From Chuck Wendig’s terribleminds Flash Fiction Challenge.
“The borderlands expire thanks to the hundred violins.”
“A poetic pattern retains inertia.”
Jarl concentrated the best he could trying to focus on his destination. He knew the power to bend space and alter the reality around him lay simply in understanding how the patterns of the universe flowed around every person. He’d always felt the energy, known he was different. But knowing you’re different and knowing how to manipulate the patterns were two separate things all together.
“A poetic pattern retains inertia….a chaotic pattern is unpredictable.” His friend and Mentor Spiros Altarus walked around the small pod of a cockpit speaking in his usual riddles. Much of what Spiros told Jarl seemed to be riddles, at least to Jarl. Somewhere in that twisted mind of his Mentor all of this made sense. “You’re thinking too hard about everything else. Clear your mind, focus on the pattern.” Spiros said in his heavy accented voice.
Jarl shook his head in aggravation, batting the ships control interface away from his face. He turned to look at Spiros. “Have you ever noticed that your riddles make no sense Spiros!” Jarl said with a pained look on his face. “I can’t focus the way you want me to. I can’t see the patterns the way you do.” Spiros simply sighed, a smile on his face as he looked Jarl in the eyes.
“You have the gift my friend. I would not have brought you as far as I have if I didn’t think you could do what so few can.” He drifted to the command console. He always seemed to drift to Jarl, not walk, drift. With a groan of resignation Jarl slipped back into the command chair, resetting the control interface in front of his face.
“Clear your mind!” He said, stepping over to a console to the side of the command chair. His fingers like spiders weaving a web, Spiros’ hands moved with elegance along the smooth console. Buttons and displays lit up in unison as the sound of melodic music filled the small space. All manner of instruments formed a soft poetic song that surrounded Jarl like a blanket. His mind lost in the rhythms drifted with the flow of the music like riding a river. He let the music carry him, fill him with its spirit. He had never heard music like this before but it caused his heart to swell.
An energy surrounded Jarl, like nothing he’d ever felt before. His skin tingled, hairs on his arms stood on edge as the power washed over him like water. A familiar tickle ran up his spine. That was when he realized it, that was when he felt it. His mind began to visualize space and time. The minds eye walked among the stars, in places few had ever seen. Planets and stars unlike any he’d ever seen before passed through his thoughts. The simple beauty and intensity with which these new sights filled Jarl’s mind caught his breath and held it.
That was when it happened. Had his eyes been open, had they not been focused on this place in his mind he would have seen it. The space around the ship changed. Lights melded together to form colors and then colors formed a canvas of light and color focused on the nose of the small craft. A moment later the colors grew more intense, they encircled the craft, bending space. Had his eyes been opened he would have also seen the aura of blue energy surrounding his body.
With a flash blue energy filled the cockpit, washing out the world around it. As the blue subsided, the tingle on his skin also slipped away. Jarl opened his eyes, awestruck with what lay outside the glass. The image in his mind, the planets and nebulas and stars, foreign in every way from what he knew, hung outside the window as if copied from a dream. Looking back as Spiros stepped up to the window, his expression betrayed his awe. “By the gods….The borderlands expire thanks to the hundred violins. This should not be. No jumper has ever jumped outside of our galaxy.” Jarl couldn’t understand what Spiros meant until he brought up the ships navigational systems. They agreed, the ship was no longer inside the borders of their galaxy.
Had the music enhanced his powers or had his powers always existed and the music simply pulled it out of him? Jarl contemplated the consequences of this discovery. Uncertain he could duplicate the power, he feared they might never return home.