Monday, 23 November 2009

MULTIPLY United Friends Challenge #199: A rainy Disaster

Sumax's Challenge

You wake up from a nightmare.
You have had a vision of a disaster that you know will happen that very day.
You know you have to inform the relevant authorities, but will they believe you?
Using 1,000 words or more, in both narrative and dialogue, describe the scene as you try to convince the powers-that-be of what is going to happen.

The day dawned and I could hear the birds singing outside the bedroom window, but that did not help. After the night I had behind me, nothing more could help.

“That was weird” was the first thought that passed through my head. “It is as if nothing has happened, but it could” and the dream did not leave me any rest throughout the morning. This was not a dream I was sure. “This will become reality, but who is going to believe me?”

“Nothing ventured, nothing gained”, was my first thought. “They will either ignore me or laugh, but no-one is going to believe me; I am sure” and so I checked on the computer for the telephone number. It was a big organisation and I knew this was not going to be easy.

I heard the telephone ringing on the other side and a voice said “European Organisation for Nuclear Research, Geneva; can I help you?”

“Er, yes, well, can you give me the department for this atom splitting machine that you have built.”

“I’m sorry, I don’t quite understand. You mean the Hadron Collider? This is not just a department, but an organisation, and the gentlemen are busy at the moment organising the final tests.”

“That is why I am calling, to put a stop to these final tests. They are dangerous beyond imagination.”

“I am sorry madam, I do not quite understand. Are you an expert for technical research on this level?”

It was then that I had to think quickly and tell a few untruths. No problem, they could not see me when I start going red through shame, but this was really a matter of life and death, well almost.”

“Listen I am Dr. Jeanette Renault, and was one of the designers of this system, but a mistake has been made. You must not, repeat, must not switch the collider on. Please give me the chief of the department.”

“Just a moment please doctor, I will see what I can do.”

“Hello, hello”

“Public relations, Hadron collider here. Can I help you.?”

“No, I am trying to help you. Do not switch this machine on.”

“Who is speaking?”

“Professor Dr. Jeanette Renault, I helped to develop this machine. Please switch it off.”

“Just a moment, are you asking me to switch a billion franc machine off, just at your request. What is the reason? Another one of these suspicions that the town of Geneva will fall into a black hole, or perhaps the world? I don’t remember you name from our staff.”

Now this is where the problems are going to start. How do I say it was because of a dream? They are never going to believe it. It was then that I saw the daily newspaper. Admittedly I had already spilt some strawberry jam on it in my excitement, but I could still see the picture of a man laughing happily standing in front of this machine, telling the world of its advantages.

“Please connect me with director Peter Schmitt.”

“Mr. Schmitt is busy.”

“You must tell him to come to the phone. I was witness to a car accident this morning involving his son. I took his son to the hospital.”

“Oh, I see, in that case, just a moment please.”

Well let’s hope that Mr. Schmitt will now have time for me.

“Schmitt, my son is injured? What has happened?”

“Mr. Schmitt, everything is ok. I just have to talk to you about something important to do with the experiment you are starting today.”

“Oh no, not another one of those end of the world people. My time is too precious to talk about black holes, death and destruction. Or do you have another idea?”

“Well, yes I do actually. No, no, please do not hang up. This is important. I had a dream last night and it was so realistic. Please listen.”

“Young lady, my scientific work is not built on dreams, it is reality. There will be no black holes and no-one will disappear; goodbye.”

“No, no, please wait. No black holes, but a hole that will let something in.”

“Will let something in? Now I must say that is a new angle. Perhaps we will have some little green men arriving climbing out of the collider. How stupid do you think we are?”

“No, in my dream it happened that the collider started splitting the atoms and then it started raining; pink rain for a week.”

“Well, I must say, this is an interesting theory. We will have pink rain, and the world comes to an end.”

“No, no end of the world, the pink rain contains seeds.”

“Tell me young lady, what was the name of the book you read. I would like to borrow it. Sounds really good.”

“I am not joking. The seeds land on the earth and start to germinate. That is where the problem begins.”

“Oh, I see, they grow into pink beanstalks and reach to the sky. If you climb one you meet a giant sitting on a pot of gold.”

“Mr. Schmitt, I don’t think you are taking me seriously. Everyone knows that is the story of Jack and the Beanstalk. No, they grow and when fully grown they begin to walk and…”

“Yes, yes, yes, a very good story, but quite a bit of fantasy. Just a moment Miss I have work to do. “What did you say Fritz, oh yes I am coming, you are ready for the switch on.” Please excuse me Miss, but I have other important work to do and the progress of science cannot be stopped by a dream that someone had concerning pink men.”

Well I did what I could, but no-one believed me. I decided to go into action, climbed into my car and drove to Geneva. It was a lovely day for a drive, not a cloud in the sky, one of those days it made you happy to be alive. Eventually I reached the centre of nuclear operations, but I could see this was not going to be easy; a barrier was stopping my entry with the car. I then parked the car behind a near bye building and walked the rest. I noticed some men walking into the building so I just joined them, pretending to belong to the group. Luckily I had dressed in a white overall before I left home as I was sure it would help. Everyone at this place was walking around in a white overall, so it just suited the scene. Once inside the building I had to find the right office. I decided to go downwards as I had heard that this monster machine was somewhere deep in the bowels of the earth.

I again saw a group of very intelligent looking elderly men and followed them. We descended in the lift, so far down I had a funny feeling I might meet someone with horns shovelling coal. However, this was not the case, and I soon found myself standing next to a large steel tube. At the side of the tube was a nicely covered table with a crisp white tablecloth and there was plenty of goodies to eat, scallops, shrimps, beef tartar, naturally with enough champagne to keep everyone happy. I decided to join in, the food was good and no-one seemed to notice that I did not belong. Then the speech begun. I decided it was time to stop eating, although I was enjoying it, to see if this was what I had to stop. It was. The man giving the speech was Mr. Schmitt, it seems, and so I called out in a loud clear voice “Stop”. He dropped his glass of champagne through the shock of my voice and asked what the **** was going on.

“I called you Mr. Schmitt, about the collider. I warned that it was dangerous.”

“How did you get here, and are you the woman with the pink rain?”

“Yes Mr. Schmitt, this experiment must stop. It is a danger to civilisation.”

“Sorry Miss, but we have already switched on. You see there is no danger. We are all at home down here.”

It was then that I felt quite faint. Well I did faint. You would as well if you suddenly saw that the so-called scientists were changing into pink men with four arms drinking champagne and toasting on the future. It was just too much for me. I came to my senses lying on my back in one of the green fields surrounding the nuclear centre. And pink rain was falling from the sky.

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