Posted: August 11, 2013 in Fantasy, Magic
Tags: , , , , , ,

Picnic at Hanging Rock
– Miranda

Already at the age of three, Judy discovered that she could create a projection of herself at another location.  It was on a rainy afternoon, her parents were as usually at work, the housekeeper was busy in the living room.  She felt rather lonely.  ‘If only I had a twin!’  She concentrated really hard – and suddenly faced an image of herself right in front of her.  Her projection smiled at her and – disappeared.  Judy soon realized that she had to keep concentrating unless she didn’t want her projection to vanish into thin air.

When she was nearly six years old, she tried to ban her projection on camera.  She combined a motion detector with a camera.  Nothing happened.  Her hologram didn’t trigger the motion detector to act.  Next time she selected the record option.  Afterwards she rewound the film.  There she was!  Her projection was smiling and dancing on the carpet.  She showed the movie to her parents when they came home.  They didn’t realize they were watching a projection and – Judy didn’t intend to tell them.  They never seemed to have more than five minutes for her.

Over the years, Judy refined her ability.  Her projection could walk normally under the condition that Judy could see its surroundings.  It would have been hard to explain how ‘she’ could walk through other people or even through walls – even though only one human being at a time could see it.  It would have been helpful to send her projection to school when she knew she was going to be late.  The projection’s inability to talk or really interact at all made this quite impossible.  Moreover, it was extremely exhausting to keep up the projection for long.  Judy frequently needed excuses for her constant yawning.

Soon after her 18th birthday, Judy moved to London and started an intern-ship at a chemical laboratory.  Right from the start she had the feeling of being watched, be it at lunch break or after she ended her shift.  This Tuesday morning, Judy, was sitting in the back of a Caffè Nero.  She had already finished her latte macchiato and a banana/walnut muffin, when she got the creepy feeling that something weird was about to happen.  She concentrated harder.  Her projection needed to be around the corner in front of a shop window, facing the other direction, pretending to listen to some music.  Suddenly the entrance door sprang open.  An about 16-year-old fairy like girl in an old fashioned dress and a hat strode in purposefully.  She halted two tables away and signalled Judy to follow her.  She turned around and Judy couldn’t but follow her.  The girl strode purposefully towards the exit, pushed the door open without looking back.  She only stopped at the traffic lights.  She did not once glance sideways at Judy or talk to her.  When the lights changed, she immediately started crossing the road, went down the block and stopped in front of a brick house, opened the door.  Judy hesitated a moment and followed her inside.  She turned around and – the girl was gone.

‘Judy, please do come in!  I’m here in the kitchen.’  The voice came from another direction.  She went to the open door and saw a young dark haired woman sitting at the kitchen table.  A pair of crutches leaned at the counter beside her.  “Why don’t you come in and have a seat?”  Judy looked back in the hall, then slowly stepped into the kitchen and sat down.  The woman smiled.  “Perhaps I should introduce myself first.  My name is Kate Somers.  I am 25 years old and currently need this pair of crutches to walk – too slowly for my taste.  I suppose you forgive the unconventional  way to get you here, considering…”  Judy tried to breathe normally.  Kate shoved a bottle of sparkling water over to her side of the table.  Judy opened it and took some swigs of the refreshing liquid.  She put the bottle back on the table.  “How do you know my name?  Where is the girl who led me here – she seems somehow familiar – has she been watching me?  And – why am I here at all?” – “Three dot five very important questions.  Answering these will take a while.  And you have to be at the lab in 10 minutes.  What about this:  You go to the lab, do your duties and return afterwards.  I’ll tell you over dinner.”

Judy was thunderstruck.  She got up hesitantly.  “You are going to be safe, today.”  Kate said gently.  “Dinner will be ready by half past five.”  Judy nodded, left the kitchen and went to the front door.  She closed it behind her and marched left towards the lab.  Had she glanced in the opposite direction, she might have seen herself heading down another street, earning admiring glances from several young men.

The hours at the lab went by slowly – as usual when only routine work was due.  At the end of her shift, Judy went to the washing room, rinsed her hands and arms, brushed her hair.  She felt a little queasy not sure what she was going to hear about at Kate’s house.  She found her way back there easily.  The front door opened before she could knock.  She entered and didn’t see anyone.  She closed the door and trailed to the kitchen.  Kate was already sitting at the table.  She looked up and smiled at Judy.  “Exactly on time!”  The table had only been set for two.  As in the morning, Judy looked questioningly towards the kitchen door.  “Let’s eat first, I’ll explain right afterwards.”  The food was delicious.  Judy was famished.  She realized she hadn’t had eaten more than her banana/walnut muffin.  After they had finished, Judy felt sufficiently prepared to hear Kate’s explanations.

“This may sound weird.  I know your name because of your projections.  You concentrate so hard that your name is audible for me, as your projections are visible to me.  Three years ago, I had a car accident.  A bigger car rammed me at a junction and shoved my car in the car in front of me.  They had to cut me out of my car.  The car was totalled and so was my left leg – more or less.  I had to spend quite a while in different hospitals.  I became more and more depressed.  A psychologist started to treat me and ordered relaxation therapy.  It helped a great deal.  One evening, I watched a rerun of Picnic at Hanging Rock.  I was always sad when Miranda and the others vanished at Hanging Rock.  I imagined what I would tell Miranda if she came back.  And there she was.  Right in front of me.  I was so dumbstruck that she immediately vanished.  I tried again and – she reappeared.  Her projection helped me to survive my loneliness.  Most of my so-called friends and former neighbours weren’t interested in spending time with a handicapped person.  Last year, I decided to leave the village for good and moved into this house.  My new colleagues are great.  We meet regularly.

After I moved here, I could suddenly sense your despair.  Creating your projection and keeping people from interacting with you seemed vital to you.  This intensified as you started at the lab.  You had the sensation of being stalked.  Well, you were not, as far as I can tell.  I cannot tell you, however, how many more people could feel your distress.  As today was my day off, I created a projection that looked like you walking in a different direction.  A projection visible to several people.  There were no stalker signs at all.”

Here, Judy interrupted:  “Several people saw this projection and – how do you know that there were no strange reactions?!”

“If I concentrate a little more, I can see what the projection sees at the respective locations.  You always try way too hard.  Therefore, you are exhausted easily and thus do not have enough energy to feel and see what your projection would feel and see.  Throughout the last weeks, I was getting more and more concerned about your well-being.  This morning, I therefore just had to ‘send’ Miranda out to come and get you.”

Judy sat on her chair and digested what she had heard.  How brave Kate had been.  How horrible her old neighbours and friends had treated her.  And how kind she was.  Not such a loner as she herself had been all her life.  She knew one thing for sure:  “Let us be friends, Kate!  I will never let you down.  And I won’t fritter away my precious time any longer.  I will no longer feel sorry for my self.”

They became friends, went to the cinema on a regular basis, and often spend time at Kate’s house, frequently accompanied by Miranda – especially when watching Picnic at Hanging Rock.


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