Rage (Chapter 5) “Hapa Girl DNA” by M. Talmage Moorehead

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The moon’s size and distance were selected so that its silhouette would precisely cover the sun during an eclipse.

Some call it blind luck. But what are the odds?

If the duck billed platypus were known only as a drawing in Egypt…

Could science tolerate more than a “myth” about a mammal who laid eggs, offered milk but no nipples to her hatchlings, hunted under water with eyes and ears closed using electroreception unknown to other mammals, stabbing her victims with poisonous spikes on her hind legs, then grinding her food with rocks in a toothless duck bill only to swallow it into a GI tract with no stomach?

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These uncomfortable facts caused the skeptical elite of yesterday to insist that she was a hoax.

Just as we assume the bird-man of ancient Egypt was religious fiction.

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But what if we are wrong?

The inconvenient truth about the platypus is that she screams of intelligent design. Not only of the original coding of a supreme mind but also of genetic tampering.

When new research pulls back the curtains on this duckish mosaic with in-tact blocks of DNA spliced from diverse species – who will hold the robes of the outraged thought police as they stone the young heretics, boycott the journal that published their work and fire its editor?

I refuse.

Rage, like denial, is a decision, but only if free will exists. Otherwise the Queen of Hearts was temperate in shouting, “Off with their heads!”

It’s fifteen feet down to the street. Not much traffic. My lips are sticky with brine.

When that man below us kicked my brother to the ground I wanted blood, but now the words that Nietzsche hated come to mind:

“Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”

The Nazarene.

A certain Buddhist Priest also haunts me:

A

nymph

in pale feet

rides the opera

to a spiral staircase.

Lightning hair, dark voices

strike within her yielding gall.

Silk jinn brass restrains the lip strings

 beneath her tears that fall and glare inside

a secret box.

My girl of Utsuro-bune.

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Ojiichan wrote this at a recital where I sang “Un bel di vedremo.” My father translated it from the Japanese. That was three days before the accident on the Pali. Forget that now.

In the legend of Utsuro-bune, a red-headed woman landed in Japan in 1803 inside a “boat” that resembled a rice cooker with windows and strange writing on the walls inside. She spoke no Japanese, clutched a wooden box, and as the story’s living soul, she showed respect to the Japanese fishermen.

This is why her legend survives.

In this opaque neo-infinity, science is forever young and speculative. To forget this would be disrespectful and short-sighted.

“Remote viewing of long-term goals” would be a dissertation worth defending.

But ruling elites say the average human chooses short-term pleasure over long-term riches. Thus we need laws against natural selection. A childproof world.

Complex problems rarely have such simple solutions. Here’s the picture of that principle…

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Dr. Seung’s crowd-sourcing of neuroscience recruits us to map the soul. With our help, every microscopic neuronal connection will be recorded in three dimensions, someday re-created and reanimated.

The handshake of science and religion has always been immortality.

And we thought the ancient Egyptians were primitive with their mummies, that silly religious talk and all the “incidental” preservation of royal DNA.

Who looks silly today?

So if natural selection brings genetic wisdom, why hamper it with childproof laws? Do the secular elites know something they’re not telling?

Plenty.

Perhaps a hand full of them have even noticed that logic requires a Prime Source of our genetic commands, a foundation for trust, and access beyond space to allow a fleeting choice of love over hate.

This choice comes to me now…

To spare this guy who’s kicking my brother, or to fight him.

The way I’m feeling, I would crush him easily.

That’s not logical, I’ll admit. Strange things happen to me when I get angry.

I fought Moody and thought I had defeated an enemy. Instead, I murdered James’ closest childhood friend and lost my innocence on a kitchen floor covered with my own blood.

The carpet is damp beneath me. I’m shivering and sweating. It’s a fever.

Vedanshi shifts and sits on her heels again. “If they recognize your face, the old woman will wonder how you got here from Washington. You need a disguise.” She reaches into the deck and pulls out a bra, then a dangling sock which she hands to me. “You should put this over your head, I think.”

I put it on quickly. It smashes my nose but I can see through it.

“If the man has a gun, The Ganga can disable it,” she says. “Theoretically, I mean… We’ve never actually done it.”

Maxwell rises to one knee and encounters a UFO’s ceiling with his head. “I got your six.”

“No,” I tell him. “Better if you stay here. You’ll scare the guy.”

“So you’re not going to hurt him?” he asks.

“Not if I don’t have to.”

“Good,” Vedanshi says. “There’s a break in the traffic. Scoot under a car so no one sees any decloaking.”

The Ganga dips to street level. I crawl out of its cloak and roll under the car that’s parallel parked behind the Prius. I reach out to see if my hand disappears. It doesn’t so I scoot out into the street, stand and move between the cop and my brother.

The man steps back and pulls a gun clumsily. “What’s with the mask?” There’s a wedding band on his left ring finger and cowboy boots below a sagging uniform that fits a larger man.

“Tell me why she’s cursing the dumb Haole in the cop suit,” I say.

His jaw falls.

I glance behind at my brother. “Did she say to break his knees?”

“She sent you?” he asks.

I nod, fold my arms then shake my head at him. “No one can reason with her when she gets like this. You’re a family man, so I’ll try to get you off the island before she snaps. No reason you should die.” I look at his boots. “What is it, Texas?”

“I’m from…”

“Shut up. Let me think.”

He purses his lips.

I stare at him for a moment. “Here’s your plan. Fly home, get your family and disappear. That’s your best chance.”

His eyes open white all around. “She’s that mad?”

“I haven’t seen her like this before. I’ll take the kid. You need to vanish.”

“How was I supposed to know he’d go straight to the cops?”

“You’re right. There’s no way anyone could have predicted that. But listen, whining won’t help you.” I reach up and fasten a button on his uniform.

His shoulders slump and he tucks his gun away.

“I’m sorry,” I say. “Maybe there’s something good I can tell her about you. Got anything?”

He stutters.

I tap his chest with my fingers and hold a palm up. “Cuffs?”

He takes a key from his pocket, gives it to me, then ducks into the driver’s seat of the Prius. “Tell her thank you. My son’s showing signs of empathy.” Tears well up in his eyes.

“Empathy’s good. I’ll give her your message word-for-word. Is your boy getting the I.M. injections?”

“No, I.V. Some DNA thing. I never get it right… Menthol Asian?”

“DNA demethylation,” I suggest.

“Yeah, that’s it.” He squints up trying to find my eyes. “Look, tell her she’s welcome to kill me. Tell her I’ll do it myself, in fact… If she’ll just please, please keep treating my son. That’s all I want.”

“Hey, don’t think like that. It only makes things worse. For the rest of your son’s life.” I can’t believe I wanted to hurt this poor guy. “Give me your phone number.”

He reads a number off the back of his cell phone.

“Go home,” I tell him. “Get packed. Get ready to run, but wait for my call. I will call you. Whether I can cool her down or not.”

“Thank you so much.” He reaches out, squeezes my wrist, pushes a button on the car’s dashboard, then rolls a few feet away before the gas engine comes to life and takes him out into the morning traffic.

I turn to James. “Cameras are watching. You don’t know me.”

He chuckles. “You look like a bank robber.”

He seems stable on his feet. “Can you walk?” I ask him.

“Sure. The guy kicks like a girl.”

