Seventeen-year-old Keisha Davis had been in this world twice before. The first time was, from her frame of reference, two years ago, and the alternate reality resembled her world of about 1910, except arcane technology combined with steam power, enabled fantastic machines to be created, including improbable cyborgs, submarines, and even zeppelins which could fly to the edge of space.
The second time was last year, two days after her sixteenth birthday, but in this world, twenty years had passed, and now Tony Stark-like inventions were running on oil and diesel. Three-year-old Leah and nine-year-old Josiah, the children of her other reality mentors Isaiah and Eralia Covington, had grown to be twenty-three and twenty-nine respectively.
Three months ago, she had turned seventeen, and yesterday, he once again mysteriously materialized in the alternate realm, only now, another twenty years had passed, and the environment was reminiscent of the 1950s. They had the internet, Facebook, YouTube, as well as rocketships to Mars and Moon bases, all driven by transistors and
nuclear power. Leah, her mother’s name had been Leah, was now forty-three. She only had one son, a teenager called Josiah, named after her brother. Keisha’s older brother was also named Josiah.
The older Josiah told her where to find the tomb, an ornate and, by this world’s modern standards, archaic mausoleum, but it’s what Leah and her husband had wanted after their daughter was stillborn.
Keisha took tentative footsteps across the open space between the rocky entrance to the south and the tiny tomb. She knew that many of the people from her world were duplicated, or nearly so, in this one, but because of a strange time differential, they often were born years or even decades after their counterparts, relative to her appearance here.
Keisha stood looking down at the plaque mounted on the small, marble stone sitting over the grave and her tiny body. It simply read, “Keisha Angelina Davis, our darling daughter, rest in the hands of God. We love you.”
She was alive here, now, but she was from another world. The counterparts of her parents, her grandparents, and even her brother were all here, but she, the she who should belong in this world, was dead. Was it because, of all the people from her own quantum reality, she was the only one who travel here?
She had suffered so much death in her young life, her Mom, her Grandpa, and her Grandpa’s beloved counterpart here. How much more could she stand? Keisha sobbed while kneeling at her own tomb.
I wrote this for the Thursday Photo Prompt writing challenge hosted at Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo. The idea is to use the original photo Sue posts on her blog as the inspiration for crafting a poem, short story, or other creative work.
I’m basing today’s tale on my ongoing series of stories involving African-American teenage girl Keisha Davis. If you scroll to the bottom of my blog (just press the “End” key on your keyboard), you’ll find a search field. Use it to search for “Keisha Davis” (without the quotation marks) to see examples of some of her adventures.
What would it be like to visit an almost parallel world to your own, knowing that people from your world are more or less duplicated there, including you, only to discover that you had died in the womb, while the other counterparts lived? Would it somehow, metaphysically, be your fault?