The Creators

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Jasper had spent more than three hours in outer space hovering between stations. He was starting to worry that he would run out of his supply of oxygen if he did not go for a refill. Yet, he was worried that the mind police somehow could have figured out things and might have spread their web to the outer rim filling stations. He decided to make a desperate bid to contact Jasmine. He focused his mind on her.

He was desperately looking for her in the mind stream. But, there was no response. There was so much chatter.

The mind police could sense Jasper in the stream. To entrap him within the stream, they created a chatter web. This would make it easier for them to trace his coordinates.

They were now near the cloud where the two mind policemen were keeping a lookout for Jasper. They knew Jasper had not descended and was not on earth. The mind police decided to use the outer space button to locate Jasper. They jammed on the button. They rose swiftly and suddenly higher and higher at a very high speed… Confronted with the bareness of outer space, they felt bewildered. However, they were still in touch with Jasper’s mind stream.

Every time they spotted a red vehicle,they tried to tally the number plate . The mind police had  a blue car.

As they circled around , they spotted Jasper’s car hovering near a space station. They went near the car and tried to lasso it from the back with a laser loop. But, Jasper still had his shield up. The laser bumped off. Jasper swerved. He realized he had been hit. He could see the blue car behind him. He recognized the car belonged to his assistant, Rudolf. But Rudolf would never hit him. He realized the mind police must have somehow got hold of the car and had traced him. Instantly, he quit the mind stream and zoomed away. He was a more practiced and adept driver than the mind police. The mind police followed him as he re-entered Earth’s atmosphere. He went behind thick rain clouds and disappeared again. He had managed to re-enter his hideout.

The mind police again lost him at his new coordinates. They decided to post some more guards at the new coordinates. What they did not know was this time unknowingly they had hit on the coordinates of his hideout. His hideout on the surface looked like a wild mountain.

Jasper felt the roof of his hideout close above him and heaved a sigh of relief as he got out of his vehicle.

Meanwhile, Jasmine, Jacaranda and Gorge followed Daedalus into his office. It was a huge dark cavern lit by fluorescent lights made of phosphorus. The office glowed with bright lights when it heard Daedalus’s voice. The lights were obviously voice-activated. With his fascination for technology, Daedalus experimented with science and magic to come up with unique products every now and then.

“So, tell me now…,”said Daedalus.

Jacaranda related all their adventures to him. Jasmine pitched in to explain how the issue had started.

“Well, I have one thing to say that you youngsters have a lot of spunk! I have one suggestion to make however. The moon is not as safe as you think. They technological dimension has a strong base there. So do some of the other dimensions, including the magical one. Rather, I think you should start thinking of involving the Lemurians. They are the only ones that can negotiate an amicable solution with the creator’s dimension. They are the only ones the creators fear,” said Daedalus.

“The Lemurians!” Said Jasmine. “I have never met one.”

“I cannot leave this isle without risking my very existence,” said Daedalus. “Otherwise, I would have come.”

“What do you mean … risking your existence?”

“Oh! You don’t know…,” said Jacaranda. “When the residents of isle of wonder leave this island, they lose their bodily existence and remain a only as a spirit, which can occasionally show up as ghosts in other dimensions. The souls here have been given eternal existence by a magic woven into the air of the island.”

“Wow!” Said Gorge. “That means I and Jolyn could live forever here…”

“You do have to face a governing council. It consists of people from magical dimension and the Lemurians. We do not want villains to find their way here. That is why there are spells to keep out souls with black hearts in the air too!” said Daedalus. “I have seen Lemurians only once in the governing council. They are seven to eight feet tall. They wear white robes and are peace-loving. They have powers beyond our comprehension and will always help people in need,” said Daedalus.

“Can we pinge to the Lemurian dimension?” asked Jasmine.

“I don’t see why not,” said Daedalus. “I had started work on pinging but abandoned it! Well good to see it taken up again. But, you can’t pinge from the maze as it is magic proof, technology proof and mind stream proof. Come, I will walk you out so that you can start onto the next lap of your journey.”

They again trooped out behind Daedalus, emerging this time outside the labyrinth, near the stream.

“You can pinge here,” said Daedalus. “I want to see you pinge.”

Jasmine took out the tong.

“Now, what is that?” said Daedalus.

“The pinging tongs,” replied the three simultaneously.

“Use it!”said Daedalus. “I want to see it done first.”

Gorge and Jacaranda held onto Jasmine’s shoulder as she clapped the tongs and the three disappeared.

“Hey ! Get back!”shouted Daedalus. “Now, I want to see the work that went into the tongs.”

But, the three were beyond his reach…

In the dragon’s cave in the magic dimension, things had calmed down. Jolyn was still pining for Gorge but the dragon prince had them all out in the garden involved in mind games so that they could hone their telepathic abilities. Jamie had started opening up. He seemed to be getting over his fears. Jacinth had started communicating very basic issues with JaJa using her mind. For instance, she could figure out when JaJa was hungry. She could give a simple command like ‘wait’. But, when a more complex command was needed, she had to take help from the dragon or Jamie.

Jolyn was starting to discover that women could do things too on their own, without men. In her dimension, women depended entirely on men. They did not work outside the home and had very less schooling. Talking to Jacinth, she was learning that men and women were equal and women could have opinions independent of the men in their lives. Jacinth had told her about Emmeline Pankhurst and how women had moved forward in her dimension.

Jolyn wondered how Gorge would react to her new discoveries. She missed Gorge very much all the time…his smile, his touch, his warmth…

 

 

 

 

 

The Creators

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Jasper swerved in the darkness at the rim of outer space and stationed himself at a corner of the earth, which twinkled below him like a unique gem. All the buildings in his dimension had become pinpricks till they became altogether invisible. He could see the extra terrestrial movie station and anti-gravity disco at a distance. He knew that here he was safe as the mind police did not have the technology to chase him beyond the clouds. It was only the technological dimension that had successfully started using the space for living, placing stations and entertainment parks near the earth. They were also terraforming Mars.

Jasper hovered and waited trying to think of a way out. He replayed the events that forced him to zoom out of the planet in his mind.

That morning as the roof of the dome of Jasper’s hideout opened and the red saucer like car flew out, Jasper had planned a short trip. He was planning to try and connect with Jasmine’s thought waves, communicate with her and return home to his family. The car, as it flew out and ascended the sky, looked like a dot in the dawning sky as it flew higher and higher in an attempt to distance itself both from his family and the mind police. The surface below was covered with snow. The reflected morning sun made the whole planet look pristine.

The mind police had become even more vigilant. They had lost Jasmine twice in twenty-four hours and Jasper too had disappeared. They were monitoring the universal mind stream even more closely. Suddenly, one of them said, “I can sense the boy. He is in the sky trying to connect with Jasmine. Jasmine, I cannot sense.”

“Let us close in on him physically,” said the commander. “Let us get at least one. Then the other one will definitely try to rescue him.”

Jasper had been desperately trying to contact Jasmine as he hovered among the clouds. Suddenly, he felt a jolt. The mind police had landed at a nearby cloud and were trying to shoot him. But Jasper had had the foresight to have the protective shield cover on. So, the shot did not affect him. He made a full one eighty degree circle and saw the mind police on a cloud. They had pinged next to him. They were firing shot after shot at his vehicle.

