Nine Spectrum

A Wild West Hotel. Walking down a long hallway. A preciously beautiful woman. Tall... about 5-8 I’d say. She has lovely long slender legs and hair like angel silk.

“Don’t go to the last door,” she tells me.

Behind that door lies only sand. The sand of the ages stretched out forever more. Nothing but rolling hills of sand and the sound of the wind. Loneliness.

She has a sister or a close friend. Both of them like to talk to me but I only want the tall one. I can hear them in the front room talking and laughing. There’s something wrong with my eyes. I can’t see. I feel a warm wind and sand beneath my feet. I am walking up a huge dune trying to call her on my smartphone. I can’t find her number. My vision keeps blurring. Sand still blows in my eyes.

I walk into the second room where the two women are sitting together on the end of the bed. I stand and deliver my speech. I speak of numbers and history. I speak of a machine that can make up things and bring them to life. It made the first numbers ever known to mankind. It makes a long wagon full of gold that everyone wants to see, touch, to hold in their hands. It counts out for the first time ever… One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine… Nine Spectrum.

She looks up at me and says “That’s insane!”

“Insane as man’s history,” I reply.

I light up a big cigar. That’s when the Marshal walked in. He eyes me as though he knows something I don’t so I play it cool. I make small talk and he acts uninterested. That’s good. He finally leaves and I head out the rear entrance.

I find myself in an alley with no way out. I close my eyes and concentrate. A candy wrapper blows in and wraps around my legs… Hey, I remember now. I recite the combination and a light flashes nearly blinding me as I step forward I find myself floating in what feels like a thick gaseous substance. It’s like pushing through rubber and I begin to tire out. How long can I keep this up? I close my eyes and let the ether take me wherever it will... I fall forward freely.

I look up and cannot believe what I am seeing. It’s the old house where I grew up. And I hear music playing inside. I walk up the steps and notice the front door is open and I see my mother down the hall carrying a plate of cookies and a silver teapot on a big tray. Good. I’m just in time for tea. But wait. She died 20 years ago. What’s going on here? I decide the tea and cookies sound great so I tread across the wooden porch towards the screen door. The decking creaks and reminds me of my childhood. I see the rocking chair grandpa used to sit on and read me stories. I reach out my hand to open the screen door and I pull it towards me. When I step inside the house becomes an elevator shaft and I fall. I am weightless for what seems like minutes and begin to think over my life and how it will soon end if I hit the bottom.

My eyes are shut and I hear the sound of people scurrying about. A PA softly calls for a doctor and I smell antiseptic. I slowly open my eyes and look at the ceiling. The tiles each have 78 tiny holes in them. The holes around the edges are larger than the ones in the middle. Suddenly I realize I can’t move my legs. I try moving my arms. My hands easily show up in front of my face so I count my fingers. Five. Five on each hand. A nurse's face appears over me and she says,

“Oh, you’re awake. How do you feel?”

I’m Hungry. “Hungry” I reply.

“I’ll bet,” she says, and “you’ve been out for 4 days.”

What was… how did I… The elevator. I must have fallen down the shaft. Did I break my legs? I look around and try to locate the nurse but she is gone. Everyone is gone. Everything is gone. I’m back in the dunes and the wind is so strong it knocks me over.

I finally reach the top of the largest dune and I stare out over the most beautiful city I have ever seen. The buildings are not square, no edges, they seem to just fit together seamlessly. The city gives off an iridescent silvery green glow and I see crafts that look like cars with no wheels flying around. One of them is getting larger. It is coming directly towards me. Should I try to hide or take my chances? I look around and all I see is sand. Sand as far as the eye can see. There is nowhere to hide so I stand up. As the craft approaches me it slows and gently hovers over me. I like it. It feels good being close to it.

The small shuttle is alive. It is trying to communicate with me. Yes. Yes, it wants me to get in so it can take me into the city and back to my office. Have I been here before? I think I should know this but perhaps I have lost my mind. No, I have complete control of my faculties so I will the craft to land beside me and it does. A door opens from a place where there is no door. I get it and sit in the passenger seat. It is huge inside. So big that I forget that from the outside this thing was the size of a car. How can it be this big inside? Oh well, I grow weary and as the Aircar lifts us into the sky, I fall asleep.