Written by: Anna Dudás
This time things stayed the same. No time warps no nothing, just a very surprised face of a woman is what Clibis sees. They stare at each other, but doesn’t take long till the woman bursts into a laugh.
– Ohhh, you must be my son’s little buddy! Took you a while to get here, was the ride uncomfortable? I heard there will be a storm coming, I was real worried you might not even arrive in time, oh, Harry is upstairs, go and say hi to him, actually I will just call him down. HARRY COME DOWNSTAIRS, KALEB IS HERE!
The surprised Clibis meets a surprised Harry, even tinier than he himself is. They both know this is a misunderstanding, but no one dares to question it.
It’s dark outside now, around midnight when Clibis decides to leave the bed. He grabs a paper and crayon piece and begins to write his farewell.
Dear Madam Woman,
I am most sincerely sorry for the sudden outcome of events, I am indeed not this Kaleb boy, and your beloved son is indeed not the Harry I am looking for.
To list the hospitalization I received, I have to say that the food, while being claimed as „diet snack”, or whatever that means, has not met the basic criteria of digestible consumption and I was forced to feed it to the wolf or „dog” outside of the residence.
The bed was delightful though, I have no complaints about that.
I have left the far too large gowns I was given to change into before getting into bed, by the door as I won’t be needing such on my journey.
I wish you the best, and I wish you a more successful harvest this season, so you can finally abandon this „diet” curse that was cast upon you.
As he stepped outside to what he thought was going to be a dark street was instead the middle of nowhere. Grass and nothing else to the horizon and back, the door he came from is nowhere to be found, just a lonely cabin bit of steps away. A couple is to be seen beside it, strange metal something on the male’s back, who also held a long rod,
almost like a shovel, but only scraped the surface of the ground with it. As Clibis approached them, he heard whispers.
– Nothing so far Jill, this might not be our day. This treasure sure is dug a long way down, I can barely get any signal.
– I’m not finding nothing here either Harry, let’s just get a rest before we begin the daily tea party with the neighbouring aliens, shall we.
– Good afternoon – Clibis taps Jill on the shoulder.
– Jesus Mary mother of God! Way to scare an old lady like that, young fella! Oh but you’re just in time for the ceremony, we don’t even have to lure anyone in the car this time, what a relief Harry, aint it?
The Harry guy has a smirk on his face as he fondles with his keys beside the vehicle.
– Not so fast now Jill, rituals don’t work with this skinny kind, but maybe if we’re lucky… – the car door opens and he motions for Clibis to get in. – Maybe he can lure us some good meat, waddaya say? I might just take him to the centre not so far from here. Get in, boy.
And they get in.
– Do you know of the Great Clabongis? – Clibis bats his eyelashes all innocent. His tiny figure almost too tiny for the seatbelt.
– You hit the nail on that one.
The boy sank lower in his seat, looking up at the road ahead instead.
– Any other Harry Potters around here maybe?
– You hit the nail on that one.
– Can you tell me the directions?
The boy now looks up on the man, his expression frozen and serious. His mouth doesn’t move while he repeats.
– You hit the nail…
The car stops, like it was never moving, everything outside is the same, the cabin is still up close and Jill is there, frozen in time, looking at the car.
– Strange. – the little wimpy Clibis exits the car. Suddenly he is standing not where he was before.
Nevermind, it seems like the exact same spot, but now without the car, house and two lovely people from before. Little time passes before we hear uncontrollable continuous honks from behind, like someone fell asleep while laying on the wheel of a trolley. But it is a trolley! And instead of someone sleeping inside, Clibis sees numerous smiling
and laughing middle aged man swinging their arms out the windows of the colourful vehicle, some of them throw empty booze bottles out onto the hot, sandy dirt.
– Eyyyyy, yu sum k’nda loss soul ain’tya, whatchu up tah outinda middle a nowhere?
– Hop on rite up, yu gon starve in minuss if ya stay ana longah! Don worr we’on bite!
This is it, the aliens Jill was talking about. They might have had a little bit of an overdose on the tea at that party though.
– Good morning, anyone named Harry Potter abroad?
The one sitting on the shoulders of the driver answers with a burp and a finger point at the other guy cramped under the passenger seat.
– Talk to da one ova derr, hee wus kinda kuajet da whol ride, nut shur wassap whidim.