Jasper acted quickly. He abandoned his attempt to contact Jasmine and jammed the outer space button. He swerved at a very high speed and rose higher. Almost every vehicle in the technological dimension was equipped to ascend above the atmosphere and explore space with its various attractions at the different space bars. Jasper used it now. As he rose higher and then zoomed out of vision, the mind police again lost him. They did not have the technology to go above the clouds, so again they were fobbed!

“We need one of their cars to chase him!” shouted the team lead.

Two of the guards remained on the cloud to try and trace him and the rest went off with the lead to try and get a space car.

“Could he connect through mind waves to Jasmine from here in outer space? The mind police surely could not reach him there,” he thought.

Jasmine, Jacaranda and Gorge woke up in the cave, after a long night’s sleep. Jacaranda had again whipped them up a breakfast of sorts.

They had their meal by the stream near the cave. They spoke in low voices for the fear of being overheard.

“What should we do next?” asked Gorge.

“It is imperative we get in touch with Jasper,” said Jasmine. “The mind police is everywhere. They want to finish us up. What should we do?”

“Fly to the moon!” said Jacaranda.

“What?! I am serious,” said Jasmine.

“I am serious too,” said Jacaranda.

“You mean you can fly to the moon?” said Gorge.

“Yes. In the magical dimension we can,” said Jacaranda.

“Wow! In our dimension we have not even thought of trying,” said Gorge.

“And how?” asked Jasmine.

“We will visit Daedalus here. He did do it for our former prince, you know the one who is the dragon now. Maybe if we tell him our problem, he can help us.”

“Why not return to the cave of the dragon prince then?” asked Gorge.

“Because we risk getting caught big time. Remember the combined forces of the mind police and Dr Doom. We cannot pinge or magic ourselves into the den from outside unless the dragon wills it?” said Jacaranda.

“Can we not get in touch with him?” asked Gorge.

“And how without having ourselves exposed to the mind police who are constantly monitoring the thought stream?” said Jasmine. “Come let us then look for Daedalus. We could again use the invisibility pulls, if necessary.”

Jacaranda, who had been feeling inside her bag for sometime, pulled out a little pouch and said, “ Ah here it is… the cold fire powder. We can go to Daedalus using the cold fire network. I do not think that is as yet monitored by Dr. Doom or the mind police. That will take us to him quicker.”

“All right,” said the other two.

“Come close two of you,” said Jacaranda.

She poured some powder from the pouch in her hand. She closed the pouch carefully and put it back in her bag. Mumbling an enchantment, she started sprinkling the powder around them. A cold sensation came over the three. They felt themselves sucked into a vortex of icy cold silver flames and then they were thrown out again, near a little hut near between the hills and stream in a pleasantly wooded spot.

As the three of them emerged out of the cold fire, they saw two old men sitting at a table. One was in a Greek tunic with sandals on his feet. The other greybeard was in long flowing robes. The one in the Greek outfit said, “Ah! Jacaranda. Good to see you. Haven’t seen you around for a few months. And who might your friends be? Students again?”

The other man got up and said, “Daedalus, we will continue our discussion another day since you have guests.”

“Oh Robi! Stay…these are young people from the mainland…”

“We will meet later. I am expecting Khayyam over soon. See you around,” said the other man decisively and walked away towards the beach.

“Oh mighty Daedalus… you need to help us. We are in great trouble. Only you can save us,” said Jacaranda softly.

Daedalus looked around and said, “ Come into my new labyrinth that I designed within the hill and tell me your story.”

Jacaranda and the other two followed him into a dark tunnel inside the hill. They followed him for almost a quarter kilometer, then they turned right and there was a strange door with a picture of a pair of wings. “The wings that ended Icarus’s life!” said Daedalus. “But I have found him here again, beyond the hills living with another legend, Garuda.”

“Daedalus, I hate to interrupt but we really need to talk to you secretly. No one knows we are here and we do not want them to know,” said Jacaranda.

“Okay! We will talk in my office,” said Daedalus pushing open the door that had the picture of wings.

Meanwhile, the mind police had pinged back to the office and turned the temperature knob to warm. As the ice began to thaw after a few hours, the snow melted and people started coming out of their homes. One of the first people to drive in to the weather bureau car park was Jasper’s assistant. He had rushed out to see what had gone wrong with the machine … why was it swinging from one to anther extreme and also to figure out where his boss had disappeared.

The mind police, who had been waiting at the car park of the office , used a mind trick on him. The lead told the assistant, “You just left your keys inside the car and someone drove off with it. Now, leave your keys.” They used a memory eraser and modified his memory as he walked away, leaving the keys inside. The mind police slipped into the car and said, “Do we know how to operate it?”

“It is largely robotized and the car has a voice manual, so it can guide us,”said the police who had been examining the car. “Looks like they can go to outer space in this. There is a button that says so.”

“Great! Let’s go for a ride,” said the commander. Four of them got in and zoomed off into the sky. They headed for the cloud where two of the mind police awaited further instructions.

“I can sense Jasper in the mind stream again,” said one of the guards sitting at the back.

“Can you locate him?” Asked the commander.

“He seems to be way off all our earth coordinates,” said the mind policeman.

“Okay let’s wait and just read his mind waves. Let him think we have not spotted him. Let us see what happens then,” said the commander.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Creators

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Jacaranda dug into her string bag and pulled out a small, jeweled box. She opened it and took out three sugared balls colored like the rainbow. They seemed to have an iridescent glow about them.

“Here, take one each and chew,” she said.

“ Are you sure?” asked Gorge.

“Trust me,” said Jacaranda and she took one. As she chewed the pill, her neck shimmered like a rainbow, the glow spread to her body and then, she could not be seen anymore! Only the other two sugared pills remained visible. They seemed to be standing in mid-air.

“Hey! Where are you?” said Gorge.

“Show yourself!” said Jasmine.

“I can’t …not for the next hour anyway. This is the result of the invisibility pill. You both take yours, then, you will be able to see me. I can see you. We can start our hunt then. Hurry!” said Jacaranda.

Jasmine and Gorge picked up the pills and chewed. They too shimmered and disappeared.

“Hey, I can see you now!” said Gorge.

“Okay. We are all set now,” said Jasmine. “We should enter the building and look for Jasper, our technological self.”

Saying this, she moved towards the lift door under the rooftop shelter. She pressed the button. The lift came up. As the door opened, a man wearing a mind police uniform came out with a weapon and a radio. He could not see them. He was looking around but could see no one. He went back into the lift. The three of them slipped into the lift with him and descended into the building.

The mind policeman went back to Jasper’s office.

“There was no one in the lift,” he told the officer. The mind police seemed to have set their headquarters in Jasper’s office.

“It is strange that the lift should be called to the rooftop by no one,” said the officer. “Perhaps we should investigate. Kaspar, you keep an eye on things here. The rest of you, let us go up.”

Jasmine, Jacaranda and Gorge had followed the policeman down. They watched and heard the mind police. But the mind police could not see the three standing in the middle of the room.

Jasmine gestured to the other two to follow her. She stepped quietly into the corridor and ran down. Then she entered a room that seemed empty.

“Have they got Jasper?” Jasmine said in a loud whisper to the other two.

