A prompt inspired me to write this story, I’ll add it at the end of this post so that it doesn’t spoil the story. And like last time, my friends also wrote their versions. Below I’ll share the link(s) to the available stories.
Happy reading 🙂
Alma’s fingers were flying on the keyboard one rainy night. The half drank cup of coffee was resting on her nightstand. I need to finish this tonight. Lost in her thoughts, she reached out to her now cold cup of coffee and took a sip. Before putting the cup back on the nightstand, she turned her head and saw some guy standing in her bedroom. Alma’s eyes widened and she lost control on her hand which led her to drop the cup and screamed as loud as she could. The guy was looking around himself to see what she’d seen that made her scream like that.
“Who are you?! And how in hell did you get here?” asked Alma in a sharp tone.
“Who? Me?” the guy asked while pointing to himself.
“Yes, you.” she said.
“You don’t know me?” asked the guy, a little disappointed.
Still frozen in her bed with her laptop on the side, she said, “No. Why am I supposed to know you?”
“It’s me, Jason.”
Alma thought for a second but couldn’t think of any one with that name. Even his face wasn’t familiar to her. She shook her head, “Jason who?” Before Jason could answer her, Alma stood up and held a hand, “No, let’s keep that question for later, for now tell me how the heck you got into my place.”
“I don’t have a second name, you never gave me one.” He went on with the first question, trying to explain himself.
Alma was taken aback by this sentence. But before she could put her thoughts together, Jason said, “Jason from your story ‘Trapped’. You created me and an entire world, well, two worlds.”
Alma’s eyes widened as she looked at the guy from his head to his feet. She still couldn’t find the right words to say. After what felt like forever, she finally said, “No, that can’t be.” Then she took a step closer to the guy who claimed to be Jason, “You need to leave before I call the cops.”
“But why? I haven’t done anything.” he protested.
Alma’s feelings were shifting within her from fear to anger and back to be scared. She didn’t know how this guy got into her place and his words made no sense. She hadn’t heard anything, no door sound, no footsteps, nothing, as if he just popped out of the blue. Then she took a deep breath and calmly said, “I’ll count to ten, if you don’t leave by then, I’ll call the cops.” She reached out to her phone and started counting, “One… two… three…”
“Okay fine, I’ll leave. But I have no place to go.”
Alma stopped counting and impatiently said, “So you decided to break in my place?”
“I promise I didn’t break in. I just popped here.” he answered calmly.
“You’re just someone who read the story and pretends to be Jason.” And while the words were leaving her mouth, she remembered something very important about the story that Jason claimed to have gotten out from. She froze in her place but Jason didn’t notice that, so he went on, “In case you haven’t realized, I’m not the bookish Jason, I’m the one who plays video games.”
Alma took another look at him and said, “Oh! It is you.”
Jason, as shocked as her, asked, “What made you believe me?”
“It’s not what you said, it’s what I haven’t done.”
“What is it that you haven’t done?” He was very curious.
“I haven’t shared this story with anyone. No one has read it yet.”
Alma took a step backward and sat on her bed. She stayed quiet for what seemed like forever. Her gaze on the wall. Jason kept on looking at her until he asked her, “Umm, so?”
“It can’t be.” she said with her eyes still on the wall.
“Then how do you explain that I know about this if no one has read it yet?”
“Maybe you hacked into my laptop.” Now she looked at him.
His eyes widened and said, “Really? You make my life miserable and accuse me of hacking into your laptop! That’s unbelievable, Alma.”
There was something about the way he said her name, but Alma couldn’t quite understand it. She quietly told him, “Then prove that you are who you say you are.”
* * *
Alma booked a hotel room for Jason to spend the night. She told him that she’d come to pick him up at nine in the morning.
* * *
The next morning, Jason went to the lobby at 8:55 o’clock. Five minutes later Alma showed up. She wore a pair of blue jeans with a pair of light pink sneakers matching her sweater. Jason hadn’t noticed this the night before, but Alma couldn’t be much older than him. Before meeting her, he thought that she was probably in her 30s, but that morning, he noticed that she seemed to be around 4 years older than him.
When she walked closer to him, he smiled at her for seeing a familiar face in this unfamiliar world to him. After they said good morning to each other, Alma suggested that they needed to eat breakfast first. To which Jason agreed to.
They walked to a coffee shop nearby. Upon entering, they stood by the entrance and scanned the place quickly. Soon, they found a small table by the window and sat there. While eating their breakfast, which consisted of two croissants and two cups of coffee, Jason told Alma how he got out of his world, the world created by her.