“Why does that dumb remark make me want to hug you?” I move behind him and push him along the sidewalk ahead of me. We walk south for about forty seconds, then take a left into an alley and come out behind the buildings into a parking lot that looks big enough for The Ganga. Ojiichan’s Ford sits behind the police station two buildings to the left. I take the cuffs off James and try to say that we’re about to meet an invisible thinking machine, but he’s not listening.

“You were going to drown yourself,” he says. “I got that feeling back. Where you basically don’t want to be alive.”

“I’m sorry, but you don’t have my permission to kill yourself. You’ve got to put Skullcage on the map and carry on the Fujiwara name.”

“Yeah, I know. I really do know. But it’s just that sometimes…” he looks down, “I really don’t care.”

I gently slap his face. “I don’t want to hear the demons right now.”

He’s a little startled but doesn’t say anything.

“Maxwell and a girl named Vedanshi fished me out of the ocean. They don’t know about my leukemia.”

“There’s got to be some kind of treatment for that,” James says.

“There’s not,” I tell him.

His face is so lost. But only for a moment. Suddenly he’s himself again.

“What just happened there?” I ask him. “In you head.”

He looks up and to his left. “I don’t know.”

“Whatever you just did, it’s the secret to a good life. Try to remember it.”

I tug on his left arm and get him to crouch next to me out of camera’s view beside a parked car. We get flat on our stomachs, just to be sure. Vedanshi’s face appears inches off the ground in the parking space beside us. Her head is detached and floating upside-down with her hair on the asphalt.

“Coast is clear,” she says and vanishes, chin first, hair last.

“That’s Vedanshi,” I say.

“OK, that just happened. We both saw it.” He goes into a dense calm and then comes out of it rubbing his eyes. “She’s hot, isn’t she?”

“Yeah. And she’s inside an invisible machine. We’re going to crawl into it now. Parts of your body will disappear on the way in. No big deal, right?”

“Disappear? Nah… really?”

“Don’t freak out on me. Just go. And don’t stand up for the cameras.”

I push him. He moves forward and disappears as if crawling through invisible UFO hulls was routine to him. Complete confidence. That’s James 24/7. Unless he happens to call you late at night from jail. I follow after him and take my place by Vedanshi. James sits on the other side of Maxwell.

“Tight,” James says looking around at the acorn patterns on the Indian rug. He reaches in front of Maxwell and me to shake Vedanshi’s hand. “I’m James. It’s beyond amazing to meet you. You’re absolutely gorgeous, you know.”

“Thank you.” She blushes and shakes his hand. “I’m Vedanshi, the Roll of the Sacred Knowledge.”

“The roll of… That’s the meaning of Vedanshi?”

“Yes.”

“That’s got to be the most beautiful thing I’ve ever heard in my life.” James glances at me then thumps Maxwell on the back with an open palm. “Thank you, dude. You look just like your Facebook pictures.” He looks at Vedanshi again. “Thank you both for getting Johanna here to save my ass. I owe you guys… my life, probably. That was one unhappy cop.” James looks at me. “How’d you do that?”

“I don’t know, it’s the first time I’ve done anything that deceitful. I feel like I need to wash my mouth out and take a shower.” I peel the sock off my face, pull it up and off my head, then look at Vedanshi. “What do you make of that DNA demethylation? Could you hear him at all?”

“Every word – in the river,” she says. “The old woman likes to mull over the language of a virus that causes Autism. It methylates DNA. Epigenetics, you could say.” The Ganga rises ten feet with no tells on Vedanshi’s face. “Would all of you like to stay at my place tonight? It’s not really mine, but… Well, it sort of is now.” She smiles but her eyes are distant.

“Definitely,” James says.

Maxwell nods and I say I’ll do anything that doesn’t involve the old woman. But actually I’m worried about the guy I sent home. And his autistic son. What have I done? I should probably call the lady and fix this.

“I don’t guess we can do a noodle run in this thing,” James says. “I’m starving.”

“I’ve got veggies in the garden,” Vedanshi says. “Things are growing.” She notices the bra on the rug beside her legs and sneaks it through the deck beyond the edge of the carpet. “James,” she says with a glint, “lean forward as far as you can and look down.”

“Don’t do it,” I tell him.

He leans forward and as the parking lot shrinks out of sight and the Hawaiian Islands zip down to dots in the Pacific Ocean, he calmly says, “Jeepers, Mrs. Cleaver.”

I shake my head.

“You were supposed to be startled and impressed,” Vedanshi says.

“I am.” He draws a deep breath and lets it out with a whisper, “God, I hope this isn’t a dream.”

“It’s not,” Maxwell says, as South America rushes toward us and an island off the coast of Chile and Peru comes closer.

 

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“Rapa Nui,” I say as the island’s triangular shape evolves beneath a flock of small cumulus clouds.

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I know Vedanshi is not Mahani Teave, but why is she taking us to Easter Island?

We descend and the ancient Moai give us palpable respect as though they’d been waiting eons to greet us.

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The southern end of the island comes close, but we move past it, beyond the two tiny rock islands and into the crystal water. With the hull cloaked we’re gliding forward under the ocean in a saucer-shaped bubble. Visibility is sixty-five feet plus.

“Vedanshi,” James says, “I’m sixteen. How old are you?”

“Sixteen,” she says, “not counting quantum stasis.”

James grins at Maxwell, “If this is a dream, buddy, I’m going to be pissed at you.”

They both laugh as we head straight at a rock wall without slowing down.

 

 

 


River of Consciousness (Chapter 4) “Hapa Girl DNA”

I’m shivering inside a UFO.

The ceiling slopes down like a Chinese rice hat to the floor. A red band encircles the room where the ceiling meets the deck. The three of us look awkward – Maxwell, me and the girl who could almost be Mahani Teave.

I missed her name when she said it.

I see codes of consciousness when I blink. Ones and zeros.

I know them as doubly-even self-dual linear binary error-correcting block codes.

They were discovered by a theoretical physicist: S. James Gates, Jr., Ph.D.

S. JAMES GATES JR.

This is my favorite picture of him: The founding father and pilgrim of string theory’s DNA. History will place him beside Einstein if rational minds prevail.

Biological DNA also has error correction: A higher mind showing cells how to build nanotech machines to fix DNA screwups. Things like replication errors and the mutations we worshiped in undergrad bio.

But the “illusion of consciousness” is the delusion of flatlanders. Conscious awareness is central to digital physics and independently real.

We are not alone.

We’re side by side on a soft Indian rug. The girl’s legs are crossed yoga style now with the tops of her toes flat against the opposite thighs.

“I didn’t hear your name,” I confess to her.

“I am Vedanshi,” she says, beaming. “The Role of the Sacred Knowledge.” Her expression reminds me of Luciano Pavarotti after an aria.

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I was twelve when God’s angel died. I will always love him.

Maxwell’s face is blank. He risked everything for me.

“You both saved my life,” I tell them and lean against Maxwell’s wet shoulder. “Thank you.”

Even if leukemia has its way now.

“Cloaking,” Vedanshi whispers, and the red band fades from around us, the walls vanish, and we’re floating on a rug twenty feet above the ocean.

I see my boots on the jetty next to Maxwell’s jacket. I should feel the sea air, but I don’t. The ocean butts the jetty and climbs its rough boulders, but I can’t hear it.

“I need a mirror,” Maxwell mumbles.

“No you don’t. You look marvelous.” I fake an Italian accent, “Shake your hair, darling… such as it is.”

His eyebrows may have moved. I’m not sure.

“Don’t panic,” I tell him. “All your great pianists fly UFO’s.”

Vedanshi grins and the sun breaks. An orange bead on a hilltop.

