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Thread: "Outside of Time"

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    Default "Outside of Time"

    “Outside of Time”

    Locking the doors of the East West Ice Palace, in Artesia, California, legendary champion figure skater Michelle Kwan stepped outside into the cool midnight air. It had been a LONG day of training. First, several arduous hours on the ice; then an hour of rigorous off-ice training in the gym. She was tired, very tired. But it had been a worthwhile and productive day, her body had responded well throughout, and more than ever the approaching Vancouver Winter Olympics appeared a definite possibility.

    Pausing by her red Corvette, Michelle inclined her head and breathed deeply of the cold night air, allowing a light, crisp breeze to gently caress her face. Gazing up into the sky, she smiled at the constellation Orion, a familiar presence in the nighttime sky, and noted the four stars in Orion’s belt.

    Wait a minute! she thought with a start. Orion’s belt has THREE stars, not four! Puzzled, Michelle studied Orion intensely, and as she did the fourth star, on the leftmost side of Orion’s belt, started growing larger — and began moving TOWARDS her.

    Stunned, Michelle watched as the approaching “star” enlarged into a silver, saucer-shaped object as big as a house. “A UFO!” she gasped, mesmerized as the object, softly humming, stopped and hovered directly over her.

    All at once the saucer began to glow, and Michelle found herself bathed in a brilliant blue-white beam of light emanating from the UFO that caused her entire body to tingle as though from uncounted small jolts of electricity. Feeling dizzy, she leaned against her car to steady herself. What is HAPPENING to me? she wondered, her heart racing with fear.

    Abruptly the blue-white beam, the tingling sensation, and the UFO were gone. Just like that. What on Earth…? thought Michelle, as her head cleared. Looking skyward, she found everything to be as it usually was, including Orion, now with the normal three stars in its belt. No trace of the UFO. “Either I’m so tired I’m seeing things, or I’m overdoing it with that Kraft salad dressing!” muttered Michelle, thoroughly shaken, as she climbed into her Corvette and drove home.

    Still feeling shaken when she reached home, Michelle brewed herself a mug of green tea, then sat down at her dining room table. After a few leisurely sips of the warming, comforting liquid, Michelle began to calm down. She decided that the whole “UFO Incident” had been nothing more than some weird daydream caused by fatigue.

    Suddenly, feeling a wave of dizziness for a few seconds, Michelle accidentally hit the mug with her elbow, and watched, horrified, as the mug flew off the table. In the background, her beloved Laughing Buddha statue seemed amused at the impending mess.

    But there was no mess.

    Michelle’s eyes widened in astonishment as, instead of crashing to the floor, the mug remained suspended in mid-air. No, not quite suspended. As she gazed at the mug, she could see that it was falling — but extremely slowly, as if in an ultra-slow-motion film. As if she had, somehow, stepped outside the normal flow of time. Tentatively, just as the mug was about to tip and release its contents, Michelle reached over, grabbed the mug gently, and replaced it on the table. “This CANNOT be happening!” she said firmly. “I have GOT to go to bed and get some sleep!”

    Ten hours of deep sleep later, Michelle awoke to the Sun’s soothing rays streaming in through the bedroom window and warming her face. Feeling refreshed as she climbed out of bed, she smiled. That was SOME dream!

    Checking the clock, she realized she had better hurry up and pack, so that she could catch her flight to Washington, DC, later that day. After all, she didn’t want to risk being late to embark on her fifth mission for the State Department as the United States’ first Public Diplomacy Envoy. In light of her highly successful missions to Russia, in June 2007, and to Ukraine, in March 2009, she was being sent again to Russia, specifically Moscow. As with her previous four missions, she could hardly wait to reach her destination. She particularly looked forward to the beaming faces of the children she knew she would be meeting.

    Forty-eight hours later, Michelle was standing in front of a class of forty energetic and enthusiastic elementary schoolchildren in a Moscow school. She was right in the middle of a fun and engaging Q&A session with the eager children — when pandemonium erupted.

    Startled by the crash of the classroom doors flying open, Michelle was horrified to see five swarthy men in camouflage military fatigues burst into the room, brandishing menacing AK-47s. In addition to their rifles, Michelle could see at a glance that they also wore holstered sidearms, and had hand grenades attached to their belts.

    The obvious leader of the men barked commands in Russian; and the terrified children, crying and squealing, responded by rising from their desks, shuffling to the front of the room, and sitting down on the floor. Striding up to Michelle, the leader looked her up and down. Then, in stilted English, his voice rough and gravelly, he said contemptuously, “So, you are famous American skater Michelle Kwan! I am Boris! Leader of Chechnya Liberation Brigade!” Then, with a smug and evil leer, revealing badly yellowed and crooked teeth, he added, “You fetch BIG ransom! Much bigger one than ransom for children! Or I add you to my HAREM! Heh! Heh! Heh!”

    Michelle didn’t say a word, didn’t move. But although she was trembling inside with fear, her eyes were filled with anger and defiance, a pair of dark smoldering coals. She held nothing but utter contempt for anyone who would terrorize and hurt children.

    “Sit down with children!” Boris commanded, motioning with his rifle, and Michelle immediately complied. Afraid, mostly for the children, and angry, she felt utterly helpless to do anything except obey Boris's commands. Above all else, she didn’t want to say or do anything that might provoke these awful men, lest they harm the children or her in response.

