Ever Crossed Dimensions Before?

Image of Short Story
I watch my sister as she tries to hack her way out of the oppression we are facing. The footsteps in the hall get quieter. They are listening for her typing.

“Sis!” I hiss. “Type quietly!”

“I can’t!” she responds, “Please trust me, what I’m doing is crucial.” I know not to ask for details about her little clandestine plan, especially not now. I’m used to putting all of my trust in her. I will do that again without hesitation. I run into the hallway, right into the fast approaching teachers. Stunned, they stand there for a mere millisecond, giving me time to slip away and run in the other direction. My feet pound hard against the ground. I turn the next corner I find and sneak into a classroom. Sis always called me stealthy; I guess I finally found a good purpose for it. The two remaining “teachers” (no teacher carries a fully loaded gun and a taser) turn the corner and run on. I heave a breath of relief. Then I remember the immense danger my sister is in. I run back to the computer lab as quietly as I can. I crack open the door once I arrive, and freeze before walking in.

She is hovering over the keyboard as I left her, but I see a figure taking aim in the opposite doorway. I freeze, too afraid and stunned to know what to do. He takes a step closer and I scream at the top of my lungs as the man pulls the trigger and obliterates my entire world. I run to her as she falls out of the chair, and she whispers to me, “flash drive” as she presses it to my hand. It’s what she was working on. Her crucial plan.

“Computer at home. Plug it in, open the popup, delete all of the code. Run away from here. Fast.” She finishes, endowing me with the information I need to finish her work. “When you delete it, two million, five hundred eighty-four people will want to kill you. Run away.”

“Run away from where?” I sob through the waterfall gushing out of my eyes.

“Earth.” She chokes out. I see her eyes clouding.

“I love you, sis.” She’s gone before she can repeat it back to me. Leaving her here is so hard, but I know I have to get out. The man, who so hastily ran away to get his colleagues, is coming back. I don’t want to risk the front door, so I wrap my jacket around my fist and bust out the window. I jump, from only the second floor, but it hurts when I fall. The pain goes unnoticed as I focus on the elevated beating of my heart from running. If I know my sister, she could only mean one thing by “run away from earth.” She wants me to get into her computer. That is the only part of her plan I knew, the creation of her digital world. The humid night air has an ominous energy that makes me shiver. “My sister has already been stolen from me, what more could hurt me?”

My lungs are starting to burn from running and I make my final turn into the driveway. I crash through the door and pound up the stairs to the “attic.” I start sobbing as I pull the flash drive out of my pocket and jam it into the computer. My tears make the keyboard slippery, and it takes me three tries to finally open the tiny popup and delete the code my sister put on the flash drive, just as she had instructed. I pound back down the stairs, falling down the last few steps and running away. I am quickly stopped by an ear-splitting frequency coming from my room. I walk back to the garage, and stare at the stairs, too afraid to walk up. I eventually decide that if something is up there, better to figure it out now. I grab my sister’s favorite baseball bat, and head up the stairs to what used to be my room. I expect to find my bed, my dresser, my computer. But what I find instead: my sister. She is lying on the ground, just as I left her on the floor of the computer lab. But instead of blood seeping out of her, it is seeping back into her. Until there is none left on the floor. She starts breathing, and sits up. I stare at her, disbelieving. She walks toward me, and hugs me.

“Trust me.” she mutters. I just stand there, frozen.
“I’ll always trust you.” She hugs me, and I drop the bat to wrap my arms around her. She breaks away and crosses the room, picks up my hunting knife, and walks back to me. I look at her in confusion. That’s when I see an expression of malevolence cross her face, and her hand go up. Instinctively, I hit the deck, and before I can get back up, she is preparing another blow. Then I watch as her blonde hair turns a dark brown, and her face turns into that of a man.

I hurl myself toward the stairs, and just manage to throw myself down them as he hurls the knife in my direction; and misses dramatically. “Weakness: Knife throwing.” I note. I diverge from the house, and run up the driveway and make as many untrackable, sharp turns as I can. I wonder what I did to exacerbate him, and then I remember my sister’s warning.

“When you delete it, about two million, five hundred eighty-four people will want to kill you.” This is just one, one of two million. Then I remember my realization; she wants me to get inside the computer. How am I supposed to get inside a computer? What do I do? What is waiting for me? When do I get to go home? I turn a corner, and in the midst of my thought, nearly ram into a tall, angry-looking woman. I watch as five others step out from bushes, shadows, everything. To make matters worse, the knife-man joins them too, and before I can run, I become entrapped in a circle of people who above all, want to kill me.

They all stare at me for a moment, knowing they can easily beat me. They’re just letting my consternation grow. But while my anxiety grows, so does a little seed of an idea in the back of my brain. I am clever, and my ingenuity has gotten me out of a lot of situations, specifically when I was circled just like this, in school. I remember what I did then, and decided it was worth a try. I let an intense scream escape from my lungs, and I leap forward at one of them. As I hope, she ducks. I manage to adjust my position so I land on my stomach, rather than my head. With no more time to lose, I struggle to jump to my feet, but one of “them” grabs my leg and pulls me backwards. I manage to kick her hand at an angle that forces it to slide off of my leg, but the others are still diving at me. I notice they all have weapons of some sort. But why aren’t they using them if they want to kill me? I scramble up, and take note of my surroundings. Running seems pointless, I can’t imagine I could outrun them. But maybe I could outclimb them!

I am not far from my front yard, where my favorite climbing tree is. I should probably have a plan, but planning is difficult when you have people trying to grab and restrain you. So, I just make a run for it. I am jumping up the tree by the time they crowd around the trunk. One starts climbing up, and I make the least rational decision thinkable.

“Stop!” I yell. She looks at me, and stops climbing. More from confusion than my command probably. “What do you want from me? If you tell me, maybe I could just give it to you.” Am I really trying to negotiate with these murderous death women?

To my surprise, I get a reply that isn’t an attempt to kidnap me.
“Your memory.”
“Um... could you explain?”
“Your memory of the code. You saw it, so you remember it.”
“I can’t remember all of that!” I protest.
“We can make you remember.” She says. As terrifying as this situation is, I’m not getting anywhere with fighting. I don’t think I have another choice.
“Where are we going?” I ask.
“Ever crossed dimensions before?”