Maxwell’s vacant eyes find me. He says nothing.

“I heard the phone call,” Vedanshi says. “I know what the old woman is doing.”

“Purchasing my soul?” I suggest.

Vedanshi nods. “Let’s get your things.”

The Jetty is beneath us but I didn’t feel us move. My boots are inches from my feet. I lean forward and reach but my knuckles hit an invisible deck.

“Sorry,” Vedanshi says crinkling her nose. “Try again.”

I reach down and pick up Ojiichan’s chopsticks, grab my boots, then get Maxwell’s jacket and lay it in midair beside his wet legs that stick out past the edge of the carpet and rest on nothing. A little reluctantly, I snag his ugly climbing shoes, bring them in and smell the rubber.

He watches from a trance.

“Snap out of it,” I tell him. “You seem shroomed.”

“It’s a psychotic break,” he mumbles.

“You haven’t turned idiot,” Vedanshi assures him. “There’s a small mirror I can loan you, but I want it back.” She reaches into the side pocket of the purple robe she gave me, pulls out a square purse, opens it and extracts a round mirror the size of a silver dollar. On the back is an engraving of a woman’s face. Lazar quality. She’s wearing a crown and triangular earrings that float beside her earlobes.

Vivid dreamers know how mirror images lag in dreamland. Maxwell is probably a gifted dreamer and wants to test the reality of this place. I can’t blame him. It’s weird.

In the past I’ve tested with mirrors, but I’ve found they’re harder to track down than bathrooms – in dreams, I mean.

Rule of thumb: If there’s a mirror, you’re not dreaming. You’re totally sitting in a classroom naked.

“We should leave,” Vedanshi says. “She’s coming. I don’t want her to discover me.”

With the sun up, Vedanshi’s white blouse is orange and short. It leaves an inch of skin above tiny-waisted harem pants. She either works out or never eats… or has issues with her thyroid.

“You two may want to close your eyes,” she says as the Jetty drops and the mouth of the Columbia River shrinks into a falling coastline.

The horizon rounds down and the Earth becomes smooth and blue to white on the sun’s side.

There was no lurch of engines, no whiplash, not even a hiss of wind.

I glance at the sun and get dots following my eyes. Canada is endless. The overhead is black and radiant with stars. The swath of glowing velvet is an edge-on look across a spiral galaxy.

This is the “near space” I’ve read about, but it feels nearer to Heaven. I’m overcome with affection for our magnificent little round home. She’s cute, miraculously great but humble. Wise and still innocent.

This is warmth I’d never imagined.

I grip it the way James’ therapist says – holding bliss in a 30-second headlock to myelinate the neurons of joy.

Listen now. Happiness is a skill, like training your fingers to do three-against-four on Chopin’s Fantasy Impromptu in C# minor. Or figuring out how to sing with vibrato as a child, then spending the rest of your life trying to forget.

Craning at the most numerous Seven Sisters in captivity, I lose my balance and grab the front of the carpet to avoid Revelation’s fall from Heaven to Earth.

M45, the Pleiades Cluster (92mm 5DII)

“My ship believes she’s twelve thousand years old,” Vedanshi says. “Her name is The Ganga.” Vedanshi looks at the rug and seems to talk to it. “Anyone can speculate about axial precession.”

Maxwell touches the mirror’s edges only, holding them with thumb and finger. He seems dissociative the way he’s checked out.

“So you’re from Earth?” I ask Vedanshi.

“Of course.”

“Well, you never know. You crashed the party in a UFO.”

“Yes,” she says, but shakes her head, no. “I’ve seen UFO’s on your internet but I don’t know if they’re real. We didn’t have them in my day, and I was never old enough for the talk.” She taps her knees to put quotation marks around, “the talk.”

“What’s ‘the talk’?”

Her brow furrows at Maxwell spinning her mirror, but she lets it go. “In my day, when you turned 18 you got ‘the talk’ from your parents. It was about free will – or so they said. But I could tell there was more. When I was in pyramid triage for the river – a test to identify pilots – I made friends with a girl whose big sister got ‘the talk’ and then started whispering to shooting stars. She wasn’t loopy before that, supposedly.”

Below us to the south, bright sheets of white flash over Mexico and red sprites blink over the clouds.

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“What would make anyone whisper to a meteor?” I ask.

“Aliens?” Vedanshi shrugs. “We heard strange voices in the river before the asteroids hit. I still wonder if they were real – you know – literal words that The Ganga somehow couldn’t interpret. It’s doubtful. Her linguistics are advanced. But why would anyone subvocalize nonsense in the river?”

 Glossolalia, I don’t know. I look at Maxwell. “This is no ordinary UFO!”

No response.

Vedanshi nods solemnly. “The Ganga taught me English – which didn’t exist for us four months ago.”

Maxwell is mouth breathing. That’s the last straw. I lean over and kiss the side of his face. It’s salty. “Buck up, soldier. You’re making me worry.”

“Sorry,” he says and shakes the cobwebs.

That was the first time I’ve kissed a guy. True, I was raped once, but no kissing. I was eleven.

“You’re from Earth,” I remind Vedanshi. “So where did you get this thinking machine?”

“They did it on purpose,” she says, then draws an expansive breath. “I should back up. The very oldest ships had accidents. Their non-locality buffers got out of sync with the gravity lifts sometimes. So for an instant you had movement during the nonlocal swap.”

I nod.

Maxwell leans back on his hands. “You lost me.”

“Anything using quantum non-locality has to be nailed down,” she says. “So it’s motionless to the buffers. But the primitive ships shifted structurally – at nearly the speed of light if it happened with the horizons burning.” She searches Maxwell’s face. “Nonlocal point swapping horizons?”

He squints. “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

“High subluminal velocities turn nanoseconds into thousands of years,” she explains.

“It’s special relativity’s version of stasis,” I tell him. “Slows your clock.”

Maxwell smirks.

“You’re never heard from again,” Vedanshi says. “Unless you’re lucky enough to wind up in this post-cataclysmic dystopia.” She looks down at the Earth with a half-smile. “The old woman came from the first part of my era, I think. I finally saw her vehicle. It’s phallic, which is retro. And it has to be early because every thought gets out.”

“Every thought? What do you mean?” I ask.

“The river?” Vedanshi asks me back.

Maxwell and I shake our heads. I hate to admit when I’m lost.

“The fundamental unit of reality is consciousness,” she says, “not matter, energy or space. They’re derivative. Pilots use the river of consciousness to communicate with ships and other pilots. I don’t know why we call it a river, it’s more like a sea, or the pixels of an infinite hologram.”

“Now that I can understand,” I tell her.

“In the earliest vessels privacy filters didn’t exist. The old woman’s ship must be dangerously ancient because I hear every word she thinks. I’ve even seen a few cortical images from her occipital lobes.”

I feel my heart racing. This is the mother lode everyone dreams of. I wish I had longer to live.

“A few months ago,” Vedanshi says, “I heard the woman thinking about a young geneticist who manipulates terabytes of base-pair language in her head with no implants. Totally impossible. My mother’s best women with cortical enhancements couldn’t hold a ten-thousandth of that in working memory, let alone juggle it. So I had to meet you, Johanna. Because, as you say, you never know.” She puts her hands together yoga style and bows her head like Ojiichan did in his Temple. “This morning I heard the woman threatening to kidnap your brother. Then you went off to drown yourself. I sort of panicked trying to find you.”

“So… you can hear phone calls?” Maxwell asks.

