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(10/3/19) Parallel: A Science Fiction Comedy


Unova Forever!
Last year, my teacher gave me an assignment to write a tall tale. Tall tales are primarily old American stories, like Paul Bunyan or Johnny Appleseed. I did not want to write something that silly. So I took matters into my own hands, combining my love of science fiction with my relatively nonexistent sense of humor. Since my only copy of this story is in print, I’m typing it up by myself. It should be up in a few minutes. Altogether, it’s 8 pages long double-spaced. Enjoy!


Unova Forever!

Author’s Notes:
-Despot Suburbs is a play on the local convenience chain Royal Farms, where the characters visit on Earth in the story
-sky fracture is a reference to the Getsix song of the same name, and its VIP
-“the outskirts of Similaria City“ is a reference to the dubstep artist Similar Outskirts


Unova Forever!
Sixteen year-old Cierra Falston, an inhabitant of a parallel Earth, who had short, wavy brown hair and frequently wore a navy blue skirt and polo, had always been more than a little impulsive. She wanted to get things done her way, and fast, so she struggled in school. Nonetheless, her cheerful and welcoming personality made her easy to forgive, so she landed a job as a cashier at the convenience store Despot Suburbs.

Cierra had made a drastic mistake. One day, a mysterious mechanic repaired her car. Hanging on the back wall of his repair shop was a large key shaped like a clock, and Cierra was quite curious about it. When she inquired about the key, the mechanic used it to unlock the back room of his office, showing her an unusual machine. It was pure black and looked similar to a record label, but had a clock motif on the front. In front of the machine was a red button, and next to the button was a sign that said: “USE AT YOUR OWN RISK. YOU MAY NEVER MAKE IT BACK TO THIS WORLD ALIVE.”

When Cierra asked about it, the mechanic explained that he was not only a mechanic, but also an inventor. The machine he designed, called the Parallel Extractor, could transport people to parallel worlds. Although this terrified Cierra, she was inquisitive and impulsive enough to press the button without hesitation. With that, she was instantly teleported to another parallel Earth.

When Cierra arrived on this different Earth, she noticed a shimmering, blueish-white rent that opened up behind her. It looked like her surroundings had been torn in two.

Is that a sky fracture? she mused. That’s terrifying. This whole place is terrifying! Cierra had landed on the crowded Similaria City’s outskirts, where another girl, Veronica, was just waking up.

At 6:30 AM, Veronica Maliste’s alarm clock went off. She tried to hit the snooze button, but almost crushed her glasses in the process. Annoyed and exasperated, she didn’t even bother brushing her long black hair (she thought it looked decent enough) before throwing on her favorite outfit, a white shirt with a pastel solar system and a pair of jeans. Veronica, a freshman at Ceres Academy and Observatory, was an aspiring astronomer. Veronica was fascinated by the world of quantum physics, and had discussed the theory of parallel worlds with her professor. Unfortunately, there was no direct evidence to support that theory. Until now.

The professor, looking quite animated, called Veronica into the observatory that morning.

“Veronica! Come here!” he began. “I’ve got something to show you! Look at this rippling on the satellite screen. I believe this is a tear in the space-time continuum! Not only that, but there’s a heat signature radiating from it.”

Veronica’s eyes lit up. “That must mean there’s a person from another world! That’s insane!” She wasn’t normally this emotional, but she has been trying to prove parallel worlds since her sophomore year in high school, so this was a pretty big deal.

“That’s right!” The professor exclaimed. “Oh, dear,” he said, his voice lowering, “it looks like the heat signature is coming right into the observatory. Well, we’ve got to do something. Come on, Veronica.”

Veronica and the professor walked out of the observatory, where they saw a young girl.

“May I help you?” Veronica asked.

“Um, the girl began, “my name is Cierra Falston, and I made a really big mistake. I have no idea where I am or where I’m going. I need help, and I WANNA GO HOME!”

“Calm down,” Veronica said. “It’s okay, we can help you. I’m Veronica Maliste, a freshman at Ceres Academy, and this is my professor, Dr. Johnston. Where are you from?”

Still flustered, Cierra replied, “Not here, I know that. All I know is that I pressed a button and came out of some weird portal about two miles from here.”

“Come to the observatory,” the professor chimed in. “I study unusual rifts in time and space, so I’m sure I can help you get home.”

Once Veronica, Cierra, and Dr. Johnston arrived at the observatory, Dr. Johnston asked if Cierra could further explain the button she pushed to get to this Earth.

“I remember it more clearly now. It was attached to a pitch-black machine with a clock design on the front,” she explained.

“Then you must mean,” the professor was getting animated again, “the Parallel Extractor! I invented one on this Earth, but it never worked. I thought it was hopeless to try to look for parallel planes of existence until you came along. Maybe it’ll work now that you arrived,” he mused.

“Do you know where it is?” Cierra asked impatiently.

“I’m sorry to say, but I hid it in a dark, almost impossible to reach cave surrounded by swampland. I didn’t want anyone tampering with it,” Dr. Johnston stated.

