Fantastic! Jun10


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Unbelievable !   Isn’t that the same thing as fantastic? Some things that are fantastic are not unbelievable, like landing on the moon and flying past Jupiter to take photographs.  At least I have no trouble believing all that N.A.S.A. accomplished, or those deepest ocean photographs of odd looking living things that would be unbelievable if drawn from an artist’s imagination. But this story is unbelievable, for the very reason that it may not even have occurred, so we are left to believe it or not.  Each must make up his or her own mind and if fantastic is all they can agree upon, so be it.

Darrell left his job right in the middle of the day to run an unrelated errand.  What happened next was this.  He walked to the corner from his office building to cross the Main street where there was a cross walk, and completely disappeared from the middle lane of that busy highway.  

The drivers of the two cars that swerved around him both attested to that fact.  They had both screeched to a stop in fear that that the man they both saw suddenly right in front of them had been hit and perhaps killed.

The first and closest car was driven by a young man named Henry, who had only gotten his driver’s  license a couple of weeks ago and was thus scared speechless, even though he spent the last four years in the Navy.  

The other driver was a young nurse on her way to her first job at the Central Hospital and whose main fear was of being late and losing a job she had worked so hard to get.  

They met in the middle of the street and just stood there looking around for the fellow they saw.  A man of any kind dead or alive was not to be found.  Just in case they were ever needed to explain the sudden stop, as they apparently had not hit anyone or even each other, they exchanged names and addresses.  

The nurse, named Molly, hurried away as fast as possible.  Henry pulled to the curb and let the line of confused commuters have the road as he continued to look everywhere.  He was still looking when a Police car alerted by a passing motorist pulled up and an officer came to his side to question him.

Henry explained the entire situation as he saw it and gave him the address Molly had written. The Officer saw no reason to ticket him and took the information and went on to his next call. 

But where was Darrell?  His name was not known, or even mentioned in the entire confusing conversation.

Darrel was the most confused of all.   He had even forgotten why he had started across the street in the first place, so odd was his sudden situation.

He stood in the middle of a huge misty field of deep purple grass underneath a beautiful lavender sky.  As if that was not different enough a bright yellow taxi cab colored helicopter dropped to his side and someone in the open door signaled him aboard.

Confused as he felt by his unusual surroundings, he saw no reason to not follow the only human being in sight.

“Where to?”  the man in the yellow suit and a soft green complexion asked him.

“I don’t know?”  Darrell said truthfully.

“Didn’t you send for this taxi-copter?”  The green man asked politely. 

“I don’t know where I am or how I arrived here.  I don’t suppose you know where New York City is by chance?”  Darrell asked just to see if that was a possibility.   It certainly was the one he desired.

“New York what?  Never heard of it.’

“That is what I was afraid of..”  Darrell signed, 

Meanwhile the chopper had risen with its passenger and was leaving the purple fields behind them, as it cruised the lavender sky passing small pink clouds as they went.  

The driver called back something Darrell did not understand and the green man replied.   At that the helicopter made a sharp turn and buzzed faster in that new direction.

With no idea where the taxi-copter was going and no reason to give a different order, Darrell just leaned to watch out the window hoping to see something familiar.  Once he thought they had passed over the Eiffel Tower, but the solid orange-red color both amused and bewildered him.  Had his eyes changed and now he was not seeing anything in the color he might have expected.  Or had he arrived, somehow in a different colored world?

If that was even possible,  though he was known to be a scientist, he had no idea where that world could be.  Nothing he had read about or ever seen in photographs, looked like this place as it appeared so far.  

He watched carefully at the route just automatically, as if he might need to return to that purple field to get back to New York.   So far the only landmark was that tall red-orange tower.  Well, he wasn’t likely to forget that!

Coming up was a body of what must be water and true to form was not at all any color of a lake or sea he knew.  It was a reflection of the lavender sky, except the breaking waves of foam were a soft rose in color.

The Taxi-copter must have pontoons as it began to lower as if to land, but Darrell saw nothing to land upon in sight.  He braced himself to hit the water.  But the taxi did not land upon it.  It flew into it and the lavender water quickly filled the inside of the vehicle and Darrell  found that it was as breathable as the thinner lavender air he had been taking in since arriving here.

The new air looked and felt thick like water but as soon as the chopper landed on the purple sandy bottom he found that he was surrounded by deep blue brick buildings and other green people going hurriedly about their business.   Was this City below water level?  Unbelievable as it was to him, it appeared to be normal to those living in it.  He got out of the Taxi-copter and it took off immediately without a word or payment from him.

“Why had it let him out in this curious underwater City?  He had not called for it or asked to be delivered to this unimaginable place.  Strange as he felt just standing amid the others, looking pale by comparison to the moss green masses, Darrell was too much of a Science Major to just look and not analyze it all. Think, think,…  Just maybe everything would come together once he knew exactly where he was now.   And why he was here would be nice too.  

He had almost ruled out Earth.  As impossible as it sounded even to him.  This was just too vast and extremely different in all ways to exist on his Earth unnoticed.  It sure wasn’t New Holland, New York.  

Darrell had mentally studied the myriads of Galaxies, as photographed by the newest most powerful telescopes for years and though he had not actually traveled to them, which of course was not possible,  nothing he had seen seemed to fit this.  

Well except only the phrase  “little green men”.  Darrell never knew who had actually coined the phrase, but it was adopted worldwide that aliens on a distant planet would be little green men.  Or as they finally became known, LGMs.   Almost always those hypothetical LGMs were oddly shaped and usually drawn with huge heads, big eyes and tiny, skinny, bodies.   

But these real, unless he was dreaming, green folks looked and dressed more like New York than outer space.  He pinched himself.  He was not dreaming, but he might be accused of staring, as he took in as many of the odd things around him as his good sharp mind would absorb. 

Just in time, as Darrell was about to walk away in search of assistance, a polite young woman approached him, looking at her wrist watch.  He caught a glance of it and noticed that it had no numbers, just four circles.  But trendy watches rarely had numbers these days. 

“So you are early.” She said sweetly, “ But no matter you are here and I have found you.  Now where do we start? I have been sent to assist you.”   She looked him over and gave him a smile of approval.  “What shall we do first?”

“First, hmm.”  Darrell had also been appraising her.  She would probably have been a beauty in any culture.  Her pale green complexion and almost forest green hair were smooth and appealing with her sea green eyes. She seemed to wear make-up to enhance her features, but he wasn’t sure.  As a man, he was never certain about women anywhere for that matter.

She wore what might have been a Uniform, although again it was only a guess.  But it was so neat and tailored with well polished buttons and matching heeled shoes.  She carried a purple leather looking case under her arm. So first things first…

“What is your name?”  Darrell asked, Not that it would tell him anything important, but it would be a good start.  He was wrong.  She was a short walking, talking, encyclopedia. 