“The woman was inside her ship,” Vedanshi says.

“Yeah, she was in her ship, Max. Keep up.” I scowl warmly.

He gives me a hint of a grin.

“You have to master the river of consciousness before you pilot,” Vedanshi says. “Pilots are born with an extra gyrus on their parietal lobes, but the phenotype is no guarantee you’ll make it.”

Einstein had a parietal lobe anomaly. Suddenly I want an MRI.

“You said 2015 is a post-cataclysmic dystopia,” Maxwell says.

Vedanshi nods. “We’re probably six to twelve thousand years into it. There are four in recorded history.” She pats the rug beside her.

“The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse,” I hear myself saying, and the verses open in my mind.

“Your unique feature is the loss of ancient records,” Vedanshi says. “From what I’ve read, your scholars get things backwards. The Grand Canyon took millions of years and the pyramids took twenty. I don’t see how anyone with eyes could believe that.”

“What ended your era, a comet? A flood?”

“A series of asteroids,” Vedanshi says. “The small stragglers landed near Madagascar and left beautiful deposits.”

The Earth rotates beneath us. Africa comes around with Madagascar to the east.

“This is the best one,” she says, pointing down. “See the feathers? It’s like a bird’s wing.”

MadChevrons 2

I’ve seen these before. To me it’s like someone dumped soapy water in the dirt. This one’s several miles long.

“Geologists say these were made by the wind,” I tell her.

“Not true.”

“What, then?”

“This is a piece of the Earth that broke free when one of the smaller asteroids hit. I saw it happen. It flew through the air at thousands of miles an hour. It came from the seabed over there.” She points east to a spot in the Indian Ocean where I’ve read there’s a crater. “This piece flew out at a low angle, glowing like lava with a tail of smoke and steam. The trees exploded when it hit. It was fluid, colloidal, and flowed into this nice winglike shape. A small tsunami crept up a bit later but couldn’t wash it away. Unlike the previous day’s waves that razed everything.”

“The asteroids didn’t hit in one day?” I ask.

“No. The big ones came on the first day. A few smaller ones hit that night, and the tiny one that did this artwork touched down at sunrise. It might have been the last one, but…”

“So… Wait now. Are you saying the bigger asteroids made tsunamis that washed away their own impact deposits?”

“Yes, on day one. But I don’t think you’d call them tsunamis. They weren’t like Japan’s waves on the internet.”

“What was different?”

“They were huge. They moved like life forms – boiling over the continents without slowing down. Each one would start as part of an impact explosion and spread out in a circle with the circumference increasing until it matched the circumference of the Earth. Then it moved on around and the circumference shrank, keeping its power about the same until it narrowed down to a point and crashed into itself on the opposite side of the Earth. There was lightning and the loudest thunder. Water and debris shot up miles into the air. The big ones smoothed out everything in their paths, including their own ejection deposits. Later when things settled down and the small asteroids began to land, their water action looked more like Japan’s tsunamis. They were too weak to clear their deposits for the most part.” She looks down at the ground. “But if you really look, you can see shadows where some of them were washed away, too. Over there.” She points inland. “It’s like a stain.”

The Ganga moves closer.

chevron tilt

I kind of see what she’s talking about in the distance. But the wing chevron is impressive down here.

“Max, I’ve read that it’s six hundred feet thick at the edges.” I point to the wingtip.

“Looks pretty flat.” He tilts his head to look down my arm, and I point again. His buzz cut brushes my temple. His collar is wet.

“Take off that shirt and put your coat on,” I tell him.

He grunts.

The Ganga moves lower, as if to show us the height of the wingtips. Maxwell whistles when we come down over the lip and really see one of these things edge-on.

Ancient Mysteries

He’s twenty-five. When we first met a few months ago he introduced himself as an aging surfer. So he’s probably not cold at all in his wet clothes. The bum.

I jab at him with an elbow.

He ignores it.

A cell phone starts a weak rendition of “Surfer Girl” and Maxwell digs it out of his coat, sees the number, then hands it to me. “It’s James,” he says.

I put it on speaker by habit. “James, are you alright?”

“That guy I rammed was a cop. I don’t know where they’re planning to take me, but he’s filling out a bunch of paperwork and sounds extremely pissed off. He’s got handcuffs. I hate those things.”

“Where are you?”

“He’s taking… He took my phone.” The connection goes dead.

I look at Vedanshi. “A cop in a Prius? I doubt it.”

She takes Maxwell’s phone, places it on the rug in front of her. The Earth drops like a lead ball from a bomb bay. We streak through white haze and across a blur of blue ocean. A glimpse of land flashes by and our impossible speed turns to a dead stop without making us even bob our heads. We’re fifteen feet off the ground in front of a police station in Honolulu.

James stumbles out with his hands cuffed back and the Haole pseudo-cop shoving him. The man kicks James’ legs and knocks him off the curve to the ground.

“Let me out,” I tell Vedanshi. “I’m going to hurt that man.” I feel the cold DNA of my ancestor, Shinmen Musashi-no-Kami Fujiwara no Genshin, the greatest and by far the deadliest samurai who ever walked the Earth.

I was eleven when I strangled a male adolescent chimpanzee with my bare hands. It’s the same feeling now.

M. Talmage Moorehead

Caution: Impulse item…

Click here to get the astonishingly half-decent e-book: Writing Meaningful Page-Turners

The catch is, the thing costs you nothing beyond an email address and a name you can fake, so subconsciously you’ll feel like it’s worthless and never read it. That’s a waste of time. On the other hand, my twisted opinions might be useful and inspiring. Who knows? Click here impulsively, it’s free and I spent months writing it for you. :)

By the way, this was chapter 4 of my in-progress novel, Hapa Girl DNA. Sorry – you knew that. But if you want to see page 1, it starts here. Even the boring prologue got sympathy likes. Which I totally appreciate! Bloggers are generous people. I’d say we have big hearts but that’s cardiomegaly.


Buoyancy (Chapter 3) “Hapa Girl DNA” by M. Talmage Moorehead

I’m standing on the spine of the South Jetty as the tide goes out. I’m far enough from the shore that I won’t be able to swim in if I have second thoughts about suicide.

To the west the ocean horizon is cloudless but vague in the pre-dawn twilight. To the south the beach stretches on forever and the inland hills merge with a blue-gray hydrocarbon haze. The waves below are immature things that belch up abruptly from the black depths and spit white foam across the dark volcanic boulders that form the steep sides of the jetty.

I keep starting to write in my buoyancy journal. In my head, of course. Everything’s there. Every word I’ve ever read or written, the reams of base-pair sequences from work, and every detail of every day I’ve breathed air since I was 23 months old.

When things get me down I make a list of the reasons why they shouldn’t.

First off, I shouldn’t feel bad about what I’m doing here because I’m defending James. That’s honorable. Second, I won’t be lying in a hospital bed with tubes in my veins and everyone feeling guilty for not dropping everything and sitting bored stiff with me until I die.

My buoyancy lists are never long, but they’re powerful against depression. I read them slowly, one word at a time, over and over until my subconscious mind, the big math wizard who hardly speaks English, understands. And I feel better. It’s like magic. I want you to try it.

I’m going to leave my boots on, I guess. But I really love these things. They’re size five, extra wide. Hard to find. I better take them off so someone else can use them.

I almost forgot, Ojiichan’s chopsticks are still in my hair. They’re antiques, engraved with the Japanese character for poison – I don’t know why. I pull them out of my hair, take off my boots and then lay the chopsticks sideways across the toes. I hope no one steps on them.