“How can we find out?” said Jacaranda.

“Perhaps, if we can get out of here, I can connect with the universal mind stream and find out,” said Jasmine.

“What if they spot your thought wave and come for us?” said Gorge.

“They still cannot see me. So, if I close my mind again, they will lose us,” said Jasmine. “Let us first get out of this building. Look for exit signs.”

The three of them ran out again. They were wearing rubber-soled shoes. As they walked past Jasper’s office again, they could hear voices.

“Why do you think the lift was called up?”

“Do you think that boy could still be in the building or has the girl got here?”

“No. It could not be the girl. She has that uncontrolled mind of Golliwog with her. JaJa cannot shut off her telepathic mind ever…”

“JaJa was not with her in the dragon cloud, remember. We lost them in the sky…property of the dragon cloud the Doom gang said…”

“Wonder if they are still in the sky above us…”

“Strange the way we lost that lot and the boy…”

“Will you shut up and focus on finding them if you value your necks,” said an angry voice which belonged to the commanding officer.

The three ran past the door. As they descended the staircase, they could see guards standing at the door. How could they step out without being noticed, eventhough they were invisible.

Again, the three ducked into an empty room near the exit. This time Gorge came up with an idea.

“You both run for the exit. I will drop something in this room and run and join you. That way when the guard comes to investigate, we can slip out. Do not wait for me. Open the door as soon as the guards enter this room,” said Gorge.

“Sounds like a plan,” said Jasmine.

Jacaranda and Jasmine headed for the front door. As they reached the door, they heard a loud sound. Gorge had picked up a glass paperweight on the table and dropped it. It had smashed to smithereens. One of the guards ran to investigate. Gorge was heading for the exit.

“Hey, you better join me here,” shouted the guard in the room. “There is broken glass all over. No one seems to be around. No one has left the room. It is bizarre. Please come fast.”

As soon as the second guard entered the room and the door was left unprotected, Jacaranda opened the swinging door and the three of them slipped out.

As they ran on the snow, which was coming down fast now, they could see their footsteps leaving marks on the soft white snow that covered the ground. There were round tables and chairs covered with snow in what had been the garden of the building.

“I think the falling snow will cover our footprints,” said Gorge aloud.

“I need a shelter to stand and focus. It is freezing here,” said Jasmine.

“Let’s go under that shed,” said Jacaranda. It was the shed for the parking the flying cars of visitors. The three went in and Jasmine closed her eyes for a couple of minutes. Then she opened them. Her eyes looked frightened.

“Quick, let’s run. I have blocked my mind again. The mind police has figured out that we are hiding here,” she said.

As she was finishing her sentence, the door of the building opened and the mind police started filing out. The three of them ran towards the building. The mind police continued pouring out of the door and running past them towards the parking shed. They, of course, could not see the invisible trio. The three of them slipped in through the open door without bumping into the guards and got into the building.

Again, inside an empty room, the three spoke in whispers. There were still voices of the mind police in the building.

“We need to pinge out to a safe spot,” whispered Jasmine.

“Where?” said Jacaranda.

“Have they got him?” asked Gorge.

“No. But they are angry to have lost all of us. They will kill if they spot any of us,” said Jasmine. “We will need to locate him from a safer spot. Let us go back to that favorite island of yours Jacaranda…the isle of wonder in magicland.”

“We need to hurry. It is past fifty minutes since we took the invisibility pills. The effect of the pill will wear off soon,” said Jacaranda.

Jasmine had the tongs in her hand. Gorge and Jacaranda held on to her shoulders as she clapped the tongs. They pinged. They were still invisible when they landed on the grass of a meadow on the island.

“We will lose our invisibility in few minutes,” said Jacaranda. “We need to find shelter once we are visible.”

“Before that, can we get rid of these clothes? It is warm here,” said Gorge.

“Here goes,” said Jacaranda. She mumbled something and the three were back to their normal war.

“Let’s make a run for shelter,” said Jasmine.

“I know there is a cave near the hill,” said Jacaranda. “We could use that.”

The three ran for the wooded area and then started walking towards the hills.

“Are you guys hungry or not?” said Gorge.

“Okay. Here is a sandwich for each of us,” said Jacaranda, swishing her arms and mumbling a chant. She handed them a sandwich and a packet of milk each. They ate as they walked through the woods in search of shelter. They came upon a stream with fishes of all colors, shapes and sizes.

“We are close now,” said Jacaranda. “ This stream will lead us to the hills and the cave.”

They walked for another half an hour and they were at the foothills. The stream fell like a waterfall from the hill.

“The cave is just there,” said Jacaranda.

The three of them walked towards the cave.

Safe in his hideout in the technological dimension, Jasper was worried. After dinner, he told Matilda, “Tomorrow, I need to try to contact this girl. Perhaps, I will leave our hideout for a short while, fly out to the sky and try to reach her again telepathically…”

“I am scared when you go out like this,” said Matilda.

“I have to for our baby’s sake and our sake try to find a final solution. I did not want to be caught in this crossfire. We have to find a way out. Don’t worry, I won’t be caught,” said Jasper.

 

 

The Creators


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“What was that?!” exclaimed Jamie.

“I think we have hit the tabletop of a plateau,” said Jasmine.

“What plateau?” asked Gorge.

“Let us get down,” said Jasmine.

As they descended from the cloud to the plateau, they could see a steep mountain towering behind them. It had stalactite like growths. The ground was rocky, multi-colored, purple, green and gold. The sky above them was dyed a reddish gold with the rays of the setting sun. At a distance, the sea stretched out reflecting the colors of the sky. They could see a small black boat on the sea. Below was a lush green forest. It was beautiful.

They all stretched and Jamie sighed with relief. The group started looking around. They moved towards the ledges of the tabletop. JaJa was jumping. Jamie lingered behind the others and looked vary.

“How peaceful and lovely,” said Jolyn.

“We are at the portals of magicland,” said Jasmine.

Suddenly, Jamie, who was standing apart shouted, “Help!”He had been captured by a masked man who was holding him at gunpoint.There were about six masked figures surrounding the group. Each was pointing a gun at them and dressed like ninja soldiers in black.

Jasmine’s group stood frozen. Jamie was struggling and grunting.

“How dare you enter the domain of Dr Doom without permission!” boomed a loud fierce voice.

JaJa ran to Jasmine for shelter. She was beginning to whimper with fear.

A few more masked men popped out from behind the rocks. As the situation grew more desperate and the others cowered behind Gorge and Jasmine, another floating cloud came to rest near them. About twenty men in pale blue uniforms stepped out. They were holding weapons too but of a different kind. At the back of their shirts were written MIND POLICE in bold black.

“ Hand them over to us now,” said the leader of the group.

“ No,” said the person who seemed to be the chief of the masked bandits. “You need to meet Dr Doom first and settle the payments. None of your mind weapons will work here nor your tranquillizing gun or exterminator. This area has spells to immobilise all weapons except the ones made by us.”

“Our chief will come and settle that in a short while. Meanwhile, hand over the captives.”

“No,” came the sharp response.

The mind police tried shooting the tranquillizer and  realized the weapons were truly non-functional. One of the police ran towards one of Dr Doom’s crew and a tussle between the two ensued. Another of Dr Doom’s men shot a mind police member. He fell injured. The tussle grew more violent. The man holding Jamie turned to defend himself.

