the shallow end

commuting in hyperspace

The i-coupé makes its debut.

So silvery and sleek, and quiet
as a mouse trying to purr,
no steering, no gearstick or pedals.
The salesperson kept on talking,
but I was already sold.

It doesn’t have a motor at all.
A universal transport moves you
to a nearby timeline, where
the i-coupé’s a little further
down the street.

It’s a hyperspace commute
that takes you from A to B
through seamless alternate realities.

Now if I could just have your
signature, here, here and here.
Here, here and here. And here.

She smiled apologetically,

Waivers, disclaimers, you know
how it is.

That weekend, I took my i-coupé
for a spin in the bush—
a holiday in Bourke, but the trip
was so quiet that I fell fast asleep.

When I woke up, I was parked on
the banks of the Darling River,
and behind me, where the township
of Bourke might have been,
there was nothing but rubble
pockmarked with craters.

I noticed another vehicle stopped
further along, and a stranger,
who was digging in the dried-out
riverbed.

After introductions, I mentioned
my choice of Bourke for a holiday,
and she explained how she came
to be there.

When the war began, I thought
the outback would be safer, so
I programmed my g-pod for
Bourke as well.

I decided not to ask what the war
was about, instead I just nodded
like a timeline expert, and made
a little casual conversation.

The Bourke that I recall
had more houses and streets,
and a lot less vitrified clay.

A shower of nuclear warheads,
I expect. You know there’s no
going back, my g-pod told me
there’s not a destination left
to be found.

She studied the hole that she’d
dug—I thought I could see
a muddy trickle—and went
back to digging.

What a shame there were no
g-pods in my reality. They had
a slimmer, more elegant look.


The i-coupé 2 will feature an optional radiation detector that automatically shifts the vehicle out of apocalyptic timelines.

artwork
commuting in hyperspace, digital art.

4 thoughts on “the shallow end

    • Glad you’re getting something out of it. Sometimes I think the screws in my head are a little too loose, but the realish world has plenty of hard edges and we all deserve a bit of time off. In a completely legal way of course ;).

      Like

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