Friday, July 29, 2005

True Tales From the Spiral Edge

The Spiral Edge Diner is the greatest of rarities: an existential singularity. Only one of it exists throughout the grand infinity that is the multiverse. Travelers from the myriad parallel dimensions frequent the diner, and trade stories with one another.

Often, groups of the same person will share a booth. Five alternate versions of Elvis Presley meet for burgers every Tuesday night. Those Elvises from Earths without rock and roll listen with rapt envy to the stories told by the superstar Elvises. Tales of fame and fortune, and the pain and misery it can bring. Stories told in husky whispers of the Elvises that didn't make it; Earths where Elvis died by overdose, a variety of travel accidents and even a crazed fan; stories of washed-up Elvises, bloated caricatures lurching about the stages of the seedier Vegas casinos. One of the superstars tells the story of a messiah-Elvis, worshipped by half of America before and after his death at the hands of a CIA operative.

There are plenty of stories to be heard at the Spiral Edge; from tales of Aztec rocket scientists to a world without Christianity. Men and women with bright costumes and strange abilities relate wild accounts of aliens encountered in the Old West while traveling through time. A kindly old wizard tells cyborg children chilling tales of Earths with no technology while nuclear holocaust survivors share grief-stricken accounts with researchers from one of the utopian Earths. The diner even has a story of its own; that of two young lovers, each from a different universe, wandering the diner in search of the one story that can keep them together.

Anyone can hear these stories for the price of a cup of coffee and a little something in the tip jar.

Of course, if you’ve a story of your own to tell, then the coffee’s on the house all night.

7 comments:

Chris said...

Yes, it's another multiverse story. I'm in that kind of a mood, I guess. ;)

Lisa said...

I love the texture of this one...that sharp intake of breath at reading about the two young lovers--wishing them their perfect world. And of course, the image of 5 Elvises chatting it up...

Rae Ann said...

I love this! Have you ever watched The Elegant Universe? It was on PBS some time ago. You can still watch it online I think. I'll try to find the link. I wonder if you still get free coffee even if your tale is a common, mundane one? But yeah, I think all of our minds are different universes in a way and your story is a great metaphor for that.

Rae Ann said...

found that link...

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/elegant/program.html

Chris said...

Once again, thanks guys. :) And Rae Ann, I'll check out that link when I get the chance. It's been a busy weekend thus far, so I haven't been in front of the computer.

Also, there are no mundane stories, only mundane storytellers. ;)

Kat said...

Elvises that didn't make it? That would be a weird world.

rAsp said...

Fun piece! Great place too, though i'd recommend avoiding the meatloaf. The apple pie is exellent however.