This was started in my brain a long
time ago (when Kyrie still lived in California) after a visit to the
cemeteries at Colma with Kyrie. Although I was coming down with the flu
that day and was generally way out of it, one image still sticks in my
mind - the row of mausoleums along the 'street' in the Italian
Cemetery. That is where this occurs, in some alternate universe. It is
one of those pieces that I can never seem to get quite done, but I'm in
the mood to post it.
Fixing Things Up
Wade stared at the remains of the glass door in the early morning
light, removing slivers of glass from her jacket. The wormhole dropped
them in some pretty strange and or awkward circumstances, but this had
to be one of the saddest. She looked over at the guys. They didn't seem
to care that they'd damaged somebody's mausoleum.
She straightened up one of the poinsettias that had been knocked over
on their arrival. Behind her, she could hear Arturo speaking. "How long
are we on this world, Mr. Mallory?"
Wade could hear the rustle of Quinn's jacket as he pulled the timer
out. "Fifteen minutes."
"Can we get out of here? It gives me the creeps," the fourth member of
their party said. "I don't like cemeteries."
"I doubt that any ghouls are going to pop out of the ground, Mr.
Brown," Arturo replied.
"Wade, are you okay?" Quinn asked. She could hear his footsteps as he
came closer to her. "What's wrong?"
"I'm just - fixing things up," Wade said. She knew she was going to
cry. "Somebody has to."
Further shuffling of clothing as Quinn knelt beside her. He reached for
her chin and turned her face gently towards his. "Wade, these things
happen. It's not our fault that the wormhole landed us here."
Wade stared mutely at his incomprehension. "Sometimes we can't, and
sometimes we can."
"And sometimes we do," Quinn replied. "Look at how many worlds we've
"I sometimes wonder if we did them any good," Wade said. "Whether all
we're good for is making messes. Screwing things up worse. Who says
that we're always right to interfere?"
"Wade," Quinn said. "There's a lot of places where we've done good.
That communist world, that world where America never became independent
Wade looked at him. He'd dropped his hand. Sometimes he was so handsome
and wonderful, but other times he was as dense as a rock. Sometimes men
tended to be that way. "We've been to hundreds of worlds, Quinn. We've
been involved in so many of them. We spend a lot of time judging them
by our own morality and history, and then fixing them. But have we ever
stopped to think that we might be making things worse?"
"We've seen them get better," Quinn said, as if trying to soothe her.
The guys probably thought she'd gone crazy, that the sliding had
"We've seen people celebrate victories. That doesn't mean that the
change is always good. I mean, look at eastern Europe after the
collapse of the Berlin Wall. Everything was supposed to be wonderful
now that everything's a democracy. Well, guess what? Things haven't
Quinn still wasn't getting it, she could tell. He was probably thinking
she was getting emotional over a glass door. "Come on, Wade," he said.
"We don't have much time before the slide."
"We never do," Wade muttered to herself. She rose up slowly, feeling in
her pocket for her money. It wouldn't be enough to pay for the door,
but it was a start. The best she could do.
Somebody had to do it.