Fiction: ‘Dispersion’

‘I had the strangest dream last night. The sky had turned to jade, while everything else appeared in shades of turquoise. The people. The streets. The buildings. They only existed in the wavelength of green. One woman with emerald eyes and moss green hair was passing near, but when I stood in her way, hoping to exchange a word, she passed straight through me.

It’s like these people, these creatures, existed.
And I was imaginary.

I followed a malachite highway until I reached a busy intersection and…well, it’s the craziest thing.

There it was. A single scarlet rose.

No-one else seemed to see it as it hung suspended in the air in the middle of a busy crossroads, growing from nothing. It was bright, beautiful, and impossible to believe.

I walked towards it, treading upon this strange viridian road until I reached the splash of crimson. As I stretched out my fingertips to touch its petals, the entire world evaporated around me and I woke up.

But not in my own world.’

***

‘I was in the wilderness somewhere, surrounded by trees and hanging vines. There was a rose bush before me with maroon leaves and a single scarlet flower in full bloom.

All the leaves on all the trees around me were in shades of red. A glimpse of the sky through the branches showed me a sky transformed into a dome of rose quartz.

I made my way over uneven ground until it dropped down to a raging river. The current of pink water foamed and churned over blood red pebbles like spilled soda.

A burgundy log had fallen across the river and above it there was a seashell hanging in the air. It was one of those massive conch shells that some deep sea terror inhabits, only it gleamed like a golden sun.

I made my way on unsteady feet across this log, mindful of the violence with which the river ran below, and reached out to grasp the shell.

Just as I did the log, rotting from the constant moisture, fell away beneath my feet.

I was completely submerged, my lungs filling with water.
I could taste salt.’

***

‘I opened my eyes to find myself in the depths of an amber ocean that flickered like flames all around me. There were coral structures as tall as skyscrapers, and they glinted like a citrine geode under the soft orange light.

I scrambled about the ocean floor, searching.

I could feel the water in my lungs, but it was too light to do anything but tickle slightly. Fish with brilliant golden scales swam by in schools. A stingray with wings the span of an aeroplane glided over me, casting me in shadow for a moment before swimming away. Its soft yellow underbelly contrasted sharply with its rich orange topside.

I walked along the seabed, searching for the next sign. And I found it. Something in the distance glinted like glass; something deep, dark and coiled.

I threw myself towards it and grabbed hold of the end.’

***

‘When I opened my eyes, all I saw was endless distance and unimaginable darkness. I was inside some kind of capsule with dark walls and a blacklight shining from the ceiling. It was moving, almost imperceptibly. On the wall was a suit like the ones astronauts wear during a spacewalk, and in my hand was a gleaming black tether.

Piece by piece, I put on the ebony suit. I clipped on the tether and hit a button on the wall. A gate rose up. I felt the tug of gravity as I floated out into space.

There were no stars, no planets, and no galaxies.
Just endless black.

And then, a tiny flickering light. A speck. A fragment. Slowly, something emerged from the darkness, pulled by an unseen force. I reached for it, stretching out my hand. My gloved fingers curled around a small triangular prism.’

***

‘And then I woke up in the lab. My coffee had spilled all over the desk and the prism lay on the floor where it fell.’

‘So?’ he asks. ‘Did your experiment succeed?’

I grin. ‘You have no idea.’

‘Go on.’

‘You see, the prism doesn’t refract light, per se. When you separate visible light into its different colours, each colour has its own wave frequency.’

‘Yes, any high school student could tell you that.’

‘Well, then, if each colour has its own frequency, is it so farfetched that an entire dimension can exist on the very same frequency, and only that frequency?’

His eyebrows rise. He looks doubtful.

‘Think about it. An astounding 95 per cent of our universe is made up of dark matter and dark energy. But because it doesn’t interact with normal matter, or give off any light or radiation, we can’t detect it.’

‘Okay.’

‘Well these colour dimensions don’t interact with our dimension for a similar reason. At least, not on the surface. Their molecules are so different that we can’t detect them, even though they exist simultaneously in the exact same space as us.’

‘So how does colour come into it?’

‘The molecules which make up their entire dimension are only capable of interacting with the frequency of one specific colour. And the prism,’ she picks it up and holds it up to the light until a rainbow appears, ‘works as a kind of wormhole. First the colours are separated. But when the individual strands of that rainbow are moved and expanded, focused and increased, each colour becomes a portal.’

‘And how do you explain those Trojan objects from other dimensions? Like the rose and the shell.’

‘They slipped through the prism as the light hit it. Which explains why no-one else could see it. Any other colour doesn’t interact with their molecules, so its effectively invisible. It was only in that cold black place that it finally appeared as it really was and I was able to return.’

He smiles, shakes his head and takes a sip of his coffee. ‘You need to get some sleep or you’ll come apart at the seams. Come on, I’ll drive you home.’

‘Yeah, I guess you’re right. That’s what happens when you trade sleep for a Phd.’ She smiles in resignation, picks up her bag and walks out into the night, his arm around her shoulders companionably.

‘It’s a beautiful night,’ he comments as they look up at the sky over the road. A brilliant nebula swirls across the sky with millions of different colours combining into new ones.

‘It was better yesterday,’ she replies. ‘Today’s a bit cloudy.’

~ Ekaterina

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