Dawn offered the greatest chance for success. He sat with a radio in his lap looking down upon the desert wasteland of California. The sky began to brighten as it announced the arrival of the day. Great metallic bones of what were once marvels of modern architecture took form against the barren lifeless landscape that he used to call his home.
This world was built by the causality of choices. Decisions made by less than a half dozen powerful corporations with depthless pockets. Men who practice science as recklessly as young boys play with toys.
The appearance of a Frequent in the corner of his vision momentarily distracted him from his searching of the airways. He continued to cycle through the long-wave frequency band for a break, a crackle.
A way home.
Frequents looked like shadows that walked upright rather than being cast upon the floor. They were people. But they belonged to a different world, a different frequency than the one that he currently occupied. These wraiths becoming visible meant that he was close, closer than he had yet been. The tear between universes glided nearby, invisible.
The white noise on the radio hissed continuously. He always searched at dawn.
Something to do with how the cosmic rays bounced off the magnetic fields of the planet at first light. They had been attempting to create a quantum corridor. A doorway, 10 years into the past of a universe almost exactly the same as our own. By rotating two artificial black holes around their own orbital thresholds, the gravitational forces would rip the fabric between dimensions, allowing safe passage through.
The magnetic containment fields had broken down and the experiment had gone catastrophically wrong. He had been carried here accidentally, and had been searching for a way back ever since.
As the first rays of sunlight kissed the horizon, he caught sight of a second Frequent to his left. Then another straight ahead, skulking as if it were some ghoul from an old horror show, completely oblivious to his presence or the sound of the endless static coming through the radio.
He understood now that all universes existed in the same place at the same time, layered together like delicate sheets. The rift would not be stationary, but would shift here and there never far from where it was created. He couldn’t see it, but his device might whisper a hint to its location.
The white noise suddenly crackled, causing him to leap quickly to his feet. He half ran, half slipped down the dusty slope with the sun to his back. Four Frequents ambled slowly by in front of him. Two to the left, one to the right, the other directly ahead. He ran on, altering course only slightly as the sizzling on the radio intensified. The frequent ahead stopped moving, seemingly alerted to his presence. He leapt toward it, vanishing from existence before making contact.
Christopher Roper is a writer and a poet from North-West of England. Originally a songwriter and musician, poetry came into his life when he was at his lowest. Now with more than 100 poems to his collection, as an innate storyteller, the next natural progression was towards short stories and novels.