Letters of Einstein and Rosen
Chapter 1: “Out of time”
By Kantuck Nadie Nata-Akon
“No, you can’t use road. Hoia-Baciu forest is forbidden!”
For centuries, the forest’s name was spoken only in whispers. The alarming title, “The Bermuda Triangle of Romania” stuck well into the 22nd century. The first entrance to the forest, was a bridge over some very fast moving waters, where three individuals, plus two horses stood. Guarded by a farmer with a laser rifle and stubborn resolve to stop the two youngsters wishing to travel into it. But ‘forbidden’ and what Mara read about the forest, was like a scarlet fluttering cloth in front of the bullish woman. The twenty-five year old daughter of the CEO of Hermes Mining would not be denied.
Richard sighed dismissively. “Do hurry Mara dear. We must have our afternoon tea” he sneered. “Offer the good man something, money, jewelery…yourself.”
Mara looked over her shoulder irritatedly, and pointed to Richard’s black stallion, “Maybe if you kept that stupid nag away, he’d be one less person making an ass of themselves.” Her mare seemed to say the same as she snorted, tossed her head, and pinned her ears back at the stud.
He complied, pulling the stallion away. Unfolding a tablet computer, and tapping an icon the GPS and mapping software allowed him to study the area for a way out of this, and the situation.
“That forest been in family for generations. It is evil, I tell you! Strange lights have been seen late at night. Unearthly noises, and big metal ships dart around it. I saw a strange being, it wasn’t human too! The elders say people who go in it sometimes disappear, or reappear only days or hours later. Some was crippled, one five year old came back hours later, looking like a ten year old.” The old man’s expression turned to sadness. “There was a poor girl who returned from it babbling out of her head, and she’s been in asylum for years. Every night they say she starts screaming for hours.”
Mara’s mirthless laugh interrupted him. “Superstitious poppycock!” She pulled out a small silver card. “Richard’s right. What’d it take? 1,000 credits? 2?”
He shook his head dismissively, “No Ms. I don’t want money. I’m afraid for you and your friend.” He flicked the safety off the rifle, and shifted it to his other shoulder as if to say “Negotiations were ended.”
“Mara,” Richard grunted as he pulled the stud’s reins. subtracting the inches he’d gained. “GPS says there’s another road ahead, that that isn’t on his land.” He folded the tablet to put into his pocket, gave her a devilish grin, and yelled “Race ya.” spurring his horse, and galloping down the road with clops and clouds of dust. Mara yelled over her shoulder, “You lost out, old man!” as she raced after Richard. The old farmer just shook his head sadly; he’d tried.
Irony was at the back of Mara’s mind as they continued slowly into the forest. Fun was replaced by strong feelings of being watched. The air seem to grow staler, colder and thicker which made the horses’ reluctant to move further. Richard’s stud was more interested now in the forest, than Mara’s mare. Both horses’ ears, and heads were constantly moving, punctuated with loud snorts, and squeals.
Mara stopped her ride, looking around. A cold clammy feel ran down her back “Richard…I don’t like this”
“Yeah babe, I don’t either.”
Imagination seemed to shape the forests. Darkness, shadows, bits of sunlight that faughtit’s way down to the floor, and the light breeze that moved the bizarre shaped trees. Both thought that if they blinked, the trees would eat them, and the horses for dessert. The trail they came on lead forward on to a dark brown serpentine shaped path that suddenly darted to the right into a row of trees.
A blister that formed on the swamp next to them burst with a snap. stinking the air with a sulfurous stench that made both humans hold their noses, and nearly retch. The horses snorted, sneezed at the decaying egg smell, and moved back. With a soft female like giggle, a breeze started; at first welcomed. It then became cold, lifeless and bitter. Seeming to sneak under their clothing, and horse fur; caressing evilly over the flesh to pull any bit of warmth from them.
