In this story you can hop between realities following these rules:
No more then
- 1 a Day
- 6 a Week
- 20 every 4 weeks
- 50 every 12 weeks
- 180 every 48 weeks
These measurements are based on your home reality.
Your home reality is the one where you start your journey from.
When you hop to another reality you switch your mind with anybody who is there already.
If you hop to a different reality then your home reality from another reality then:
Reality 3 contains you.
Reality 2 contains the person from reality 3
Your home reality contains the person from reality 2
If someone dies then the person whose reality he/she home reality changes to that of the person who died. (Using the example above , if the person in your home reality dies your home reality becomes reality 2. If the person in reality 2 dies then the home reality of the person from reality 2 becomes
Written by Catprog on 22 August 2004
This is for characters from the other stories in other scenarios.
Written by catprog on 21 February 2016
People in the costumeverse
Written by Catprog on 14 October 2017
Paul groaned as he heard the squabble erupt somewhere in the store, angry voices echoing over aisles nearly devoid of customers. They nearly drowned out the rising voice of the sales associate who was trying to calm, he thought it could be Carla. Her voice, though loud, was not angry. Rather it sounded increasingly nervous. Paul sighed, she was frightened, that much was obvious. He needed to get her out of that situation.
He hurried along the front, searching for the source of the disturbance. He found them all near the center of the store, by the comforters and pillows. Mousy little Carla cowered slightly from the towering wrath of an elderly couple that stood with a single pillow in their hand that they were pointing at. They were haranguing her about—Paul squinted to get a better look—a stain? He felt his anger rise. They were abusing his people over a stain?
He knew now that they had to be shameless bargain hunters determined to beat the store into submission and achieve a better deal, or worse they were con artists and the pillow was simply an opening gambit to some lawsuit or other.
“What seems to be the trouble here?” he asked, steeping fully around the corner now and walking forward briskly. He kept his features composed, trying to appear professional as possible.
“Oh, Paul!” squealed Carla, viewing him with relief. She seemed to slump slightly, overcome with happiness at seeing him approach, but perhaps feeling a tinge, as if she’d failed him somehow. Paul would deal with that last later, for she hadn’t failed in his view.
The couple, Paul noted, looked nearly as eager for him as Carla, though it was obvious they thought it well-hidden beneath a mask of righteous indignation. So, not only con artists, but inept ones as well. What a Saturday, Paul thought to himself. He forced himself to listen as Carla explained.
“Mister and missus McDool here would like this pillow at an extra five dollars off for a small stain, but it’s already marked down twenty percent for the clearance sale and…”
“That’s right.” Broke in the old woman. “This here stain will be an eyesore ‘less ‘n I manage
somehow to git it out. Prolly cost more than a new piller to do so too. I’m doin’ y’all a faver
heyr, sim’ly out of the goodness of me ‘eart.”
Paull throttled a desire to mock the woman. The accent was ridiculous, he had no doubt she was probably well educated. Yet all she could do with her life is try to rob stores. Sad. Yet, would he care to fight them just over a lousy pillow? It was twelve dollars now, but five extra would take it down to a mere seven dollars.
First thing is first, he decided. He needed to get Carla out of the line of fire. “I can see that this might take a few minutes to sort out.” He kept any trace of inflection from his voice. “Carla, why don’t you help a lady down Aisle 7 while I take this one?”
“Thanks Paul. I will.” Carla breathed and scurried off.
Happy to see her go away and even happier to see the couple exchange nervous glances, Paul decided to take his time with them. If they thought he was stalling until the police got there, they’d be much more likely to simply leave.
“Now then.” He smiled at them. “Why don’t we go to my office and discuss this? It will be much more comfortable, I assure you.”
He felt rewarded to see beads of sweat pop out on the man’s brow. His accomplice was made of sterner stuff however.
“We don’t need ‘ta see yer office. We don’ need ‘ta go from this spot. All we wants is you folk ta see sense.”
“Very well.” Paul replied. “As my colleague already explained,” Paul spoke unperturbedly, “this pillow is part of a sale already. We cannot lower the price further.”
“But the stain—“ she growled.
