“You should have grabbed me last night, Cierra. I would have protected you from all those nasty feelings,” Cyd told her.
Cierra grinned. “You can’t use those strong arms to block ghost impressions you silly lug,” the brunette teased.
“Well, maybe not but it makes a great excuse to hug a pretty girl,” Cyd grinned wolfishly. Several girls hooted and threatened to tattle to Hallie.
“Squealers,” Cyd whined playfully. “Next time you feel like wandering off let me know. At least I know the area so you won’t get lost.”
“I just may take you up on that girl friend. I want to see if I can find a place again and maybe you can come along,” Cierra mentioned mysteriously. ‘Could it work?’
“Any time,” the tall butch offered as she scooped up a heaping of hash browns.
· * * *
“Okay, so where was this place you want to find?” Cyd asked once they were outside.
“Not yet, just come with me,” Cierra asked as she looked around. If it worked she didn’t want to disappear into thin air with witnesses around. She led the taller woman to the back end of the building where there were lots of trees and shrubbery. Satisfied they was out of sight she then took Cyd’s hand and pulled her closer as her other hand wrapped around the stone carving.
“What’s going on?” the woman asked, curious as hell.
”Something happened to me last night and this morning. Something really bizarre. Cyd, I want to see if it happens with other people too or if perhaps I’ve just lost my mind. I guess I need you as a guinea pig.”
“You aren’t making any sense, Cierra,” the butch said with worry.
“I know, but trust me, okay?” Cyd nodded and wondered what Cierra had in mind. She watched the shorter woman as she closed her eyes then felt a wave of dizziness hit her.
She almost fell but Cierra grabbed her and held her upright until the sensation passed.
“Ugh, my stomach isn’t happy at all,” Cyd moaned and straightened. Her eyes suddenly noticed things were different.
“WHAT THE HELL!” she shouted.
“It’s okay, let me explain!” Cierra pleaded.
“EXPLAIN? WHERE IN HELL ARE-“ Cierra slapped her hand over the woman’s mouth.
“Hush, it’s okay. Just don’t move, I need to mark this spot.” Cierra grabbed a twig and drew a circle in the dirt. She didn’t want to jump back and had no idea if she could from another location without running into walls or pavement.
“Where are we?” Cyd managed to ask without screaming.
“In an alternate universe, I think,” she offered. “Somehow I found a way to jump from our world to this one last night. Look around you Cyd. This is San Francisco without people. There’s no pollution, no traffic, no wall-to-wall people, just wilderness.”
“This can’t be possible,” Cyd squeaked. She was considered unflappable but she was stunned now. The hotel was gone along with all the other nearby buildings. She looked to the West; much like Cierra had earlier and saw the skyline. This was indeed San Francisco but not the one she knew. She felt panic rising inside. Can they get back? What if they got stuck here?
“Can we go back now?” she asked with a trembling voice.
“Any time you want. I know how to control it now. Aren’t you curious and want to look around a little? I promise to take us back when you want.”
The fear faded only the smallest amount but enough to let her push away the panic inside. “I guess. Have you looked around much?”
“Nope, not yet. I scared a deer earlier though. When I woke up this morning I was on Alcatraz Island. The prison was gone and so was the Golden Gate Bridge.”
“The bridge was gone?” Cyd managed to turn a shade paler.
“Um, yeah. Why don’t we look around a bit before going back? We’ll just make a small circle around this spot,” she added.
Cyd followed her meekly in a slow circle, about 100 feet away from the spot they arrived. At the outer edge of their walk there was a steep slope to the east. She nervously glanced down and spotted an animal. Then she blinked and stared.
“Psst! Cierra, come here!” she hissed.
Cierra jogged back. “What is it?” Cyd just pointed down the slope. She looked down until she saw the dark furred bear. He looked a little odd, almost like a black bear but larger.
“Is he dangerous?”” Cierra asked.
“Yes, but that’s not what has me excited. That’s a California grizzly.”
Cierra was ignorant about bears and didn’t understand what Cyd was trying to point out. “So?” she prompted.
“They went extinct. That damned bear isn’t supposed to exist!”
“Oh, then he-“
“Shit, after us! Run!” Cyd screamed. They bolted back towards their circle praying they were quick enough to escape the bear. They skidded to a halt at the drawn circle and Cierra grabbed at both her stone and Cyd at the same time. The bear was just a few yards away. Cierra closed her eyes in fright and ‘jumped’.
They returned to the bushy area behind the parking lot, panting in fright from their narrow escape.
“That was too close,” Cyd panted.
“Are you okay?”
“Yeah,” Cyd replied and put her palms on her knees as she bent over and gasped for breath. “You know, I was pretty freaked out until we jumped back but suddenly I feel very much alive and excited. Can we go back again?”
Cierra chuckled. “Yeah, we can go back, but-“
“We take a rifle with us next time. I have a couple at my house. I can’t wait to tell-“
“No! We can’t go blabbing about this to anyone, Cyd! What if the Feds found out? I’d be considered a freak and a lab rat. Besides, I sure as hell don’t want to ruin the other world with pollution and landfills like this one. It deserves to stay fresh and wild.”
“Okay, I guess you’re right. But damn, wouldn’t it be something to colonize it?” Cyd chuckled with a leer. “I’d fill it full of women only and make a new Amazonia there if I could.”
“Oh, sounds like a plan to me,” Cierra grinned.
“You really think so? In a way I’m not joking. How often does a chance to do it differently do we have in this lifetime? Think about it. We could build a farming community and live simply. No damned cars or cell phones. We’d lose a few luxuries but we’d make up for it with no stress and the fear of not having enough money to pay the doctor bills and property taxes.’
“And what about doctors? Do you want to live there with no medicine or tampons or indoor plumbing? I sure don’t.”
“Hmm, well, I have a engineer friend who I bet can build simple plumbing that doesn’t require miles of sewage pipes or copper fittings. As for doctors, what if we recruited a couple to join us? There won’t be any fancy plastic surgery clinics but we can treat the basics.”
Cierra wanted to argue against this imagined community because it was just too wild to conceive. “This area doesn’t exactly look like prime farming land.”
“True but just north of here is Napa Valley and some nice lush parkland. I bet, with the long growing seasons we could easily support ourselves. Maybe make things for trade and bring them back here and sell them so we can buy things we do need. We’d be like the ancient Greek Island of Lesbos. Most of the people who lived there were women craftsman and artists, poets and such. Hell, I’d be happy to sell my house and buy supplies to take with us if that’s what is worrying you. We just need people to join us.”
“This is the craziest idea! Do you think people would actually volunteer to leave everything behind for the chance to scrub out a living as farmers?”
“Yes, I do.”
· * * *
Continued in Part 3
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