Jamie stumbled out of his grasp and ran to his own group.

Jasmine said, “Follow me. I know this terrain.”

The others ran with her while the two teams of captors struggled with each other. They slipped into a narrow crevice. A long passage lay ahead. Suddenly, they heard a shot and voices shouting, “The captives have fled.”

Jasmine put her fingers to her mouth,“ Shhh!” She motioned them to follow her. They all filed down a narrow passage and came to a part where the tunnel forked into four paths. The voices had receded but they could hear the search was on. They took the tunnel that seemed to have lain unused for sometime. It had delicate spiders’ webs all over. They ran down the narrow passage till they came to a red and gold door. They could hear voices in the tunnel now. They pushed the door. It opened. Inside was a huge red and gold serpent like dragon with gold wings. It breathed fire on seeing them.

The group moved to the farthest end away from the dragon, taking care to close the door behind them. They were terrified. And then, the dragon started to talk!

“And where do you think you are going?” asked the dragon in a sibilant whisper. “Do you not know I roast humans and have them for dinner if they infringe on my territory?”

Jasmine whispered back, “Please save us. We are running away from Dr Doom’s men and the mind police. They both want to capture us.”

“If you are Dr Doom’s enemies, I am your friend but it had better be the truth,” said the dragon.

There were voices drawing closer. Jasmine folded her hands in prayer and mouthed, “ Please.”

The dragon nodded his head and motioned them to hide behind him.

As the group crouched behind his huge body, they heard voices. “If they were stupid enough to enter the dragon’s lair, they are roast meat by now.”

Another said, “Are you sure?”

“No one has emerged alive from the dragon’s door ever. Why should they? Still if you are apprehensive, let us set guard against them at the fork in the tunnel and at the mouth of the crevice.”

“That sounds good,” replied the first voice. “ Our counsellors will be furious if we do not capture or kill Jasmine and erase the other’s memories or destroy them as well.”

Then the footsteps and voices faded and all grew quiet outside.

“So you are really hunted down,” said the dragon. “ You can shelter here till you find help.”

“ Thanks,” said Jasmine. “ You are very kind.”

“ I used to be a good prince, long ago, till Dr Doom turned me into this. My magic prevented him from killing me. It is rare anyone calls me kind. Most just fear me.”

“This sounds like out of a fairy story,” said Jacinth.

“So, who said fairy stories can’t be real?” asked the dragon. “In magicland anything is possible.”

“I am coming to believe anything is possible anywhere,” said Gorge.

“I still find the whole situation strange and unreal. I keep thinking I will wake up from a strange dream,” said Jamie. “ I am scared. I never wanted to be a part of an adventure.”

“But you are and there is nothing you can do. You cannot escape back to your own dimension either,” said Gorge.

Jamie did not look happy. He looked resigned and troubled.

“Are you all hungry?” asked the dragon.

The group nodded.

“Here!” Said the dragon with a swish of his tail. A table laden with burgers, chicken legs, cakes, candies, water and milk appeared out of nowhere. They feasted on the food. JaJa who felt rejuvenated after gorging on candy started to sing. Jasmine silenced her. Everyone was tired.

“Beds for you!” said the dragon with another swish of his tail, the lair grew in size and rooms with beds and attached washrooms appeared from nowhere. They all thanked the dragon profusely, washed and rinsed and turned in for the night.

The next morning, they woke to the twittering of birds. The cave seemed to have expanded into a huge home under a vibrant blue sky of it’s own. The dragon had worked his magic and created a mini-world for them.

The little group assembled in what seemed to be the garden, where the dragon sat guard.

“This is unusual magic indeed,” said Jasmine.

“I could do more in my hey days. I was the prince of magicland. Dr Doom was my court inventor. I liked him to make things for the benefit of mankind. But, somehow, he got attracted to black magic. I did not approve of his fascination for the black magic. He wanted power and wealth of unreasonable proportions. He also wanted to marry my sister, the princess Keiya. I was against the match. One day, he tricked me unawares. He told me that he wanted me to check out one of his gadgets, a spellbinder, a  gadget that would hold any creature bound in it’s spell for all times. When I entered it, he pulled a lever and I was trapped in this dragon’s body in this part of the mountain. He had cast a spell on me. Then he passed me off as an evil dragon who had swallowed up the prince and he trapped me in this liar.  He took away my kingdom, my sister. My family and subjects believed him. He painted himself a hero and everyone believed him. My sister even married him. As he became more entrenched in black magic, he exposed himself. He wreaked havoc till the others rebelled against his oppression and wicked ways. The good magicians combined forces till he was ejected from his throne and entrapped in these mountains. But he still tries to rule from here, I know,”concluded the dragon with a sigh.

“Oh God! I got carried away telling my story. You all must  be hungry. Let’s have some breakfast!” added the dragon prince. Again the magic table with plenty for everybody appeared. They all had breakfast.

Then Jasmine asked, “Your highness, can we help you in some way?”

“You all are running away from Doom yourselves. How can you help?”

“Perhaps, we will find a way… Let’s see. But, right now, I need to get in touch with Jacaranda,” said Jasmine.

“Why do you think of others here? Please do not leave. Stay here. I will create a wonderful world for all of us with my magic,” replied the dragon.

“Jacaranda could be in mortal danger as could my other selves be in different dimensions. The mind police want to destroy all of us because I wanted to create a multi-dimensional world. I am from the creators’ dimension and the counsellors are angry with me. They want to kill me and destroy my other selves as they see me as a rebel for not conforming to boundaries of dimensions created by them. Please help us. Help me get in touch with Jacaranda while the others stay here with you. This could be our safe house. What do you all think?” asked Jasmine turning to the others in the group.

“Might be a good idea,” said Gorge. “But I would like to help more if I can.”

“Sounds like a gilded cage to me,”said Jacinth . “But do we have a choice?”

“If the dragon helps us and does not hurt us and gives us good food, I do not care,” said Jamie.

“I have been so lonely that I would love to be understood and have company,” said the dragon. “But I need sometime to think how to get in touch with Jacaranda. I have to meditate on thought waves.”

And he fell into a quite slumber…

“Should we make a run for it while he sleeps?” whispered Jacinth to Jasmine.

“I do not think so. We should really stick with him. He seems to be a good and kind creature,” said Jasmine.

Jacinth acquiesced, looking a bit uncomfortable. She sat down on the grass,took out a little diary and began to scribble .

All this while, JaJa had been jumping with delight and chasing a butterfly from flower to flower in the beautiful garden of the palace.

Jamie shrugged,lay down on the grass at a little distance and dozed off again. Gorge and Jolyn went off by themselves to explore the garden further. Jasmine sat patiently by the dragon and waited. She gazed at a gnarled tree with hollows that made it look like a human face.

 

The Creators

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Jamie was terrified despite the voice in his head urging him to calm down. He had grown up in a civilization of fear, greed and pain. He could not understand what was going on. Perhaps, these people would trick him and kill him…for being different. He started running. He was puny and weak. He could not run very fast, he knew.

Suddenly, he felt a firm grip around himself. Somebody was lifting him up unceremoniously.