It’s fifteen feet down to the busy water – surging and receding. I’m not afraid of heights, but I’ve always been chicken about jumping off high-dives. It’s the falling. I hate that feeling. Plus I’m a terrible swimmer. My body is too dense. I’m not all that skinny, so it really doesn’t make sense.

OK, just go. Jump in.

My knees are bent. This is it.

I’m holding my breath… Not sure why I’d be doing that. It’s kind of the opposite of why I’m here.

Now I’m over-thinking.

A truck’s coming on Jetty Road. I should do this before it gets here.

Come on, Johanna. Now!

It’s not a truck, it’s a Hummer. No, it can’t be Maxwell.

I told James about him last week. A guy I met at work. A child psychologist who deals exclusively with depressed kids. Once or twice a month Maxwell shows up at work as early as I do and corners me for small talk.

I suck at small talk.

“How ’bout those Seahawks!”

Forget it.

How ’bout Max Planck? Energy only comes in small digital packets: Planck’s constant. If that’s not weird to you – if that doesn’t turn your world upside-down, I’m afraid we’re different.

Earth: Eggheads and Jocks.

Maxwell’s both. So is James in his own way. I’m just an egghead. Though I do push weights and use the treadmill. And I can lift a tall stack of books, let me tell you.

Talmage thinks I do too much telling and not enough showing. Don’t worry, it doesn’t hurt my feelings.

The sky is neuromancer-gray now, light enough to show the color of the Hummer which is Army Green. That means it is him. It’s fricking Maxwell Mason. Doing a hundred miles an hour on that tiny road. His life’s probably in more danger than mine at the moment.

Slow down, Max!

It’s a pretty straight road. No traffic at all since that Harley. Max should be fine.

No, I don’t believe that either.

He’s slowing down a little. This is good. Now he’s skidding through the parking lot. This is bad. Dust everywhere. His front tires bunny hop a log and finally he stops.

Man, this is going to be embarrassing if I don’t even have the nerve to jump. People are going to say I was trying to get attention. I hate it when people say that about girls who try to kill themselves and fail.

Nobody’s going to say that about me.

I jump.

I take a breath on the way down and feel like a hypocrite for it.

For a split second it’s good to hit the water because it stops that lost-viscera feeling of falling. But under the water the world is black and colder than anything I’ve ever felt.

My arms and legs are kicking on their own. I try to stop them but they won’t stop. I try to make myself breath water but my head is pounding with the cold. It’s like a cluster headache or a good poke in the skull with a screwdriver. I can’t think of much else.

My head breaks the surface. The jetty rocks are three feet away and covered with white barnacles and brown mussels that look like dead incisors. I move away from them, not wanting to be a shredded mess at my funeral.

My arms are weakening from the cold. I finally make them stop paddling, and then force my legs to stop flailing.

I sink.

I blow all my air out and prepare to inhale. The salt water will flow into my lungs. Osmosis will do terrible things to my red cells. My coughing and gag reflexes will be overwhelmed.

I want to breathe. The desire is growing with every heartbeat. It’s just that I don’t want to breathe water.

Yes, breathe water.

Something grabs my arm and pulls. I’m on my back looking up at the sky with an arm across my chest. It’s a thick arm with Maxwell’s watch on the wrist. I gasp for air and it fills my lungs with the greatest joy I’ve ever known.

There’s a surface beneath us. It rises and lifts us out of the water. I’m on hands and knees looking over the edge of a round, silent thing that’s exactly the color of the sky and the texture of the stingray I touched at Maui Ocean Center on my ninth birthday. A circular opening appears beside me and a female voice with the vaguest Indian accent says, “Come inside quickly, both of you. I’ve never been so worried in my life.” A human hand reaches out and touches the skin on my left forearm and rubs it briskly. “You must be freezing. Let’s get you warmed up.” I lean over the edge of the opening and look down to see her face. I’m startled. It’s Mahani Teave, the renowned concert pianist of Easter Island.

Mahani Teave

 

My first thought, stupid as this sounds, is to ask for her autograph. I own all Mahani’s CD’s. She’s amazing. I’m a pianist myself.

The pictures on her CD’s flash by and I make comparisons. This girl’s freckles are in the wrong places.

“Who are you?” I ask and start coughing so loud and hard I can’t hear her answer.

For a FREE copy of my new e-book, Writing Meaningful Page-Turners, opt into my email list: Here

The book takes a look at why we are more than entertainers and how lucky we are to be inside the most influential group on Earth.

There’s a section on “filter words” and why we should be aware of them.

There are examples of “showing” versus “telling.”

 

The last chapter talks about how to meet a viewpoint character who will add meaning and fun to your life. I’m talking about Johanna Fujiwara, my Hapa Girl protagonist who I met in the 90’s. If you haven’t met someone in your own story who rocks your world the way she rocks mine, you have a wonderful experience coming! Read my book for free. It’s short and pithy. A decent read.

Click Here for a FREE download of Writing Meaningful Page-Turners.

If you’d like to read my in-progress novel, Hapa Girl DNA from page 1, it’s here.

M. Talmage Moorehead

 


Brittle Beliefs (Chapter 2) “Hapa Girl DNA” by M. Talmage Moorehead

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I’m in the Prius heading for the South Jetty to drown myself.  And calling James.

He answers, “Yeah.”

I clear my voice and try to wake up a few extra neurons with a neurofeedback technique I learned in a lab at Yale. “You need to get in your car and drive to the police station as fast as you can. Someone’s trying to kidnap you.”

“For real?”

“Yes. Go! Right now, while we’re talking.”

“I got to find my keys.”

“Check the floor by the foot of your bed.”

“They won’t be there.”

“Just do it. Hurry.” My peripheral vision is weird now. The trees and signs swish by on the sides of the road and hold my awareness as if they were in the center. It’s odd. They’re in the center of attention as much as anything I’m looking at directly.

“They’re here,” James says. “How do you do that?”

“Luck,” I tell him. “Go out the front door and get in your car. Run!”

I hear his feet on the old wooden floor of Grandfather’s house. We actually called our grandfather, “Ojiichan,” not Grandfather, but it means the same thing. I hear the car door shut. The engine starts.

“Yo,” my brother says. “You still there?”

“Drive straight to the police station. You know the way, don’t you?”

“Take a wild guess.”

“Busted for drinking beer at Starbucks in broad daylight. Yeah, I’m not saying you’re a moron, but now that you mention it… God, I love you, James.”

“Ditto, but don’t get mushy, nobody’s nabbed me yet. I didn’t think they kidnapped teenagers.”

“Keep an eye on the road behind you. Somebody could be following.” I slow down for a pair of crows in the road, pass them and watch them fly away in the rear view mirror. They must have amazing immune systems to eat road kill and not croak.

“Nothing’s back there now,” James says.

“The kidnappers are probably from the Frameshift Corporation. They’re trying to recruit me.”

“Like into the Army?”

“Same idea.” Should I tell him? No. Not while he’s driving. “You shouldn’t drive and talk on a cellphone, you know.”

“Shut up,” he says, “you do the same thing. All the time.”

“I got a hands-free setup. That’s legal. I’m driving right now, in fact. Heading for the South Jetty.” A motorcycle’s coming toward me in the other lane. It passes and I feel the infrasound of an old Harley with a thick back tire and chrome everywhere. I was hoping to try to ride one of those before I died. I wonder if I would be big enough to reach the handlebars.