“Comes with the pillow ma’am. If you aren’t sure about it, why don’t you think about these here?” Paul gestured to the bin bulging with pillows. “They have fewer stains on them. I’m sure you’ll be satisfied with any of them. Or, if you’d prefer, I believe Big Al’s Clearance House is also having a sale on pillows.”
“But they’re nearly to the big city!” the woman snapped, quite forgetting her horrible accent.
“Still, if we cannot meet your needs…” Paul began.
“Look, you yellow-bellied pirate! I’m going to complain to the owner! To the FTC! I”ll get your license revoked, you low-down mother—“ she continued to rant for some time, showing surprising ingenuity in it.
Paul, feeling tired of having his ears pierced and not wanting any more of his customers to leave, relented to get rid of them.
They left with their stained pillow and smug smiles while Paul watched them go.
As he watched, Joe came up and stood next to him. He had a blotch of dirt over one green eye and his black suit showed a hint of dirt or something on it. That seemed odd, but he spoke before Paul could.
“Well, that’s that for them, I suppose.” Joe remarked.
“Good riddance.” Paul replied absently. He pondered the meaning of the dirt, for some reason it seemed important. “You can’t argue with all the fools in the world, and if we tried to report it we would have seemed the bad guys. It hurts, especially considering that we are only one small store in a tiny town, but we can survive without a couple of dollars. We wouldn’t survive bad publicity at all though.”
“Hmm.” Joe rubbed his chin thoughtfully. “Well, they won’t be coming back anytime soon.” He smiled mischievously.
“What did you do?” Paul groaned, seeing visions of lawsuits suddenly piling up in front of them.
“I thinned the gas mixture in their old jalopy.” Joe’s smile was a fully-fledged grin now. “I guess they’ll make perhaps five miles before their engine craps out.”
Paul sighed. “You know they’ll come right back to complain. We’ll have to bloody replace the fuel and the car.”
“They’ll never know.” Joe told him. “I meant to tell you a friend of mine called from the General Store. They were in there as well, and made off with several things there under the man’s coat while the woman threw a hissy fit about the state of the bathrooms. It’ll serve them right, and chances are they’ll be picked up by the police anyway. John’s going to press charges for thieving.”
Now in a much better mood, Paul returned to the office and finished going through his reports. Night was falling when he put his pen away and stretched, working the kinks out of his lower back. It was past time to go home, and he thought fondly of his dinner tonight. He’d gotten a large chicken from the store the other day, and now it sat in his fridge, ready to cook.
The phone rang, jarring him from his daydream. He hesitated, looking down at the key in his hand. The second ring decided him. He picked up the receiver.
“Paul! So glad I caught you.” It was Old Tom, the owner.
“Good to hear from you sir.” Paul said politely.
“Listen, I’ve managed to wrangle an invitation to a costume party being thrown by the business leaders in Rollsdale.”
Paul arched an eyebrow. That was bigtime!
“And it’s tomorrow night at eight. I need you to come with me so we can make a good impression. You’re the man on the ground, the manager. I need you there Paul.”
Paul protested, he didn’t realize he had so little time! “Sir, I won’t have time to tell people, find someone to manage the store, to get a costume!”
“Work it out.” Tom said cheerfully. “You’re wily, I know you can lick this! Take tomorrow off. The party won’t be until the evening, about six I’ve been told, and its two hours to get there. Plenty of time to find a costume. Got to run Paul, last minute details to work out with the missus!”
The line went dead. Paul stared at it a moment and replaced it with a sigh. Tom was a nice old man, but so absent-minded as to make him scream! He’d have to check with someone in Rollsdale to find out if the party really was at six, arrange for Joe to mind the store tomorrow while he searched for a costume, and then go pick up Tom before he tried to drive. Otherwise,
who knew where’d he’d actually wind up?
Paul sat down to make some calls.
Paul walked out of Martha’s Bitty Costumes feeling disappointed and a vague sense of panic. It was already two and he still hadn’t found a costume he’d liked. There had been the usual selections of fake pirates, cheap vampires. And superheroes. He just didn’t want to try any spandex, and he really didn’t want to dress up as some lame pirate!