“Yes, of course, Darrell Winters, I forgot that you have not been prepared as I have.  So let me enlighten you.  I am Starr with two r’s in your English.  I speak and read 14 languages, a must for this job.  We are in the Deep Land of  Emora.  You landed on the High Land of Emora.  You will learn that we have four suns and living in the Deep is much more comfortable.  This heavy atmosphere is better protection from the suns.”  She paused to smile up at him as she was about to mention his pasty complexion.

“A few days up in High Land would cause your skin to green bit in that intense sun light, but no matter, you are quite acceptable as you are.”  She smiled again and the white of her teeth did please Darrell.  Although as she gave a quick toss of her deep dark green hair, he watched it fall slowly into waves on her shoulders, and found that look appealing also. 

“So let’s walk a bit.”  She suggested. “ You may ask questions as we go.  You will find that walking here in the Deep is much easier that up on High Land, and less tiring, what with the body support it affords.”  She began to walk and he stepped beside her, amused by her official mannerisms .  He already, without taking a step, had a dozen questions, but followed listening to her prepared dissertation.  He was now convinced that he had somehow slipped off of Earth and was either unconscious and dreaming or on,  or is it in a different watery world.  He kept beside her as she told him about what was in each of the three tall blue five story skyscrapers .

New Holland, A New York suburb

Back on Main Street Henry gave up looking for the man he had so clearly seen and as he was also seen by Molly the nurse, he knew he had not slipped his mind.  But the guy was not here now so what could he do about that.  He went home.

The next morning after a night of crazy dreams, he got dressed nice and proper to go visit the Central Hospital.

He didn’t want to appear as confused as he felt.  But he needed very much to talk to the only other person who knew what he had seen.  He had her address but she must be at work so he would go there first.

He sat in the waiting room watching for Molly to take the break he had been told she would soon have.   Then there she was looking as sharp as ever, just as the first time he saw her, in that all white crisp nurse’s uniform.  She had reddish blond hair probably long, but twisted in the back to appear short and neat.  He caught her attention just as she was headed for the coffee room .  Henry followed quickly to catch up with her and order his own mug of coffee as he called her by name.

Molly knew who he was as soon as she turned.  Henry was grateful for the smile of recognition.  

“I just have to talk to you.”  Henry explained to start.  

“I understand.”  Molly replied.  “I left so quickly but I had to get here on time,  then I spent all day wondering what you may have learned.”   Molly spotted an empty table and Henry followed her to it.   Then Molly sat and Henry began to explain.

“I know you really don’t know any more than I do.  We established that right away.  Then traded names and addresses and you left.”  He looked from her face to the ceiling and around the coffee room as he tried to decide where to start.  “Okay.  If it wasn’t for you I may have thought I had just lost my mind.  You are….  Well you did see what I saw, and without that fact to rely on,  the Police seemed to think I was delusional.  I was beginning to think they may be right.”

“Then even though you stayed to keep looking for that guy, you didn’t find him…right?”

“Right.  Not the tiniest sign, like a foot print in the dirt or a clue to follow, like maybe a dropped item of clothing… anything.  Did the Police visit you after I gave them your address?”

“Yes, as soon as I got home, I saw a Police car was parked in front of my house.  An Officer and a plain clothes-man came to ask me about the non-accident I was involved in.

“So I told them what I saw.”

“Which was what?”

“A nice neat looking business man wearing a grey suit, white shirt and red tie walked into the street and I swerved to keep from hitting him.  I couldn’t think what color to call his hair, but I guessed he didn’t have a hat on or carried anything like a brief case or a cane or umbrella.”

“I agree with that.”  Henry offered,

“That was the problem apparently.  You and I had spoken about what we saw, so he said we had time to agree on a story.  Mine matched yours too perfectly and so it was dismissed. They seem to think we almost crashed with each other and the man was just invented to blame on something we decided upon.” 

Henry shook his head sorrowfully.  “It’s that attitude that has me feeling that I had imagined the guy, especially as no one has reported such a fellow missing.  If it wasn’t for you…”

“I can only say it did happen.”  Molly shrugged.  “But as long a no one is dead or dying, I say we just forget it and not let it drive us nuts like the Police already think we are.”

“I have an idea.”  Henry suggested. “I will pick you up when you get off and we will have some dinner to talk about other things and then go to a Movie and let it go forever. “

Molly smiled and hesitated,  “Together won’t we just go over it again and again ?”

“What is your favorite candy bar?”   Molly looked puzzled but answered,  “Mounds. I like dark chocolate.”

“Great! If I bring up the taboo subject I will owe you a large Mounds.”

Then Molly laughed out loud.  “And what do you want if I mention it?”

“I like Peanut Butter Cups myself.”

“It’s a deal !”  Molly was still laughing.  “But as we both like a candy bar with two pieces, we can share.  Not a bad deal all the way around.”

“What time do you get off?”  Henry asked.

“It would be better if you picked me up at home.   I would really like to get out of this uniform after it has spent the day here in the Hospital.”

“Sure thing. Same question, though.  What time?”

“Is seven okay?”

“I’ll be out front of your house at 6:45, just waiting in case you are earlier.”  Henry promised.  He drank down the last of the cold coffee and left the hospital thinking how much her description had matched his.  Too bad the Police didn’t think the man ever existed.  It made sense to them as he was apparently not a missing person.   Henry thought about that as he drove past the same corner once again.  Then he slowed down and looked around.  There were several large brick buildings nearby.  Suddenly he pulled over and parked.  He watched the different people … well men, as they went in and out of the buildings.  Would he recognize him?  Of course he would.  That man was burnt into his brain… even in a different suit he would know him.

After about a half an hour he got out of the car and walked into the closest business building.  He described the man to a desk clerk and hoped to get an answer, but it was not coming from this building, so he went to the one next door further up the street.

After six different buildings he gave up and went home to get ready for his date tonight.  Molly was such a bright and intelligent girl, and pretty too.  He had a hard time wondering why the Police didn’t believe her story.  Matching his was not a problem if they were both telling the truth…  and they were.

The Police just didn’t have time to solve a non-accident with a non-death or injury. That did make sense.  Now he turned to thinking that Molly was the best thing to come out of it.

Henry walked slowly back to his nice new little Ford automobile that he had purchased right after getting his driver’s license, which he didn’t have time to get before the Navy, but now that he was out of the service, was his first goal.

Molly, or someone like her, was his second and she was by accident.  Oh I mean…  non-accident.  His job at the Library had been by accident also.  He has spent so much time there after coming home and finding himself alone, with so many old friends married and his own parents living out their lives retired down in Florida, that the Librarian said joking, he was sure, 

“You are here so much, you may as well work here.”  Now he does and is loving it.     

Today in his free time Henry went to the computer room and looked up the various Companies he had just visited.  He was able to get a list of names of the higher ups, the CEO’S and Presidents of the Companies in the neighborhood.  Most had photographs of those important people.  None of which resembled  his brain’s vision of the man who had him slamming on his brakes.

Although Henry felt certain he dressed and walked liked an official.   If he could only find him at one of those nearby Companies he would look him up and even talk to him just to see for himself what a man who had somehow been missed by  two screeching cars and then simply strolled away unconcerned really thought of that one hair raising moment. He must have nerves of steel.

