There are many worlds willed into existence by a sudden burst of energy, by the stroke of a pen swaying on paper, life emerging on a canvas, or ideas set in motion. All destined for a greater cause yet the universe spins out of control, why? By the will of influences hidden in secrets no one was meant to know, but do? How is anyone to know? Professor Knows, “Glad of you to come,” he welcomed a group of five young faces as they entered a bright extensive lab. Tables decked in chemistry with tubes twenty inches high cluttered the surface. Sweet aromas enticed their curiosity as the professor lectured a quick tour around the lab, herding them along.
Data scrolled in every monitor at every station while chimes of unstable chemicals boiling into one harmonized in the air. The kids wondered in amazement as the professor opened their minds to endless possibilities. Fumes rose from their glass tubes as it swirled into miniature tornadoes, vanishing in midair then fading in a dim cry. “Remember kids,” the professor concluded as they reached the end of the tour, “The solution to any problem is always simple, only our teachers cloud our better judgment with their corruption,” he paused, “Or was it our leaders who teach, what’s the difference?”
Two blue rubber gloves came out from the side of his coat pocket as he turned to reach for a cylinder oozing fog. “Behold,” he pronounced as he turned back around, “The power of the universe.” He held the small cylinder with tongs up high in the air for them to praise but the kids remained silent, unamused. The professor kept the cylinder up high in the air, allowing them time to process his bold statement. He stood waiting, looking around to puzzled faces, and still another minute of silence.
“Behold the power, the power of the universe,” he repeated but to same results. He leveled the cylinder down by his side and pondered for a moment. The kids turned to one another with the same question in mind. “Of course,” he mumbled underneath his breath as he made his way around the table. He carefully set the cylinder down on its podium then dramatically began signing his statement out loud.
“We’re not deaf.” said the oldest of the bunch, Riler. The others smirked and giggle.
“Very well then.” the professor replied with a sigh of relief.
“What exactly where you holding?” asked a girl who stood in the back, Ali.
“Good of you to ask,” he answered enthusiastically, “Behold, the power of the universe.” He sarcastically gestured them over, “Gather children, gather.” The kids huddled by the table as the professor explained the mysteries behind the cosmos. Scrolls magically unfolded, spilling onto the floor with letters sliding in the end, stating theories and thesis. The kids drifted into space as he began to write mathematical formulas on the blackboard, solving advanced algebraic equations far beyond their youthful minds could comprehend.
“And thus, by countering the pull of gravity to the tangents of space I was able to create a chemical engineered element capable of opening a wormhole to another dimension. It’s simple Physics simplified to a more advanced basis really.” He leaned back, double checking the symbols he had written on the board. The symbols represented a message read in science and alchemy. The kids did their best to follow the professor but were too lost to even ask.
“You’re just making things up.” interrupted the second oldest, Miles.
“Am I?” the professor answered, “Who’s wearing the coat then?”
“How would you know if it works?” questioned Noel, a shy but intuitive boy.
“But of course it works!” proclaimed the professor. “Has history not taught you that?”
“Prove it then.” Riler suggested.
“Such eager minds yearning for answers,” Knows replied, “And the people wonder why they’re being hounded.” He grasped the cylinder with the tongs again then added, “You might want to step back, if any of the slime gets in your skin while…” he sparked an alarm amongst the group, “Just stand back, okay?” In an instant the chemical splattered all over the blackboard, simmering as it spread.
The kids gasped as the splatter morphed into breathing swirling colors of deep green in shades of blue. Slowly and magically, the slime grew into a glob engulfing the board with its portal; opening a dimension behind its veil. They stood in awe for no words came to mind. “Who dares knock at devils door,” he turned to look at the kids, “What do you say?” He asked the littlest of the crew, Zoh.
Each turned to one another, asking without saying, questioning their fear as curiosity called their name. The professor stood by the portal, arm out, waiting for someone to answer his plea. Zoh reached for the professor and the others followed soon after. Together, they stepped into the swirling breathing whirlpool and entered a vast field of bright flowers riddled in oceanic green hills. Riler turned and noticed the portal was gone, replaced by a tree as massive as the eye could see.