He brooded while he walked, and so nearly missed the sign to a small little hole-in-the-wall costume shop. He went inside, barely registering the sign that read; WELCOME TO THE ENCHANTED THREADS: COSTUMES SO REAL, IT’S JUST LIKE MAGIC!
Once inside the shop, Paul stopped and looked around in amazement. Every type of costume imaginable seemed crammed in this little room. They all seemed in perfect condition and of very high quality. Paul smiled a little; he wasn’t a poor man by any means, and this time he’d decided to treat himself a little and get a top-line costume. He hoped it would look good on him of
course, but also he wanted to show that the company was doing well, and that it (his company) would be worth doing business with.
As he walked through the shop humming to himself, he came across an old woman at the counter. She seemed to be knitting something and talking softly to herself. She stopped and looked up as he drew near.
“Well, good evening dear. Find something you like?” Her voice was warm and grandmotherly, and Paul found himself instantly liking her.
“Not yet.” He told her, “But I’m sure I will find something soon. You seem to have every costume imaginable here.”
The old woman chuckled. “Not quite dearie. I’m afraid my little shop wouldn’t hold so many! I still have some costumes in the back that I haven’t the space to put out. I’m not sure if I’ll ever sell those this year.” She sighed. Her movement brought a small gold nametag to bear that read, Roland.
How odd. That’s a strange name for a girl. Paul tried to keep his thoughts hidden, but obviously
failed. She smiled.
“My father wanted a boy, and so when I came along he couldn’t come up with any other name but the one he’d already picked. So I was placed with it. Not that I’m complaining mind you.” She laughed. “It’s always so comical to see those nice gentlemen try to sell some razor or shop tool to ‘Mister Roland’.”
Paul couldn’t help but laugh a little too as he thought about those looks!
“Well,” he told her when his mirth settled. “I’ve got an important party tomorrow and I need to look my best for Tom, my boss.”
Written by Snore23 on 07 May 2017
She looked thoughtfully at him. “You seem a man of some speed.” She said slowly.
Paul felt a rush of surprise. “Well, yes. I did some track in high school.” He managed to reply. In fact, he had won several medals for his marathon and dash events. But he didn’t want to bring those up. It would sound too much like boasting to him.
“In that case, have you thought about a cheetah costume?” she asked. “I think it will look the best on you, and I just happen to have one in the back. I’ll go get it and let you think about it.”
Paul tried to protest that it was really too much trouble, but she had already put away her knitting and disappeared into the back.
In moments she had returned, bringing a folded parcel with thick, spotted fur. She laid it on the counter and began to lay it out while Paul watched. When the costume lay fully revealed, she stepped back.
Paul could only stare in dumb amazement. The costume had the most realistic fur he’d ever seen before, better than even the ones around the rich ladies that came out to town on a lark. There was a cowl with the shape of a cheetah head, and a small mask that would fit over his mouth and nose, giving him a rather animalistic appearance. There was a long tail that wound up to the back of the costume, and thick padded feet. There were attached gloves for the hands with what
appeared to be claws for the fingers. Not long ones, no more than some people’s fingernails that he had seen, but they were rounded and more animal-like.
“This…appears to be perfect.” Paul stuttered.
“Thank you dear.” Roland smiled. “Now, I’m afraid that there is some bother.”
“There is a funny quirk of the owner. He doesn’t like costumes that are worn. Says that they lose something after they are tried on. So once you buy, you cannot return it.”
“You mean I can’t try it on to see if it fits?” Paul frowned, now unsure of this deal.
“Well, I do happen to have a fitting room.” Roland admitted. “But I can’t let you wear it until you’ve bought it. But I can assure you that it will fit. It’s a unique fabric that is basically one size fits all.”
Paul felt his eyebrow raise up at that. In his experience there was no such thing. However, the likely hood of finding another costume even remotely like that one were slim. He chewed over it for a while, but decided to go ahead and get it. If it didn’t fit, he could complain and at least get his money back. Or at the least resell it to Joe who was a little smaller.
Roland took his money and pointed to the fitting door.