He looked a long time at a fellow with a fairly good resemblance to his memory, except he was much younger, but he decided that it could be an old photo.    He put the man’s name and picture on the copy machine and put it in his wallet.  It was Darrell Winters.   He was listed as the Company’s Top Laboratory Scientist.  Then it had to be an old picture unless the kid was a genius.

After work he washed the car, then showered and shaved for his date with Molly.

As he sat in the car waiting for her to come out, Henry looked over the possible photo again.  Maybe, maybe not.  He wondered what Molly might say about it, but they had an agreement to not talk about that near accident, so he tucked it back away.     

They had no sooner sat down at the table in the restaurant he had chosen, when before looking at the menu or anything, Molly reached into her purse and removed a large size Reese’s peanut butter cup candy bar and set it in front of Henry  

He looked at it without a word, smiling.  Then she told him.

“If you accept this penalty bar, I have a question.  However, if you answer my question, you owe me a Mounds,  Do you agree?”

Henry went to the inside pocket of his sport coat, still wearing that sly smile, brought out a giant Mounds and set it beside the Peanut butter cup package.

“Okay shoot!”  Molly couldn’t stop grinning at the candy bar stand- off.  And the question she was about to pose was so off the wall, that she was almost too embarrassed to actually ask it.  So she stated with, 

“Now don’t laugh. Just think about it and how no one human could just disappear like that.  Do you suppose it is a possibility that the man we saw was some sort of  an illusion… a ghost maybe and he was right there in front of us looking full of life and we just happened to be the ones who tuned him in, but as one of us struck him, he went poof! back to, you know, where ever ghost are when they are unseen… in the nether world?” 

Henry didn’t feel a bit like laughing as it had occurred to him also, especially as the Policeman had practically hinted that it was the case.

Without saying a word he took the photo copy from his wallet and laid it on the table facing Molly.

Molly gasped!  “That’s him!  Where did you get that?”

The waiter arrived and looking at the two candy bars in the middle of the table asked politely,

“Do you wish to order a salad or soup with your desert tonight, Sir?”

“Yes.” Henry replied, “Give us five more minutes to decide .’   

 The waiter took the hint and left.

“Put the candy in your purse and we can save them for the movie.”  Henry suggested before he explained about the photograph.  Then he admitted,

“I’m thinking of going into that Company if possible and just getting an up to date look at him.  I need to know if I am on to the wrong man.”

“Oh may I please, please, go with you.”  I am so willing to not have to start believing in ghosts.  But really I was grasping at straws, as many people do believe in those crazy things.”

“Four eyes will be better than two.”  Henry conceded.

They both looked over the menu before deciding on the house special of the night. Then getting  quickly back to the near miss on the highway.

They made plans to meet on that street at Molly’s lunch hour, but Henry would be there early in case the man left the building at that same time for his own lunch.

He hadn’t as far as Henry could tell.  He watched many leave in a hurry, which usually meant lunch.  But Molly and Henry agreed that the man in question was crossing at that same time and may or may not have been going to lunch .  

Molly had eaten with a friend and gotten a late start back to work which was what worried her into rushing away and leaving Henry to face the Police alone.   Maybe if she stayed the Police might not have been so sure that the two of them had invented that fellow who was never identified.

In the movie they tried very hard to concentrate on the picture but every time either had another question, they were discussing tomorrow again as they planned to visit the Company where their man worked. 

The very next day the two of them walked into the building of the Company Henry had found a look-a-like pictured  as an employee.

They went from floor to floor to just see who was easily visible.  while trying to look as if they were there on business and knew just where they must go.  Molly had left her white uniform back at the Hospital and hurried into a skirt and jacket.  So they spoke softly to each other to try to discourage anyone else from quizzing them.

The man was nowhere in plain sight. So before leaving Henry inquired   from the pretty girl, who sat at the front desk, if this man was in today.

“Oh! What a great picture of Darrell., I mean Mr. Winters,” she cooed.  “He is still a good-looking man, but he’s a few years older now.   Don’t tell him I said that.”  She added in hurry.

“We won’t.”  Molly said, stepping up beside Henry.  “It’s just that we are only going to be here for a short time and we would really like to touch base with him.  Do you know when that might be possible?”

The girl sort of rolled her eyes and lowered her voice.  I’d like to tell  you  but, we have been told not to talk about him for some reason. So if I knew I couldn’t tell you.  But I don’t.  He was here a couple of days ago, I saw him hurry out just after lunch.  But I didn’t see him return.”  She paused and looked around for any unwelcome ears. “ But he might have slipped by when I was on the phone or something. 

The next thing I knew the Security Man went from office to office with the hand held memo ordering us to not discuss Mr. Winters at all.  But how can I if they don’t tell us what happened to him?  I have been worried that he is sick or even dead.  I don’t know anything!.”  She shrugged, “So you see?”    

“They left after telling  her they would keep her secret and even let her know if they found out anything new.  

Henry handed her his card and said he was at that number, if she saw Darrell come in and was willing to call.  He used the man’s first name to continue the impression that they were old friends.

“I think I could for you,”  She smiled at one then the other as she looked at them and leaned closer, “Because you are his old friends.”   She whispered.

They left the building without the one thing they needed the most… to meet the strange disappearing man in person.  But they agreed that it was not a total loss.  The desk girl had confirmed that this Darrell Winters was the man in the picture, but was he the man they had both almost cut down by automobile?

How strange it was that he had disappeared again.  They vowed to let the problem go and enjoy life without requiring an answer to that little puzzle.

The indisputable fact was they had found each other by that accident and that was something to be happy about.  

The library and the hospital were close together in their little New York State Village of New Holland, so they could meet for lunch in the small Park that was a beautiful and restful place in the middle.  So Molly and Henry fell in love there in that Park one day at a time.  Their little near miss with their cars on the day they met was not even mentioned any more.

 No one called about the missing man, so if he had returned they did not hear about it.  Anyway not until the day they had chosen and planned for their wedding.

Their little Park was the setting and a flower covered gazebo was ready for that final commitment.   Some guests stood about chatting as others  sat on folding chairs placed on the grass facing it.  The tall, white wedding cake with angels on the top and buckets of Champaign stood ready to celebrate the happy union.

It was almost perfect in every way except the bride and groom had not arrived.

Henry had been the joyful groom at his Bachelor Party the night before. Then as he drove home late, just as he reached the place he had stood months ago after stopping the car before he hit a phantom man in the street, he saw Molly driving  swiftly toward him on her way home from a surprise Wedding Shower.  

Their two cars had met in a crash of glass and metal and people ran to help from every direction.  The cars were totaled but the drivers?  

 Where were the drivers?  The by- standers who rushed to help and all who saw the accident looked everywhere, but it seemed that the cars had met alone with no one in the driver’s seats.  How could that happen?

