Letters of Einstein and Rosen: Story 2 – Out of Time

by Kantuck Nadie Nata-Akon

with editorial assistance from Niny’ah

“No, you can’t use road. Hoia-Baciu forest is forbidden!”

For centuries, the forest’s name was spoken only in whispers. A frightening title, “The Bermuda Triangle of Romania,” stuck well into the 22nd century. Because local tourist guides refused to fly into the forest, the first entrance is guarded by a farmer with a bridge and a shotgun adamantly refusing passage to the two youngsters. But “forbidden” and what Mara read was like a scarlet fluttering cloth in front of the bullish woman. The twenty-five year old daughter of the CEO of Hermes Mining would not be denied.

Richard sighed dismissively. “Do hurry, Mara dear. We must have our afternoon tea,” he sneered. “Offer the good man something, money, jewelery…yourself.”

The recent rains all flowed from the forest and under the bridge where the three individuals, plus two horses stood. Mara looked over her shoulder irritatedly, and pointing to Richard’s black stallion, she snapped, “Maybe if you kept that stupid nag away, he’d be one less person making an ass of themselves.” Her mare seemed to say the same as she snorted, tossed her head, and pinned her ears back at the stud.

Richard complied as he roughly pulled the stallion further away. As his eyes followed the main road northward, it also lead to an idea. His tablet had GPS capability, maybe there was another road? “If so,” he thought as he unfolded the tablet, “We could get out of here. Mara is so stubborn…”

“That forest been in family for generations. It is evil, I tell you! Strange lights have been seen late at night. Unearthly noises, and big metal ships dart around it. I saw a strange being, it wasn’t human too! The elders say people who go in it sometimes disappear, or reappear only days or hours later. Some crippled, one five year old came back hours later, looking ten years old.” The old man’s expression turned to sadness. “There was a poor girl who returned from it babbling out of her head, and she’s been in asylum for years. Every night they say she starts screaming for hours.”

Mara’s mirthless laugh interrupted him. “Superstitious poppycock!” Immediately she pulled out a small silver card. “Richard’s right. What’d it take? 1,000 credits? 2?”

He shook his head dismissively, “No, Ms. I don’t want money. I’m afraid for you and your friend.” He moved the silver tipped and rusty pitchfork to his other shoulder, as if to say negotiations were ended.

“Mara,” he grunted as he pulled the stud’s reins, subtracting the inches he’d gained. “GPS says there’s another road ahead, that that isn’t on his land.” He folded the tablet to put into his pocket, gave her a devilish grin, and: “Race ya.” He spurred the stud, galloping down the road with clops and clouds of dust. Mara yelled over her shoulder, “You lost out, old man!” racing after Richard. He just shook his head sadly; he’d tried.

Irony was at the back of Mara’s mind as they continued slowly into the forest. Fun was replaced by strong feelings of being watched. The air seem to grow staler, colder and thicker which made the horses’ reluctant to move futher. Richard’s stud was more interested now in the forest, than Mara’s mare. Both horses’ ears, and heads were constantly moving, punctuated with loud snorts, and squeals.

Mara stopped, looking around. A cold clammy feel ran down her back. “Richard…I don’t like this.”

“Yeah, babe, I don’t either.”

Imagination seemed to shape the forests. Darkness, shadows, bits of sunlight that fought its way down to the floor, and the light breeze that moved the bizarre shaped trees. Both thought that if they blinked, the trees would eat them, and with the horses for dessert. The trail they came on led forward: a dark brown serpentine shaped path that suddenly darted to the right into a row of trees.

A blister that formed on the swamp next to them burst with a snap. stinking the air with a sulfurous stench that made both humans hold their noses, and nearly retch. The horses snorted, sneezed at the decaying egg smell, and moved back. With a soft, female-like giggle, a breeze started; at first welcomed. Then it became cold, lifeless and bitter, seeming to sneak under their clothing, and horse fur, caressing evilly over the flesh to pull any bit of warmth from them.

