a little latitude
(originally posted 10/15/2019)
“Finally. A challenge.”
Not said out loud, not in any fashion we could hear anyway, but thought with great exuberance by a being beyond our understanding and typically portrayed in TV and film as anything from a cartoon to a giant blue Will Smith. Obviously if this entity is beyond our understanding it makes it hard to describe but let’s just say it’s a Pan Dimensional being that moves through time far differently than we do and has technology at its fingertips that we can’t even dream about.
Although we try.
At least I do.
To amuse itself it grants us wishes. The vast majority of which require nothing more than zipping back in time a few thousand years, manipulating some DNA here and there or perhaps the banking system before creating yet another reality in a multiverse that is already choked with possible outcomes.
Child’s play really, if you’re this Pan Dimensional being.
But every now and then a wish comes down the pike that the aforementioned finds interesting. As I aforementioned, because said entity does not experience time as we do, it appears to anyone getting a wish granted that it only takes a second, a snap of the fingers or blink of an eye, for the wish to happen. What they don’t realize is that once they have stated their wish time as they know it stops and this ‘genie’ then has to get to work on figuring how to grant the wish. This could take hundreds of ‘years’, as we experience them anyway, as the ‘afreet’ has to engineer an outcome that will meet the lofty expectations of the wisher.
Making people rich or famous is so easy and mundane that this Pan Dimensional being has often thought about taking that option completely off the table. Same with physical beauty or athletic prowess. It just doesn’t get its toes to tapping… if it had any. I realize I muddied those particular waters earlier by referencing fingertips that it actually doesn’t possess but I trust you’ll forgive me when this is all said and done.
Anway, every now and then a wish comes along that has the ‘jinni’ working a bit of overtime. A wish that will also have your mind putting in a little extra effort if you dare try and picture it (Dare! Dare!).
Here it is… Celeste from Akron, Ohio asked for the following; a world where things were different at the equator. On one side of the line it was twelve hours different from the other. If it was noon south of the equator it would be midnight on the northern side.
The Pan Dimensional being got a chubby at this idea and Celeste wasn’t even done with the wish.
On top of that, if it were summer south of the line it would winter on the northern side.
The Pan Dimensional being got dizzy at the very thought of the physics involved in this wish. Even with all the resources at its disposal it would be millennia before it could figure out how to grant this one. Obviously E can forget all about equaling mc2. It allowed itself to imagine the finished product. Standing there, a full-blown night sky to his left while the sun sat high in the sky on his right. Feeling the heat to its left and the chill to his right. Watching a cloud drift through the mid-day sky and then slide over to darkness. Eclipses… holy shit. Its head would have swam had it had one.
Throwing out all the science surrounding hemispheres and time lines and starting again. Latitudes and longitudes tossed to the wayside. Gravity be damned!
The most difficult wish ever asked for and maybe the most spectacular. Completely selfless on the face of it, the PD entity broke one of the cardinal wish-granting rules and felt compelled to ask Celeste why she’d wished for this.
“Because” she replied, “I once asked someone I cared about to try and imagine it and they wouldn’t.”
The powerful-beyond-measure being wanted so badly to ask another question, just a quick “Why?!”, but it had already broken one cardinal rule and it didn’t want to push its luck. It went to work.
A second later Celeste was standing on the equator she’d always wanted to stand on.
Now it’s up to you to picture it. A sky split in half between light and dark. Details matter, especially at sunrise/sunset and during storms.
And then come up with a “Why?!” that works for you. I’m asking a lot, I know, but keep in mind I’ll give you a little latitude.
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