  Had they possibly have jumped out before the crash and run off?  It was a mystery.  The police made visits to the addresses on the two registrations but those two owners had not run home…  they had simply disappeared. 

TIME PASSED SLOWLY the next day at the Wedding sight.  Very few had heard of the Auto crash and even those who had, believed the Bride and Groom would come from where they had run that night. It was, after all,  their Wedding Day!

The patient guests enjoyed the Park and the food which was soon set out to keep the guests there just in case.   As it was all paid for and ordered far in advance, they stayed until the Champaign and even the beautiful cake, cut by the Best man, were gone.  Then they all left for home disappointed and confused.  Where could they be ?   Imagine missing their entire own wedding!


Henry stood facing Molly who had found herself standing beside her groom to be, expecting to be married.  But where was her wedding gown? and why was Henry dressed so simply?   Why had none of their guests arrived?

More than a little confused they looked at the fields of purple grass that surrounded them.  And how did the sky get to be so lavender? 

“What happened, Henry?”  Molly asked.

“I remember that I was driving past that same place on the road where we almost crashed last year. Then when I looked ahead you were driving right at me.  I grabbed the steering wheel to try to avoid you, but it was too late. We hit head on.”  Molly sort of recalled it the same.  But what happened?  She had swerved hard.  

“Does that mean we are dead?  Is this heaven or something?” Molly wanted to know.

“Do you feel dead?”  Henry reached to put his arms around her and draw her close. Molly responded as she always did by letting his pull put her tight in his comforting arms.

“No darling. I feel wonderful!   But I have never been dead before, so how can I tell?’  He pinched her hard on the bottom and she squealed and giggled.

“Hey! That hurts!”  

“Good!  I don’t believe you can feel,  after you are dead.”

“If my car crashed into you, I should feel terrible…  She grasped her head.  “or not feel at all, but I feel wonderful!  Why is that?”  Molly broke loose and twirled in the purple grass.  Then she bent and plucked off a handful. “Look Henry have you ever in your life seen anything like this?”

Molly pressed her hand to her nose.  “It smells like grapes.”  She held out her handful of loose grass leaves for him to smell.

“I can smell it from here and you are right I have never heard of grape grass.   Where do you suppose we have landed?”   Henry bent and stretched then declared.  “I feel wonderful too.  Pretty strange for a guy who just missed his Wedding Day, wouldn’t you say?”  Molly gasped, her hands to her mouth, her eyes wide.

“You’re right!  It was today.  Oh my! I wonder what happened when we didn’t show up, what did everyone do?  What did they think?  Why are we here when we should be there?”

Henry shook his head as he had no answer, just the one question she left out.  “Where are we?”

 The rosy clouds passed over a distant little sun, but at the same time let out another sun to take its place.

“Look Henry they have two suns here.  Do you know of a place that has two suns?”

He looked up at the sky and added, “Or a lavender sky?  No, never. ”  

“Aren’t they strange.”  Molly commented looking up at the beauty.  The clouds are as rosy as a sunset, but two suns are almost straight up.” 

As they stood wondering about and admiring the fantastic sky, two people arrived and stood beside a yellow helicopter, they should have heard, but didn’t.

When Henry looked at them he spoke softly to no one in particular. ”Darrell…Darrell  Winters… Molly look  who is here.”  Molly stunned by the sight if that man, stammered out a line of half begun sentences.

“It’s him… It’s you!  You are here!  Or are we there… I don’t know…  You are Mr. Winters aren’t you?  I can’t believe we finally found you… or did you just find us?’”  

Darrell was with a pretty young woman with green make-up on, but her hair dyed a deep green to go perfectly with it.  Molly smiled and stepped up to take her hand.  How odd her hand was green too.  Oh well, she took it in hers and it was soft and warm and friendly.

“Glad to meet you…”

“My name is Starr.”  She said  “And you two are Henry and Molly.  We have been expecting you ever since you missed the transfer when Darrell came here last year.”  Henry came to take her hand with a greeting and a question.   But before he could put the words together, Starr began to answer it.

“You are here in High Emora, so we came to give you a ride to our Deep Emora.  You will get used to it soon, but it will seem unusual until you do.  Just have patience.  Isn’t that right Darrell?” 

“In about six months it will be home.”  He agreed.

“Six months!” Molly almost shouted.  “What about our wedding?  It was to be today.”

“Then it will be.  If that is what you wish.”  Starr assured her.

“Tonight then?”  Henry asked 

“Tonight?  Tonight.? Night,  Oh yes,  now I remember.  You have only one sun and that makes you have a dark side called, night.”  She shook her head sadly.  “That must be sad, having the light go out and leave everyone stumbling in the dark.  I’ve heard that some people just go to sleep to await the suns return.”

Molly was about to argue that but instead asked 

“Do you really have sun all the time?”

“Our four suns travel in a circle around us so we always see at least one.”  Starr said.  Darrell spoke to explain.

“I have tried to tell her that the suns do not travel around them .  But she just points at them going by and that is that.’  Starr laughed.

“Isn’t he funny.”  He says we travel through and between our four suns pulled by them to complete the long year. Thus we always see at least one maybe two at a time.”  But he is so cute.”  Starr put her arms around him and held tight to explain,  “ I love to listen to his funny stories about how things work.    But enough talk for now.  “We must head down to the Deep for our greeting dinner. ”

Starr led them to the Taxi-copter.

Henry and Molly went through all of the strange events that Darrell had last year , except they had Darrell to assure them all along the way that what they were seeing was acceptable and safe.  If they had a question usually Darrell was the one to give them the answer.

Of course it was Starr’s job to do so, but these two new visitors felt more trustful of what Darrell explained from his experience, rather than from the official text, Starr had memorized.  

They met many people from Earth by the same method they had used.  Only a few had come on purpose, the rest thought they had accidently stepped on it and been thrown to Emora by fate, just as the three of them had.

They were soon to learn differently.

At the long table where at least fifty pale people sat to celebrate the new comers.  Darrell quietly explained that the strength of the four suns turned skin green much like the way it turns the glass on an aquarium green, if light is upon it constantly.   So the people who work up in the High Land of Emora get the most sun light and are the greenest.  The Office workers in Deep Emora settle into a light moss color.

“Who works up there?”  Henry asked. 

“The farmers who grow the food we eat, is the easy answer.”  Darrell went on to give Henry more details.  “With the total light and no dark periods all of the drier High Land is in constant growth and harvest.  Those people who came from the farm lands of the Earth use their experience to grow what is ordered from them by the Chefs in Deep Emora.”  

He looked to the head of the table where the Elderly man who dined there, stood for attention.  “It’s time to have the Leader explain a little of the history of Emora.  Let’s listen.”

They all paused from eating and drinking to give this old Leader their attention.  Henry took Molly’s hand in his and they turned toward the speaker . As the newest guests they sat fairly close to the Leader’s end of the table.

The man who stood was darker green than most at the table.  Henry looked again at Darrell and noticed than he too had taken on a light greenish appearance.