Mara couldn’t take it any more. But before she could move, “My arms won’t work,” she thought fearfully. Her neck did, and she turned her head to gain strength from Richard. But his eyes betrayed his own apprehension. The mare snorted loudly, slowly backing up; for she felt what the humans did. Millions of ants slowly crawling and tickling under her skin, and making fur and hair stand on end. Both humans started breathing faster, and Richard’s stallion squealed and reared, as the mare tossed her head. Suddenly both were free of the paralysis, and they held on and did what they could to calm their horses before they were thrown.

From the trail previously traveled, smoke or fog started to blow in, swirling and boiling over the ground and around the trees. As the frightened humans looked, sinister faces began to form, sharp teeth in huge gaping maws. Arms with clawed fingers reaching for them, and each mouth came a predatory howl. Mara just had time for one quick look behind her before her scream matched the sound of her terrified mare. As the horse galloped from a standing position in seconds, Mara just held onto the saddle in mortal fear, the mare’s screams dying out as they turned that aforementioned right turn and disappeared.

Mara’s “RICHARD!” seemed to be torn right from her soul. An eternity seemed to crawl by. He dumbstruck by the events; or was he again paralyzed? He was shaken out of it when his ride squealed once again, and took off on his own, aimed right for Mara and the mare.

Even at full gallop, Richard felt as though for every step they took the trail grew three steps longer. From the trail-head he saw Mara just seemed to be unwillingly letting them approach. Finally stopping his panting, exerted horse. He bellowed once again for her.


He yelled again, then as if it was from light years away.


The faint sound was coming from a very tight opening in the trees, right where the trail pointed. Now no amount of prodding, or threats would make his ebony companion move forward. Snorts, sequels, tosses of his huge head and partial turn around was all he would grant. 200 lbs of human is no match for a quarter ton of horse. Giving up and gathering what he could, he jumped down and ran into the forest. “Mara!” he bellowed once again, and again “Richard!”

Richard had no problems finding the mare. With head down and tail quiet, she made no hint she was aware of Richard’s presence or even the touch on her rump.

“Oh gods…” a fearful acknowledgment of the situation. The ants had made another colony in him as his limbs and now neck refused to respond. With him now rooted to the spot as a mirror-shiny round ball approached. Mara’s voice grew louder as it approached which made the mare look up a bit for her mistress.

Richard’s entire being was “fight or flight,” yet like in a bad dream he could do nothing but watch the ball dimple in the center, the surface pushing away from him transforming into a ring. When it became a ring, light begin to refract around it; images behind of the bizarre trees being distorted more. A breeze appeared suddenly blowing toward the ring, and blowing his hair against his cheek. Mara’s voice was coming in clearer. When it expanded to the human size, Mara appeared but as though through a telescope. She was moving in circles, talking on her mobile. The area was a sun-lit clearing, with grass all around. He whimpered softly, and warmth trickled down his leg when the ring begin to move forward.

Standing quietly, the mare just blinked when incoming air made a loud “pop” to mark the ring’s disappearance. Her clouded mind kept her docile, when another silver ball transforming into a similar ring flew in suddenly. A Grey squat being blinked its two sets of eyes on a triangular head as it looked at the mare, gingerly taking the reins with hands of two digits on spindly arms. A resemblance of a mouth composed a request in a liquid, musical voice. She nickered gently, nuzzling the strange being then walked pleasantly alongside, though the tight opening, to also meet with the stallion who had his own lead. It nickered a soft greeting to her, then both were led out of the forest.


A couple of females was sitting at a table, a male standing to their side as another, but a dull grey ball floated over to them. 305 mm of a black equatorial sensor strip, and three bumps near its south pole. It then addressed them.

“…I hate to interrupt your haughty illumination about organics’ superior mind, but I have detected another Einstein-Rosen Bridge disturbance on this planetoid.”


To be continued…

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