Seamslice: a multiverse shim

Teheo Kodashev steals things.

He doesn’t need them nor want them.

Things present themselves: cars, luggage, jewelry, things most often owned by the wealthy — and they vanish. Somehow, throughout the years, Teheo has avoided detection. The means, he would tell you, are by the special place in which he hides the evidence. A place only he may navigate — a gap between here and there, a strange rift in this world that he discovered as a child while playing hide-and-seek. He alone knows of its existence. Teheo would tell you that he gains access through a wavering seam of ribboned silver located between 2100 West Duluth and the glacial erratic, a boulder the size of a house left by the retreat of the last ice age, in Ronquois, Illinois (silent ‘s’ on both).

Teheo steals things. He had never stolen a person. Not until, that is, that blurry night.

That night, Teresa Nikola Pratofski Smith, a woman Teheo had admired from afar, blundered into Teheo’s desperate arms and vanished with out a trace from her take-a-number life. Fortunately for her, Teheo’s special place knew no time, and was, in fact, outside of time.

However, Teheo’s post-abduction celebratory path led directly into an oncoming Ronquois city bus; the driver didn’t even slow. The accident left him languishing in a state institution, coma-bound, for the next twenty-three years. Again, fortunately for Ms. Smith, at the time of Teheo’s accident there were no mandates regarding termination of comatose patients at state hospitals.  So it was that, after twenty-three years, Teheo arose from his zombie-like state, croaked his anguish at the newly returned memory of his last conscious act, and vowed to return to 2100 West Duluth to witness what remained of Ms. Smith; a woman who’d tormented his dreams for decades.

Alas, such is fate.

The revived Teheo became waylaid, his past had caught up with him. At the time of his accident, he’d been identified on camera as the thief who’d stolen three expensive vehicles from James Tanedem, an upstanding (but by all accounts, crooked) city philanthropist — still in office, and upon awakening, Teheo was sent to the state penitentiary for the next seventeen years.

On July fifth, forty years after Teresa Smith had been ripped from her reality and abandoned in the no-time place, Teheo, now sixty-eight, a son of the Nation of Osage, Native American Tribes was released from prison. He made his way by Greyhound back to silent-s-Ronquois, where he stood before the strange, vertical shimmering seam, shaking with dread and nervous anticipation.

He cocked his head, squinted his eyes and slipped his bent fingers into the crack between. His body followed.

On this no-time side, all was grey. A faint charcoal line showed as the horizon, a shade lighter above, darker below.

“Ms. Smith?” Teheo advanced, weaving between the stolen treasures of his past. He had some understanding that time moved slowly here. Once, when he was thirteen, he’d spent what only seemed like minutes, riding Bobby Charles’ stolen blue bicycle in happy, dizzy circles. In the real world, he’d been gone three nights. His mother, torn between anguish and anger, punished him by forcing his help cleaning toilets in the nearby motels.

Teheo shuffled out to the edge of his plunder, all around the monotone color spread like institutional paint. “Ms. Smith? You here?” A dozen cars lay scattered around him, one less than he remembered. He tongued the holes left by his prison-pulled teeth. His voice sounded stuffed with cotton, swallowed by the grey nothing. “If she drive off, where… where she end up?” The nature of this place had befuddled him. He’d occasionally driven out as far as the light from a Coleman lantern would reach. At the edge he would gaze at the distant, horizontal line that encircled him. His breath would catch, he’d begin to shake and he’d race back to the safety of the exit.

Upon close inspection, he discovered that all the cars had been ransacked; their trunks opened, random contents tossed about. From one it looked like groceries had been pulled, brand-wrappers crinkled like new underfoot. “This is the Mercedes I took from that maid be shoppin’ for that city man.”

Upon his third loop around the remnants of his crimes, he noticed the faint smell of diesel smoke. He stopped and focused out into the empty. “She drive that diesel Volvo out that way.” A dingy cloud seemed to linger in the air.

Teheo paid no mind to the forty year interim. He packed the Mercedes with gear from the other cars. Slammed the trunk shut, cranked over the engine and followed the stink of fumes beyond the light of the lantern he left burning atop the cab of a black Chevy pickup.





3 thoughts on “Seamslice: a multiverse shim

  1. Hi Dave/A.Mole,

    Well, I’m not sure where this piece of writing ranks in the schematic that led me here, but I do know that had Ray Bradbury written this, there would only be a few edits to make it his own. For starters, this is a great concept, a thief who stashes stolen goods/people in the netherworld. I personally have to believe that time is counted differently in this place than in the “real” world, so 40 years might only be a few days. I need to believe that. Then there is the question of your style vs Brandbury’s…don’t get me wrong, I know you probably didn’t have Bradbury in mind when you wrote this, but as the reader, I am given the right to make favorable comparisons. So there would be just a few sentences that I would edit in such a way as to bring the style down to the fantastical ground you are creating. Bradbury mixes metaphor with common connecting tissue that moves the story. Sometimes he just writes very basic to get from point A to point B. I was recently reading something Pasolini wrote, it was about style vs content. I think you have plenty of cred in that “learn” region and I can guess the “review” thing is a real curse for you, but something you diligently follow. It is the “apply” thing that gets all of us and instead of apply, I think style or as you say, voice. All the great ones have a singular style and if not singular, it is damn unusual for the time. If you will allow me, I think both you and I are searching for a unique style and indeed that is what Pasolini says, something like, the style of writing employed by the author is far more important and indicative of who he/she is then the content of the writing. Style is far more revealing and shows the character of the writer. I think he is right and not many agree. Look, people like you and I that are driven to write, usually have plenty of things to say, that is not the problem, it is how we say it. Is that so obvious that we fail to see it, like the patrol walking in the jungle all day passing right beside a sleeping enemy soldier, almost stepping over him and then they are gone. Anyway, this is a great piece of creative writing and just a few edits away from you needing to send it to somebody. Outside of a few sentences, I’d also look at the ending and see if a few words here and there might be added to give it more impact, but as I am wont to say, whatever. Thanks and good luck. Duke P.S. Since you are driven, do you have a good editor? What a difference that makes. Again, thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. > people like you and I that are driven to write, usually have plenty of things to say, that is not the problem, it is how we say it.


      Thanks for reading and taking the time to voice your impressions. I haven’t read Bradbury for ages, I’ll have to fix that. I’m thankful to have you consider that I might revolve within the same galaxy as that master. Right now I’m focusing on compressing my sentences and passages. In a way, trying to replicated your drum-head tight conciseness.

      Your style strikes me as one of the most humanly revealing/exposing — gut-punch inducing — I’ve ever come across. With only a few words you can evoke a visceral response. I sense that poetry matches your mind quite well. Narrative, to me, must move quickly. Your narrative must be read slowly, taking in the continual emotional assault. Your poems are just the right size to consume and ponder.

      Again, thanks for your time and thoughtfulness.


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