All was quiet and the Leader began.  He smiled at the guests and welcomed them to the Greeting of the new people, who he introduced as simply Henry and Molly.

“The rest of you must be patient as you have heard most of this story.   I must explain to them exactly who I am.  

There was soft laughter of agreement.  Then Mr. Leader took a sip from his glass and began.

“I am Adam and George Washington, and  maybe also Clark Gable.

I am Adam, the first man on Emora.  Next week I will be ninety seven.  I came here accidently when I was sixteen in Earth years.  The balance of my time has been counted in Emora years which are quite different, due to its four suns.

   No one was here to greet me.  There was no City of Emora.  I was frightened and lonely, but I was here so I did the best I could.  And there was much to do.  Not only to survive but to salvage.  From whenever the first Black Hole connected with this speck in the Universe, it has been a dumping off place.  It was obvious that Nellie Mountain the prominent peak I named for my Mother had been collecting junk for a very long time.  What water had steamed its way to the very end had cooled and formed a lake that resulted in a waterfall and small river, lined by rocks that did not match the surrounding  purple sand native to this area. 

 Close to the top and obviously newer were actual items of furniture built on Earth and under use when they were sucked to this dumping place. I spent a lot of time salvaging what was not broken and repairing what was.

Then in the debris I found a clue that set me to walking far and wide in search of possible other humans who may have survived as I did. Had there been other Adams before me?

The clue was a tightly wrapped bundle of menus that were unharmed and when opened had covers that read, HMS Titanic.  That ship had finally disappeared below the sea in 1912. with a huge loss of people and everything that was not already  sucked up before it was dropped on the ice berg where it sank..   That was what accounted for the household comforts and those dozens  of  boxes filled with very useful items probably stored in the hold.

Think of a large vacuum cleaner with a very long hose drawing in from one end and dumping from another anything that did not get incinerated by the heat or smashed by the pressure.   If I survived, it must be a factor of the time spent in transit. Because I was there one second and here the next,  without a hair out of place.  Others may have had the same luck like most of you.”  He pointed to the table.   “ But if they arrived in Earth’s year of 1912 they would have been here for 61 years before me.  But it was worth looking for more people to work and live with especially if you are alone. 

 I eventually found sign of a small colony of Titanic survivors who had tried to live near the mountain,   However they had died out years before.  What they left behind was a worry that the planet could not continue to support life on the surface due to the constant heat.  They made plans for moving into the Deep.  

So by leaving me only their clever new way of  surviving,  I worked to create Deep Emora furnished and suggested by the former ship Titanic survivors.

As I worked alone a wonderful woman suddenly appeared.  Her name is Amelia and she was a little older than I was at the time, but who could tell it for sure. 

 My age was lost in the odd way Emora travels between four suns.   Anyway we hit it off at once.”    He quickly suppressed a hearty laugh, and took another sip from his glass.  “And why wouldn’t we? There was no competition. She had a companion in her plane named Fred Noonan, her Engineer, but he did not survive that abrupt landing in that swift Black Hole which brought her through as unruffled as I had been.

  Which reminds me there are several hundred people in an Asian plane right now being gathered and written up for passage here.  It had unexpectedly hit the exact Pacific Black Hole that Amelia came through and Fred had not.”  He turned to look over at Henry and Molly.

“I hear that our new couple disappeared on their wedding day, but they may soon understand that a wedding here is based on Amelia’s idea of marriage.     

 Yes, she already had a husband back on Earth before she fell into the one and only route to Emora from where she was flying across the Pacific and became my Lady, Eve.  Anyway she and her husband had a written agreement to be married legally, but to not hold each other to the conventional rules such as faithful to only one.  

Well as Eve to Adam,  she had no other choices.”  He chuckled, “ But then neither did  I.”

  Eventually, though, as Martha to myself again, after I became George Washington as soon as we had collected enough citizens to become a Country , we decided to let her Marriage Rules be the same for all.  

So what and how Henry and Molly choose to live will be, as long as they live on Emora, entirely up to them.”  He sipped more from his handy glass and then waved his hands gracefully toward them.  

“I now pronounce you Husband and Wife.  Do with it what you please and good luck and much happiness to you both.  Now back to history    

“When I was the first and so far the only Leader of this Country,  I adopted George’s idea to not become a King.  He was asked to.  In case you don’t remember that.  But George said, 

“ No Royalty!”  Just regular people, who wish to  make up their own rules and vote for them.  

As you can see, if  you walk our one street and see our blue brick buildings  filled with Offices for all who need one to run a business, or travel up to the High Emora and visit the farms, there are now hundreds of people here.  Some day we may take the time to count them. 

 I am still the most famous and when I left Earth the most famous man was, Clark Gable.  So I became Clark Gable and Amelia is my Carroll Lombard.  

Thus our history is very simple.  The “Firsts” were all accidental.  However in order to grow without a birth rate to help us, we still needed recruits to build a decent Country.  

In spite of our ages, Amelia and I had two children, Fred, named for the Engineer on her airplane  that disappeared and a darling daughter named Kansas , the state where Amelia was  born and we call, Kandy.  We have a half dozen grandchildren now,  It goes as fast here as on Earth, maybe faster, I keep forgetting which way it goes.”  He laughed at his own ignorance.  And the guests all laughed along with him. 

However getting new citizens is very tricky.  We have a couple of hard working very brave people who take the trip back to Earth when possible to help send up healthy young  people like our two Newbies, Henry and Molly, to live and raise a family here in Deep Emora. 

They are chosen for different reasons.  Amelia once was a volunteer nurse.    She felt that we needed a good nurse to teach others.  Molly is a Nurse and her husband , Henry, is a much needed Librarian.  He won’t believe how many hundreds of books came from the Titanic. Plus a few from suit cases and other junk.

“Long ago we had a great music teacher, until he passed away, His name was Glenn Miller and our music school will always carry his name ”Miller School of Music. ”

“The new people arrive with so many different languages that we became confused.  Communication is important so Darrell is going to consolidate the most used words from all who live here and soon we may call our own language “Emorian.”  Or, I don’t care,  whatever Darrell chooses.   I named my this, new Fatherland, Emora, after my own Father on Earth whose name was Emory.“

“And thus we welcome our two new people, But next week we have six all at once.  The Asian airplane is taking a longtime because it is so complicated.  But we will meet again soon to greet whoever arrives next. It is a tradition as long as I am Leader.  

Amelia sends her love, but her age is making it difficult to do so much.  She is older than I am, oh, one hundred & ten, I think, but she claims 120.  Hopefully she will make the next dinner celebration until then … eat, drink and enjoy.  And if you see me on the street just call me, “ Lee.”  It is so much simpler than,” Leader”, my official title.”

Lee left the room and the others continued to visit and get to know the newbies, Molly and Henry.

Starr had questions about Earth as she was born there, in California so she was told, but had arrived in her mother’s arms as an infant not yet one .year old and had no memories of the planet Earth.

Molly wanted to convince her that there was nothing sad about the night.  Even though the invention of electric light had almost ended it in places that were so well lit that they became known as the, ” Cities that never slept.” 