“Well, that’s convenient,” Veronica said sarcastically. “It’s gonna be near impossible to find the thing!”

“You don’t sound too optimistic,” Cierra replied, turning to Veronica.

“I’m not, but we’ll manage, I guess,” Veronica responded.

The professor typed some coordinates into the satellite scanner that led to, as expected, a cave. “This is Zirconium Cave,” he explained. “I remember it clear as day. It’s ten miles from here, but we can take my car.”

After stopping at Royal Farms to pick up some fried chicken for the car ride, Veronica, Cierra, and the professor headed out to find the cave. Inconveniently, the car broke down halfway through the ride, right when they reached the swamp.

To explain himself, Dr Johnston said, “Look, I was so focused on fried chicken that I forgot to get gas even though we were at a gas station.”

Veronica glared at him.

The swamp smelled vile and was full of mosquitoes. As the travelers slogged through, Cierra complained, “This is disgusting! My shoes and socks also feel disgusting! Can we go faster?”

“Not if you want to trip and fall, we can’t,” Veronica snapped. “You’ll be fine.”

“There’s no need to be disrespectful, Veronica,” the professor chided. “Cierra, it’s impolite to complain, you know.”

Simultaneously, Veronica and Cierra shouted, “You sound like my mom!”

Following that kerfuffle, they continued their journey in relative peace and quiet. After an excruciatingly long and painful three hours of walking, they finally arrived at the cave.

“Here we are,” Dr. Johnston said. “It’s about four miles to where I placed the Parallel Extractor. It’s dark, so be careful. And I forgot my flashlight, so we’ll have to use my phone.”

“Are you kidding me?” Cierra cried out. “First you forgot to get gas and now you forgot your flashlight? Phones can only light up so much!”

“Please. Calm. Down,” Veronica said levelly. “We’ll do the best we can,” she smiled slightly.

For the next three and a half miles, the travelers stumbled through the dark. Cierra scraped herself on stalagmites one too many times, and the travelers were rushed by a colony of bats that Dr. Johnston had to fend off with a cave field guide he had in his pocket.

At last, their goal was in sight. The machine was located on a pedestal a half mile from where they were standing.

“This is it,” Veronica said gravely. “But I have a question, Professor Johnston, why’d you place the machine on a pedestal in plain sight?”

“Because, Veronica, pedestals make for dramatic scenery, and I knew this cave hadn’t been visited since 2103,” the professor said matter-of-factly.

Cierra shouted excitedly, “Let’s go!”

Then she noticed something unnerving. The rest of the cave floor was swarming with snakes! “Eeeeek!” she shrieked, running away as fast as she could.

Just in time, Veronica forcibly grabbed Cierra by the arm. “It’s fine. I took biology in my freshman year of high school. One of the only things I remember is that these snakes aren’t venomous; they might be scary, but they aren’t going to hurt you. You do want to go home, right?”

“Uh-huh,” Cierra meekly nodded her head. “I’ll just stay back while you and the professor handle the snakes.”

“Wise choice,” Veronica smiled and released Cierra’s arm. Turning to Dr. Johnston, she said, “So how do you propose we handle these snakes?” Noticing the professor trying to root a stalagmite out of the ground with his bare hands, she exclaimed, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!?! That’s not safe!”

“Just. Hold on a. Minute! Agh!” the professor strained. With one last pull, Dr. Johnston miraculously pulled the stalagmite out, and proceeded to shove the snakes over to the cave walls.

With the snakes out of the way, Cierra returned to Veronica’s side as the travelers walked toward the Parallel Extractor.

“I guess...this is goodbye,” Cierra said with tears in her eyes. “I’m going to miss you so much!” Unexpectedly, she wrapped Veronica in a tight hug.

Although Veronica wasn’t that affectionate, she gave her companion a hug back.

Even the professor shed a tear.

Cierra glanced at the button for the Extractor. Instead of a warning sign, there was a plaque that read: “No matter where you go, there’s always hope.”

“What’s that for?” Cierra asked.

“Oh, that’s just something I put there in case I ever came back here again, for inspirational purposes,” the professor said.

“It’s time for me to go home. Thanks for all your help! Good luck in school, Veronica! And Dr. Johnston, remember your flashlight. I’m sure I’ll see you all again! Goodbye!” Cierra grinned cheerfully.

“I won’t forget you!” Veronica shouted after her.

With that, Cierra left planet Earth and returned to her own plane of existence. She planned to relate her adventure to the mechanic-inventor immediately. Cierra never forgot Veronica, and planned to go back to Earth one day. But for now, she was glad to be home, resuming her job at Despot Suburbs.

Veronica and the professor promptly returned to Ceres Academy. As they predicted, the tear in the space-time continuum was closed once Cierra returned to her Earth. Two weeks later, Veronica would publish a paper with Dr. Johnston’s assistance, proving the existence of parallel worlds once and for all. This would be Veronica’s greatest achievement at Ceres Academy. When she received recognition for her article at the Academy’s annual awards ceremony, she remembered how Cierra inspired her to write that paper.

“No matter where you go, there’s always hope.”

The End.