Twice upon a time

Welcome to the first of a new Category of Blog post: a story.
On the basis that storytelling has always be a key element to society, education  . . . and entertainment.

Twice upon a time, once in each of two differences phases of the universe, a clock ticked.

Decibop, as he sat in his study in the small market town of Trishington, on what he called Firedo-P. was well aware that a virtually identical clock ticked in an almost identical study on Friredo-N. Decibon had not even an inkling of any of this: although even he had had had some inextricable experiences of late.

Like the time, a few weeks ago, when the clock had done a double-tick . . . and the same an hour later. And in-between those two non-standard second markers? Well, he still couldn’t begin to describe it, let alone explain it.

Decibop smiled at his recollection of that same hour. His experiments really were coming on nicely. Time for the next step, if time was the right word in this context: double-time might perhaps be more accurate?

He set the phase-change settings on his round-faced, fire-engine red, clock. Externally these knobs were the only noticeable difference to the clock in Decibon’s study: but the workings behind them would have blown the minds of all but a few on Firedo-N . . . and they would have needed to be both advanced mystics and have some sort of education in quantum physics to begin to understand their function.

As it happened, slim, graying, Decibop was both. On Firedo-P most people were. He prepared himself in the time-honored manner; had folk on the N-phase world been able to observe him, they might have described his attitude as like that of a meditator, or mindfulness practitioner. But that would be like comparing a Formula 1 racing driver to someone ‘driving’ a dodgem car at a funfair.

As the first setting triggered the clock’s phase-change-alert alarm he toggled himself. It really was remarkably similar in Decibon’s room. Last time he had just sat there, as neutral as he could manage, absorbing the N-phase reality. He had been able to sense Decibon’s unease and discomfort, which he had held and soothed as best he could. This time he had to make his presence known: what was happening to their two-worlds-in-one required contact to be made . . . and he had won the competition to be given that honour . . . and challenge.

Decibon had been writing as his clock double-clicked. He had never been published, properly published, but had a number of free-to-download e-books circulating the ‘net. Although not good (or bad) enough to go viral they had attracted some positive feedback. This is how he had come to the attention of the Firedo-P council: they needed someone with an innate innovative spirit; someone who wouldn’t freak out at what they needed him to do. Having identified the N-world participant (it was regrettable that they would not be able to obtain his prior approval) finding his phase-double on their world was easy. Decibop had been only too keen to enter the competition to choose between the paired participants that the council had considered suitable for the assignment.

Now his work began in earnest. He took over the keyboard that Decibon had been typing on and read the on-screen draft. He smiled. This would do very nicely! He was surprised how much he enjoyed the hour that followed, carefully crafting a chapter that fitted the story so far yet inter-leaved the more urgent and real story he needed to convey. The phase-alert-alarm triggered the double-click on the N-phase planet and he toggled himself home.

Decibon shock his head to try to clear it. There it was again, that double clock click! He looked at what he had written and shook his head again. It looked like his style of writing and it’s the sort of thing he might have written but he couldn’t remember writing any of this last chapter. He read it back again. “Rather good, though I say so myself” he thought. His mind still felt cotton-wool like so he decided to call it a night. A bit of mindless TV and early-to-bed. Not that he could sleep. Something had happened to him and he wanted to know what. His story was going off in a direction of its own and he wanted to know where.

Over the next few weeks the twin-stories developed on the twin-worlds. Decibop was cheerfully confident that he was getting the message across and that the phase-twin authored book would be good enough to reach a meaningful readership. Decibon got used to the sensation experienced between the  double-clicks of his round-faced, fire-engine red clock. Rather than try to explain it he found himself entering into it and enjoying ‘writing’ the chapters that seemed to flow from such periods. So that he could fully contribute to the new emerging story (the one in-between the double-tick periods of creativity) he set about reflecting on the new story-line and tuning into it. It had an urgency and potency to it, somehow real. It revolved around the notions of two worlds about to collide: but not physically, not in space. These world, once parallel, in the same time-space but out of phase with each other, were, somehow coming together. Even the experts on the more aware world didn’t really understand why.

As the book neared completion, Decibop met with the Council for a briefing. There was no doubt any more, Firedo-N and Firedo-P were definitely getting closer, the phase difference between them no longer the clearly defined separation where interference and interaction could be ruled out. And beyond that? Nobody knew. The final few chapters needed to be even more stark, even more a call-to action.

Decibop was puzzled. “How can we prepare them when we don’t really know what’s going to happen next?” He addressed his question to Frederic the leader of the council.

“It’s true that we don’t know what’s causing this” he replied. “But we do have some idea how it might pan out. We have a reasonable idea how this all started at the time of the separation, so think that something similar may now happen in reverse”.

Decibop thought back to his history lessons at school and the mediaeval period. There had been a time when there was no phased different worlds: just one unified Firedo. Then had come the time of the illumination, when science and reason had made a big impact on the world. There had been two responses: on one hand some people were fully taken in by the new rational way of thinking and fully committed to it as a way of life, renouncing all form of mysticism and subjectivity in favour of facts, theories and logical argument.

On the other hand there were those who acknowledged the power and use of being able to think logically and to reason things out but also realised that they were thinking, feeling beings; individuals who needed the subjective element and a magical, mystical side to give life any meaning.

At first the two groups had coexisted, albeit uneasily. But gradually they seemed to evolve their own quite distinctive ways and could no longer be part of the same community or society. There was no room for compromise, no way even of ‘fighting it out’. Somehow, rather than have to put up with each other, their respective collective consciousnesses split apart. As if life was allowing supporters of the two schools of thought to pursue the consequences of their choice.

And so it had transpired: Whilst those in Firedo-Ps had pursued a balance between heart and minds, their N twins had stuck to their rigid commitment to logic. For centuries the two quite distinct perspectives on life had dictated how the two out-of-phase worlds had evolved as societies: on one harmony between head, heart and hands and on the other structure and control justified through logic and ‘proven’ theory.

Now some higher power seemed to be bringing them together again.

Decibop thought of his recent experiences: “perhaps we are not that different now?”, he suggested.

“You’re right” said Frederic, “Over recent decades we have been observing an increased awareness of different perspectives across there: of creativity, of innovation, of caring for other creatures. And so we were beginning to hope that perhaps our estranged other halves might be ready to rejoin with us.”

Other members of the council chipped in, enthusiastically sharing the positive signs they had been witnessing in their observations of N-phase: “It’s as if their, our, deepest zest for life is now breaking free; finally, after all these centuries, heart and soul has undermined or chipped away at logic and reason so much that it has had to admit it doesn’t have all the answers!”.

Decibop nodded excitedly. This had been his experience as he had temporarily inhabited Decibon’s body and reality. “We really are not that different anymore!” he exclaimed.

And so the final chapters were written and the book was published.

2 years later

Decibo was chatting to his publisher: “Sorry” she said, “but it does seem that you’re a one book wonder, as if you had some extra help in writing that one?”

The author smiled knowingly. “Ah, yes”, he said. “I think there were two of me in those days”.

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