes, the truth is: California trees are untrustworthy. They look sturdy but they are not reliably going to stay upright. Believe me.
Be under trees at your own risk. Travel with great caution when rain is falling.
Remember my awful history and karma with cars? I am in over thirty automobile accidents in my life (to date), and for most of them, I am not even the driver. Some occur without my car’s even moving or without my being in the car at all. Yes, my own cars get into accidents without me in them (via parking attendants’ mishaps). A taxi gets into an accident with me in it. Once, when Abraham, Zephyr and I are visiting Thomas, Raisa and their brood, my brother backs out of his garage and runs into our car in his own driveway, even though our car is parked exactly where he tells us to park it.
I get into one of the worst accidents by sitting on the outside of a car, on top of the hood, when it is parked. This is the freak accident in which my leg gets permanently injured [Volume I, This Changes Everything,’s lesson for Clara about Re-sets revolves around that]. Mechanical failure, bad roads, inattentive drivers and inclement weather all contribute to my awful tally. Does it need stating, here, that I am justifiably wary of poor driving conditions and other drivers?
On the drive to Epifanio’s on this rainy afternoon, I am both hypervigilant while moving and timulting at every stop sign and red light. Which multiverse timeline is this? What is this evening holding for us?
If I spend the night (and with every mile, the likelihood of that necessity increases with the rainfall), do I sleep on the couch or with him? If I sleep under his roof for one night, what does it mean?
There are dozens of stop signs and traffic lights between The Campus and where Fanio lives.
I know. I’m obsessing.
How can I be almost 60 and the Chief Communicator of the PLANET and still obsessing about an almost nonexistent relationship? Oy.
Because I’m human. Because that’s how my life and mind work. Because internet. Whatever.
Do I mention that Fanio and I currently live over an hour’s drive apart, even in good weather? This trip takes almost two hours.
Since I am compulsively punctual and early is my M.O., I leave with almost four hours to go before our appointment time so that I can meditate and perhaps even take a nap in my car (not under a tree). I plan to enjoy some solitude, watching and listening to the rain, preparing myself before going in to see him.
Fortunately, the rain still isn’t heavy after my meditation and naptime. I arrive at his cabin in the redwoods (!!!). Almost as soon as I get inside, it starts to pour. I mean, deluge time.
Sheets of water are pouring off the roof and the tree branches are whipping around ominously (to my ears, anyway) as Fanio and I greet each other. We go sit in his living room area.
“You make it here all right, I take it?” Fanio asks.
“So far, so good. I don’t know about the return trip, though,” I say, testing the waters.
Fanio looks out the window, shaking his head. Well, I hope you brought whatever you need in case you’re staying here tonight.”
I look at him. Is this really going to be that easy? What do I say? Oh, right. The truth is always good.
“Actually, living in earthquake land, I always have a ‘go bag’ in the car. Medicine, clothes, toiletries, water, food, even a pillow. No P.J.s, though.”
Fanio nods. “Good. Got any popcorn?”
I laugh. Since I know he likes it and is going to ask for it, I do have popcorn.“That’s not exactly earthquake food, is it?”
“No, but I ran out,” he explains.
“I just so happen to have some,” I answer, smiling, “in the car, ready to pop.” Stick to the truth, always. “Someone asks for it recently, so I happen to have some. I can get it when it lets up a little, when I go get the rest of my stuff.”
Fanio leans back in his chair, smiling. “I’m glad you’re here. It’s fun to have a storm partner.”
“Is that what I am, now?” I ask, a bit flirtatiously. More waters-testing.
“Among other things,” Fanio says, amiably. “How are the other things going, anyway? I see your vids a lot. The Psi-Defiers are making more trouble, huh?”
“This year is the hardest so far. It takes them a while to get organized, I suppose, and for Fraggers to become Trenchers, for Trenchers to get trained and become Defiers. Now, they have many Defier squadrons. I don’t know why they just don’t see how great it is for Earth to join the Many Worlds Collective. Moran is super-busy, but doing an excellent job with the Psi-Warriors.”
