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Trick's Own Indigo Awakening

All things are possible in Jeph's multiverse, even little sisters!

By Eric WolfPublished 2 years ago Updated 2 years ago 5 min read
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Trick's Own Indigo Awakening
Photo by Bailey Torres on Unsplash

Nineteen eighty-nine: The space invader looked a lot like, well, Mom if she were tiny and bony, and (like... Dad!) buck-toothed, trying to carry that head of curly hair the color of coffee (with a lot of cream in it), and no, when I 'stepped out' of my reality, into… this one, I didn’t expect such a weird scene.

I just realized, that’s a long sentence. Got to work on that. When I get into teaching, I plan to speak with brevity and purpose.

There I was, tricky Trick himself, veteran of the wars for fourteen long years, working on year number fifteen, getting a faceful of, well… face, from this little, staring creature. She did sort of remind me of someone… but whom?

Mom’s voice, from the kitchen of the house: “Jeph, what’s keeping you? Walk your sister to the store, please. Got to finish up this report, before your dad gets home.” She had this job, working with the city planner.

Say what? I’m one of the lucky few, who get to join the world without a bratty satellite. Now I’m the big brother? Deep breath, Tricky you only have a sister in this reality, the one you visited when Mom, being so Mom it hurts, chewed your ass out about your grades, and you wanted to just give the bum’s rush to the whole world. And then, you were just... here, staring at this annoying little brat. Your... sister?!!!

The brat sort of let out some air, real hard, like a bull about to come at me, so I know that she’s serious. “Jeph, you promised you would walk me,” she griped. (Instant family, just add water?) We had barely met, and she was already hassling me!

^^^^

Mom was sure to add, to rattle me good, “Yolanda, mind your brother,” so I knew it was time for us to step out into the air.

We’re not a block before she, Yolanda — or Yoli, which she claims to prefer, just as I prefer 'Trick', though my parents never call me that asked me if Fresh Prince will be on tonight, and told me how much she liked that dork, Carlton. I mumbled something, about how we’d check TV Guide, when we got home, and she sighed, like she was really worried.

It was a long, weird walk to the corner store, let me tell you. I don’t know if we have it better, or worse, than kids who don’t live in Oak Lawn, Illinois, because, and this is just one difference between them and me that I find so unfair, Mom and Dad have lived a lot of places, and so far, I haven’t. We’re not from Illinois; in fact, Dad’s not even born American — he comes from Amsterdam. My, or, I guess, “our” Mom is from Indiana, and talks about how she misses it a lot; it’s just the summer-visit place, for me. My folks met in the Peace Corps. They tell me I am the best of both worlds, which means I am your basic Dutch-African-American boy, with my dad’s freckles and my mom’s hazel eyes; his height, her energy.

It’s supposed to be a good thing that I am half and half, but sometimes, it feels like I am split down the middle. And that was before I figured out I could ‘dial’, from one story of my life to another, which, to my knowledge, only I know how to do. Of course, I’m afraid to ask anyone else about it, for fear it will trip them out — and, who knows what they'll want to do, to me, then? (And, who are they?)

We got to the store. Yoli picked out the candy she wanted; I paid for it. Behind the counter, a suspicious dude eyeballed us, the whole time. He thought I was going to be trouble, only I wasn’t. I’m following Yoli out, when she let out a yelp, and for some weird reason, I hopped twice the usual space I walk. I could see they were ten, maybe eleven; seemed like punks, with no class. They were about to walk right up to the brat with some attitude, the pair of them, before, and I am proud of this part, I stepped into direct sunlight, right behind her.

^^^^

“Afternoon, little dudes,” I told them. “I hope we’re not keeping you, from your important business. Why don’t you book it?” I was taller than either of them, and I didn’t know them well enough to feel sorry for them, if I should need to, as Dad says, get serious. Well, okay, I didn’t know Yolanda, either, but in this reality, she was my sister. They steered around us and went inside, while we… just walked home. She was smiling and chewing her candy; I felt a weird something then, that made me feel warm inside and smile like a damned fool. Crazy times.

I felt pretty good, in spite of the general freakiness of it, until I had to ‘dial’ the main world again. It was just after dark out, when I was sitting in the kitchen, drinking a glass of cold milk, and our parents — my parents, Pitter Van Niftrik and Monifa Cummins-Van Niftrik — stepped inside from the back patio. “’Bout time you got back, son,” Dad said; he had lost his Dutch accent, living in the States. “Where did you go?”

Dan Quayle, the vice principal of the United States, was saying something stupid on the TV behind me, but I wasn’t listening. “I was mostly spending time with Yoli,” I said, without being not-stupid-enough to catch myself in time! I looked up, like it was no big thing, as I awaited the question I knew one of them was bound to ask.

Sure enough, Mom had to ruin the mood, by asking: “Who’s Yoli, honey? A friend?” — and I wanted to change the subject.

I started going back to Yoli’s reality, whenever I could get away, without losing important time in my own. She was annoying, sure, and I was — okay: I needed to get used to having her around, but after a while, I liked it that she looked up to me as, I don’t know, fine, the protector, but it’s a good feeling to take care of a brat sometimes. A year turned into two; two turned into five; five into ten, and I kept visiting my baby sister, who was… less of a baby, every time I got to see her. Those braces she wore soon fixed up her smile, real nice; boys who weren't related to her stopped pretending they found her/Dad's overbite annoying, too.

I earned a bachelor’s degree when I was twenty-two. Yolanda was fourteen, the very age I had been when I first, what, experienced her existence? She’s given me loads of aggravation, over those years, but I’m not regretting it. Amazing thing, about my dialing the other lives: it seems I'm in both of them, my starter one and the one Yoli lives in, all the time, even when I'm 'in' neither of them; so when I come back to her time, she reminds me of things I did when I wasn't there to do them, or did them without knowing it... yeah, it's confusing — I get headaches, on the regular, trying to keep it all straight.

I have been a lot of different versions of myself, but I prefer the ones that Yoli is in. That’s how it works for me, in every time-line I get to visit. I like to make one little, but important, change to the old poem by Robert Frost: “Two roads diverged in a wood, And I took them all.

© Eric Wolf 2021.

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About the Creator

Eric Wolf

Ink-slinger. Photo-grapher. Earth-ling. These are Stories of the Fantastic and the Mundane. Space, time, superheroes and shapeshifters. 'Wolf' thumbnail: https://unsplash.com/@marcojodoin.

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