    A quivering blonde little girl of about seven, sitting next to Michelle, suddenly started weeping. Cradling the child’s head in her arms, Michelle whispered, “It’s okay, sweetheart, everything will be all right.” Although this particular child didn't understand English, Michelle’s soothing voice gradually calmed her down. As she hugged the child, Michelle silently prayed for a miracle, for a way that she, and especially the children, could be rescued from this nightmare without being harmed.

    And it was then, as if on cue, that Michelle felt a wave of dizziness — and IT happened again.

    Boris was barking orders at his men, and threats and insults at Michelle and the children, when suddenly his voice slowed and became a low, deepening croak, like a recording being slowed down to a stop, until the classroom was silent. At the same time, Michelle noted that all five men, like her mug of green tea, were moving, almost imperceptibly, in ultra-slow motion. She also noticed a fly suspended in mid-air, inching forward, its wings moving with aching slowness. So what happened the other night WASN’T a dream! Michelle realized.

    Although she had no idea what was happening, or why, she realized that just as before she was outside the normal flow of time. Michelle didn’t stop to ponder the situation, however. Whatever was happening, Michelle knew that she now had a miraculous chance to save these children, and herself.

    Springing into action, Michelle circulated among the five terrorists. First, she grabbed their AK-47s and threw them out the window, watching for a second as they began their descent in ultra-slow motion; then she did the same with the men's sidearms and hand grenades. The five were now disarmed. But what do I do now? she wondered. Although she knew she was strong and fit, she had no illusions about being able to successfully fight off five terrorists hand to hand and protect the children when the normal flow of time resumed. And then she spotted a large roll of Duct Tape on the teacher’s desk, and knew exactly what to do.

    Shouting a triumphant “Yes!” Michelle grabbed the tape. Stepping up to Boris, she rolled the tape several times around his ankles, securing his feet tightly together, then bound his hands behind him in the same way. For added measure she covered his mouth with several tightly wound layers of the tape; as she did so she snarled, “Me in YOUR harem? Not even in your DREAMS, dirtbag!” Finished with Boris, she quickly and efficiently Duct Taped the other four terrorists in the same manner. Finally, she gave each terrorist a hard shove, sneering, “So you like terrorizing children, do you? Well not on MY watch, boys!”

    Michelle was moving about the room so incredibly fast, far beyond the threshold of normal human perception, that no one was even aware as yet that she was no longer sitting on the floor.

    No sooner had Michelle completed her task and stepped back to admire her handiwork when, all at once, the normal flow of time resumed around her. And immediately, almost in unison, the five terrorists lurched and tottered from the force of Michelle’s shoves, their faces stunned with surprise; then, helplessly bound as they were, all of them tumbled hard to the floor. The result was a collection of trussed up bodies writhing ineffectually, comically on the floor.

    Immediately Michelle motioned sharply to the children, intending to usher them out of the classroom to safety, when the doors crashed open again. This time, at least twenty uniformed men swarmed into the room, AK-47s leveled and at the ready. However, instead of issuing threats, these men, whom Michelle recognized as Russian Spetznaz special forces troops, hauled the five terrorists roughly to their feet and dragged them out of the room.

    Walking up to Michelle, the Spetznaz commander asked her if she was all right, to which she responded, “Yeah, I’m okay, but I’m more worried about the kids.”

    Then, with a puzzled look, the commander asked, “Who disarmed and tied up those terrorists?”

    Knowing full well that the truth was too far-fetched to be believable, but not wishing to lie, Michelle responded, “I don’t know. Everything happened so fast. It was all just a blur.”

    Not quite satisfied with her answer, but realizing that a 100-pound female figure skater couldn’t POSSIBLY have overpowered five heavily armed terrorists, the commander left to rejoin his men, figuring that the appropriate authorities would sort things out.

    Shortly thereafter, in the school’s play yard, Michelle watched, tears in her eyes, as the anxious parents of the children ran up to and embraced them with big loving hugs of relief.

    Following for Michelle were two long debriefings, the first by the Moscow police and the second by personnel at the U.S. Embassy. In both debriefings, Michelle repeated that she really had no idea what had transpired — which fundamentally was, in fact, the truth.

    Finally, climbing aboard the State Department jet, she settled into her seat, looking forward to the journey home. And, she hoped, a return to her normal life.

    Throughout the rest of her life, Michelle Kwan never saw another UFO or experienced IT again. Nor did she ever reveal her encounter with the Unknown to anyone. Down through the years, she tried to come up with an explanation for what had happened to her, why it had happened — and, most of all, who had made it happen. Extraterrestrials? Time travelers? Guardian angels? Time-traveling extraterrestrial guardian angels? Time and again she racked her brain trying to come up with a definitive answer, a rational answer that made some sense, but she could not. Ultimately, she decided that perhaps the explanation lay in the title of a decades-old, tattered paperback book she had once seen in a used bookstore: God Drives A Flying Saucer.

    Regardless of whatever means had allowed her to step outside of time’s normal flow in that Moscow classroom, though, she realized that she had been the recipient of a priceless miracle that had allowed her to save forty children. And for Michelle Kwan, it was that which mattered far and away the most.

    The End
    Last edited by Rick In San Jose; January 26th, 2016 at 12:28 AM.
    “All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light from a single candle.”
    --Saint Francis of Assisi

  2. #2


    Thanks for posting your latest story/tribute to Michelle. It's magical mixed with a bit of science fiction, a definite aura of the spiritual and some non-fictional references --all included in this short piece!

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