“Enjoy your trip, dear.” She said.
“Thank you.” Paul replied carelessly. “I’m sure I will. It’s the party afterward that’s going to be dull.”
“Oh, I wouldn’t be too sure about that. Parties can be great fun.” Roland called while he closed the door.
Now inside the tiny cubicle, Roland slid out of his clothes as fast as he could. He picked up the costume, admiring the thick, warm fur it possessed. He wouldn’t go cold in that!
Putting his legs down the pants, he found another oddity; the feet felt very much like wearing a sneaker! Surely an oddly shaped one, but very comfortable. He could surely walk all night and not have to worry about aching feet or cold floors. He slid his arms through and pulled the sleeves up. His finger set neatly into the costumes. Without thinking about it, he closed the zipper and felt it snug up to his body. Turning towards the mask, he placed it on his head. The eye holes were perfectly placed, he didn’t even notice the edges of the mask at all in his vision. And the weight—lighter than air it seemed—didn’t make it bend or pull out.
With the final touches in place, he turned to view himself in the mirror. A handsome cheetah man stood there, looking somehow very real. The fur shivered slightly, as if there was a breath of wind, and the way his eyelids closed and open in a blink made it seem like the creature staring at him was alive.
The muffled sound of metal striking the floor distracted him from further investigation. Turning to look, he spied a zipper gleaming on the carpet. He bent down and picked it up.
How odd. It doesn’t feel like the costume’s opened up. I’ll have to return this though. No Return
policy or not, I won’t pay for something that falls—argh!
Pain blossomed from his abdomen and hunched him over, reaching his extremities in a matter of seconds. Hunched over as he was, he barely heard the sound of someone screaming. Dimly, he knew it was him.
As terrible as the pain had been, it was only an echo of the primary event. Aftershocks of a blindingly fast event.
Paul shakily regained his feet, holding his arms akimbo until he regained his balance. Wondering what had happened, he looked down at himself to check for injury. All he saw was a golden coat splotched with black rippling in the dull light of the fitting room.
Oh, yeah. I still have the costume on. I need to take it off.
He reached behind him to grab the zipper, then remembered it being in his hands. Opening his right fist he found the zipper hanging there.
With the zipper gone, he mused, then the costume must simply be holding itself together. A mere tug would make it fall apart. Perhaps he would keep the costume though, now that he got a closer look at it on him, he had to admit it looked good.
Dropping the useless zipper he again reached behind with both hands intending on getting a grip on the fabric and giving a sharp tug to free himself. When his fingers closed however, he gave a yelp of pain. Instead of grabbing cloth, he had grabbed skin! He’d felt the rake of claws on his back. Something was wrong here. Very wrong. He had to figure out what, and he had to do it soon.
Written by Snore23 on 13 May 2017
Stepping out of the doorway, he blinked in surprise. The entire costume shop was gone. Not a rack or counter remained, simply a single banner hanging ten feet off the ground with the words
NO RETURNS printed on it.
Even as he watched, however, the words changed. They rearranged themselves, mutated to new ones, and others faded into existence. When they’d finished, the banner read: WELCOME TO
“Corsica?” he muttered. “Where the heck is that?”
A strange birdcall outside wrenched his attention away from the banner. It didn’t sound like any bird he’d ever heard before. It sounded…bigger. Different.
Paul ran to the door. It seemed like a blink to him before he actually hit the door, so surprised was he. Blinking through tears of pain, he began to realize that he hurt not only in his nose, but now a more unfamiliar place as well.
Looking over his shoulder, he realized he’d landed on his tail. The tail twitched and moved! Icy tendrils of fear and superstitious dread trickled down his spine. Under his horrified gaze the appendage continued to writhe as he realized he was sitting on a curve portion from where he’d fallen. He was sitting on his own tail, and it hurt.
He got up, muttering to himself in stunned disbelief. This was impossible. He shouldn’t have a tail. What was he to do now??
Unsure and unable to fathom what had happened, he heard the birdcall again. Realizing that he could identify the bird and have something he could accomplish, he scrambled through the door and out into even more strangeness.
