The Piper at the Gates of Dawn version 127.0
A Novella by Todd Daugherty
1913 – The Visit
It was an unusually warm autumn day, when a local boy – a student of mine – decided to pay me a visit at my house, which was a little strange. I say it is strange because I had been a teacher since 1898, and not once in those fifteen years that I taught at Pickford junior high have I ever had a boy come visit me at my home. What made this even odd is the reason for his visit. I had no idea of what he wanted to talk about only that is was according to him; “of great importance”.
He came to see me on that warm Saturday afternoon as the gold and brown leaves of fall fell off of the trees. I had given him directions at school on that Friday to my home which sat on the corner of Main and Maple Street. I told him that the easiest way to get there was by the trolley car, which ran down the middle of Main Street, and my house was on the right side. He pulled out a old crinkled up piece of paper out of his coat pocket and began writing down the information. I'm wasn't sure why he couldn't talk to me at school the following Monday; that was a mystery to me. Perhaps he was being bullied at school and feared for his life. Thus, he figured this would be a safe place for him to discuss the issue. Whatever the case may be, he was to arrive on Saturday afternoon.
It was two o’clock when he arrived. I had been busy in the study grading papers when the doorbell rang. I walked into the foyer and answered the door, standing in front of me on my front porch was a young thirteen year old boy. He stood there, seeming a little nervous, occasionally looking over his shoulder to see if he had been followed. He had brownish-blond hair, blue-green eyes and wearing brown frame glasses. He was wearing faded blue jeans and a white tee shirt under a brown trench coat. He just stood there peering forward occasionally looking around while he nervously rubbed his hands together in a circular pattern.
"Come in" I said as I moved to the side of the doorway and had my arm extended out, as to invite him in.
His demeanor was melancholy and he did not say a word, as he slowly made his way into the foyer. I told him to follow me, that I had snacks and drinks set up for us in the living room. We walked across the foyer into the living room where we sat down; I sat in a large green armchair while he sat on my couch which sat in front of the fireplace, next to the green armchair. He peered around the room only to stop at the large bookshelves which housed my vast collection of books.
"Some of these books date back to the 12th century AD" I told him pointing toward the bookshelves with a little smile on my face. I have great pride in my vast collection of rare books that date back to the middle ages.
“My family has a large library” He slightly mumbled
"I would spend hours in there with my sisters reading to the little ones, while my older sisters would read books on astronomy and quantum mechanics”
“Oh yeah, that’s right, you don’t have that here”
"So, what's on your mind?" I asked him as he slowly turned to look at me.
"Well," he said nervously "I don't know how to put this"
"Go right ahead and tell me"
"Well, I'm not from this world"
I was a little taken aback by this comment, wondering if this boy was playing a joke on me.
"So, what, you're from outer space?"
"No!", he said quickly, "that's not what I'm saying."
"So, what exactly are you saying?"
“I come from a parallel universe”
I was puzzled by what he said
“A parallel what?”
It was then that I thought the boy was slightly mad, and didn't know what to say or do.
“You see there are a number of worlds out there”
“You mean like the planets in outer space?”
“Yeah” he said with a little excitement “However, these worlds are like this one, just slightly different”
“What do you mean?”
“Here, let me give you an example.”
“We are in Pickford which is located in Dane County?”
“In my world there is no Pickford or a Dane County."
"The government system in this world is also not the same as my world either, In fact it took me months and a lot of reading to understand how your government system worked.”
“Really?” I said intrigued by this boys discussion.
“Yeah you see, in my world we don’t have a King Führer; we have a President and a Congress and the people elect the President, every four years.”
I sat there shocked in amazement by this young boys imaginative tale of this make believe world he created.
“In my world the Congress is elected by the people and they are supposed to represent the people. In this world the Congress is elected, by the people and the military. The military seems to have the most voice, not the people. So the claim that the people here have a voice is rather funny to me, since it seems to me the military is the one with the power."
This was starting to sound very treasonous. As I sat there I begin to think to myself that this boy needs to watch very carefully what he was saying, especially when it comes to the government. Then it finally dawned on me; If he had told me this little tale about the government, then who else has he told it too ? Sitting there listening to him go and on about the politics; I realized perhaps that's why he was looking over his shoulder the whole time as he stood on my porch; maybe the military was following him. Then the fear of panic began to slowly set in. If they followed him, and he's now at my house, then that makes me a target for the military as well.
"Not to say the people in this world don't have a voice, it is just smaller compared to the voice of the military”
"So you're saying, the world you come from has a better government system?"
"Yes, well it's not completely perfect"
"In my world we live in a democratic republic, while in this world you live in what is called a stratocracy"
I rolled my eyes and shook my head by the outlandish things this boy was saying.
“But it’s true”
“OK, Let me get this straight, you claim to come from a parallel universe”
"Yeah" he nodded
“So my next question is how did you get here?”
“Well” he said slowly, “that’s a long story”
“OK, well, perhaps you should start from the very beginning,”