“Where is it?” Riler scouted through the vines, searching for the way back home. “Where’s the portal?”
“Gone, apparently.” was the professors’ reply. “No point in fussing about it now. Let’s just keep moving forward.”
“To where?” Ali asked in her small little voice.
“To the horizon.”
Noel was the first to venture off into the fields, disappearing among the flower beds of an unknown Eden. “Stay close kids,” the professor instructed as he observed the missing particles in air. The girls hung by the shades of a massive rose bush while they braided their hair, interweaving them with mesmerizing pedals and twigs. Riler nagged at the professor as Miles watched Noel be lead into the wild by a mysterious invisible butterfly. Noel was gone before he knew it, but to where they never knew. Wind swift by while Miles stood dazed. He turned to the group who seemed lost in their own special haven.
“Wait, guys Noel is gone.” Miles slowly addressed the situation at hand.
“But I had said to stay close,” the professor replied as he stood next to Miles, scouting the perimeter.
“Where exactly would he have gone though,” questioned Riler. “There’s nothing but flower beds and mountain hills.”
“I think I saw him over there,” added Ali pointing to the opposite direction. The professor took a look at the direction Ali mentioned and became puzzled. Riler prompt him to make a decision, prolonging his clarity for a solution. At last the debacle was settled, Ali lead the way with the professor and the others following behind, venturing deeper into the fields, passing an array of beautiful flowers in a variety of hypnotic colors.
The search party came to an abrupt end as the grass swallowed them whole, sinking them deep into the sea. They were running out of air but they couldn't break the surface. It wouldn’t be long before they reached the bottom of the ocean when they suddenly realized they were never sinking, they were upside down; swimming to the ocean bed towards a sharp metal spear that broke in the abyss. They balanced themselves in the water, figuring what was up and what was down. The professor swam towards the spear when a school of bubbles caught his attention.
Riler couldn't hold his breath any longer as he desperately kicked in the sea. They each swam to his aid to prevent him from breathing in the ocean but they were too late. Riler gasped for air, swallowing the ocean whole. Surprisingly, the water tasted just like air. A question appeared in the professors’ face when Ali, Zoh and Miles began to breathe the water. “Water has oxygen, I suppose, but without gills?” The professor, Riler, and Miles swam to the metal spear as Ali and Zoh questioned where they were.
As they floated near the spear, they came to find the spear was held by a hand. That hand was connected to a colossal man frozen in time. He stood cemented upon his throne among his kingdom. “I don’t believe it,” said Miles in the water. Darkness crept away, shedding light to a city lost at sea. To their surprise they floated above a city only remembered as a legend, Atlantis.
Coral reefs sheltered a culture buried in the bottom of the sea as tiny critters roamed the ocean streets. The statue once guarded man, now protected the voiceless, those who abide to the ocean current. Far beyond the borders of the abyss came a group of sharks sniffing the water for food. The girls inched their way closer to the professor as they swam near the cliffs. The sharks kept their distance until the tides suddenly changed.
The ocean current began to build. The surface turned mad with ships crowding the sea. Echoes rumbled in the tides, upsetting the balance. Decapitated bodies fell into the sea, inviting the sharks for diner. The crew became alarmed. They scattered around, searching for a place to hide as the sharks appeared feet away. Fortunately, an abandoned submarine lay close by. They swam as fast as they could with the sharks right at their tail. The professor twisted the lever and with Riler’s help they managed to enter the submarine and escape the sharks sharp bite.
The hallways drummed as the sharks hammered at their door. “Let’s get out of here,” said Riler. They fastened their seat belts as the professor switched the ignition. The motor jammed as the sharks pounced on the submarine. The professor tried again and as the alpha shark ran into the submarine, the motor started; skyrocketing them away. The girls turned to their side as they dashed through the lost city of Atlantis.