Where there had been a bustling metropolis before, now there stood only dense pinewood. Conifers of every shape and description imaginable clustered together in thick lines that looked remarkably like soldiers marching in staggered formation.
A blue-gray bird the size of his forearm trilled smugly down at him. As he watched, it ruffled its plumage and flapped off to another tree a short distance away and called again. It seemed to be searching for something but that’s not what he noticed the most about it. What really caught his attention was the wicked, scimitar-like beak seemingly made for tearing flesh and little else. “What is this place?” he asked himself. Unbidden, the thought came to him: Corsica.
Written by Snore23 on 18 May 2017
After an hour’s examination and thought he determined three things had happened: One; that his body was no longer human but instead a cheetah-man crossbreed of some sort. Two; Roland was obviously a sorceress of some sort in order to do this and had clearly abandoned him for repeated calls of her name brought no one, and Three; he was no longer on Earth.
He stretched a little, lying as he was in a small square of shade afforded by the air conditioner unit on the roof and settled. His mind pondered now of what he could do. He had no food, and while he wasn’t hungry right now, he suspected he soon would be. Being in the forest there should be some game, but he had no tools to get one. Yet he’d heard how some rabbit snares could be made, perhaps he could try that? Or there could be civilization of some sort nearby, he could try there?
Almost before the notion finished forming he rejected it. If he ran into a city, he’d be regarded as a freak and taken to some sort of lab for experimentation or examination. Not a fun trip for him.
Stop that. You are thinking like you are on Earth still, but has the sky ever been that purple home? And the sun, it seems smaller than ours…no, we aren’t on Earth, and we need to stop thinking like we are. It’s probable that we fit the norm on this planet. We could walk right in and say howdy-do with no issue. Unless I don’t speak the same language. Sigh.
That problem hadn’t occurred to him until that point. Even if he ran into someone else, would he be able to talk with them?
A high-pitched scream of terror jolted him from his perch and he slid painfully to the floor. “Ouch.” He cursed under his breath.
A screech came, as of someone in pain. Paul turned his head side to side, the ears on top swiveling to better triangulate the sound. A final shout of fear helped him determine the direction.
Written by Snore23 on 23 May 2017
To the Noise
With a mighty leap, he jumped off the building into a nearby tree, sliding down the trunk onto the ground.
With his feet firmly on the ground he started running in the direction he’d determined. Bushes and trees blurred at the corner of his vision, but in the center things remained perfectly sharp and clear. His tail stayed straight behind him, acting like some sort of air-rudder and balance at the same time. His sturdy paws dug deep into the soft earth of the ground, great clods flying behind him.
In mere moments the clearing with the store completely vanished behind him. He ignored the little quiver of fear that entered him at that thought.
Hearing more noises ahead, Paul slowed down and stealthily made his way forward. His body moved quieter than he had ever heard before, barely a rustle to betray his movements. A large tree ahead afforded excellent cover, for the sounds were very close now. He plastered himself against the trunk and carefully eased around it until he could see everything with one eye.
In a small clearing at the bottom of a shallow, irregular depression in the ground, seven large people were gathered around a much smaller figure in the center. The small figure was trembling on the ground, connected to three others by chains.
The large folk were covered in dingy blotched brown fur that blended with the forest. They had square muzzles that reminded Paul of hyenas, gleaming yellow eyes, stained great teeth, and huge muscles that spoke of Conan the barbarian. They were dressed in rough leather cloth, and the males were armed with bows and arrows, spears, and crude stone axes.
The girl in the center (for now he could see it was a girl) had softer-looking leather in a golden hue that complimented her black fur beautifully. Unlike the spotted types, she seemed to be one solid mass of black. She looked to be a knockout, with the body of a pinup. Paul felt his heart race at the sight of her, scratched and torn as she was from the battering she’d received at the hands of the others.
“So slave.” The largest of them leered. “You think you escape the mighty Dull Knife and his mighty Hyadons? You foolish Leornidian! Now you shall serve my boys tonight! In fact, how about right now!” And with a laugh he reached down and tore at the covering for her furry chest while the woman shrieked in terror.
Written by Snore23 on 27 May 2017