The Broken Box of Infinite Universes

J Dawson
4 min readJun 13, 2022
Photo by Michael Dziedzic on Unsplash

Hand in hand Cal and I climbed into the box like it was a pool of undetermined temperature, each with an ideal landing spot in our heads. I can’t say for sure what Cal was thinking just that it wasn’t what the farm town near the West Coast. It wasn’t of cottages or children or quiet nights.

At first, nothing was clear. Murky shapes and unfocused emotion. We walked around in the grey place without much thought of what to say. What we were both thinking was already loud enough without being spoken. We thought it would be better.

The more we thought of what could be better, colors started to leak into the trees and grass and stone castles until there was a place to be. Proof that life could exist here. It was hard to tell where we were in the order of events. Things still felt broken but maybe not as.

“This could work.” I point out at the crowd filling in around us like fish. “Lots of audiences.”

Cal crinkled his brows. “This isn’t grand. I can’t feel enough magic here.”

“That woman is carrying tomatoes. A good sign.”

“But it doesn’t look like more. There is something missing. Not natural enough.”

The village fell away, hidden by evergreens and brush so thick there didn’t seem to be a forest floor.

“This is quiet,” I told him knowing my Cal liked everything but quiet.

“Too quiet.”

A village sprouted from the ground like weeds, taking over the trees one by one as if the universes responded to Cal’s concern.

I tried to think what I wanted, but I couldn’t find the shape. I wanted a time before the world started to end. And I wanted Cal. That was it. So that’s what I thought.

Swords crashing into each other. Thunder and fire. The battle ground swelled in the mountain valley, festering like a wound. Then the images rushed bast. Laughing replaced the battle cries. Humble homes on hills. A time long before the greedy grew hungry. My pulse rattled in my throat and I was almost happy, taking my fingers and threaded them with Cal’s

This is a life to settle down in.

Cal shook his head. He tightened his hand around mine. “This is all wrong.” He…

J Dawson

Writes literary fiction with a speculative bent. A parent of teens. Accidental house flipper. Friend of cats and dogs. Kindness matters. ND Bi (she/they)