By their powers combined

Tension and emotion filled the air. Fighting words had been spoken, and there were no apparent way of taking them back. Conflict seemed all but inevitable, and it would come to blows unless something distracting happened. And then they came, the fateful words

“My dad is stronger than your dad”

Unruffled by the forcefulness of the remark, the insulted party retorted

“No, my dad is stronger than your dad!”

As it happened, the very dads in question walked into the room at just that moment. Without hesitation, they began to arm-wrestle; within moments, the crowd of young boys were transfixed by the competition. As the efforting seemed to reach a crescendo, the dads went in for the final blow: a hug so hearty and wholesome that the young ones could barely blink before joining in

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Avoidance behavior

This place

She had not been there in a long time. Just seeing it from afar brought back memories. A place should not have that kind of hold over a person

“So, does anyone know where we are going? I’m flying blind here” someone in the group said, oblivious to the morphogenetic field hovering over the area. Not wanting to stay there any longer than necessary, she stepped up and said

“Sure, it’s this way”, then walked in a direction that would circumvent the epicenter

“You’ve been here before, then?”

“This way” she voiced straight ahead, not waiting to see if they followed

Depth perception

There were, he concluded, two ways of looking at the passage of time. One was the fast way, of paying attention to minute changes and developments as they progressed. How the young ones got taller, how the newcomers gradually became less new, how relationships went from early stages to full bloom. And then, there was the slow way, of seeing it all play out again and again over the years. How the small things gradually added up, through repetition and subtle gradations, one layer added atop another, previous incarnations and variations imparting their wisdom to the new generations. Nothing new under the sun, yet somehow also new every time

Let it flow, let it flow

He awoke early that morning. With nothing in particular to do that day, he decided to take a nice morning stroll, see the city in the morning light. It all looked different, the shadows all pointing in strange directions and the people elsewhere, like an alternate version of things ordinary

On a whim, he decided to enter the park, and there he saw something he’d never seen before. The sprinklers were all active, spraying water hither and dither, forming an almost – but not quite – interlocking chain of airborne wetness, moving in synchronized patterns

Smiling, he knew his many hours of puzzle gaming would finally come in handy

Jump around, jump around

“What are these things we are putting into boxes, anyway?”

“Storage solutions. I found I have too many of them, and have to file them away for later use”

“Hold on. So you are saying that”

“Don’t say it”

“We’re packing things which you pack things into into boxes. Should we ever need to pack a large number of things into other things, we will only need to unpack these boxes”

“You said it”

“Y’know”

“Please don’t say it”

“There’s a lot to unpack here”

“There’s still three more rooms to go”

“Pack it up, pack it in, let me begin”

And thus it slipped away

She had always thought herself in tune with the youngsters, ever updated about the what’s what in the new new. This had carried across time and media – phones, television, cell phones, computers, smart phones and so on. The key had been to simply surround herself with young ones and do as they did; easy enough for a teacher to do, once it got going. But now, she found herself stumped, utterly flummoxed, baffled as a scientist looking at a fragment of science news reporting. It was a small thing, yet it suggested a gap so profound as to be abyssal:

“Yeet”

Sounds familiar

His feet ached. He had walked all day, following some vague instinct brought about through a particular shading in the early morning light; with certainty, he had felt that this was a day for walking, following the whims of winds and fancy. Some of the places he ended up he had seen before, some not; mostly, the seeing happened from a new angle, from the perspective of spatial relations newly uncovered

Alas, the abstract infinite wanderlust eventually gave way to the slightly more finite, concrete aching of feet. Seeking someplace to rest, he spotted a church with its doors open. Some sort of service seemed to be going on inside, propelling his mixture of curiosity and ache. Sneaking a seat in the back, he sat and let the choir wash over him

In his peculiar state, he felt connected to something. Suddenly, the world seemed slightly larger than it had just that morning