“Some of us drive Ojiichan’s old Ford, you know. What’s the South Jetty?”

I shouldn’t have brought it up. “Does that thing still smell like the beach?”

“I don’t smell nothing. What’s the South Jetty?”

“Are you taking showers every day?”

“Not really.”

“That’s why you can’t smell the Ford. You smell just like it. Your olfactory buds are habituated to the secretions of a certain staphylococcal bacteria.”

“Watch your language. You get one local boy. What’s da kine Jetty, already?”

He’s just being funny. I’ve got him weaned off Hawaiian Pidgin English. I hope.

“Take a shower every day,” I tell him for the tenth time.

“It’s a waste of time. What’s the…?”

“It’s a long rock wall that juts out into the water between the ocean and the place where the Columbia River dumps in. On the south side. When are you moving in with the Hadano’s? That was supposed to go down three months ago.”

“I don’t know, pretty soon. I told the social worker I’m living there now. I think she talked to them and they told her, yeah, I’ve officially moved in.”

“The Hadano’s are good people. Don’t make them lie… So how close are you to the police station now?”

“Almost there. I’m looking for a place to park… Holy Jesus, I think I got a tail. Like you said.”

“What?”

“There’s this Haole guy in a rental car following me. I think. I’ll find out.”

“What type of car is it?”

“Yeah, he’s tailing me for reals. I just turned into an alley and he’s turning in behind me. It looks like that thing you drive. At least from the pictures you posted.”

“Good. When you get out of the alley, turn right, go about 20 feet and stop. Put it in reverse. You’re going to ram him the second you see him. Aim for his right front tire. You want to mess it up good so it won’t turn anymore when he moves the steering wheel. Then drive away from him as quick as you can.”

“Won’t that screw up my car?”

“No. Ojiichan’s car is a tank compared to a Prius.”

“OK, I’ve got it in reverse. Here goes.”

There’s a crunch.

“I did it. The Ford still runs, no problem. I’m driving away from the dude, no prob.”

“Good man. When you get to the cop station, don’t park, just drive right up to the front, jump out, leave the car in the street and run inside as fast as you can.”

“Do they let you park out front? I don’t want to get a ticket.”

“Use you head! Kidnappers are killers. Do exactly what I tell you for God’s sake!”

“OK. I was just asking.”

There’s quiet on the line now.

Any expression of anger was a sin in our family. It didn’t matter if you were saving someone’s life or destroying the world, anger meant you were evil. Things would get quiet. “Where are you? Talk to me.”

“I’m in front of the cop building. In the middle of the road. Now I’m leaving the car here, like you said.”

The car door slams. The sound brings memories of Ojiichan. He was the first Buddhist Priest on Oahu. After he died I took his alter back to Okinawa and learned that he was famous among the Buddhists there. They called him, “One of The Five.” I don’t speak Japanese and my translator didn’t speak much English, so I wasn’t able to figure out who “The Five” were.

“I’m at the front doors now,” James says. “OK, I’m in.”

“Find a cop. Fast.”

“There’s a lady here, but she don’t look like a cop.”

“Give her the phone.”

“OK.”

I hear him saying something about his sister. The woman says she’s busy and tells him to take a seat. I’m ready to reach through the phone and strangle her.

“She’s too busy,” James says.

“Tell her somebody’s trying to kidnap you.”

He tells her and she gets on the line. “This young man tells me he’s the victim of a kidnapping attempt and you’re his older sister. Is this information correct?”

“Yes.”

I give her my name and the highlights of the morning, trying not to sound like the teenager I still am.

“I see,” she says.

“I need you to protect him,” I say. “Will you do that?”

“Yes, of course. Do you believe the threat is substantial?”

“I know it is. It’s coming from the Frameshift Corporation or one of its competitors.”

A squirrel darts out into the road and I swerve to miss it. I shouldn’t be doing seventy on this narrow thing.

“And how do you know this?” she asks.

“I’m a genetics researcher. The conversation I had with them made it fairly clear.”

The phone reception gets sketchy as I drive into the parking lot near the South Jetty. It’s gravel with logs outlining the perimeter and a dirt slope down to the river beach. I could drive down there and get stuck, but I’ll park and walk.

“When did this conversation take place?” the woman asks.

“About ten minutes ago. Ma’am, my phone’s dropping out. I need to talk to James before I lose this connection. Could you put him back on for a minute?”

“Certainly.”

James comes back. “Hey.”

“Listen, I’ve got leukemia.”

“What’s that?”

“Cancer of the blood. Odds are, it’s going to kill me soon. But here’s what you need to understand. The kidnappers are actually after me, not so much you. They only want you so they can force me to work for them. But I’m not going to do that. I figure I haven’t got long to live anyway, so… if I kill myself, I won’t have to work for those evil people. I can’t stand what they’re doing to the world. I don’t want any part of it. But James, I’m not killing myself to keep them from kidnapping you. None of this is about you. Remember that. If we’re lucky, they’ll leave you alone after I’m gone. You won’t be valuable to them when I’m in heaven.”

“You’re not going to kill yourself really. You can’t do that.”

“I’m dying soon, one way or the other.”

“Don’t they have drugs for this thing?”

“Not for M5b. Not really. The five-year stats are dismal. The chemo makes you sick as a goose. Your hair falls out. I’m not doing it.”

“But you got to try.”

“No. You’ve got to try. Try not to get depressed after I’m gone. Try to find something to believe in so you’ll be a decent influence on the world when you’re famous. All this stuff about no God, no good and no evil. Forget it. You’ve got to believe in something. Find something that’s not so brittle it breaks when the aliens land. Atheism and fundamentalism are brittle. They’re both going to break when the facts come out.”

“What?”

“You’ve got heavy responsibility on your shoulders. Nobody has more influence than a rock star, and that’s what you were born to be. You’re like John Lennon. You’re a genius with melody, James. You’ve always made me so proud. I’ll be listening to all your songs and watching you – probably from the moon, I think.”

“The moon? Who’s going to be the only friend I have in this world? Who’s going to make sure I don’t party too much? Who’s going to bail me out of jail? My new psychiatrist says…” The phone cuts out.

I try to call back but the battery’s dead.

I’m beyond tears. Numb.

And scared a little.

I’m just going to breathe water. It can’t be that difficult. Drowning is the least embarrassing way to kill yourself. Believe me, I’ve thought a little about this.

For a FREE download of my new e-book, Writing Meaningful Page-Turners, opt into my email list: Click HereThe book takes a look at why we are more than storytellers and how lucky we are to be inside the most influential group on Earth. The last chapter talks about how to meet a viewpoint character who will add a new dimension of meaning and fun to your life. Yes, I’m talking about Johanna Fujiwara! My Hapa Girl protagonist. If you haven’t met someone like her in your own writing, you have a wonderful experience coming!

Click Here for a FREE download of Writing Meaningful Page-Turners.

If you’d like to read my in-progress novel, Hapa Girl DNA from page 1, click here.

M. Talmage Moorehead


Competition (Chapter 1) “Happa Girl DNA” by M. Talmage Moorehead

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My phone is blasting Skullcage from my lab coat near my pillow. I’ve been spending nights in my Prius at the Beach in Astoria since Grandfather died. There wasn’t money enough for the house plus keeping James in Hawaii with his new shrink. This new guy’s actually helping my brother with his depression. It’s the miracle I’ve been searching for.