“ Gorge hold him tight!” Jasmine was shouting. Suddenly, Jamie felt a whiff of something and he passed out.

“ I am sorry that I was forced to use the tranquillizer spray,” said Jasmine. “ I had no choice. He is too scared to listen. We need to be out of here to calm him down.”

“We could go back to my dimension,” suggested Gorge.

“No. That would be too dangerous. The mind police were already onto Jolyn. They would have lost track temporarily. But, they will be looking for her in your dimension definitely. We will pinge to a cloud and float into the magical dimension. The magical dimension has spells around it to prevent pinging. If Jamie wakes up on the cloud, he should be all right.”

“How can we ride a cloud?”said Jacinth. “It is only mist from water vapor.”

“We have worked round that in our dimension. Wait and watch.”

“Even if we float on a cloud, how could we steer it into the right dimension?” asked Gorge.

“Watch…everything is possible. I will need you to take care of Jamie for a little while as I sync my mind with the cloud to give it directions,” said Jasmine.

“This is so fantastic!” said Jolyn. “I have always wondered what the world would look like from the top of a cloud!”

“We are going to become too big a group to pinge together eventually. Thankfully, in the magical dimension they have other modes for inter-dimensional travel,”said Jasmine.

All this while, JaJa had been clinging to Jacinth and chattering in her own lingo.

Jasmine held onto Jamie’s hand, put JaJa on her shoulder and the others just clung to her arms. She asked Jolyn to help her clap the tong as she was using one of her hands to hold Jamie,who continued to lie limp on Gorge’s shoulder. They pinged and landed on a soft surface. It felt like damp sand. Around them were blue skies and a warm sun which was muted by a mist from the cloud.

Jasmine, took off her mask, closed her eyes and seemed to go into a trance. The air was really clean. The others took off their masks and caps. Gorge had put Jamie down. Jamie started stirring a little. Gorge picked him up again and waited for Jasmine to finish her telepathic syncing. Jamie knocked off again. Jasmine opened her eyes and said, “We need to revive Jamie and now have the time to convince him to team with us.”

“Should I drop him?”asked Gorge.

“No. Be gentle. I will spray him with a mist of oxygenated water from this can and wake him up feeling fresh…” said Jasmine taking out a can from her backpack.

As she sprayed Jamie, he woke up with a jerk.

“Where …what….haah!” he screamed again seeing the strange group around him, especially, Jolyn, Gorge and JaJa.

“You cannot go anywhere from here,” said Gorge firmly. “Better calm down and listen to the lady. We are on a cloud…”

“Just as in my dream…except…I was alone with her and none of you were there… What happened to your hair?” said Jamie.

“It is naturally like that,” replied Jolyn.

“Yes. I am Jasmine. I know about your dream because I projected them to you to prepare you. We are all from different dimensions. Do you believe in multi-dimensional existence”

“What is that?” said Jamie.

“There are many dimensions on the Earth. The same person can exist in parallel realities. We are all different forms of you Jamie, except for Gorge,” she said pointing to Gorge.

“How can I be a woman or that strange thing in other realities?” he asked.

“The sex or form can be different in different dimensions. Like Jolyn and Gorge are from the bubbleverse. So, their hair is different. The ‘strange thing’ is JaJa  from the golliwog dimension. She is also one of us. She can communicate with the mind like me. Jacinth is from the dimension that was created first of all. I am from the creative dimension. It was created just after Jacinth’s. You are from the dimension where Earth has been destroyed by World War 3. In the other dimensions, there has been no third World War. In Jacinth’s dimension, there have been two wars. None of the other dimensions faced the world wars.” As Jasmine spoke, she pointed out the persons to Jamie.

“This is bizarre and mind boggling…but so is riding on a cloud… Why am I even here and where are we headed?” said Jamie.

“We are headed for the magical dimension. You are here because you think different from others. You can sense what other’s are thinking and have a powerful mind. We are all running away from the mind police as it expects us to conform to the rules laid by the creative dimension. In my dimension, we create different realities by thinking of them. But the councilors, who combine energies to create new dimensions, like to segregate all the creations from knowing of each other’s existence. I feel we should be more open and have intra-dimensional interactions. We should be allowed to intermingle with others who have similar mind waves to us and we should have an open world. Keeping that in mind, I, a mere student, suggested a new dimension where creatures from all dimensions are allowed to co-exist. The councilors think the idea is immature and I am still too young to create but can only contribute my mind to realize their visions. They will kill me for the difference in perspective. So, they have put the mind police at my heels and with instructions to destroy all my parallel selves in the other realities. They managed to trace Jolyn already. We will be safe in the magical dimension where they have defenses against the creator’s dimension. The magical dimension found  out the creators ages ago. Luckily, they are a happy lot and very open,”explained Jasmine.

“It is going to take me time to absorb all this and move on from there. I did not meet any mind police by the way. Are you sure I am the right person?”asked Jamie

“The mind police operates with thought waves.They can kill by projecting negative images. You are lucky, they have not yet traced you. And, yes, you are the right person. You could see the dreams I projected to you. If I am not mistaken, you can read our minds and receive messages telepathically from me when you are calm. You will be another strong telepathic persona because you never succumbed to the world around you. You continued being different …unlike the others who fitted into life in their own dimensions. You, like me, never fitted in.”

Jolyn and Jacinth were trying to see what lay below the cloud but that was a trifle difficult as the cloud had a misty opacity. Jacinth gave up and just enjoyed the sensation of floating endlessly. Jolyn looked at the distant land that could be seen vaguely beyond the mist.

The cloud seemed to be hitting something solid…what could it be?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Creators

 

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Jamie woke up like he did on a daily basis to the sound of the six o clock wake up siren that day. The sky was grey outside as it was everyday. There were no bird calls… Only the blaring voice from the speaker:

“Hup, two, three, four…

Quickly run out of your door.

Come out and stretch,

It’s time to wake up and fetch.”

Every morning the loudspeakers blared this rhyme repeatedly. The citizens of Aurica were expected to file out of their homes and do stretching exercises at the start of each day.

The Earth had been divided into four zones after the Third World War. Aurica was one of the zones. Countries no longer existed. Some of the smaller landmasses had gone under water due to global warming and climate change. Blasts from nuclear weaponry had destroyed large parts of the Earth. Lot of the tracts were unusable from contamination. The number of people had also become a quarter of what the population was in the 1990s, when they had the war. Everyday, somebody died of diseases borne of lack of hygiene, new unexplored viruses, contamination and more bomb blasts.

The four zones were always at war for possession of the contaminated landmasses. People lived in broken, old quarters. Only the ruling classes lived in luxury.

Jamie lived in a dilapidated hostel for young people. It used to be a beautiful housing complex before the war. The bomb blasts had reduced large parts of it to rubble. Plants and vegetables only flourished in some parts of the countryside left untouched by nuclear radiation. Food was always scarce.

Jamie was a scrawny, underfed man of 25 years of age. He wore thick glasses as his eyesight was weak. He was always hungry for food. If it had not been for some of the fantastic dreams he had been having, he would be very miserable indeed. He hated the war. Somewhere, at the back of his mind, he felt Aurica had seen better days before the bombs wiped out not only large tracts of land but technology for the benefit of mankind. It had wiped out books and education. The rulers rewrote history for the benefit of retaining their power and stronghold over people. Democracy gave way to tyranny. The only technologies that survived were for making weapons. Everything seemed to be covered by grey ashes … Or was it dust from the polluted air?

