For whatever reason, I’ve done another very short sci-fi story…


Dr Ali’s Cure


Gradually people have been converging on a very nice world.

It has lovely light architecture, nothing like the girders-and-concrete buffoonery of the real. Structures meant to glide or float do just that in this new place, or nearly do it. You’d really love it. The materials are light but very strong. I don’t know what they are. I don’t think they’re been invented in the real.

I know my body’s dying. Believe me, I know the score. I’ve made my peace with it. It’s not so much of a price to pay when you understand.

But you know by this letter that I do still return to the body sometimes. Why are you never here when I do? You never leave a note. The electricity is gone so I presume e-mail and texting are gone now too. So if you’ve left me anything on them I didn’t get them.

Please will you leave me some kind of message for next time? There might not be too many more times before I’m gone for good.

I’m finding it hard to write this. Sorry if it’s tough to make out. This body smells. The skin has sores and is cracking. I’m so weak and trembly. The body seems to be beyond hunger, but it’s very sick. There’s a horrible feeling in my gut. A feeling I can only call evil. It’s the only word for it. It gives me such dread to be in this body, I’ve got to escape back. I’ve got to. I can’t wait for you to walk in the door.

How many of you are left out there? I can’t tell what might be happening in the world. Rain is pounding on the glass. The cloud is so low outside that everything’s a murk. Why do you stick with this when you have a choice? Blessed Ali has given you a choice, if you would just take it.

I think you enjoy your moral superiority. You’re welcome to it. You know, I understand that it’s all wrong, what’s happened, how we’ve thrown the world back in the face of whatever creator there might be. But there you go. No point in fighting against it. The human race has made its choice.

And you’ve made your different choice. You know what that means? You’re not saving the species, you’re leaving it.

I miss you. One more time, please try Dr Ali’s Cure. Try it. There’s a vial in the fridge. It doesn’t matter that the fridge is warm. It doesn’t need to be kept cold. It doesn’t taste bad. It’s easy on the stomach. You don’t know what you’re denying yourself until you try it.

There’s enough there for five or six trips. After that you’ll have learned to make trips without the drug. You won’t be able to control which worlds you drift to at first, but the people you meet there will help.

The people will look odd, but you’ll be able to tell which ones are drifted people and which are locals. Don’t talk to locals. In some worlds they know what’s going on and they don’t like it. Don’t do Dr Ali’s circle-on-the-forehead. Locals sometimes know the gesture.

But you’ll soon know how to control where you trip to. It’s easy. Then you’ll feel where I am. You’ll join me here. It’s a beautiful place. The leaves on the trees are magenta in summer. Gravity is lighter. There’s no sun, just a bluish band across the sky that fades for night time. It rains every afternoon. The food is completely different. A different universe of tastes. Tastes that don’t exist in the real.

“Infinite heavens, not just seven” is really true.

Believe in Dr Ali. Take the cure and see for yourself.

Escape to me.