Then Starr explained the green color of her skin as being deepened by the constant sun light.  This made Molly think of Algae so she wondered if it rubbed off.  Starr offered her arm as an example.  No it is more like the way you tan to brown shades.     

   “Oh I get it now.”  Molly told Starr, “Do you know that on Earth, the grass is green and sky is blue? “  

“I’ve  tried to imagine that.”  Starr exclaimed, “But it is too weird to picture.”

Darrell tried to tell them both that colors were mostly created in the brain, and that no one saw the same exact color of anything the same as another person or even an animal.  Many see only in grays with black or white like most animals.  People think a red cape makes the bulls angry, but it is the waving that annoys them.  They only see a dark gray cape fluttering before them.

How you visualize anything is a personal matter.  If you have not ever seen differently, how could you understand what you might be missing?   However, most humans see colors pretty much alike.  We might see a different shade of purple grass, but we can agree that it is the sixth or seventh color on the rainbow,     

“Besides the colors, the breathable air is so different.”  Henry remarked.  “On Earth, only fish can breathe this heavy stuff safely with special gills.  I am amazed that my lungs work in the Deep.”

“I was working on that, Henry.”  Darrell told him.  “It’s the composition here in Deep Emora,  it is not simply H20, water, but a wider mix closer to air on Earth.  Your Earth lungs just accept it. 

On Earth you breathe in and remove the Oxygen then expel what your body does not require.  You are doing exactly the same here.  I find that the biggest difference is that here I cannot run.  If I move my feet too fast they leave the ground, and I find myself swimming. So I walk slower to let my feet touch the ground for my own comfort and safety.” 

“I did notice that.”  Henry replied.  “I was even thinking of putting weights in my shoes.”

“Right on, Henry.”   Darrell told him.  “My tests proved that those who were born here or have lived here for a very long time, have extra heavy foot bones.”  

As they prepared to leave the table Starr had another question for Henry and Molly.

“Tomorrow we will visit High Emora and you may prefer to compare the living conditions of both before you decide where you would like to live.” 

“Does that mean we must live here?  I mean stay on Emora.  Can we never go home?”  Molly asked distressed.  

“Let me try to explain it Molly.”  Darrell said .  “I had to make that decision last year before my year’s anniversary arrived, which in its self is complicated, because of the differences in the length of a  year between the two planets.  As a Scientist , I have been busy with all of those things.” 

“There are very few cases of people returning  back.   They are getting pretty good at bringing people here, but it is extremely dangerous.  Those who came by accident were more than just lucky.  Most, like Amelia’s Engineer, Fred, don’t survive the Black Hole.  

 That new Asian Airliner , so recently sucked it by accident after running smack into Amelia’s same Pacific Black Hole, is still being gone over for useful parts and complete people.  Gory as that sounds, someone has to do it.”

“I really don’t understand them at all.”  Molly admitted, “but … I loved my job at the hospital and would like to go back to it.” 

That small Black Hole at our little street in New York State only opens  for a few second each year.  That was why they missed getting you two through when I arrived.  And then a year later they decided they needed a well trained nurse, so they tried again.  Experts had to work fast to be there when it blasted open for a few seconds this time.   By experts, I mean their Geniuses, arranged to have you both drive right into it at that exact time, which is very tricky.  Only the few who do understand how to time it, are able to make it all work together.  But you must forget the human ego thing and not think of it as a giant subway created for travel.  You are but a speck of dust to that super strong and very difficult to understand Galactic happening.   If you go back to the vacuum cleaner analogy a speck sitting upon the floor may be there one   instant and at the other end in a Nano-second, looking exactly the same, but millions might be crushed against the sides never to make it through.”

Molly smiled, “Oh you scientists love to exaggerate.  And just exactly how long is a Nano-second?”

“It Is,”  Darrell purposely stretched out.  ….” Exactly how long it takes light to travel one foot!”

“Oh Thank you, So just maybe…”  Molly decided, “We can go back next year if we really want to.  Right?”

“A possibility!”  Starr agreed to end that discussion and they began the tour of the Deep to be followed by the High tomorrow.

One of the five story blue brick buildings held small suites for one or two people. There was a one story taller hospital next door, which had workers anxious to meet Molly and then they saw the basement of the living quarters, which held stacks and stacks of unsorted books, just waiting to become a workable library.

Henry couldn’t resist roaming through the stacks.  “So this is what the Librarian of the Titanic thought folks would be interested in reading?”  He mumbled.  “Wow! Quite a variety.”

Starr volunteered the answer to the most asked question.

“You may be interested to know that Lee’s son, Fred, found a book in that mess about brick making and tried it with our abundant purple sand.  That royal blue brick is the color that resulted with the firing.”  He built a room size kiln up in High Emora where the sun cooked them around the clock.”  They have a chute that sends them down for use as building material here in Deep Emora, where we fortunately do not need heating or cooling.”

The ground floor of the next building was a huge open market place.  People who had a craft or skill could put out their items for sale.  Everyone carried a card to charge on, as money was too inconvenient, besides being  nonexistent.    If you sold something it was a Plus number.  If you bought anything it was a Minus number.  If your account was all Minuses, you were billed in hours of assigned work by the accountants.  You paid by working as needed by the accountant’s tracking of the cards.  When Molly was finally working at the hospital she would be given Pluses that would show on her card for buying.

Darrell had to laugh at the primitive hand cranked accounting equipment found in that 1912 Titanic heap.  Lately some better machines were found that no one understood, until just recently. 

 Darrell himself had unearthed a generator, which only he appreciated, but a fuel would have to be found next..  Things like candles would only burn in High Emora, where they were not needed at all. Someone would think of how they could be useful eventually.  

Darrell saw the humor in realizing that on Earth, a need arose and someone invented a machine to fulfill it.  On Emora, a machine was found and someone else invented a way to use it.

They followed Starr toward the elevator up to High Emora, while taking in the sights along the route.  Henry wondered how long it would take him to get comfortable here.  Hadn’t Darrell said… six months?

Molly took Henry’s hand and leaned close and whispered as they slowed down,

“Please Henry, I want to go home.  Let’s not even try to fit in, let’s leave as soon as we may.  I didn’t ask to come here.  Tell me you didn’t.”  When there was no answer Molly’s voice panicked.  “You didn’t even know about this crazy place… did you?”

“Oh, no, sorry, I was thinking about all of those books.  Imagine if one fellow got his hands on one book and then invented all of those bricks, think what might challenge another young person to do something helpful, really helpful also.  Just like those bricks.”  Molly brought him to a stop and looked him in the eyes and repeated, 

“Home Henry, you remember home. I want to go there as soon as possible.”

“We have all year to decide.”  He explained to slow her down.  “And they chose you to be their top nurse, because they know you are good at what you do and they need you.”  Henry had to stop to soothe the obviously upset Molly.

