Möbius Strip


Alli walked up the stone pathway, in the pouring rain. She wore a water-resistant greatcoat, but her hair was soaked. Jan accepted her in, without question.

The fire leaped, bright in the hearth. Jan took Alli’s coat and let her towel off. They sat in front of the fireplace together, on the bear skin rug, wrapped in a huge afghan.

Her hair was drying quickly, in front of the flames. She turned to Jan and said, “I did it. I left Ran.”

The rain outside never let up. “I’ve been waiting for you to say something like that, for what seems like forever,” Jan murmured. Alli couldn’t help smiling and turned to look at her, “Me too.”



“So, this is me,” Nealy said, unlocking the door.

Alli came in and looked around. The stars burned in the navy sky and the rhythmic chirping of crickets filled the air. Nealy turned on the light, and Alli saw the long hallway, leading to a small kitchen, with a yellow and orange tile floor.

“Welcome to my new home. Our new home, off-campus,” Nealy was saying, as Alli took in the light fixtures, the mint green sofa, the aging television set.

They came into the living room. The kitchen opened into this space. The TV could be seen from the tiny dining area.

Alli continued peering about, at the toaster, the Japanese chef knifes, the breadbox, the juicer. Nealy stepped in front of her and caressed her upper arms. She smelled Alli’s neck, took in her cologne, “You’re going to like it here, I promise.”

A pause followed. They listened to the crickets, imagined the constellations whirling above them. Nealy looked into Alli’s eyes and said, “You know that I truly love you.”

Alli grasped Nealy’s fingers in her hand, “Even a few weeks ago, I would have never imagined this moment, here with you. My dream came true.”

Nealy grinned, “I’m flattered that I was in your dream.” She held Alli’s face between her hands. Alli looked up at her.

The disk of the moon rose in the east and drifted through the stars. Tree branches rustled outside, masking the two students’ muted conversation.


A 3-Sigma Event


Alli lay in the multipurpose pool, at the gym, in a T-shirt and shorts. A game of water polo raged nearby, but not close enough to tussle the water where she was floating.

The water was warm, and at just the right salinity. She closed her eyes and let the water fill her ears. Buoyant, Alli could use this pool of ions, a sea of electrons, as an extender, an antenna for her signal. Tethered to that terrestrial room, Alli could unspool her link to this side, and spelunk further and further out, into the in-between, to Atev.

She stood on a rocky outcrop, overlooking the beach. The crashing of waves greeted her ears. Alli was here in Atev, on an island that exceeded Keo’s description of Naxos, Greece, in beauty.

Aro waved from the top of the hillside. A small table, covered in a white tablecloth, whipping in the breeze, stood next to a castle. Aro was dressed for summer, in a white suit and blue ascot, held by a golden pin. She held a cigar in one hand, and a bottle of Les Hauts de Smith sat on the table, waiting for them.

Alli, now in a navy-blue cashmere sweater and khakis, hiked up the hill, toward Aro. As she took a seat, a waiter poured a glass of the red wine for each of them.

“So, I hear you are going to be the next Sky Avatar,” Aro said, letting out a plume of smoke.

“Where did you hear that?” Alli blanched, pulling herself closer to the table.

Aro sighed and re-crossed her legs, “I hear many things in the capital.”

Alli shook her head, “I’ve never known how to take any of it.”

“Come on now,” Aro chided, leaning forward, “You’re not going to reject this opportunity, are you?”

Alli looked around, nervous, “No of course not, but do you think I am ready for it? It’s like being told, tomorrow, you are going to be an ambassador.”

Clouds were floating by, further out to sea. The butt of Aro’s cigar burned bright, a whole tobacco leaf curling into ash, “I think you’re ready for it. It’s not natural to like beginnings or endings.”

The waiter brought them two plates of salmon and sorrel. The breakers of the other land pounded the shore and receded out to the horizon.