Hey guys… I’m back at Louis and Stella. During the summers I used to read Sci-Fi, Peanuts, and the Hardy Boys as a kid. Go Home Bay at Georgian Bay had a very special library where I used to love browsing and borrowing books. Can you see the influence coming out here? ๐Ÿ™‚

ยฉ 2021, Michael William Clark. All rights reserved.

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The closest thing I could find for a 23rd century pop music star!

Nettles had a nice, clean, colorful vibe but Louis more enjoyed the company. He had wandered all around the world and even through time, but nothing compared to this moment. Stella activated him. He felt alive. Not just a cool observer. Louis was more than in love. Stella was it.

She took a sip of water. “So how are we going to make sure you don’t get masered at five seventy-two?”

“You tell me.” Louis replied, tersely.

“I’m sure it was only a warning dream,” she repeated. “Just alert security and everything will be fine.”

“Maybe you’re going to kill me,” Louis joked. Stella didn’t laugh. “Probably just symbolicโ€ฆ” he tried to smooth over his goof.

Zelog returned and unceremoniously dropped their orders on the table, which was out of line with how most android waiters behaved. Possibly a rare glitch in his modem made him a bit jerky.

A vision of a 23rd century city

“Thanks, Zelog,” Stella said, trying to keep the occasion nice.

After they paid the bill Louis and Stella strolled down the crowded street. People were rushing all about. They passed a unisex perfumery and Louis spotted a childhood friend fast approaching them. Paul Gudgeon was talking to a sublimely attractive woman.ย 

“Paul!” Louis called out.

Paul stopped short, turning to see who it was.

“Louis Brandon!” How the hell are you?” He asked, genuinely surprised to see his old buddy.

Louis obviously didn’t delve into the topic of Stella’s dream, time travel, and the possibility of his impending assassination.

“Still alive,” he said with a slight smile.

“Yeah. I’m about the same.” Paul replied. “Listen, I hate to be rude, but I just met this lady,” he said, gesturing to the figure who had remained out of earshot. “We’re doing some work together…”

Interspecies love. The next step for mankind?

Louis looked at the woman, noting a slight green tinge to her skin. “Not from Earth?”

“No. I don’t know where she’s from.”

“Well be careful,” Louis smiled. “I’ve heard that interspecies love can be rough!”

“It’s not like that.” Paul retorted. “We met on the tube coming into Tron and she…” A pained look came over his face and he trailed off, not wanting to divulge any more details.

Louis remembered how Paul did this in high school when he wanted to end a conversation. “No problem,” Louis said, letting it go.ย 

“We’ll have to get together sometime. Are you listed?” Paul asked.

“Does one have a choice?” Louis replied dryly.

“Oh yeah. It’s mandatory now. BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU!”

“WAR IS PEACE,” Louis added with sardonic smile.

They laughed like the old days, when they had to read George Orwell for English class. As two teenage bookworms, Louis and Paul spent many long nights in the local greasy spoon talking about Orwell and H. G. Wells, admiring them as much as their peers adored Sylvester Simplex, the latest gyro star to hit the pop music charts.*

True through the centuries…

“I think Orwell was writing about 2284 instead of 1984!” Paul joked.

“Yes, quite right.” Louis replied. “It’s exactly three centuries after.”

“On the nose.”

“Hey bud, look, it’s been great to see you but I really must attend to this lady. Please don’t tell anyone…” he paused and then with a wry grin, “She’s the messiah.”

Louis looked startled, “She’s the what!?”

“Just kidding. You always were a gullible sap,” Paul teased like so many years ago.

“Later.” Louis said, shaking his head slowly.

After a jaunty exchange of farewell waves and smiles, Louis and Paul returned to their different worlds.

“You didn’t introduce me!” Stella kidded.

“Sorry, I haven’t seen that guy in about 20 years. We were pretty close friends, like two peas in a pod.”

What is Stella saying as she jokes about Louis’ age..?

“That’s a loooong time..” Stella said with a mischievous smile, raising her eyebrows.

“Okay,” Louis said a bit gruffly. “Let’s get serious. Your dream. Remember?”

Stella sighed. “Right. My dream.”

“So what do you think it meant?”

She paused for a moment. “I think we should carry on with the ribbon-cutting, be normal and keep our eyes open.”

“Play it by ear?”

“Sounds good,โ€ she said. โ€œLook Louis, itโ€™s probably nothing.”

“Hope so.”

“Just because one or two of my dreams comes true doesn’t mean…”

“One or two!” Louis exclaimed. “What was the second one?”

*Gyro is a 23rd-century style of electronic pop musicย 

ยฉ 2021, Michael William Clark. All rights reserved.

Did you miss part of the story?ย Find it here!