“No,  they chose me because I am the only nurse who passes through their stupid  Black thing every day. They needed you for that giant dump of books and then they picked you a wife… me.”    Henry put his arms around Molly and drew her close.

“Then they really are Geniuses as match-makers, because I am just crazy about you.  We are married now.  You heard the man.  You are my bride!”  He saw that Molly was very likely crying, but tears were impossible in the Deep.  Still he passed his fingers gently across her cheeks and kissed each side gently.  Molly pressed her head into his shoulder and sobbed.  

“I’m a bride with a beautiful wedding dress in a closet somewhere trillions of miles away.”

“But how many couples get to have an adventurous  Honeymoon like this?”

“I don’t like the Deep City.  It’s so, so, creepy.”  She told him “I don’t want to live under water.”

“Then we will choose to live in High Emora, the land of eternal sunshine.”

“Can we?”  It was rather pretty up there.”  Molly smiled and Henry just had to kiss her properly.

“I never got a chance to kiss the bride.”  He told her softly, then they heard a voice in the distance,

“Hey you two!”  Darrell called out from in front of a mountainous structure.  “We are holding the elevator for you!”

“Come on darling Molly, “  Henry took her hand firmly in his. “Let’s go live the adventure.”


Up on top Suns Two and Four were shining.  One higher and brighter than the other.  according to Starr.  

 Molly wondered.  How she could tell them apart.?  But true to form Starr explained.

“ Our clocks are divided into four Suns.  One and Three are the most distant and the slowest but just as One  goes by the top mark with Three trailing behind at the bottom mark, You know Two will be next to rise into view, because it is almost near the top already.

It is a bit faster, so you will think it might catch up, but it never does.  They keep their places like clock-work.”  Starr laughed.  “So you can see which Sun is up and which has just passed.  They are shown on the clocks in different sizes so that you can tell them apart. “  Then she turned to Darrell and said,

“See I told you the Suns are going around us.”   Then she spoke to the two new guests shaking her head.  “He still doesn’t believe me.”

The tour began when a yellow Jeep-taxi drove up and they all took a seat as the yellow clad driver took off with jolt to take them to the first farm house.  It was constructed out of the famous blue bricks and had a double roof.  The roof on the building was thick and heavy looking but turned out to be some puffy plant wood.  Then there was a space about a foot wide and the second roof held up by stilts every ten feet or so, was planted with the purple grass that grew almost everywhere.  From the helicopter the building would be invisible.   But that was not what it was up there to do. 

Because the purple grass was a native weed, it took care of itself and needed no care.  The second roof was a sun break to shade the roof from the constant sunshine.

“Does it rain?”   Henry asked.

Starr explained, 

“ I guess you could call it that.   But from what I understand about rain is that it is unpredictable and irregular water that can fall hard and create floods and rivers.   So ours is not that kind of rain.  

There is a cloudy band that follows a regular path under the weakest Suns.  They are  heavy with water which does not fall out but passes by always under  those two smallest Suns that are too far away to burn them dry.  That damp air gives water to the growing plants daily as they move by in groups leaving a wet shade as they float past.

Plants that can live with that are the only ones that grow. Our trees are not very tall but fruitful and the corn does just great.

Some of our inventive farmers have been successful with root crops by digging ditches from the lake water to put some moisture deep enough into the soil to grow roots, which don’t get very long without deeper water.  It is rather new, but most people have begun to learn how to cook those funny, but colorful roots.  Maybe Molly can make them a cook book for the new produce.

Henry squeezed her hand and Molly almost smiled.  She was waiting to  see the inside of a brick house.  But the sun was warm and welcoming to her.  She didn’t even notice the slight green already coloring her arm on the open window frame.

The driver took them around through the farms until at the start of the circle they were back at the entrance of the elevator.

It had been an enjoyable ride and Molly did not understand why the City had been built in the Deep of the lake in the first place.  Then she noticed a single two story brick building on the far side of the elevator tower, with a wide bridge leading over the water to the front door. 

“You have one large building on the top.”  She said and asked. “Why is it sitting in the lake all alone?”

“This one two story building in High Emora is a new experiment.” Starr told her,  “It has been equipped with air conditioning or it would become a kiln in a week.  What makes it possible is the fact that it is the top two floors of the already five story Hospital in Deep Emora.” 

Once the farm people began to build themselves those brick double roof homes and proved that it was possible to live up here, the number of those actually living full time in High Emora instead of commuting by elevator grew as fast as the homes could be added.  Suddenly we had a need for easy access to the Hospital from the top.  Also the children began to use that new route to go to school down in Deep Emora.”  

Starr pointed to a pair of youngsters walking under an umbrella as they exited the hospital to the bridge and home.  “So we may add one more floor on the top of that one to house the school.  But only if there are soon enough kids to make it necessary.  I hear that there are at least a dozen children being treated at the sight of the Asian Airplane .  The number of people who came through and are expected to live is very large as the plane held over 300 people.  But not all of the parents of the surviving children were traveling with them.  If they can create Families of those with a common language they will, that is but one of the things making this event such a huge problem.  Most boats and planes have disappeared with only a few folks making it here alive.  As far as I know this was the largest number ever.

Sometimes the scientists, like your Darrell,”  Starr patted his hand as if to humor him for his odd thoughts,   “Tell us that we should be ready to take on a maybe thousands of people. As they visualize the Black Hole exploding loose and the huge Earth end and dropping onto a big city like New York , swooping up crowds from the busy streets.”

Darrell defended himself.  It’s no crazier than preparing for the large number of deaths that may occur if a large Meteor hit the city.

“The way  I see it,” Starr admitted,  “If disaster strikes…  deal with it, but to worry and plan, when no one knows what… or when…  is just spinning your wheels needlessly.  My hair could grow yellow worrying over every little thing.”

“I would hate to see that happen, little darlin’”   Darrell told her, “So don’t you worry.  Let me handle that department.”  He flipped her soft forest green waves between his fingers admiring the shiny deep ocean color. 

“I’ve been doing a little planning myself.”  Henry said as he stood looking at the vast purple grass fields and the orchards with squares of corn and wheat out beyond, which they had just driven through.”

“If I put my time and labor into adding a floor to the top of this Hospital,   We could make it a school with a large public library.  Darrell could use his knowledge of science to help make it work in this High, hot air.  

Those children who carried an umbrella for sun protection made me wonder if a large Middle Eastern Type tent could be created to reflect the sun back up from the building or if really successful, just become the new roof.  Giving us a comfortable library room and classes for the kids.

But I am too new here to know if you ever have the kind of bad weather that would blow down something like that.”  He looked to Starr and Darrell for an answer.

“The weather would permit it.  We don’t even get a rain storm.”  Starr admitted but… “  Darrell stepped in,  With only a years experience on this planet, I have seen nothing that would first, make a few poles as high as I remember those the Arabs had.  But more important , there is nothing here yet that could be the basic canvas for a large… especially a very large tent.” 

