beside me notices my grip on the armrests.
“Your first time?”
“No, crossed over at age ten. With my Mom and Sis.
The city in two parts, East and West.
Porter from one side lugs our bags into the middle
Baggage handler from the other loads them onto his cart.
Guns pointing at us from both sides.”
your first dimensional shift.”
“Yes. They say it’s like walking into a mirror.”
You see yourself coming toward you.
Nothing unusual until
your outstretched fingers disappear into the glass.”
“You’ve done this before?”
“I have business on the other side. A small shop.
And family over here.”
“Doesn’t it get to you, being in one place and suddenly another?
Isn’t it hard to get used to? Doesn’t it take time to adjust?”
“The land is the same. It’s just the buildings that are different.
And the people, of course, except for those of us who can travel.
As if you turn sideways and then vanish.
Only you’re still here. Or there, actually.”
you be in two places at the same time? Sounds crazy!”
“Think of it as being in the same place at the same time.
Here is the same as there, only in a different dimension.”
“I say the words but just can’t bend my mind around it.”
seat belts. Prepare for departure.
Please refrain from talking.
Words interfere with the shift.
“That was quick! Are we there yet?”
“Both here and there, yes. How do you feel?”
“Strangely the same. What’s all this I read about
shift psychosis? Doesn’t seem to be happening to me.”
“More of a problem with multi-dimensional shifts.
Shifting from one dimension to another has minimal impact.”
“I never understood why they need all
“Creating a separate dimension for us brought peace.
But when splinter groups started raining rockets down on everyone,
the only way to appease them was to give each their own dimension.
The diplomats who shuttle between them were the first to suffer.”
“Makes you wonder if the psychosis
comes from the shift
or from the people they shift between.”
“Probably both. But I never asked.
What brings you here?”
“On assignment. Article about dimensional travelers.
Why they do it and what happens to the peace if they don’t.”
“Ah, a journalist. And most likely a spy as well.
Will I be reading about myself in the morning paper?”
“Depends on where you pick it up. Or when.”
“All we ask is that you be kind and objective.
The shift has brought us peace. We can’t go back
to the way it was before: dodging stones and bullets in the street,
wondering if the person sitting beside you is wearing a suicide vest.”
“Not to worry. Enemies occupying the same land, yet invisible
to one another? A truly elegant solution.
It’s been a pleasure.”