The Multiverse System

Tom\'s worst nightmare

Tom woke up to the wonderful sound and smell of sizzling pancakes, which came all the way from the kitchen. With a sad groan, he cried over not having dinner last night. He wondered what had really happened to him, and he felt that something was bothering him. Another groan came up as his hand touched a piece of paper which was already crumpled on his bed.

”Huh? ” He peered at it with his sleepy eyes. Not getting what it was the first time, his eyes moved towards a yellow envelope. ”Oh shit, the letter. ” He rubbed his sleepy eyes in order to get over the blurriness. Spreading the paper wide, he ran through the letter again. ”What the ** is this? ” He cried and fell back to his bed.

All day yesterday, he had been wondering what the letter meant and where it came from. Questions that initially put him out yesterday were coming back again: Who is M.S.?, Do I know anyone in Alsace?, Is this a prank?, What is the danger?

His thoughts were cut off immediately when his dad knocked at his door and walked in. ”Morning, son, ” Dad said in his gravelly voice. His eyes went round Toms room, which left him—Tom—to wonder if there was any maintenance he wanted to do.

”How did you spend your night? You slept on time, which made me wonder, because I know its not the usual you. ”

Tom didn know what to say at that moment. He just placed his arms on his head, which almost covered his eyes, and said, ”Um, act—. ”

”Are you sick? ”

”No, I just didn feel so great last night. ” Tom rolled over. He felt the paper, and he didn want his dad to see it. He shoved it under his pillow.

Tom still doesn know what to say to his mum if she actually remembers and asks him about it.

”Not good, ” he groaned inwardly.

Tom felt the bed pressed down as his dad sat at the end of it. Tom always imagined hed have a muscular body because he might have inherited it.

Well, science taught him better about physical attributes not being inherited. He had always hated Lamarck for making it look possible.

”Well, you look like three days of rough, to be honest, ” his dad said. ”Are you sure you
e OK? ”

”Yeah, I am fine. ” Tom rolled away from his bed. He reached for his alarm clock. ”Ten thirty? ” His dad could only nod.

”How long have I slept? ” Tom asked in bewilderment.

”You took your time, son, ” his dad answered calmly. Tom rubbed his eyes. He was shocked that he really logged off for that long. Was it the letter that caused it? What exactly are its contents made of?

”Tom, you
e acting weird, you — ”.

”Yeah, I am OK, a million times OK. ” Tom groaned and pressed his hands over his eyes.

Dad smiled. ”Actually, I wanted to ask if you
e ready for breakfast, ” Dad said, standing up and holding out a hand.

Tom sat up in bed. ”Serious? ” His dad nodded, giving him a patented wink. He winced inwardly because he was thinking hed start bugging him again with the ”are you OK? ” question.

”Oky doky, dad. ” Tom nodded and let his dad help him up, then followed him out of the room, wondering what the letter meant. He really wanted to talk about it with someone.

~

Tom took the plate with pancakes and served himself, and that was the third time he did that, which was already looking awkward because his mom was a bit stunned as she watched Tom eat more than what he had taken before.

And it seemed like Tom wasn done yet. He went for the pancakes again, but this time, Lorena couldn control her anger. ”Weirdo! ” She snapped. ”What the hell is wrong with you? Why are you eating like someone who just came back from a rough dream chase? ” Tom froze. He looked up just to notice they had been looking at him. He swallowed the chunk of puffy pancake in his mouth and cleaned it with the wiper. He drew back, but they were still giving him a weird stare.

”Well, Tom, are you sure you are alright? ” His mom asked, lowering her fork. ”You
e eating like a gruesome bear. ”

His dad fell into a big laughter, which lasted for a little while due to the awkward silence at the dining table. ”Sorry about that. ” Mom gave him a disapproving stare.

”Kai is alright, ” Dad smiled. ”He just loves the pancakes. ” Lorena grunted, for no reason, she doubted what her dad had just said.

”Manners, miss. ” Mom stared heavily at her.

Tom really owed his dad one for standing in for him. He grabbed his fork, ready to poke the pancake on his plate.

”So what was that letter all about? ” Mom asked.

Tom froze.

”She won just want to quit asking questions. ” He winced inwardly. He assumed his mother would have forgotten about the letter, so he didn prepare any responses for her.

”Um, its nothing serious, ” he said, lifting the pancake into his mouth. That would give him some time to think of an answer. He took his glass of water and had a long drink, his mind still spinning on what to say.

”Um, actually I think its a gaming email or something. Dad, you do remember the game where you needed some contact with other players? ”

”Ah, what game? ” As Dad wondered, all games played online don require such a way to make contact with other players; sending them a friend request will do.

”Wait, games, all the way from Alsace? ” Mom asked. That was when Tom realized how his mother had suddenly become interested in the letter. She saw the address.

”Its a penpal site thing. ”

”Penpal sites are a whole different thing, dummy, ” Lorena intercepted him.

Oh, shes even interested in this convo, Im dead. Tom cried inwardly.

”Lorena, stop calling your brother a dummy. ” Mom gave her a warning stare.

”Penpal, does it have anything to do with games, Tom? ” Dad dropped his fork and lifted his glass of water.

Tom didn know how he lost his appetite, but he did—he had completely lost it all.

”What will I say? ” He groaned inwardly, begging for a lie to kick hard, right into his head.

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