Talmage wants me to tell you this like a story, so take a look up through the glass of the hatchback at the stars while I find the phone. We don’t want this novel rejected in The First Fifty Pages for lack of a visual scene… or because I’m “breaking the fourth wall.” I bet there’s a rule against that somewhere.

Check out Orion’s belt in my Universe. It looks nothing like the arrangement of the three Egyptian Pyramids, but I have a warm feeling for the man who thought of the idea: Robert Bauval. That’s him in the picture above. I trust his eyes and the way he speaks, because he reminds me of an Arabian geneticist who always has my back at work. She speaks her mind and curses Dr. Drummond for publishing my research as if he were the original thinker and inventor.

Academics eat their young. But the people out there doing my brand of genetics probably know where Drummond’s breakthroughs are coming from. He was totally obscure before my name showed up behind his.

My phone shows 4:11 AM and a Hawaiian number (808) that I don’t recognize. It could be James on a friend’s phone. Now I’m seeing James dead on the side of the road with a cop calling the next of kin.

I have to stop jumping to worse-case-scenarios. It’s part of a rare condition I’m blessed with – perfect autobiographical recall. Depression is part of it, too, but it comes later in life. It probably has no relation to my other condition – M5.

The call is from a boy claiming that he’s kidnapped James.

Oh, brother. I’m just going to hang up.

James has highschool friends now, all of them older. My prank caller was probably one of them. They’re different. They say they hate capitalism but actually they hate the overwhelming sense of unfair competition that the adults bury them in at the concentration camps called schools. Life on Earth is tough, but birds and bears get a chance to relax and imagine their own importance while kids have their noses rubbed in the armpits of superior competitors all their waking hours. Giving everyone A’s and trophies convinces them they need handouts to make up for their mediocrity and inferiority. The lies only make the adults feel better, they don’t hide or change the reality of unfair competition.

And don’t tell me it’s fair. I know better. It’s completely unfair because of people like me. I remember everything I see and hear. My brain does complex calculus at the subconscious level. I don’t even know where the answers come from sometimes. And this stuff barely scratching the surface.

James’ new rock band has no name, but he’s always recorded under the banner of Skullcage. He’s the main act everywhere he goes. I’m so freaking proud of him I could pop! He plays all the instruments, sings, and writes incredible songs full of tormented screaming, beautiful melodies and guitars that sound like they’re speaking a language – trying to talk.

His CD’s makes you feel confident… unless you worry about him killing himself, which I often do.

You’d never know he’s chronically depressed if you met him. He’s funny, dominant, and full of life. He makes everybody laugh and feel important. You wouldn’t believe all the people who think of him as their best friend. But only one person is…

Me.

There’s a barge coming out of the mouth of the Columbia River to the north. Its lights are all that’s visible. Plus there’s the traction beam of a UFO aimed at the deck. I’m kidding, but what is it? Somebody on a higher deck with a floodlight, maybe.

I’m getting out for a better look.

The waves are slow closeouts tonight, scooting up the long level beach in parallel terraces, white and hissing at the full moon.

But I ask you, what are the freaking odds that the moon would spin at exactly the rate necessary to keep one face aiming at the Earth at all times? We’re talking two balls rotating freely and one orbiting the other. How does that match up without a little help?

Hello?

There’s more going on here than meets the eye. Talk to Astronaut Gordon Cooper: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvPR8T1o3Dc and Astronaut Edgar Michell https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7AAJ34_NMcI

Astronauts have a broad perspective and they’re brave enough to face death. They’ve taken in the entire Earth with one glance – our crucible of competition and our teams – the competitors against the rise-above-it types. But the spectators, where are they?

You don’t set up a game of this magnitude unless you’re planning to sit and watch it. That’s why the moon faces us. It holds the box seats.

The traction beam went out before I could determine what it was. I’m cold in this breeze so I get back into the car and pull the hatchback down as my ringtone blasts again, “Give to me a dirty heart filled with all the darkness of the world. I’m taking all the dull sh*t in and burning up inside within, it’s true. I hate you.”

James wrote this song when he was eleven. It was a prayer. I could cry… his little face and his little high voice and that huge drum set all around him. And that melody.

My phone shows the same caller. I answer and it’s not a high school boy. It’s an old woman.

“I’ve kidnapped James,” she says.

My heart stops and I try to catch my breath.

She tells me to get on a flight from Portland to Oahu at 10:00 this morning. Gives me the flight number and says I’ll meet a guy named Del at the terminal.

I manage to plead. “Let me talk to James so he doesn’t freak out.”

“Well,” she says, “I don’t actually have him yet. I’ve sent a boy to fetch him.”

“You don’t have him? Can you call your boy and tell him to forget James? Please? We can work this out without him. I’ll do whatever you want. Just leave him out of it.”

“Take down my number, dear, and call me if there’s trouble. Traffic or anything. Have you got a pen?”

“Your number’s on my phone.”

“It is?” She hisses at someone.

“What do you want with James?”

“The fourth dimension,” she mumbles. “We want to test him. You wouldn’t understand and you need to catch your flight.”

This could be Frameshift. I criticize genetically modified organisms in every lecture at OHSU. Frameshift has become the grim reaper of genetic diversity. “Ma’am, I can’t let this happen. This kind of emotional trauma could put James back into major depression. He’s finally starting to sound normal. I’m pretty sure you’re with Frameshift, so you’re talking genetics, not string theory. Your fourth dimension is time. You’ve probably got base-pairs lined up for a mile, looking fine on paper, but something’s killing the host. Probably a timing issue.”

I pause and she groans, but doesn’t talk.

“I’m right, then. Listen, whoever you are, you need me. I’ve got seventeen layering techniques that double as time-sequencers. If one of them doesn’t fix the problem I’ll find something else that will. You can take my word to the bank.”

“My goodness,” she says. “I don’t often get goose-bumps. Perhaps we should test you.”

“Don’t insult me. You’re familiar with my work. All you need to do is forget James, and I’ll come work for you legitimately. I’ll sign a stinking contract. Nobody has to be kidnapped.”

A shooting star streaks away from the earth and barely registers as going the wrong direction.

“But Ma’am, I’m telling you, if you scare James or bother him in any way, I’ll make sure Frameshift destroys you. Think about it. Once I’m inside, it won’t be two days before your CEO knows he needs me more than he needs you.”

“You insist I’m with Frameshift, but…”

“Screw this, Ma’am. Tell your thugs to look for my body in the ocean beside the South Jetty in Astoria.”

“What are you saying?”

“I’m going to drown myself. I’ll be dead in twenty-five minutes. You won’t need James when I’m gone.”

I hang up with my heart racing.

I should mention that my second condition, M5, is acute monocytic leukemia. It was diagnosed three days ago at Kaiser. I haven’t told anyone yet. I’m supposed to start chemo tomorrow, but M5b doesn’t respond well. It takes you out in a month, sometimes. I’m just thankful I found the new shrink for James.

James is going to be OK. That’s all that matters.

For a FREE download of my new e-book, Writing Meaningful Page-Turners, opt into my email list: Click HereThe book takes a look at why we are more than storytellers and how lucky we are to be inside the most influential group on Earth. The last chapter talks about how to meet a viewpoint character who will add a new dimension of meaning and fun to your life. Yes, I’m talking about Johanna Fujiwara! My Hapa Girl protagonist. If you haven’t met someone like her in your own writing, you have a wonderful experience coming!

Click Here for a FREE download of Writing Meaningful Page-Turners.

If you’d like to read my in-progress novel, Hapa Girl DNA from page 1, click here.

