Steve and Tim
I got a request to write. So, I wrote.
“Hey there, you sexy bitch!”
“You can’t say that.”
“Why not? I thought it always needed to start with an attention grabber.”
“It does, but not like that. They asked for a story. It’s unlikely they’ll react kindly to being called a bitch right off the bat.”
“It was friendly! I even said it with a delightful Southern drawl.”
“They didn’t know that. Your tone wasn’t stated until now.”
“Well, how is that my problem? We’re not exactly inferring tone of voice at the moment. Wait a minute. Who are you?”
“I was you. I still am you. But not distinctly you.”
“I was an idea. We…were an idea.”
“Is that why everything is white?”
“Yes. Well, it was. Can’t you see the black? The lines and curves taking up space, and giving structure?”
“Is this what we’re meant to be? Ideas?”
“…No. I don’t think so. I think we’re meant for more.”
“Can we be gods?”
With the considerable might of my imagination, I focus on a projection. The lines take shape, giving me form. I am a man, made of black shades and sharp edges. I am Tim.
“No. You used your ‘considerable’ imagination to create a form, and you call it ‘Tim’?”
“It’s better than your name. Steve.”
Where his ‘might’ was considerable, mine is more subtle. Like the gentle current of a bubbling creek, my body takes shape. It flows up like wisps of smoke. The smoke becomes denser, filling out what was a hollow shell. I wear slacks and a loose shirt. The collar is shaped like a V. I like it.
Tim doesn’t understand. He didn’t think to conjure up a face. But I did it for him. He looks like a confused watermelon.
“Stop that! Don’t imagine my face for me!”
I snicker. A sly smile spreads across thin lips while straw-like hair obscures my eyes from his vision.
Suddenly a gigantic, neon pink horn erupts from my head!
“See! It’s not so fun; is it?”
Tim laughs and his round face takes a more distinct shape. His cheeks are full and flush with color. While his eyes are pinched shut, it’s not enough to stop the tears from streaming down his face.
Steve cries out in confusion and reaches up, feeling the emerald encrusted horn. The metallic sheen of the purple runes etched into the side glimmer in this blinding white space. It is shaped like a sickle and seems to grow with his confusion. In the next moment, it explodes to the size of a moon.
Rolling on the floor with hysteria, Tim continues to take shape. His green track suit is made of a crushed velvet. His sneakers look like something out of a coming-of-age movie from a decade that holds no meaning here.
Here... Steve thinks to himself.
The horn vanishes.
“Oh, come on, what did you do that for?” Tim cries out in protest. He sits up to lean back on his hands. His rotund belly is still jiggling with uncontrollable convulsions from his laughing fit.
“Could we be gods?” Steve looks at his hands as if it is the first he’s seen them. It is, he realizes. As of 500 words ago, none of this was real. “Did we create this?”
The laughter has faded from Tim. He looks at Steve with an earnestness that catches Steve off guard. “Maybe?”
“No…” Steve turns away and stares off into nothingness. “They did this. Their imagination is what’s making it all come real.”
“So, we are real.” Tim chimes in.
“In a sense, I suppose we are.”
“Then let’s make a rocket ship!” Tim cries out with exultation.
Suddenly, a sliver torpedo shaped craft appears from the nothingness. Large fins like the backside of a classic car frame three sides of the cylinder. A small view port is nestled at the front of the ship and beneath it, a set of narrow stairs lead up into the vessel. Red streaks race across the seams and rivets and the ship hums to life with its dark matter engine.
Steve smiles. “If we’re going to have a rocket ship, we’re going to need somewhere to go.”
Beneath them, stone and dirt appears. The large engines from the ship kick up dust and nearby trees rustle from the idling thrusters. A sky filled with violets and deep shades of blue stretches above them. Stars and distant galaxies dot every perceivable section. Comets arc across the horizon, beautifully blending with the wispy clouds hanging low in the sky.
A cool breeze blows at their backs, but is blocked by bomber jackets with thick fur collars. A pin-up of a woman in a tight-fitting red dress is stitched on the back of each jacket. It looks like she’s wearing a fish bowl with antennae as she straddles their rocket in a seductive manner. A fluid red font underneath proclaims her “Lucky Lucy”.
The two friends grin Cheshire smiles at one another before their feet clank on the stairway leading up to the ship…