That Harry Potter hiding under the seat was far different than the others though. Judging by his small, skinny form and green skin, he might not even be one of the others.
– Hey. – he was wide awake. – Don’t tell them a word.
– Do you know Clabong-
– Shhhh sh sh shh… – the green man put his skinny fingers up to his own lips. Or what Clibis assumed might be around his mouth somewhere. – I know all well, but I’m not his brother. Listen carefully, I know this is all very strange and you are scared and lost, but you have to listen to me right now. When the time warping happens again, we don’t know what time it would be then. Currently it’s 1986, but it could take forever to take you back to your own dimension. Whatever happens though, just remember to not-
Suddenly, like someone cut a hole on the trolley, the green little guy got sucked out of where he was, he just disappeared, leaving a big hole from under him. By the time Clibis could blink twice, the whole thing started to collapse. The roof was in bits and pieces, the chairs started to break down and fall apart and like a huge person was trying to tear the trolley in half, that’s exactly what happened. Then, everything went black.
Clibis opened his eyes and found himself in still darkness. He felt sand around him and a metal barrier above. He knocked. Nothing. He knocked twice and he heard something that sounded like a door handle. The trolley’s door opened upwards and he saw two surprised faces at first, then a whole room behind them, upside down in Clibis’
perspective. The sand around him now all poured out into the neat and clean lobby of the couple.
– Ohhhh, I know Harrold, this is one of your brilliantly sick jokes again, isn’t it? – the woman dressed in strange colourful robes with flickering lights spoke very fast and high pitched, like someone tried to bring an out-of-tune violin to life.
– Please Martha, spare me from this conversation, for the last time. – the man was much shorter, spoke a lot slower, with a sad undertone, like a double base is about to fall over and cry. His clothes were baggy and monochrome, but still had many lights flinching on and off on the collar.
– We can’t even call the neighbouring Robots over for a nice oil party, you have to bring every single small animal in from outside! They bring dust and sand and sheer filth everywhere they go! Quick! – the lady snapped her mechanical fingers. – Roomba! To work!
The so called Roomba did get to work. Its’ many robot hands held brooms and and dust bins and sanitizers, the house was back in its awkwardly clean state in no time.
– Excuse me, people of the future, but do you know any Harry Potters around here?
– Ugh, now he wants to be friends with the Roomba! This is outrageous, I’m going to have a malfunction! I need to lie down and charge, I can’t with this! – and she rolled off on her wheels into a different room while making beeping and booping with every… „step”.
– I apologise for the uncomfortable welcome, sir. – the man said while reaching out to the other side of the room for a bag of chips – I read in books that the kind of you really enjoyed this snack back then.
His tone reached the sadness area again as he continued.
– Humans got wiped out a long time ago, along with most animals. I thought I would never see one of you in real form. We did recreate you somehow, in a very unsuccessful manner, but the subjects were indeed capable of living. Not so much at thinking or creating.
He then gestured at the living room around the two, with pictures on the wall and abstract-esc geometric paintings by the fire place.
– We don’t need all this, the heat of the fireplace, the enjoyment of art and comfort of armchairs. We live like you used to. We use your blueprints, your pieces of art and we just… mimic. We pretend to be you. Because you designed us this way. And by definition, we are living a great life. But are we really living? Do we identify as creatures? Can the creation try to create the creator at all? – he stimulates the sound of a sigh.
Clibis looks around like he’s searching for something.
– Sooo, is the many limbed robot called Harry Potter?
Both stay quiet for a short time, then the man leads Clibis towards the back of the building.
– This somehow reminds me of a great novel written by Dougles Adams, I don’t think you would have liked it, but I recommend it to the readers of this english homework, I think they would identify it as a „classic”. – they approach a capsule-like enormous machine with lots and lots of buttons, Clibis can’t even count that high.
– Let’s call this and inter-stellar hitchhiking. You will meet your destination in approximately three minutes, just remember to stay still and maybe don’t take any breaths, I have no idea what happens to sentient beings inside.
The iron handles on the inside of the capsule are a little high for Clibis but he can still reach it.
– Just hold onto those and you’ll be fine. Three, two, one.
And everything is gone. The boy feels nothing, maybe just a little itch at his face. No breeze, no nothing, just air and flickering lights from the machine. He does hold on for at least two minutes, he counted, but then the itch got worse and then, he sneezed. And he let go.