“I’m not supposed to do that or tell you anything, at least not yet, but you want me to prove it to you,” he said, then took a sip of his coffee.
“Is there more that I need to know?” she asked Jason.
“Well, it’s better if you see it.” he answered her.
Alma was a little bit annoyed that he hadn’t answered all her questions. She rolled her eyes and turned her face to the window to look at the busy street. Her thoughts took her to the world that she’d created while staring at the water puddles from last night’s rain. She smiled and without turning to Jason, she said, “The city looks fresher.”
Jason looked outside and he knew what she meant. It seemed as though the rain washed the dust and the dirt away. The trees’ leaves were somehow shining. Amidst his thoughts, he remembered that the night before, he had told Alma to bring her laptop with her without explaining to her why. He’d only told her, “You’ll see why.”
“Did you bring your laptop?” he asked her while she was still looking outside and lost in the beauty of the puddles and the trees.
Alma looked back at him and nodded yes. Jason’s thoughts returned to Alma’s age and said, “I wanna ask you a question but I don’t know if you’ll answer or not.”
She positioned herself and said, “Ask away.”
“How old are you?” he asked sheepishly.
Alma definitely wasn’t expecting this question but she didn’t mind answering it, “I’m 24. Why are you asking?” She put her right hand under her chin and slightly tilted her head to the right.
“You look younger. I thought you were 22 years old, or 21.” he answered surprisingly.
“Yeah, I’ve been told that a lot.” She let out a tiny laughter.
“But you’re not that much older than me,” he said. Before he could say his age Alma said, “Yeah I know. You are 18 years old.”
For a second Jason forgot that Alma had created him, but again, before he could form a sentence, Alma understood his confusion and in a laughing tone she told him, “According to you I made you up, so, of course I know your age.”
Jason’s reaction was like aha after hearing that.
* * *
Jason typed the address of their destination in Alma’s phone and gave it back to her. She took the phone from him and looked at it for what seemed like a minute. Then Alma raised her head, “Are you sure about this?”
“Positive.” Was Jason’s answer.
Twenty minutes later they reached a residential complex that Alma hadn’t been to before. The houses had a fence around them with a gate that was both an entrance and an exit. The architectural design of the houses were catchy and different from the ones that were more popular.
“We’re here,” Jason announced. “Let’s get in.”
Jason walked towards the gate but Alma didn’t move. He took a few steps then noticed that Alma wasn’t beside him. He looked back at her and looked at her with a look asking her to move. Then he waited for her to explain why she hadn’t moved. Alma took a deep breath and said, “I won’t come until you tell me what’s going on.”
Jason stopped and looked back with a defeated look on his face. He knew Alma wouldn’t just walk there with him, but he hoped he’d be wrong. He walked back to where she was standing and started talking, “This is the place where stories come to live.” Alma wanted to protest but Jason cut her before she could say anything. “I know it sounds unbelievable, but you asked for an explanation, so bear with me no matter how crazy my words sound.
“These houses,” he pointed to the houses with his right hand, “belong to different story genres, horror, sci-fi, comedy, you name it. And when a writer writes something a door will be created with their names on it. Behind the door, the worlds they build will come to life.
“There is a house that is for writers who write different genres, like you. And the few worlds you built are there. They exist there. I saw the door with your name and the doors that lead to the worlds you created with your stories.
“Any story that is ever written throughout the history of humanity exists in these houses. Obviously one residential complex like this exists in each city. And these worlds that are being made are what your people call multiverses.”
“What?! No, Jason!” She’d been listening to him patiently, but she had a laugh which showed that she didn’t believe anything that he said. Jason didn’t say anything and looked at her without any reaction. Alma wanted to believe him because the idea was intriguing, but it just made no sense. Jason broke the silence and went on, “No writer knows about this and it’s important for you to understand that no one should know that.”
Alma took a few steps back and went to sit on the sidewalk. Jason kept his distance, then she turned around to him and asked, “Then why are you telling me this?”
He walked to her and said, “Our universes, mine and other Jason’s, are colliding or getting closer to each other. And when that happens, our worlds will end and the story, Trapped, will vanish. And that is just the beginning of the end.”
To be continued…
Here’s the link for the second part!
Here are some notes and links:
- “Trapped” is a story that I have written a while back. It’s available in my second book. To read an excerpt from “Trapped”, click here.
- You can check my friend’s story with this link.
The prompt that inspired this story is: “Unbeknownst to anyone, whenever someone on Earth creates a fictional world, that world suddenly appears in space somewhere.You are a young novelist working on the sequel to your best seller. You wake up one night to find the main character of that novel standing at the foot of your bed.“