Chapter 14: Galen

“Hi Galen, it’s me, Cadmus. I hear your voice but what the hell is this thing in my hand?”

“It’s an STU. I sent it to you through the q-foam. It has a Q-bit Entanglement Box embedded in it so we can speak across dimensions.”

“I have no idea what you are talking about. Where are you? How’s Remi?”

“We are at home where you left us two hundred and seventy days ago. We’re ok in this timeframe but I need to talk to you.”

“To me?”

“Yes.”

“Do you want me to come back to you? I just got home.”

“No, you would take too long to get here. I’ll come to you.”

“Really? That would be great! When do you think you’d be able to come?”

“Now.”

“Seriously?”

“Yes.” Galen’s voice came from behind. Cadmus turned suddenly and saw Galen sitting on his chair by the door.

“How long have you been sitting in that chair Galen?”

“I just arrived a few seconds ago.”

“How did you come so quickly?”

“In hyperspace we’re nearly next door neighbors.”

“Can I get you something?”

“A cup of coffee would be nice.”

Cadmus walked into his three-dimensional kitchen and rummaged around his cabinets looking for an unopened can of coffee and some cups while Lonesome nosed Galen’s knee and allowed himself to be petted.

He put water in the kettle and turned on the magnetic loop. The water boiled into a whistle, dying down as he poured the steaming water into the coffee grounds in each cup.

Cadmus brought the cups into the living room, handed one to Galen, who was standing looking at the pictures of Kaly on the wall.

“That’s my wife, Kaly, when just after we married. As you can see, we were very young then.”

“She is beautiful.”

“This is Kaly when we vacationed at Lake Reflection in Sector 12. We were celebrating our first anniversary. Here she is just before we went to a concert. They were playing Forlorn Fugue that night. Here she is when Lonesome was a pup. We had just found him and she asked whether we could keep him.”

Lonesome’s right ear perked and he sniffed in the direction of the picture Cadmus had pointed.

“She is a lovely woman.”

“This is a picture of Kaly a few months before she … died. She wouldn’t let me take any more pictures of her like that.”

“Like what?”

“She thought she wasn’t very attractive when she was dying. She was to me but she didn’t feel that way to herself. I told her the camera only photographed her outside herself and she was still beautiful on the outside. I don’t feel very beautiful inside, she had said. But you are, I told her. The camera can’t see that, but I can. Anyway she told me I was going blind and I should get my eyes checked. That and I wasn’t to photograph her anymore.”

“You must have loved her very much.”

They finished their coffee and both put the empty cups on the side table.

“Yes. Please don’t misunderstand me Galen. I’m really glad to see you. You and Remi saved my life and nursed me back to health; however, I’m most curious what couldn’t wait another two hundred and seventy days or so to talk about?”

“Let’s go for a walk. I’d love to see your beautiful island.”

from Out of Time

Mike Stone

Raanana Israel

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Filed under Prose, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Stories and Novels, Uncategorized

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