Jamie, like many others in Aurica had this persistent cough. As he rushed out into the courtyard with a stream of young people for his morning stretches, he was thinking of the strange dream he had last night. In the dream, he was riding on a white fluffy cloud with a girl with a pale face and black hair. The girl looked a bit like him. At the end of the distant sky was a rainbow. As they drew closer to the rainbow, the sky turned red and gold. Below was a huge water body with a tiny boat on it. Beyond he could see some strange green vegetation on an island… The dream was absurd. How could you ride a cloud and who would go with him? Most of his comrades regarded him as a freak. They tolerated him out of pity. He knew he was a little different. Sometimes, he felt he could hear what others were thinking. But, he dared not mention it to any other Aurican. Exceptions were never tolerated well in Aurica. Mediocrity flourished.

“Jamie, be focused! Stretch your arms up in the air and jump!” blared the voice of the community leader from the loudspeaker. A community leader led all the group activities in each of the residential communes, including the morning exercises.

Jamie as usual was wandering off in his mind. He quickly closed his mind to the dream and started on the stretches. He had to be at work within the next two hours. He worked at a weapon’s factory. He used to help operate a robot to assemble some parts of a gun. There were ten in his group. Now, about five men did the job of what had been done in the past by one man. The number of jobs had reduced as a result of the ongoing wars, it was given out. The salary was split proportionately. This way everybody had enough to fund their own food and clothing need. Every person needed to work to get his ration of food, clothing and shelter.

Children were community property. They did not live with their biological parents. In fact, they were not given a chance to know their biological parents. There was no concept of a family. Children were trained to fit into appropriate slots in the society. They were taught to be cannon fodder and tote guns from the age of seven and given some basic training in reading, writing and arithmetic.

Jamie had a premonition that something strange would happen that day as he put on his clothes and ate his ration of watery oats and salt. He had it mixed with the ounce of milk that was a part of the morning ration. He downed his meager meal with some watery tea. Coffee was served only on festive occasions. Jamie sometimes felt that there was a time people could have plenty…but where and when and how… He did not know.

Jamie went to work.

“Look at the nerd! He is gaping more than usual,” shouted their group leader, Broadie, as Jamie clocked in with his card. Broadie was the ideal male, strong, big with a bull like neck. He had a ruddy face and was always nasty to Jamie. He smelt of sweat and grime. Broadie started making goldfish-like movements with his mouth, pretending to imitate Jamie. Jamie kept quiet and went ahead with his task. He had a long and trying morning.

In Aurica, the workday lasted for only four hours as the second shift came in after lunch. This way double the number of workers had jobs and the problems caused by unemployment were whittled down. Though jobs were fewer than before, more workers had jobs and all lived just above the brink of poverty. The workers were always worried about surviving bomb blasts and having enough to eat and live. Jobs were determined by the community’s need. Passions, thought or creativity was a thing of the past. People out of the ordinary were regarded as freaks.

When Jamie clocked out at 1 pm in the afternoon, he was glad to leave. However, instead of going for lunch and then for a group activity as he was expected to do, he went for a walk. In Aurica, four hours were spent at work and the rest of the day in doing community service or some other group activity. You could choose what you wanted to do. The norm was to be with a big group of people all the time. Going for a walk in the countryside or what was left of it was considered freakish.

Jamie felt he could hear a voice calling out to him and telling him where to go. He walked out of the city and towards the country with its grey soil and scrubby vegetation. The sky continued grey.  People had almost disappeared from the lonely countryside. Suddenly, at a distance, he could see some strange figures. They were wearing masks. In the afternoon light, he noticed two of the figures wore shower caps on the head too. They seemed to be moving towards him. There was nowhere to hide. Jamie started feeling a little apprehensive. Who were theses strangers? The voice in his head was asking him not to be scared and to go towards the little group.

The group moved forward towards him. As they neared him, one of the girls took off her mask and cap. She was the girl of his dreams, the one he rode on the cloud with.

The girl came forward and said: “Hi! My name is Jasmine. I would like you to meet my friends.”

He stared at her nonplussed and open mouthed. He looked ready to faint for fear. Here was a beautiful girl inviting him to meet her friends!

Then he noticed a strange creature peeping from behind the girl. It was JaJa.

“Who are you and what is that?!! Who are you all? Why are you calling out to me?” shouted Jamie in fear.

Jamie was wondering if he should run away from the bizarre group even though the voice in his head was trying to calm him and asking him to stay.

 

 

 

 

 

The Creators

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The figures of the man and the girl drew closer. They were holding hands and walking. Jasmine asked Jacinth and JaJa to stay concealed in the bushes. Softly, she stepped out in the moonlight as the couple gazed at the moon together facing the sea. She went and stood behind them and cleared her throat. They turned around, surprised, and the girl screamed: “ Who are you?”

Jasmine said: “Shh…! Do not be scared. I come in peace.” The boy held the girl closer wrapped in his arms as if he was sheltering her from the unknown and fierce. The girl had bright red hair and looked very like Jacinth, except for her bubbly hair and skin coloring, which was pink like the others of her dimension.

Jacinth was dusky with hazel eyes and dark blond streaked hair. Jasmine was taller and frailer looking than the others. She was pale with violet eyes and jet black hair.

“Are you Jolyn?” she asked.

“ How does that matter?” said the boy gruffly. He had blue-black bubbles for hair and was very tall.

“Have you been getting dreams of walking on clouds and writing poetry about the moon?” asked Jasmine.

“ How do you know?” asked Jolyn. “Who are you anyway and why is your hair and color so strange?”

“ Do you believe in a life beyond your dimension? I come from another dimension. I know you are Jolyn. I am Jasmine.”

“Why are you so pale? How is it you look like Jolyn?” asked the man.

“You could call me Jolyn’s replicate from another dimension. There are a number of us in various dimensions. I come from the creator’s dimension. The police there is chasing me and it will eventually try to catch all my different forms from different dimension and put us in captivity. I have done nothing wrong except asked for privacy and freedom to choose. I am collecting all my replicates to set up a new home in a new dimension. The mind police would be looking for me in various dimensions. They do not know of Jolyn’s existence as yet but will get to know eventually if you do not come away with me.”

“Why should we trust you?”

“ I can show you two more of our replicates from other dimensions if that helps convince you. They are with me and behind those bushes.”

“Jacinth. JaJa come out,” called out Jasmine.

Jacinth and JaJa peered out and walked towards the three at the beach.

“That is truly unbelievable,” said Jolyn. “You both look like me a little bit and yet are so different. And what is this?” she asked pointing at JaJa and looking disgusted.

JaJa was staring open-mouthed and drooling.

“That is JaJa from the golliwog’s dimension. She is also our replicate. But, she speaks no English. Jacinth and I do,” said Jasmine. “Please do not regard JaJa as inferior as she is one of the smartest in her dimension and can communicate telepathically with me!”

“What is telepathy?” asked Jolyn.

“ When you can communicate just with the mind without using voices or gestures,” replied Jasmine.

