THE ORACLE

The ORACLE consists of a series of short stories tied together by means of a background story – a story within a story (similar to Ray Bradbury’s “Illustrated Man”). The stories are written with trick endings in the vein of the old Twilight Zone series.

 

The background story begins with a young musician on his way to Phoenix from Los Angles for a concert. He is given a car by his manager and shortly after entering Arizona it breaks down. Out in the middle of nowhere he decides to hitch a ride to the nearest town for help. While waiting for a ride, the weather turns inclement and he seeks refuge at a ranch house inhabited by an old and lonely couple. They invite him in and persuade him to stay for dinner.

 

After eating, they retire to the living room. After a while, the old woman offers to show their guest some of their three dimensional slides on their old-time stereoscope.

 

Being polite, the young man decides to endure the request. His hosts carefully remove a set of slides from a shiny metallic box from under the coffee table and place the first one in the stereoscope’s viewer. They instruct the young man to hold the stereoscope up to the living room lamp and focus it towards the viewer. When the viewer is focused and the light hits the slide, something amazing happens.

 

The still 3D image begins to move!

 

The old man believes that the slides portray events that will take place in the future. The old woman believes that they are magical slides that portray events in alternative realities. They both agree on one thing though – to offer the young man another slide to see for himself – and another, and another, and another.

 

The viewing of a different slide is a separate story. And each story is preceded and followed by the ongoing interplay between the young man, the old couple and the stereoscope viewing.

© 2016 Frank Fiore

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