Delfina and Pierrot have decided to forgo the pleasures of Dapto, which has been barbecued by the Martian Battle Fleet, and visit New Zealand instead. Delfina has selected a large flattened cardboard box to transport them with the Von Bingen Drive. The previous episode is here.
Technical Note: the Von Bingen shifts travelers to successive alternate timelines where they are closer to their chosen destination.
“Sit down beside me,
I’ll explain how this works
on the way.
. . .
“You’ll have to come closer.
The Drive only has
a small field of effect.”
Her fingers flashed across
the glowing symbols in the citrine,
the cardboard box sealed itself
around us, and we started moving.
The Von Bingen crystal emitted
a flickering golden light,
muffled background sounds
came from the truck transporting us,
and my mind drifted through
possibilities and probabilities.
If a fridge materialized around us,
would it have the freezer
at the top or the bottom?
And if it had French doors,
would it be standing room only?
We were pressed against each other,
and Delfina noticed I was squirming,
squeaking the Styrofoam packing.
“When we cross boundaries
between realities, between timelines,
between life and death,
when the past and the future
are rewritten in a rain of white-out,
what matters is who we are.
“We won’t suffocate in here,
the Von Bingen will maintain us.”
I nodded slowly, as if I understood.
“How could we be inside this box,
together like this, in any timeline?”
“I imagine we’re stepping
backwards through time in a reality
where another version of us,
with another Von Bingen Drive,
came to Australia from New Zealand.”
“So we were … together
in that timeline?”
“Different people, not you and me.”
Butterfly Plans is a study for my poem “Omégaville,” to appear in The Purpose of Reality (Meerkat Press, 2022). Omégaville butterflies understand life on earth, its tracks traced in chlorophyll and hemoglobin, its castles of blood and monuments of stone. The artwork was evolved with the visual evolution engine (VEE), and cyclic nonlinear desaturation (CYNDE) was used in the evolution.