Molly entered the conversation with a suggestion.  “You may be over looking two fields I saw.  The first grew flax.  Isn’t that what linen is woven from? The one next to it grew cotton.  That I can see all around us is used to make clothes and bedding.  I may be wrong, but I could have sworn I saw some rubber trees at the edges of the fruit orchards.”

“Yes they are milked to use for stretchy stuff.  I’ve seen it boiled.”  A tent cover could be built with those things… with some time.  Is anybody in a hurry here?”  Starr asked, as she danced a little jig.  Singing to a tune they knew as Sweet and low, “Slow, Slow, Sweet and Slow, I’ve got some time on my ha…ands” 

“Where did you get that song?”  Darrell asked puzzled. So Starr sang her Lullaby and goodnight answer too.  

Because mommy held me tight and sang each night to her babee.” 

Darrell laughed,   

“You sound more like you were born in Alabama instead of hip California.”

“Nope I’m California born, but Mommy was from Alabamy.”  They all  laughed  at that.  Up until now Starr had always spoken with such a trained tour- speech voice.  

“Have you never been back?”  Molly asked with a note of sympathy. 

“My dear, Molly, I’d have returned a dozen times if that trip was as simple as it is fast.  If you have a child here, will you put it in your arms and head for the nearest Black Hole knowing the odds?”

Molly hadn’t formed an answer yet, she was still trying to picture a baby in her arms.

“My mother didn’t either, she was on a sail boat in that famous triangle that no one believes exists.  If the trip had gone as expected, I would have been in Bermuda  for my first birthday and gotten to know my Father.   Que Sera Sera.!” 

“I plan to go home next year.”   Molly explained in all honesty. “ I miss home too much to enjoy living here.”

Henry was certain that when he was finished preparing them a home of some unique type here in the High Land and she was in her element working at the hospital … well only time would tell.  She would not believe him now anyway, so he remained quiet.  

Before they could enter the Elevator Tower, a scream came from the field they had just driven across from a farm visit.  The driver jumped in the Jeep and started the motor,

Sensing an emergency in the sound of the voice, Molly hopped in beside him.   Henry grabbed the back and fell in also.  Starr and Darrell were caught unawares and found themselves standing and watching the action.

The driver raced across the field directly toward the screaming voice.  A woman stood out front and waved them to her as she saw the Jeep coming.

At the little brick house she led them in where a man lay on the floor moaning in agony from what seemed to be scalding burns on his arms and legs. A large ceramic pot of hot water was spilled on the floor around him. As he was carrying it from the stove he tripped and it broke spilling all around his lower body and hands. Molly wanted to give the man comfort and first aid for the pain, but she was at a loss, as none of the things she would choose to use seemed to be available .

The lake !”  She told the driver, “Let’s get him to the lake.

 At least the water would cool his body and give him some relief.  Henry and the driver lifted him to the Jeep, his wife followed as did Molly wishing she had ice or salve or even butter.  What the heck did these people have anyway?

At the lake’s edge they lowered him carefully into the cool water and held him gently to allow the pain to subside.   

Nurse’s aides from the hospital came out and learning of the accident brought an oil to spread carefully on his hands and lower arms until they could get him inside. 

Molly smelled it but couldn’t identify it.  An aide told her it was Blue Aloe. 

“ Very good.”  Molly told her,  She decided to stay with the man, whose wife kept murmuring,  “Poor Earl, Oh poor Earl, I am so sorry.”   as she followed him to his hospital bed.  

 Molly waved Henry off to join the other two who had waited for them to go with the Elevator and she whispered that she would follow soon.  

No one could get lost in a City with one street, one elevator, three five or more story buildings and only a dozen other houses somewhere out of sight. 

Molly hoped to get a tour by one of the doctors but learned there was only one and he was off duty.  The nurse’s aide was happy to show her the equipment room and explain their medical supplies, such as they were.

The nurse in her began to wonder what she could add somehow to what they had and what they knew.  Yes it was obvious that she had been just what the doctor had ordered.

After a patient waiting period, Henry returned to the hospital in search of his wife.  Molly smiled at the sight of him.  She knew he had not chosen a temporary room for them without her.   After all they were newly wed and wasn’t the first night, or whatever it is called here, by some unknown time, anyway, when you are first wedded was still supposed to be memorable? Wasn’t it?  

Molly requested and received a private hospital room for this sun period and the next sun also, to play it safe.  They would sleep on this top floor, so she did not have to go back into the Deep just yet.  Eternal sunshine was okay with Molly especially for a Honeymoon.  

By the end of the week she soon found herself with four Chinese speaking doctors who had been kept busy helping the injured passengers to health.  Ten passengers had been moved to the hospital along with the doctors and their personal equipment.  Several crates of Medical supplies from shipping were sent to the supply room.  When not caring for the patients, Molly spent her time working with the doctors and Starr, to translate the Chinese and Korean marked chemicals into English medicines.  

Henry told her that five couples were put in charge of a dozen Chinese speaking school age children, with the hope that they would sort themselves into families and incorporate some of the elders into Uncles and Aunts or Grandparents.  They now welcomed a final total of one hundred and twenty two new Chinese and Korean speaking residents, although happily, most had a good knowledge of English, so it would remain the primary language.

At the Greeting Dinner for the Newbies, they learned that they could call on five engineers, seven school teachers, and three architects.  The rest were grateful to be saved, having lived through a tremendous amount of pain and death and would find a talent to give.  The plane was in hand sized pieces, but 40 perfect televisions were put into storage until a use was invented for them some day.   

The salvage workers went back to the cheerier job of brick laying, to help complete Henry’s new eighth story on the Hospital/school/library, which already had five below water and two above.   They only had to circulate the cool water from below to the top and let it drop to keep the temperature equal.  Kind of like those big wheels on windmills in Holland.

 As much as they all appreciated the new residents they could only hope they did not ever catch a disaster like that one again.

Molly and Henry were kept busy with their new jobs and did not notice when the year passed by.  Their baby son was born early and as soon as Molly held him in her arms she understood.  No, she would never risk this precious life to make that much wanted trip home.  

It was just as well, because no one had told her about the broken connection that made going back home to New York impossible. 

No one in Emora High or Deep yet understood that they would not have another disaster or even a single trip to Earth again.  That those erratic, violent, galactic unpredictable objects known only as Black Holes had separated from Earth and there was no more going or coming as long as they were off elsewhere in the universe doing their destruction and distributing  odds and ends from one planet or star to another…  just no longer theirs.  

If they were not Black Holes, but shining like stars, people could look up and see where they existed, but they are much stronger than light and keep it from shining out…  therefore, Black.   

 Only a few Astronomers can find them with strong telescopes that can pick up the faint light from the Event Horizon that may surround the Black pit.

The folks who had disappeared from Earth when they were cast to Emora often wished they could…  well, E Mail or something,  to let their friends and relatives living on Earth know that they are doing well and keeping busy and are even happy on this new tiny planet.  But they cannot. So you must either take my word for it, or say, 

“That is just too Fantastic !   I don’t believe it for a Nano-second.


Beverly Mosier     June 2014