Part Three of my Randomly Generated Short Story Plot
Bill and Ted stared at the display and the slowly blinking red indicator.
"It looks like your last two passengers never arrived at the destination. Apparently they closed the portal before they entered on this end." Ted's voice was a little bit shaky, and Bill's face was turning a light shade of green.
"What does that mean?" He asked. Ted shrugged his shoulders and shook his head.
"Not sure. Never happened to me before. I suppose I should look it up." Ted was trying to remain calm, but he had never really paid any attention to the emergency procedure briefings where they talked about castaways. All he could remember was that there was a procedure, and that he was supposed to follow it. He couldn't even remember where the manual with the procedure was located.
"Shouldn't you call the boss?" Bill asked uncertainly. He knew for sure that he didn't want to.
"I don't remember if that is in the procedures." Ted answered, also absolutely sure that he didn't want to call the boss.
"Well, I guess we should find that manual then right?" Bill said, relieved that the boss was not in danger of being called.
"Yep." Ted answered. He got up and walked towards a sagging bookshelf.
Glen resisted the urge to let go of Madeline's wrist and let her float away. His police training to preserve lives no matter how repugnant he found them was the only thing that kept his hands tightly clasped around her wrist. He could see nothing but the silvery-blue mist swirling around him, could feel nothing but the warmth of her skin in his hands, and hear nothing but her voice. In fact, he soon discovered that he was not even hearing that in the classic sense of the word. It was more like she was inside his head. He also noticed that when he spoke, he didn't seem to be moving his lips.
"Great!" he thought sarcastically. "Telepathic communication with someone I have no desire to communicate with."
"I heard that!" Madeline's voice shrieked. Glen's hand trembled with the effort to keep holding on. He had learned over the past few years to be very careful of his words, and now he would have to watch even his thoughts.
"Darn right you need to watch your thoughts mister!" Madeline snapped.
"Will you shut up for just one minute? Do you have any idea what kind of a predicament you are in right now?" Glen thundered back. He felt Madeline recoil slightly, and was surprised at the amount of fear he felt in her mind. Not fear of being stuck halfway through a dimensional portal, but fear of him. The realization froze him momentarily. Until Madeline also sensed his surprise and pounced on it like a starving cat.
"Of course I am afraid of you. I have heard the stories. I have seen the pictures." Glen knew instantly which stories she meant, both because they had already had this conversation, and because he could almost see them flashing through her mind.
"What would you have had me do? Just let them torture that woman? They would not have hesitated to do the same and worse to me if given the chance." Glen was not sure why he even tried. They had been around this particular mulberry bush a thousand times, but he couldn't help himself. Her self-righteous...
"I am NOT self-righteous you brutal animal! I spend my life trying to save lives and you spend your life finding excuses to take them. You and your power hungry..."
Glen let go of her wrist and her voice immediately disappeared. The silence was crushing and complete. Even his own thoughts were muffled as if they were a voice coming from a great distance. Nevertheless, he was glad to be free of the shrieking voice of his wife. Apparently the physical contact in this non-physical dimension had been the medium by which they had been communicating. Well, he had no idea how to find her again. Not to mention that he had no desire to even try.
Ted finally located the pertinent manual. It was an old manual, which meant that it was heavy. When the world finally declared itself paper free, technology still had some catching up to do. The fusion power pack that powered the electronic book was a good fifteen pounds in an earlier model like this, which made it a perfect door stop. Ted picked it up and thumbed the power button. The capacitors made a high-pitched whine as they energized, and the logo of the Inter-Dimensional Travel Authority flashed briefly across the screen, followed by a table of contents. Ted tapped his finger on the heading for the section labeled: "Emergency Procedures in Case of Portal Closure During Passenger Transit". The heavy device hummed briefly then displayed a multicolored flow chart. The first shape on the chart was blinking. Bill read it out loud:
"If you suspect that a passenger has been trapped between portal doorways by a closure on either end, immediately contact the watch supervisor."
Ted and Bill groaned together. "The Boss!"
© 2009 Tyler Willson. All rights reserved