Shrongs Part III or Part II, article A

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This is a piece of fiction from about four years ago…one of my favorites that was never featured on or Which seems sort of odd in retrospect, since I run both.

Hope you like part III of “Shrongs”

When we left off, the inter-dimensional portal thingy came back with a message from another civilization and now the scientist guys wanna send our hero – me, to that mysterious place beyond.
In part one we saw the range of events that lead him into being the chosen one to go beyond.
In the last episode, we jumped to the return of our hero (me) after the inter-dimensional traveling…now to make things even more confusing we are jumping back to the actual trip itself…

Since this is about dimensions and time, I just had to play with that.
Our hero (me), just climbed out of his little cramp traveling machine to find himself in a warehouse, and an elderly man in overalls is in the room. Just sitting…
Now we continue…I think

“So they put me in this little machine. No bigger than a clothes dryer, and now I’m here to make first contact.”
“What’s a clothes dryer?” he asked in a slow southern sounding drawl.
“Never mind.” I added.
“Soooo, you’re not from around here?” the man asked.
“Well, I don’t know if you noticed, but this little machine here just appeared and I climbed out. I don’t know how to say this, but I don’t think we’re the same species.”
“I have to admit, I did notice your skin was a little different…just didn’t wan’a be nosey. This is the spot where that other thing that appeared out nowhere, was. Then it just disappeared. Went back to where it came from, I guess.”
“So you know about the other portal?” I inquired.
“Not a lot, it was here, I cleaned around it, then it was gone.” He added.
“So, you’re the janitor?”
“20 years. You need to speak to one of those guys studying the other thing that was here?”
“Yes, I think I should. I am on limited time.” I said impatiently.
“Everybody is, everybody is.” He said as he dialed a phone.
The building looked like one from the 1920’s. All the detail of fine workmanship. The telephone was an old ten pound “Ma-bell” phone.
“Hey this is John” he spoke in the phone. Is anyone still alive that knows about that thing that appeared back a-aways? Uh-huh. There’s another one here. Uh-huh. No I didn’t touch it, but somebody just climbed right out of this one. Uh-huh. He says he’s in a hurry, everybody is…Sure.”
He put the phone down. “Somebody should be showing up soon.”
Soon I was talking to an elderly man who studied the work of the men who studied the portal thing before it disappeared.
“Actually, it didn’t appear in this exact spot. It showed up in a playground, some kids were messing with it when we decided to move it to be studied. They scratched a smiley face on it.
We never got much information out of it, it vanished right after it was moved.” He explained. “Maybe you could explain how it works?”
“Oh geez. I have no idea. I come from another dimension that shares the same space as you do…maybe we share time…I really don’t know? The picked me because I don’t get old very fast and they thought that would be a plus.”
This thing is on a timer, I just need to let you guys know we’d like to come back, if its okay with you”
“That is, if I make it back alive.” I added.
“I can’t speak for our whole planet, or the whole dimension in which we exist, but I think we would have a great deal to learn from your civilization..” The lab-coat guy confirmed.
“I only have a few minutes, but can you show me around.” I asked.
Definitely a 1920’s type civilization. But it seemed different. Why wasn’t the janitor freaked by my presence? A new species didn’t even rattled an elderly janitor.
Odd. Very odd.
I looked out the window and saw modern looking cars zipping around. The the technology for these types of vehicles doesn’t really match the building, but there they were.
So I’m watching these very modern looking vehicles driving down the street, when I notice there were also huge, dinosaur-like reptiles lumbering down the street pulling trailers.
They were about twice the size of an elephant, looked sort of like a brontosaurus, but without the long necks. It was weird to say the least, seeing the modern cars zipping around them.
“What are those?” I inquired.
“Shrongs” the mayor replied.
“Why do you call them ‘Shrongs?’” I asked.
“Open the window.”
I opened the old style, un-insulated, wooden framed window.
With each slow step of the reptile, I could hear and almost feel the vibration caused by its weight. “Shroooong.” One step landed. “Shrooong” went the next step. It was almost had the ringing effect of a deep bell ringing.
“Ok, I get it. We don’t have anything like that on our world. I mean we did, but they all died long ago.”
“We have an extinct species as well, mostly they died off, because they ate Shrongs and we protect Shrongs. Not too many meat-eaters left.”
“So you guys don’t eat meat?” I asked.
“No, we don’t eat anything. Just need some sunlight, water, and a few nutrients. But the Shrongs, they graze on the grass. It’s pretty cheap to use them.”
“Sunlight and water? Are you guys are plants?’ I asked.
“No.” He laughed. “But we don’t’ have mitochondria like the Shrongs or meat-eaters, we photosynthesis instead. Do you graze?” the mayor added.
“Well, we eat plants and animals.” I admitted. Despite our technological advances, I kinda felt inferior.
“Wow, that is odd. We don’t have anything here that eats both. Most meat-eaters are violent. Are you violent?”
“We can be, but we control it. At least we try too.”
“Your not really making a good case for a future landings. If that’s what you would call it.” He added.
“We are what we are.” I admitted.
“I’m going to leave you with the OK to come back, but I’ll have to alert the higher ups of your nature, we might choose to have the next crew or guy contained in a closed building…you know, to be on the safe side.”
“Maybe a few guards or police.” I added.
“What are those?” he inqured.
“Oh nothing important.” I said. “Time to go.” I added as my watch buzzed. “If you don’t mind, I’ll need a little help closing the door, it’s really cramp in there.”
I climbed back in the small portal and the before the mayor closed the door he added, “I hope you get back safe.”
“Thanks, I added.” As he closed the door which pushed my knee against my chest I felt like luggage being squished in a travel bag.

COMING NEXT: What comes after I came back?

Bob Senitram

Webmaster and editor of I obtained a bachelor's degree in micro-biology around the turn of the century but was quickly tracked down and forced to return it to its rightful owner and pay a $25 fine. *** A fan of science fiction, I started this website in 1999 as a portal for science fiction stories that have never been published. *** Completely devoid of talent, I decided to call on the public to supply content. Shortly afterwards Stephen and I started writing weekly columns and have continued to this day.

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