Friday, March 28, 2014


ILLUSIONS FROM "WHEN" - in progress

Agent One started the conversation above ground.:
"Of course this between us is only a matter of convenience."
Agent Two: "For now."
"And you have the state's resources."
"A mere suspicion. We're both elusive. And your resources? An enemy, maybe?"
"The state always speaks in terms of an enemy."
"The law, then ..."
"The state has control of judges, lawmakers, hired guns, lobbyists, influence peddlers, utilization of the underworld, you know that."
"We have secrets then to share?"
"That's what makes this alliance intriguing."
"So where did those two go?"
"We are not aligned. I don't know."
"But you're familiar with them."
"Only insofar as a brief historical encounter."
"The collapsed boardwalk then?"
"A mere demonstration, I suppose. There may have been another motive."
"We both have familiarities, then. To me it was a hallucination, an illusion. Nothing in the newspapers."
"Depends on the frame of reference, doesn't it?"
The two stopped walking, realizing they lost their bearings and an actual physical connection with each other, rapt in conversation. Both Agents ran their maps through their minds, pinpointing icons showing their locations, now several blocks apart, but converging.
Agent Two: "Our physical destination must be the convergence point."
Agent One: "I'll meet you there."
At that moment, police and fire engine sirens shot cascading shrill echoes through nearby skyscrapers. Both Agents received enforcement alerts: "The Museum of Culture!" They arrived within seconds, showed respective security badges, passed through quickly set up barricades, and stepped inside. The floors and walls looked empty. The intrusion alerts quieted and a guard pointed upward. All the works of that gallery appeared to have been spread across the ceiling, undamaged, but inaccessible beyond neon-colored wires.
"They're attached, perhaps they can't be removed, even if we get through the wires," a museum official announced. "Just this gallery."
"Those two," Agent Two assumed. Agent One agreed.
Agent Two: "Oh, it's a pun."
Agent One: "Amused?"
"I shouldn't be. They're commercially sacred artifacts."
She smiled as they sat on a park bench and watched the chaos.
Watch, this,” She said. She nodded her head.
I don’t believe this!” an arriving fire official shouted. “The whole thing’s a hoax!”
No, no!” a police official said. “The stuff was on the ceiling. Ask anyone inside?”
Arguments grew louder as those who witnessed the illusion claimed what they saw was real while latecomers questioned or derided them.
How on earth could all those artifacts be hanging from the damn ceiling one minute, then be back in place the next?” one official asked. "It is physically impossible. Come on, you can't be serious."
Afterward, the city formed a commission to investigate the occurrence. They would hire physicists to help them.
Both Agents smiled.
Agent One: “Typical of your people.”
Agent Two: “And not of yours? Are you sure yours are not there, too?”

© Wes Rehberg 2014

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