“Please come with us,” said Jacinth.

JaJa squeezed herself between Jacinth and Jasmine, who were standing next to each other. She looked in askance at the new couple. She sensed the newcomers did not want to accept her.

“Why do we all need to go together? We could confuse them if we are spread out all over,” said the man.

“ The mind police functions differently,” said Jasmine. “ They can read thought waves. If we are together and thinking on the same lines, it is easier for us to create a new dimension, a secret hideout to lead our lives safely and to create a new inter-species dimension. The mind police maynot come in person for my replicates but introduce nightmares of death and lead them to either suicide caused by depression and a sense of hopelessness or death by accident. If we are all together and our minds are in sync dreaming of survival and a new world, it will be impossible for them to inject negative and destructive ideas into our dreams or our minds. I have been projecting to you dreams of rainbows and writing poetry about the moon as I know you like to write poetry. Also none of you except JaJa and me can sense others thoughts. That only happens when you open your mind. I know Jacinth is trying but it is not that easy.”

“Well, she is not wrong you know,” said Jolyn turning her head towards the man.“ I have had nightmares for the past two days in which I saw us dying in a blaze. I have also felt a need to cry and have felt life is senseless. Could it be the mind police? And I have had the other positive dreams because of which you brought me to the beach today to cheer me up so that I have only good dreams.”

“Block your mind. Think of JaJa, not of us,”said Jasmine.” And let us make a run for it so that if they return with their negative thoughts to the bubbleverse, they will find not find your mind. They will be confused. Perhaps they will think that you have taken your life…”

“ I will only come if you let Gorge accompany us and if he agrees to come. He is my husband and we are pledged together in life,” said Jolyn clinging to the man. “Here men must lead and women follow. I will go by Gorge’s decision.”

Gorge looked at her and said, “ It seems a bit bizarre to me.”

“Please try to understand. The thought police will try to eradicate my replicates and me as well for daring to think different. They are very different and do things with the power of the mind. If they get to Jolyn, you might get to a day when you wake up and find she has disappeared. If they are really upset with my thoughts, they will eventually wipe all beings that could think along my lines, as my replicates could. They will no longer just wipe memories and let us be but they will physically vaporize us so that our minds freed from our bodies eventually lose our sense of bearing and become only a part of the universal consciousness in the creator’s zone,” Jasmine paused for breath. “In short, Jolyn could be killed as could the rest of us. Please, please listen to me.”

Gorge looked confused. “Let me think,” he said. Gorge was not very convinced. For him to give up his life for a strange story from a strange creature was a bit difficult culturally. In the bubbleverse, it was a men’s world. Women depended on men.

“There is no time to think,” said Jacinth. “Do you not understand? Please help save Jolyn and all of us.”

“Well, if it is a matter of life and death, I suppose I had better give in. Still it sounds bizarre. I didnot know there were creatures from other worlds inhabiting the Earth. As far as I knew and studied, it was only us!” said Gorge. “Where are your husbands? Why are they not with you to give substance to your strange words?”

“In our dimensions, women are independent. They can opt to marry or not marry and lead lives where we make up our own minds. Please do come with us. Jolyn has unexplored abilities, as do you. Let us create a new world to discover them. Please,” said Jasmine.

“All right. We will come… though we might return if we are not convinced. Where and how do we go?”

“Great. We pinge to Jamie’s dimension,” said Jasmine.

“ Who is Jamie and what is pinge?” asked Gorge.

“Jamie is another replicate. He is a boy in a post Third World War dimension in a new country called Aurica. We will go to him because he lives in a very bleak world and will give in to the tortures of the mind police more easily than others,” said Jasmine. “ And I will explain pinging to you in a minute.”

“There was a Third World War?” asked Jacinth.

“ Yes. In Jamie’s dimension the United Nations failed completely. There was a war over oil and weapons.”

“Well. It will be good to have another male to help lead. Should we pack our clothes and papers and come back here ‪tomorrow?” asked Gorge.

“Oh dear! No! We must leave because the mind police is already at our heels. So, we must run now. Do not worry about anything else,” explained Jasmine.

Gorge looked stunned but he was listening. Jolyn was whimpering a little with fear. He patted her and said, “Don’t worry honey. We will be all right. Let us just go along with this lady. As I have said we will return if this is some kind of a hoax and I will see to it that these creatures are dealt with with firmness. So, how do we go?”

“Like this… By pinging ,” replied Jasmine. She again took the tong out of her backpack as JaJa scrambled onto her shoulders.

“ Please hold on to me tightly all of you as we pinge to Jamie’s world,” said Jasmine.

Jacinth, Jolyn and Gorge held onto her shoulders tightly and JaJa sat on her shoulders. Jasmine clapped the tongs and they heard a ping and felt themselves swirled through flashes of lights, sound and darkness. They were born on a strong draft of wind and squeezed till they landed in a world with a grey sky!

Jolyn and Gorge started to cough and splutter. Jacinth was finding it difficult to breathe. Her eyes were stinging from the pollutants in the air. Jasmine and JaJa were coughing too. Quickly, Jasmine pulled out a box from her bagpack and gave everyone a mask. “Put these on. The air is very polluted here.”  She gave Jolyn and Gorge two shower cap like head gears too so that their hair would not be affected by the pollutants either and they would not look different from other residents of Aurica.

“That was sudden and quick!! What next?” asked a surprised Gorge adjusting his cap and mask.

 

 

The Creators

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The mind police was in a quandary. They could not locate Jasmine. She had blocked them off completely. The mind police never chased a person physically but studied the thought waves and found the people. Then they pinged to the person, accosted him by surprise, gave a whiff of chloroform to the truant and pinged them back to their own reality to decide on the course of action. If the truant had just lost touch unintentionally, then they would just send them to the correctional facility. They would be re-trained. If they showed signs of rebellion, they would wipe out their memories with a flash of the memory eraser and take them back to the dimension from where they had been brought in as a baby.

Jasmine was an issue. She had a mission and a vision at an inappropriate age. She did not fit into any of the dimensions that existed. At twenty, she had a vision of a new reality. That is what the councillors did at three hundred!

Mankind was not ready for a multi-dimensional existence, not just mankind but even the other species. Take the fluffy, harmless looking golliwogs for instance. They lived in jungles and growled at and bit anyone who went near the hordes of chocolate they had plucked from trees. They loved it when their candy floss clouds rained sweet syrups which filled their pools. They were always high on sugar and never slept. That was a strange dimension… No one was quite clear why and how it existed.

The mind police were wondering if they should check out Jasmine in different realities. There was the dimension where she had remained with her parents and would have grown up to be a writer called Jacinth. Of course, Jacinth was about a decade older than the Jasmine.

Jacinth looked at the girl at the gate and smiled, “Come in,”she said. “How strange that you should have the same name as my character in this story! What is that on your shoulder? Is it some kind of a toy?”

“ No. It is a golliwog,” said Jasmine as she walked towards Jacinth.

