To read the first part of this story, click here.
Alma couldn’t wrap her head around it. She shook her head and said, “Wait a second. What? Why are they being collided? I never wrote anything about that. And why is it the beginning of the end?”
Jason sat down beside her, “There is a dark or evil force behind this all. I don’t know enough. But they told me if this dark force ends our worlds, it will continue to grow to have enough power to destroy all the worlds out there. Which leaves this world, the original one, without any stories. Everything will be wiped out.”
Jason also explained that these complexes had management departments and someone from that place entered their world and told him what was happening.
“What is my role here?” Alma asked.
“It’s your story, maybe you can fix it.”
Alma still couldn’t believe what she was hearing but decided to go and take a look.
* * *
The writer and her creation walked side by side to the gate. A security guard was standing there. He checked Alma’s ID before letting them get in.
The complex consisted of two rows of houses separated by a street made from rocks. The grass extended from each side of the street to the fence that was surrounding the complex. Each house had a small walkway to it from the main street, also made from rock, which was surrounded by grass. The houses were square with two stories. Each house had a different pastel color.the first floor of each house was made from wood and the second from glass. Between each house, there was a giant willow tree covering the empty space.
Alma looked at them in amazement. The place was filled with tranquility. She told Jason, “Imagine writing here. It’s the perfect place for it.” Jason looked at her and smiled.
They reached the purple house that was labeled “Management” and rang the bell. A woman in her mid-thirties opened the door for them and said, “Hello, I’m Mia. Come on in please,” she opened the door fully, “we’ve been waiting for you.”
Alma looked at Jason and he nodded. They walked inside. There were no rooms. Just a big hall with tables and chairs on the sides of them. There were a few people sitting here and there on laptops typing who knew what.
Mia gestured to the big round meeting table in the far corner. There was a man and a woman sitting there. They looked a bit older than Mia. “They will tell you what you need to know,” Mia told them and left them right away.
The man was called Oscar and the woman Tina.
Once Jason and Alma reached the table, Oscar asked them to sit down. The meetup lasted for about twenty minutes. Tina and Oscar explained to them more about the darkness that was being formed within “Trapped” and asked Alma to enter the world she created with Jason to try to find where that darkness was coming from. After finding the source of the darkness, their mission was to find it and eliminate it before it could cause any damage.
“Can’t you find it yourself and end it?” Alma asked after she’d listened to them.
“All the worlds that are made by the writers are sacred. It belongs to them and only the writer can make changes.” Tina answered.
Oscar added more details to Tina’s explanation and said, “Usually these changes are done when the writer writes and edits the story. In your case, having you come here and get into that world is something that hasn’t been done before.”
Alma’s face was thoughtful. She leaned in and put her hands on the table. Her gaze shifted from Tina to Oscar briefly and asked another question, “How do we know where to look for the darkness and how to end it? Is there a way we could contact you?” She pointed to herself and Jason while she asked.
Together, the two people from the management who were sitting on the opposite side of the table said, “No contact and you’ll figure out what to do.”
Alma turned to Jason and he did the same thing. Through their looks they reassured one another. Alma felt a strong bond with him. Maybe that’s because she’d made him up and they had this special connection.
* * *
Five minutes later, Jason and Alma found themselves standing by a door where Alma’s name was written above. Jason looked at her and asked, “Shall we, my lady?”
Alma cracked up and between the laughs she answered, “I raised you well.” Then she got to her serious tone and said, “We shall, my lord.” She leaned closer to the door and held the handle and took a deep breath before opening it.
Behind the door with Alma’s name was a narrow corridor that seemed to have no end. On each side of the corridor, there were doors with titles of the stories that she had written. She was tempted to go through all the doors and visually see the worlds she created, to take pictures of them, to hug her characters. She even wondered to herself whether or not her characters would recognize her. She didn’t think she’d have another chance to ever get back here, but at the same time, she couldn’t risk it and needed to find the darkness within “Trapped.”
Jason led the way and called for her, “Come on, this’s the one.” He was pointing to a door.
He opened the door when Alma got closer. There were two roads there, but luckily Jason had already explained to her that each road led to a different universe within the story. She waited until Jason pointed to the right one and announced, “This way.”
