The Other Side – Part 1
Woodford, New South Wales
Margaret Armstrong sat down in her usual seat in the park, removed her sandwich and orange juice from her bag, and began reading a paperback. Watching a few children play with their mother for a moment she didn’t notice the young man standing near her seat until he spoke; causing her to flinch for a moment.
‘Hello, do you mind if I sit down?’
Margaret checked the man for a moment and decided he wasn’t a threat. It was a pleasure to escape from the turmoil of her fast paced work and its constant security, and make a decision for herself. Besides, all the other seats in the vicinity were taken.
‘Of course – be my guest.’
The young man smiled and sat down. Placing his small leather satchel on the seat, he opened it and removing an apple, took a huge bite, and swallowed, then started a conversation.
‘It’s a beautiful park.’
Margaret lifted her eyes from the book and nodded in agreement.
‘It certainly is. I find it a bit of respite in an otherwise hectic schedule for me.’
Margaret hoped this reply would prod her new companion to leave her in peace. She was mistaken.
‘Do you come here often? Sounds like you work close by.’
Margaret folded the book and knew her peace was about to be broken for more than a moment. She decided it was better to chat than be rude on such a nice day.
‘I do work close by. I come here when I can, but unfortunately that’s not very often. Do you come from this area … sorry … I don’t know your name.’
The young man’s eyes glazed over for a second and he turned and smiled. Margaret thought his smile was the smile of a warm hearted person; and in her career she had learned the hard way of being a good judge of character.
‘I am named Elijah. No. I’m always near here, but I’m actually from the other side.’
Margaret thought this was a strange answer, and forgot to return her own name.
‘The other side? The other side of what – the world?’
‘The other side of here. I know it sounds strange, but I am actually from the dimension that is parallel to yours. Everything on this Earth exists also on the other side.’
A twinge of fear licked Margaret’s spine. Maybe she should pick up her belongings and depart. The man sensed her fear.
‘You don’t have to worry Margaret. You’ve nothing to fear from me. I’m only here to help.’
‘You…you know my name?’
‘Of course. I thought you would be an ideal person to advise of what is going to happen.’
Margaret glanced at her handbag, knowing that her Ruger LCP handgun was in easy reach.
‘When you say something will happen, what do you mean?’
Margaret thought it best to dismiss her companion’s parallel dimension raving, and concentrate on his prediction.
‘Your planet and most life on it are due to end soon. You’ve reached the tipping point, and the environment and population are completely out of balance.’
Margaret decided to humour her strange acquaintance.
‘So how and when will this event take place, and is there anything we can do about it?’
‘I can’t see into the future. I only exist at the same time as you live on Earth. However all the evidence is there that your end will come soon.’
Margaret couldn’t believe she was going to ask the next question, but it fell out of her mouth.
‘So you don’t claim to be an alien. You appear to be telling me that there are two Earths that run parallel to each other. Why wouldn’t they both be destroyed?’
Elijah put his thumb and forefinger to his lips and gazed ahead, wondering how he could explain the physics to one who would almost certainly not comprehend it.
‘We have been coming here for about fifty years. Our Earth is nothing like yours in the way that you have been inundated with war, slavery, and greed. Our Earth was decimated about two hundred years ago by a disease. This disease killed almost ninety percent of the population, and so our Earth has a future. Sadly of course with a huge loss of loved ones – but at least a future.’
‘Does your Earth suffer the environmental damage that we have inflicted on ourselves?’
‘No. Our Earth always was a paradise. We never suffered wars or famine and our environment is as pure as yours was a million years ago.’
Margaret found Elijah entertaining, even if his story was completely inane.
‘So how did this happen? I suppose you don’t have religion?’
‘Of course we do. Our Earth is made up many religions that worship God – or whoever He is called in the various religions. The difference is that we never thought one was superior to another. We have politics, but we never saw the need to fight over it and no country sought to push its domination over another. I must say if it wasn’t for the disease we would be as worse off as yourselves, and our Earth would be having problems supporting the excess population.’
‘So how was this possible? How did you avoid conflicts in politics and religion?’
‘It’s like when you make a meat stew or paint a picture. One wrong dash of a condiment or a choice of colour in a painting could be the difference between perfection and going off the rails. Our religion and politics were altered slightly, but in a way that made them almost perfect.’
‘So we are going … off the rails?’
‘Nearly gone. We persevered with the natural rather than the chemical path. Your chemical nightmare began with the end of WW2 where chemical companies concentrated on agricultural products, such as pesticides, instead of warfare. We never had wars, or used the atomic bomb on humans, in fact we never invented it. We centred on different means of transport and fuel, and we found the answer for our power sources in hydrogen fusion and the harnessing and storage of lightning and solar power.’
Margaret was finding this conversation interesting, even if she knew it was based on a harmless man’s dream.
‘So getting back to our demise. How will it happen? A comet – disease – nuclear war?’
Elijah smiled and shook his head.
‘I told you we can’t see into the future, but the scenario is there that you will not survive. You are incapable as a species in finding any solution and you are heading into a slow grinding slide towards your doom. You try to work at it, but your greed for power lets you down. There is too big a gap between rich and poor and your politics and religions are always at each other’s throats – choking any hope of solutions or compromise.’
‘Then why do your people come here. To what purpose?’
‘We are going to save you – or should I say – some of you. The ones who are important to our destiny.’
‘What are the qualities of the ones you are going to save?’
Margaret noticed two men a short distance away taking note of their conversation. At first she thought they may have been security staff from her office, but their clothing was different, almost like a white hospital uniform of some kind. Elijah was oblivious to their watchers and continued his explanation.
‘We do not want religious leaders or politicians. We want neither rich people nor even poor people. The qualities we are seeking are from people of the highest quality in their field, who are dreamers and of free spirit. Musicians – actors – poets – writers of fiction – philosophers and scientists with vision. Research doctors – architects and computer engineers…’
Margaret cut him off.
To be continued tomorrow …
Bio: David says that a friend of his always said there are other dimensions, this is his reply …