The mind police had never looked at Jacinth beyond the time they had got hold of Jasmine more than two decades ago. They didnot know her thought patterns. She would be difficult to trace in the chaos of minds. The mind police knew that Jasmine came from a reality where the parents had suddenly lost their baby in a crowded book fair. The baby had been pinged to the councillors as they had identified Jacinth as a powerful creative mind. They did not want to lose such a dynamic force. Her name had been changed to Jasmine so that she would not be recognized in her own original dimension if she ever went back. They knew she would have to travel to different dimension when she was studying for her councillorship. They did have to visit multiple realities to study the need for thinking and how thought could be materialized.

What nobody foresaw was that Jasmine would never want to be part of a collective consciousness but would want an individuality beyond the needs of the creative dimension.

In the creative dimension, thought was common property. There were no copyrights. A consciousness existed not only among the living but also among the inanimate objects. A rock and a plant were as much a part of the collective mind as were people’s thoughts.

Jasmine sat down on the chair Jacinth pulled out for her. “Thanks,” she said. The golliwog jumped onto the table and grabbed some candy that lay in a small basket on the table. She started chanting and eating on the table. Jacinth looked on perturbed.

“What is that?” she asked.

“ That is a golliwog, a creature from another dimension. She is called JaJa.”

At the sound of her name, the creature started singing in a strange language and gurgling.

Jacinth found her peculiar but she was an open and tolerant individual so she put up with JaJa quietly. Jasmine, an adept mind reader, could see the struggle in Jacinth’s mind. She knew all about Jacinth. Jacinth knew nothing about her.

Jasmine said, “I am going to ask you a bunch of questions that sound peculiar but you must answer them so that I can tell you who I am.”

Jacinth felt she was in a dream.

“Do you believe in a multiverse?”

“Yes, I do,” answered Jacinth.

“Are you getting strange colourful dreams about walking on clouds and people fleeing?”

“Yes. I am. But how would you know that?”

“You will understand by and by. For, the time being please believe me when I say I am you in another dimension. I know we have more selves in the multiverse. JaJa is a version of us from a more primitive dimension. She lives on candy and syrup.”

Jacinth was staring at Jasmine and JaJa open-mouthed!

“Please listen carefully. The mind police from my dimension is trying to catch me. I am not a felon but I think different. Sooner or later they will look for me in your home. Right now, they are probably trying to track your thought waves. You need to continue focussing on JaJa and not me. They do not know JaJa exists. They only know of you and me and they have lost track of you. Does all that make sense?”

“Kind of…More like fiction…”replied Jacinth.

“ It is the reality. We need to pinge out of your dimension and to our bubbleself’s dimension to avoid detection. The mind police is not aware of the bubble universe because it keeps drifting and is difficult to access. Right now, just trust me. Hold on to my arm when I clap the tongs. And whatever happens don’t let go.”

Jasmine again placed JaJa on her shoulder.

Jacinth was ever ready for an adventure and agreed. Everything seemed like out of a dream or a racy fiction for her.

Jasmine took out what looked like an oversized tong from her knapsack and clapped the tongs. Jacinth was holding on to her and JaJa too. She heard a strange ping and then she felt herself move through a whirl of air and kaleidoscopic light and emerge into a strange blue sphere. She could see a giant bubble floating, or rather hopping. She felt their trio rush through the air and land inside the bubble with a ping.

The Creators

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Jacinth sat with a cup of coffee in her garden looked at the sky and started to write:

Lost in the crowd, in oblivion Jasmine walked. She was lost, lost in the turgid grey lights of the day. It was a grey day with grey people and grey skies. Life was growing into a set of lies that she had accepted to survive. In the city, people scuttled like tailless rats, forever running a race for meaningless things, wealth, money, success. None of it meant much to our race. We had been through these stages of civilisation. And had emerged in a time beyond these needs. What mattered to us was the need for a time and space continuum where we could meditate and think. When we thought deeply enough, things came to be.

Jasmine was a student. She had been pinged to a city in the earlier continuum to understand the need for thinking. And now, suddenly, we found we were losing track of her. She was blending into the city too well. Her thought waves were getting lost with the multitude of minds and noise that cluttered the city.

Occasionally, we did lose track of students from our zone. But, the mind police had always managed to find them. They were either moved to correctional facilities or their thoughts were wiped and they were left in the city to survive as best as they could. But, the police was unable to track Jasmine.

Jasmine had plans, plans to make changes. For that, she needed to switch dimensions and gather the best from each continuum and then think of a new world to create it. It was her dream project. She was strangely advanced for her twenty years of age. She could do flips with her ideas, that is move from idea to idea and see them from different angles and then put them together to create a totally different reality. This is what councillors did after half a century of thinking. The other thing that even after half a century of meditation most councillors could not attain and she was able to do easily was to block off others from entering her mind and observing her ideas.

In our dimension most of us had transcended bodily needs. We pinged babies from the other continuums when we found that they had minds that could harmonise and meditate to project our thoughts and create. Most people who lost their babies thought they had been kidnapped. But most of the time we pinged them.There were not many of us…only about one hundred and fifty. Our world had survived centuries and Jasmine could create havoc in our centuries old world. We live to be at least six to seven hundred years old. Our best creations come forth when we hit the age of about three hundred.

Our world was started by Lemurians who had descended to Earth about two hundred thousand years ago. They brought their advanced thought technology into the earth. Their own planet Lemuria was under the threat of destruction by nuclear radiation from their dying sun and damaged biosphere.The planet Earth met up to their physical needs. They started living openly on Earth. They thought up different species of life, including man. They discovered that the intelligent species couldnot always live peacefully with each other. They had wars. Some of the species had very advanced nuclear weapons and could destroy the whole earth.That is why they created different dimensions for each creature. This way all creatures could live in harmony, oblivious of each-other’s existence. In our world, we have creatures from all dimensions. The Lemurians live in a separate dimension but we have occasional visits from them.

Jasmine wants to create a world where all the species live together like in our dimension. She is very immature as she does not realise that those capable of intermingling from different species live in our dimension. The others are not ready and therefore continue in different dimensions.

Jacinth looked up as she paused from her writing. A bumble bee buzzed on a nearby flower. She looked up and smiled. Jacinth was a hobbyist. She wrote for fun and published occasionally. She was trying her hand at science fiction. She had been getting lines in her head automatically. She also had dreamt strange dreams. In one of them, she saw women streaming away as if from a natural disaster. Another time she found herself jumping from cloud to cloud holding a stranger’s hand till she saw a strange pirate ship and land as if from another world. Jacinth believed in many things including inter-dimensional worlds which existed in parallel universes or multiverses. She believed in God, multiverses, black holes, aliens, a world in harmony… Jacinth was wondering what would she do with Jasmine next? Should she describe her? Would Jasmine look like an everyday woman, bird, fairy or a dinosaur? Should she be green or purple? Should she come from a dimension where the clouds were made of candyfloss?

Jacinth took another sip of tea and looked up. The parakeet went into the hole in the tree where it was nesting and peered out giving a loud squawk. A koel called from a distant tree. Jacinth looked at the distant towering mountains which formed a picturesque backdrop to her garden.

And then she saw her, a frail girl walking up to her gate. On her shoulder was a strange creature which was part pink and part blue. It looked like golliwog with round button eyes and was wagging it’s head and singing in a strange language. The girl had brown gold hair. She wore a faded jeans and a multicoloured striped tee shirt and carried a knapsack on her back. She walked up to the gate and said: “Hi! I am Jasmine. Can I come in?”