Mara couldn’t take it any more, but before she could move, “My arms won’t work” she thought fearfully. She desperately looked to Richard, but his eyes betrayed his own apprehension. The mare snorted loudly slowly backing up; for she felt what the humans did. Millions of ants slowly crawling and tickling under her skin, and making fur and hair stand on end. Richard’s stallion squealed and reared, as the mare tossed her head.
From the trail previously traveled, smoke or fog started to blow in, swirling and boiling over the ground and around the trees. As the frighten humans looked, sinister faces began to form, sharp teeth in huge gaping maws. Arms with clawed fingers reaching for them, and each mouth came a predatory howl. Mara just had time for one quick look behind her before her scream matched the sound of her terrified mare. As the horse galloped from a standing position in seconds, the paralysis that gripped Mara disappeared in time for her to hold onto the saddle in mortal fear. The mare’s screams dying out as they turned that aforementioned right turn and disappeared.
Richard sat there on the frozen stallion, his mind woolgathering. But then Mara’s screams of his name slammed into him; the brickwall surrounding his mind shattered, and prodding him into movement. Jerking the reins, and kicking his ride, he guided the frighten animal down the path toward Mara, oblivious to the smoke or fog that seemed to disappear.
Mara and her mare seemed to disappear in seconds when they ran, but yet it seemed the trail was getting longer with each step, and no matter how much he pushed the black stud, the right-darted trail-head refused to grow closer. But finally much to the relief of both the rider and the panting horse they turned the corner and stood to a wall of trees, with a tight passage into the dark, foreboding forest. He bellowed once again for her. “Mara!”
He yelled again, then as if it was from light years away.
The faint voice was coming from just that opening in the trees. Now no amount of prodding, or threats would make his ebony ride move. Snorts, sequels, tosses of his huge head and partial turn around was all he would grant. 200 lbs of human is no match for a quarter ton of horse. Giving up and gathering what he could, he jumped down and ran into the forest. “Mara!” he screamed, and again ‘Richard!’
He had no problems finding the mare. Her head was down and tail quiet, she made no hint she was aware of Richard’s presence.
A glint of light caught his eye.
“Oh gods…” he whimpered, as the ants begin to made another colony in him as his body refused to respond. The glimmer turned out to be a mirror-shiny round ball approaching silently. Mara’s voice grew louder as it approached which made the mare look up a bit for her mistress.
Like in a bad dream he could do nothing. The ball started to dimple in the center; the surface pushing away from him and transforming into a ring. He could see images directly behind the ball refracting around it. The misshapen trees stretched, and bent into impossible angles. His hair starting to blow against his cheek, he knew the breeze was being pulled toward the ball and it was getting stronger.
All though this transformation, Mara’s voice was coming in clearer. When it expanded to human size, Mara appeared, but it was like though a telescope. She was moving in circles, talking on her mobile. Her area was a sun-lit clearing with grass all around. The climax of this horror came when the ring begin to move forward. Giving him only enough time for a soft childish whimper, punctuated by a warmth trickling down his leg.
Standing quietly, the mare just blinked when incoming air made a loud ‘pop’ to mark the ring’s disappearance. Kept docile by her her clouded mind, she made little notice when another ball, flying in became a ring. A brown squat being stepped out, then tilting it’s triangular head, it’s two sets of eyes blinked as it looked at the mare. Gingerly taking the reins with it two digit hands it composed a request in a liquid, musical voice. The mare nickered quietly and nuzzling the strange being she started walking alongside it, and though the tight opening. They soon was met with the stallion also being led by it’s own Shepard. The male nickered a soft greeting to her, as they was lead out of the forest.
At a table, two females was sitting at a table, with a male standing to their side. While chatting, a dull Grey ball floated over to them. Complete with a 305 mm black equatorial sensor strip, and three bumps near it’s south pole, it then addressed them.
“…I hate to interrupt your haughty illumination about organics’ superior mind, but I have detected another Einstein-Rosen Bridge disturbance on this planetoid.”
To be continued…
Stage: 4 – FINAL
by Kantuck Nadie Nata-Akon
Editor: Hyratel (http://hyratel.deviantart.com/)
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