“No deaths, yet?” Fanio asks.
“Luckily, just some Defiers are Qed–you know, Sequestered–and many are injured, but no fatalities, so far,” I tell him.
“We do need more trainers and teachers at The Campus, though. When are you finishing your Excellent Skills Program training? I wish you could teach right now.” I picture Fanio in several timelines living at The Campus starting some time this year, but I say nothing about that.
“I have a long way to go before anyone wants me to teach,” Fanio protests. “‘I am only an egg.'” We both smile. Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land is a shared favorite.
“‘I grok you in fullness, ‘Water Brother.’ Share water with me now’?” I ask, formally. I’m glad he’s smiling.
“Seriously,” I say more ordinarily, I’m thirsty. May I get you some water while I get my own?”
“I haven’t shared water with you, ‘Water Sister,’ in many moons. Certainly. Let’s share water!” Fanio agrees.
I wonder if Fanio remembers that the “Water Brothers” ceremony includes having sex? He must. My stomach is doing somersaults.
Getting two glasses, filling them, returning to him and handing him one, I notice my hand is trembling. I quickly put the glass down. I focus on the new silence outside.
We raise our glasses, clink them, drink some water, then chant together. “‘I grok you in fullness,'” and we drink again. We sit in companionable silence, sipping, looking at each other.
What does he want? Should I ask? Not yet. Not feeling it.
I point outside. “Does it seem kind of quiet to you, now? Should I go to my car?”
Abruptly, the atmosphere gets crackly. Hairs rise on my arms. Lightning flashes outside, then: KA-BOOM. We both go look out the windows.
CRASH. Jumping back, we peer out cautiously toward the sound. Just a few feet from the house, a smallish redwood lays across the roadway, some of its needled branches landing on our cars.
image from: http://www.ruston.org
“Holy moley!” Fanio yells. “That is too close!”
“At least it’s just the car hoods and not the roofs!” My voice shakes. “In all my timults, there are no trees falling on this house, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. I can never timult all the ‘lines.”
I look at Epifanio, who seems oddly at ease. “I’m scared,” I admit.
Fanio turns to me, surprised. “You are timulting about tonight? Why?”
“Well,” I’m stalling, waiting for truthful inspiration. Ah. “I don’t usually travel alone, so it’s a good habit for me to get into. I timult about going solo , especially in iffy weather and now, during the psi Wars.”
I’m already scared. Won’t get much more anxious than this, anyway. May as well tell him.
“Also,” I continue, turning to face him, away from the window, “because of us.”
Fanio takes a step back, peering at me intently. “‘Us’?”
I touch his arm gently, looking up into his brown eyes, deep with questions. “It appears I am spending the night, tonight and perhaps tomorrow as well, depending on how much it rains and how fast they clear the roads. Um. Well.” I search his eyes, not pathing him, but wishing I could.
“Where do you want me to put my pillow?” I point to my bag. That’s as plain as I want to make my query.
The lamps and other lights flicker, dilating his pupils. “We could lose power, too,” he reminds me. “I better get some candles and the flashlight ready.”
As he walks toward the kitchen, Fanio looks over his shoulder and says, not quite nonchalantly, “May as well go out now and grab your stuff and that popcorn. If you have an extra flashlight, grab that, too.”
I go out in the rain, which is now slightly lessened, and return to find Fanio rummaging through drawers to find matches.
With his back to me, he announces: “Popcorn and other food: kitchen. Your stuff: my bedroom.”
My heart definitely skips a few beats, hearing that. I guess we’re sharing a bed. Just like that. Haven’t even kissed, yet. Well, we’re grown-ups.
As I walk with my bag toward the bedroom, Fanio turns to me to lift his hand triumphantly, holding a box of matches like a trophy. “Victory all around!” I put my bag down on the bed, turn back to him and applaud.
He comes toward me, puts the candles and matches on the side table and holds out his arms. I walk into them.