Zoh noticed a small figure guarded by mermaids near the capital of the city, waving them away as they quickly passed by. She looked around and became puzzled. Ali turned to her and held her hand for she too knew something was odd; masking her own need to be held. The rumble up above continued until it faded, along with the statue and the city. They adjusted themselves in their seats as the submarine entered the walls of another abyss, leaving behind a forgotten comrade.
The submarine got cooler the further they propelled into the darkness of the unknown. The professor gestured his way around the controls, pretending to steer the ship. The remaining kids stared at the small window forgetting the difference between sea and sky as diamonds appeared twinkling in the dark. It wasn’t long before they noticed the sea had become a blanket of breathing, wondering specks of light inhabiting the fate of someone’s existence. When did they enter Space? They never knew, but would it make a difference if they did? They crowded around the professor for answers, explanations, accountability but he looked at them as they looked at him; lost and intrigued.
The alarm blasted through the speakers, amplifying in the halls. Up ahead, a belt of meteors stood straight for them and there was no way out. The kids searched the submarine to gear themselves for impact. Unfortunately, there were no suits in sight; but they weren’t going to give up. Riler and Ali went their separate ways, desperately searching for an escape pod. They raided the submarine inside out, finding nothing but the imminent truth. “What do we do then, professor?” Zoh asked as she stood by the wheel, pulling on his coat. He turned to her and smiled for he knew the answer.
The impact knocked them to the floor. The professor held Zoh underneath him, forgetting the other two. Meteor rocks fired like bullets in the zero gravity air, destroying everything in its path without having anything to slow them down. Debris hung in the vacuum of space as the submarine split into bits. They hung in a cluttered mess, surviving fatal blows, all while breathing in the universe. The professor and Zoh drifted in space alone until they found a sense of ground. “Look over there,” the professor pointed. A shooting star disappeared as quickly as it came. So they found a way after all, he thought.
“How are we doing this?” asked Zoh as she tip toed in nothing. They weightlessly floated away deeper into space, accompanied by warm orbiting lights.
“My guess would be the coating from the slime.” the professor answered moments later, remembering he had a companion. “Watch this.” he later added, changing the subject. He attempted to jump in an empty pool then fly away. “It’s like you’re swimming but you’re not, see?” Zoh looked up at the professor as he grew smaller. Her smile reflected upon his face for he had never seen such oblivious bliss.
His voice was beginning to drift as he swam away. “Look around you kid,” he began, “Everything is upside down. Left is right, right is left. Backwards is the new forward, haven’t you heard?” His voice trailed off and she could no longer hear him, “If you try to make sense of things you will never know what sense actually is because your sense of sense is what doesn’t make sense in the first place. Confusing, isn’t it? BUT now we’re just being redundant.” His laugh trailed off, leaving Zoh behind in a sea of stars.
And so, Zoh did what the professor had advised her to do. She pretended to fly into a weightless gravity and swim towards to shore. She took her time crossing the galactic horizon across infinite parallel worlds not knowing where she was but knew where to go. The professor soon appeared, sitting on a moon; waiting for her arrival. She emerged out from the shores of space, and joined the professor in a sandy moon as he enlightened her of a new world. “Took you long enough,” the professor said as he held her hand.
Together, they wondered across the moon with the professor lecturing Zoh on all the planets in the sky. He pointed left then right then left again. Up, down, and back around; every direction had its own unique beginning. “The brighter ones are old because they’ve used up all their fuel,” he commented, “It’s the dim ones that store all the answers.” He beamed at Zoh whose eyes held many.
Zoh followed every direction the professor aimed, feeding her mind his numerous adventures. Her bright wide-eyed expression lit every star and fueled every twinkle. “Fate my dear may change but destiny always remains the same. Care to know where yours leads?” he smiled. “I, Professor Knows, know,” he declared as he pointed to a mysterious door with no nob. The two stood by the door as the cracks creaked the hidden adventures that reside behind its silver hinges.