M. Talmage Moorehead


Prologue to “Hapa Girl DNA” by M. Talmage Moorehead

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Hi, this is Johanna Fujiwara, Ph.D. I’m the person who inspired Talmage to start writing fiction. He thinks of me as a character he created. Nothing could be further from the truth.

I look a little like the artist, Promise Tamang Phan, the way she’s painted herself in this picture. The truth is, I’m not as pretty as she, but try telling that to Talmage. ;)

I don’t expect you to believe this, but…

Beyond the Universe, there are an infinite number of other Universes. As a result, everything that could happen does happen.

That includes my birth and every detail of my life.

But you’re thinking, Talmage rewrites your story all the time. Rewrites can’t change the course of a person’s life.

You’re right… 99.9 % right, anyway.

All the rewrites, for the most part, select another Universe where a girl with my name and face makes different choices.

Sometimes I wonder if that girl is still me. The nature of identity is elusive.

Talmage thinks the girl he’s been writing about all these years has always been me, despite the changing details – because his feelings about her never change.

I can say this:  the seeds of love and meaning are free will and identity.

Some people want to take the fascinating God of the Multiverse and reduce him to a vagueness with no identity. An example of this might be the God of Spinoza, a “Being” defined as everything there is, but said to lack humanness.

A decent writer would not do that to her main character. Why would anyone want to do it to God?

Free will and identity are essential to characters that a reader is apt to care about. I’m only nineteen but I know this applies far beyond fiction writing.

Beyond the infinite number of Universes, there is a reality outside of space and time. Listen to me. We know this stuff.

Light, for example, travels outside of time, but inside of space.

Einstein’s time dilation gives us a number divided by zero when anything moves at the speed of light.

Dividing by zero yields infinity.

This means a wristwatch on the ground goes “infinitely fast” compared to the wristwatch on a photon.

“Infinitely fast” means that the entire history of the Universe goes by in an instant when you move at the speed of light. Even if you are a photon of light yourself.

We see evidence of this in the diffraction pattern of light passing through tiny slits, one photon at a time. (Video Link)

Physicists in your universe don’t explain this in terms of light being “outside of time,” they think photons and their class have a separate reality. That’s silly, but adorable.

From a photon’s perspective, all history happens at the same time, in one moment.

So when photons, from our perspective, go through slits in single file, it’s different from their perspective. To them, they’re all going through the slits at once, bumping shoulders and interfering with each other.

Hence the irrelevance of time to the diffraction pattern in the slit experiment on that video you still haven’t looked at.

That independence from time is what it means for light to be “outside of time.” But we see light, so it’s not “outside of space.”

Dark matter exists inside of time but almost entirely outside of space. Only dark matter’s gravitational force can be detected. Yet this gravity is responsible for the shape, motion and position of galaxies. (Video Link)

The human mind lies partly inside and partly outside of space and time.

The mechanics of the mind lie within space and time (in and around the brain) but free will exists outside of space (and inside of time). By residing outside of space, free will is able to insert an untouched cause into the cause-and-effect web that fills each Universe. By residing inside of time, free will remains relevant to the unfolding of history.

I haven’t seen where identity lives. Talmage thinks it’s like free will: outside of space but inside of time. That way his Johanna Fujiwara would always be the same girl, me, no matter what changes he made in my story. I hope he’s right. By the way, he’s infallible, in case he hasn’t mentioned it yet. ;)

As a writer, you are never simply an observer.

Have you seen the Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research (PEAR)? Random number generators can be influenced by the mind. (Link See the video on the right.)

If you’re able to determine for yourself that these Princeton researchers are doing clean accurate science – despite the predictable yawn of the scientific establishment – you’ll have insight into how a writer influences the life of a person like me living in another Universe.

While it’s true that the decisions a fiction writer makes sort of “select” the particular Universe in which those things have happened (or are happening), there’s a bit more to it…

You’ve made a bad decision and wondered later how you could have been so dumb, right? Here’s how: There may have been a “fiction” writer telling your story, probably in another Universe. His or her decision for your character influenced your decision in the same way that the human mind can somehow influence random number generators and other random events.

The writer’s influence on you would have been small, but sometimes all it takes is the tiniest nudge – toward a bad choice – or even a good one, I would think. It’s almost as if there’s pressure on the people who have been “selected” to be story characters – a pressure that tends to keep their story within their lives and within their Universe.

So if you’re a writer, please think of your characters as real people because we are.

Trust me, I’m real. My Universe is remarkably like yours.

I was born in Castle Medical Center on Oahu, Hawaii. Eleven years later I murdered my brother’s therapy animal, Moody. That was the worst day of my life. Moody was a chimpanzee. I have recurring dreams about him. He attacked my brother and I attacked him. Strangled the poor little guy.

They say that once you murder someone, you always feel like an outsider looking in at the human race.

It’s true – even if you murder someone who’s not human. Even if you did it to protect your little brother.

In the emergency room one of the doctors told my mom that Moody must have been sick. There was no way a little girl could strangle a healthy adolescent chimpanzee.

The doctor was wrong, though. Moody wasn’t sick. He was just as strong as any ape his age.

But somehow I was stronger.

For a FREE download of my new e-book, Writing Meaningful Page-Turners, opt into my email list: Click HereThe book takes a look at why we are more than storytellers and how lucky we are to be inside the most influential group on Earth. The last chapter talks about how to meet a viewpoint character who will add a new dimension of meaning and fun to your life. Yes, I’m talking about Johanna Fujiwara! My Hapa Girl protagonist. If you haven’t met someone like her in your own writing, you have a wonderful experience coming!

Click Here for a FREE download of Writing Meaningful Page-Turners.

If you’d like to read my in-progress novel, Hapa Girl DNA from page 1, click here.

M. Talmage Moorehead

 


But, Why?

car-displayGod was lonely, I’m guessing. Wanted company.

He built smart computers that did everything right except stop loneliness.

He drank a whole pot of coffee and made computers with free will that looked vaguely like us because they were us.

His loneliness went away.

But free will brought murder.

God said, “Hey!” and the murdering stopped. Men and women shook with fear.

And loneliness returned.

We were gone. God had ruined us.

Now he had a choice. Stop talking and hide, or end free will forever.

He looked at the stars. They said, “It’s big out here.”

No. Not really. He would get rid of free will, then.

He raised his hand high but before it fell… he fell in love.

With us and our half smiles. The telegraphed humor. Our romance with bad words that make us so sure we’re cool. And all the darling little cars we leave everywhere.

So he went off to hide and think.

While he was away someone said, “There is no free will.”

With that, everyone vanished.

Everyone but God.

He couldn’t sleep because he’d downed that whole pot of coffee.

And he could still see my wife’s hopeful eyes when the kids were young.

Will they come back? Can they?

The stars didn’t answer. They didn’t seem to know.

 

M. Talmage Moorehead

For a FREE download of my new e-book, Writing Meaningful Page-Turners, opt into my email list: Click HereThe book takes a look at why we are more than storytellers and how lucky we are to be inside the most influential group on Earth. The last chapter talks about how to meet a viewpoint character who will add a new dimension of meaning and fun to your life. Yes, I’m talking about Johanna Fujiwara! My Hapa Girl protagonist. If you haven’t met someone like her in your own writing, you have a wonderful experience coming!

Click Here for a FREE download of Writing Meaningful Page-Turners.

If you’d like to read my in-progress novel, Hapa Girl DNA from page 1, click here.