“Do you know what we’re looking for?” she asked him.
“I don’t know, but let’s see what we can do with the written version first.” he told her.
They walked until trees appeared and they could hear birds. It was all too familiar to Alma. She found herself smiling and asked Jason, “Is this the park?”
He looked at her and nodded. He saw the sparkle in her eyes when she looked around, to see the beautiful world she’d made with her words. “First things first, we’ll meet Tom by the lake,” he said.
Alma only got more excited when she heard that and half seriously and half jokingly said, “Can I live here? In my own world.”
“I’m sure you’re gonna love it here. And the plus side is you can make any changes you want.”
They walked closer to the lake and saw someone feeding the ducks. Alma knew it was Tom before Jason said it. She knew she’d recognize everyone without them introducing themselves.
Jason had already explained everything to Tom before he left to find Alma. they heard the ducks quacking in the distance. They got to where Tom was, and he welcomed Alma with a warm hug. He looked at Jason and said, “So you got the mother home.” They burst into laughter before getting into the serious matters.
All the three sat by the lake and shared their ideas about this dark force. Alma also read the story aloud to see if she’d talked about something that might have caused this. But they couldn’t find anything.
“Maybe this happened when both Jasons were switched and through that some darkness sneaked in.” Tom suggested.
Alma agreed, “That is actually a good theory. But we also need to know where it came from.” Her face was pensive, looking for answers in her brain when Jason’s voice brought her back to earth, well, their earth.
“We need to know the date where you wrote this story and made us up,” he laughed, “then to look for stories that were written around this time.”
“That is also a good suggestion, but we won’t be able to find all the stories that were written around that time. Remember, even “Trapped” isn’t published. No one even read it.” Alma added.
“Hmm that’s true. But that’s the problem we’ll solve after lunch,” Jason said.
With confusing looks on their faces, Alma and Tom together asked, “What?”
“Today is Saturday, Mom’s home. I texted her that my friends are coming over.”
Alma did feel like she was among friends and enjoyed her company with them. If anything, she was very excited to meet Jason’s Mom.
* * *
Of course, without setting a foot inside, Alma knew every detail of the house. But she had to pretend like everything was new to her. For example, if she needed to use the bathroom, she needed to ask where it was.
Jason’s mom prepared them burgers with French fries and said, “That’s what people your age enjoy the most.”
She wasn’t wrong. They all enjoyed eating the food while Jason’s mom asked questions about Alma, where they met, how they became friends and all.
They told her that she was a writer whom they met around the lake about a week ago. And that she’s writing a story which they’re helping her with.
“That is very interesting,” said Jason’s mom and sipped her Cola. Then she pointed to the boys and added, “I hope these two are helpful.”
“Yes, they’ve been amazing and I feel like I’ve known them for ages.”
After lunch, Tom and Jason helped with cleaning and whispered to Alma, “You’re the creator, we can’t let you clean up and get angry then kill us in horrible ways.” They had another good laugh at this.
Jason did the dishes while Tom stared at him like a best friend would do. They let you suffer alone with the dishes.
* * *
“I thought maybe we could ask the management people if we could know about the unpublished stories that were written around the time you wrote this story.” Jason pointed to his room.
“I don’t think they’ll tell us anything,” Alma said. “They already left us alone to deal with it.”
They were all sitting in silence, apparently thinking. Alma thought and remembered something she read a while back. “Hold on guys,” she said with her hands raised.
Tom and Jason looked at each other, both unsure why she said that. “But we’re not doing anything,” said Tom.
Alma shook her head and said, “Yeah sorry. I meant to say listen to me.”
“Okay. What do you have?” Jason asked.
She rolled up her sleeves and started talking, “So, a while back I read about a theory that said when objects, people, or animals transit from one universe to another, sometimes cracks happen in the atmosphere and the space of both universes, which leads to add negative force to the universes, hence the dark force that’s detected here.
Now, I don’t know if this can apply to this world, but it’s something to take into account. I’m guessing, we need to look for roads or streets that are broken after you were transferred to a different world.”
“I guess I know where we need to look,” Tom said.
To be continued…
Here’s the link for the third and the last part.
I used one of my previous stories, Trapped, in “Alma’s Worlds”. You can check it out with this link.