Fanio gathers me in and kisses me, long and deeply.
In most timelines, here is what actually occurs, if we even meet that night.
I do drive to Fanio’s on a very stormy afternoon, believing more strongly the closer I get to his remote location that I may have to spend the night. There are thunder and lightning, flash flooding, downed trees occurring throughout the day. The night is supposed to be worse, with heavier rain predicted for already saturated areas, so even more flooding.
Our visit starts out similarly. Greetings, catching up, moving through the awkwardness of a reunion after time apart.
Small talk turns to more personal connecting as the winds pick up. We sit and talk, startling when branches whip against the window panes. The storm is making outside noises so loud that I ask Fanio to speak up.
My type of inherited hearing loss worsens slightly each year. It’s especially obvious when there is a lot of background noise and the speaker has a deep voice, as he does, and I can’t make out all of his words clearly. I am eager for digitally specific, personally adjustable hearing aids to be invented. 2016, I believe.
We do lose electric power in his little house. We get the flashlights ready and turn to candles at dusk.
After the tree falls in his driveway , we establish that I am spending the night. I start to ask him about where I should put my things when I stop and check in with my InKC [Inner Knowing Center].
Breathing deeply, watching the rain sheeting down the windows from the eaves, I am aware of Fanio’s rustling around looking for more candles and candle holders behind me. I concentrate on “going” to my InKC and “arrive” there with many questions.
The set-up for our much-anticipated (by me) long-awaited (also by me) unexpected (mostly to him) tryst is all there. I am tense, nervous, excited, intrigued.
What is of most benefit for all beings, here and beyond tonight, for my relationship with Epifanio Dang? I ask. How may I best facilitate whatever is best, here and after tonight?
I am still, aware of the movements of Epifanio as he sets up more candles around the room, while focusing my main attention on the information starting to flow into my consciousness. Almost like virtual ticker-tape or a fax received and moving through my mind, I sense but do not actually see scrolling text when I ask my InKC specific questions like this.
Epifanio Dang is not to become your romantic partner or lover. A change of that nature to your relationship is not part of his or many others’ best outcomes. This evening is best used to have detailed conversations about his art, writing, dancing, all upcoming projects in order to facilitate the best outcomes, support his contributions to Exchanges and assist with his communication among like-talented beings across the MWC.
So, there is no tryst. At least, no romantic or physically intimate encounter.
image from: http://www.zazzle.com
We talk, long into the night in the candlelight. Sweetly, intensely, getting caught up in his artistic ideas and plans, we click along with great enthusiasm, having shrugged off the restrictions of a schedule with our “slumber party” atmosphere, complete with popcorn. I follow the prescriptions my InKC provides.
As we interact, I notice that Fanio is more comfortable talking than listening. He doesn’t ask much about my day-to-day activities. He rarely asks about my personal experiences, although I imagine he is somewhat interested. He wants to receive but isn’t all that ready to concede the focus of our talk to me, my concerns, my “world.”
I test this theory a few times, bringing up a political or social concern, talking about my upcoming week’s meetings, but he always returns to his newest ideas. He explains about the off-planetary materials’ collaborative art project he’s coordinating and a novel way to choreograph with multiple species underwater or in zero that he and one of the dolphins are conconcting.
When we admit exhaustion and each retire to our respective sleeping areas, I check in with my emotions. I am disappointed only a little. Surprisingly, I am somewhat relieved. The complications of starting a personal relationship at this time, as the Chief Communicator, are actually more than I can handle.
From this and several other encounters, I have to admit that my life and Fanio’s, while connected and significantly overlapping at times, are quite separate and need to remain that way. As I meditate before sleeping, my timults of this night fade and plans for tomorrow and the rest of the week unfold instead.
I wish him well, ‘path him a “Sweet Dreams” which he answers aloud, “You, too.” Separately, we sleep.
Buy links for Volume I, This Changes Everything,
already are on and Pre-order links for Volume II will be available after April 15, with buy links for both Volumes after June 9 on http://www.sallyember.com