The Crossover

ferry

© Ted Strutz

“The next leg of our vacation takes us on the ferry from Port Angeles to Victoria.”

“Honey,” Glenn’s wife complained. “You sound like a tour bus driver.”

Their two kids in the backseat groaned.

“Just trying to brighten the mood while we wait to get onto the ferry.”

Then the parents in the front realized they had bigger problems.

“Glenn, is everything…twisting?”

“I thought it was rain, but…”

Everything shifted and shimmered and then they were part of a line of cars on the Juan de Fuca Bridge, crossing not only the strait but into another universe as well.

I wrote this for Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneers photo writing challenge. The idea is to use the image at the top to write a piece of flash fiction no more than 100 words long. My word count is 99.

Decades ago, science fiction writer Larry Niven wrote a series of stories based on the outlandish idea that fog was not caused by water vapor but by a distortion between one quantum universe and another. A person who was in the fog might disappear from our world and reappear in a parallel one.

The image above seems to distort the cars and ferry we can see, and while in real life, this was probably caused by rain on the windshield, I decided to take it in a different direction. There really is a ferry that travels across the Strait of Juan de Fuca between Port Angeles to Victoria, northwest of Seattle, Washington, though I’ve never been anywhere near it (but Google is good).

To read other stories based on the prompt, go to InLinkz.com.

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58 thoughts on “The Crossover

  1. Wow! How fascinating to wonder what they would encounter in this other universe. I liked your explanation below the story as well. I practically grew up on Larry Niven novels. Great read!

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  2. As I read your explanation above, I realized that the piece itself was simply too short. It was not yet even a short story, or even a story at all. It was merely the opening scene of what could become a story. And you needed at least as many additional words just for that much to make sense. I’m thinking that this “flash-fiction” challenge may be just a bit too constraining. Certainly it demands brevity and concision (noble disciplines, both), but it leaves very little room to develop an actual story, from the introduction of characters through to their performance of some series of actions that conclude in some resolution. Can a mere single fictional scene be counted as a piece of “fiction”, or does the definition require more?

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    • That’s the challenge of writing a story in 100 words. Just the set up takes more than that. My first draft was 158 words, and that was just to flesh out some of the personalities.

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    • I used to watch Sliders. Interesting show, but his equipment was in a basement running off residential power. One power outage and the sliders would be toast.

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  3. Oh, that was gooooood! “A Wrinkle in Time” revisited, almost. Can’t wait to see what’s on the other side of that bridge… maybe it’s a bit of the “Fractal Mode” series, too. mouth waters in anticipation of more to the story….

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  4. enjoyed both versions, I wonder did Glenn sneak some item back, that we/earth can use; and if so will you be writing about it.😉

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    • No, he didn’t. We’re not even sure if there’s anything to sneak back, besides the recipe for Taco Delight sandwiches. That may have been a bluff on Kotch’s part.

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  5. What a fun take on the prompt – well, hopefully for that little family. The rain on the windshield does warp the view. I’ve taken the Port Angeles/Victoria ferry many times. A great ride. In fact, a good friend of ours lives up the hill from the ferry terminal. You can hear the hoot of the departure horn from his house.

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    • Glad I didn’t actually try to write about the crossing itself. I’m sure I’d have gotten all of the facts wrong. Don’t forget to read the expanded version of the story to find out what happens next, Alicia.

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