Serial Novel Online Glitches Chapter 3

Serial Novel Online Glitches Chapter 3

Glitches Free Online Serial Novel


Chapter 3

Eventually I realized that I needed to stop Glitching in public. The enormous volatility was just too dangerous to continue in full view of anyone and everyone. The stakes were too high now. Much too high. But I didn’t realize just how dangerous it was until the incident with the semi.

Let me explain. After a particularly terrible day with Yolanda, several of her aunts, and her parents I decided to get out and go for a walk to blow off some steam. Each step was more of a stomp than it was a step. As I trounced my way further and further away from my house I tunneled deeper and deeper into my anger. I was oblivious to everything and everyone around me.

An hour into my walk there was a sudden screeching of a horn blast and the sound of tires ripping across the pavement. The chaos crystalized in front of me as I realized that a semi was barreling through a red light less than ten feet away from me.


And like that the entire tableaux was paused right there in all its panoramic glory. There was the Pepsi semi – smoke flying off its breaks – halfway through the intersection. Less than five feet from the front of the out of control semi was a small car with a young couple staring at the incoming behemoth with eyes as wide as saucers.

Looking back at it now I should have just released the glitch and watched the carnage unfold. But in defense of my actions it really was the only thing I could have done. There weren’t any other options available to me. Letting the couple get crushed wasn’t really an option now that the Glitch held them safely alive for the time being. I just wasn’t that guy who would not help.

So without even thinking I found myself at the door of the car, which was seconds away from absolutely getting demolished. There was nothing I could do about that. But that was when the full horror of the situation became clear. There in the backseat of this tin-can of a car I noticed that there were two children in the backseat buckled into carseats. A baby and a toddler. Their eyes couldn’t get any wider

As I was fumbling my way into the car I began doing the math of how long it would take to get the family of four out of the car safely. Two parents. Two children encased in carseats. A hundred yards to safety for each. It was going to take at least two minutes minutes to get the entire family out safely and over to the nearby sidewalk. Could I hold the glitch for that long? The anger of the day was on my side of course. But even so, I’d never intentionally sustained a glitch that long before. I didn’t think the odds were very good. But even so, I had to try. I was all in now.

I needed to get at least one parent out of the two door car before I could get to the kids in the backseat. A part of my brain laughed a bit at the lifeboat conversation I was having in my head while the more primal areas of my brain worried about actually surviving myself. I threw the mother over my shoulder and fireman carried her as fast as I physically could. I unceremoniously threw her to the sidewalk and sprinted back to the car.

Deep inside the bowels of the car I found myself hyperventilating a bit knowing that I was running out of time. The children seemed welded to the car with their 92 point harnesses. I was unfamiliar with how these things worked, how was anyone supposed to be able to get their children out of a contraption like this? When I finally had both children decoupled from their car seats I hefted the baby in my left arm and the toddler over my right shoulder. I know that I smacked heads against the car frame and I’m sure I bruised them significantly getting out of the car in such a hurry. But at that point I knew my window was closing very rapidly now. I could almost hear the crackling of the glitch as it began to come unmoored.
I heaved the kids onto their mother and sprinted as fast as I could back to the car. I momentarily thought about not even trying to get the father out of the car, just letting it go. But there was something there driving me forward, to not accept defeat as an option. I searched the day for an untapped comment when I remembered Yolanda wiping coffee off my tie while giving a look to one of her parents. That eyebrow, cocked accusingly, was the power to help me surge me forward. I heard the glitch firm up a bit and hold with the added power from this internal rage.
But the question was, would it be enough? Thankfully the father was not buckled in and so it was much easier to begin hauling him out through the passenger side door.
I go a little blank on the next few milliseconds. I’m not 100% certain of what happened next. And the drugs have made the incident even fuzzier still. But I can guess at most of it. The bottom line, somewhere between when I had the father between the gearshift and the door the glitch snapped closed and everything went black.

The first question I asked when I snapped awake was simple enough. “Did he survive?”
The nurse that had been updating my charts was there in a heartbeat and was trying to quiet me. This much was obvious. But I wouldn’t be quieted. “Tell me.” I choked out over the tubes and the medical equipment. “Did the father… survive?”
And then I knew from the look on her face. He hadn’t survived. It didn’t take any sort of super power or magic it was written in her eyes and the curve of her mouth. Her face was an open book and there was moisture in her eyes. “Mrs. Radcliff has come daily to visit you and has waited for you to wake up. We weren’t sure whether you were going to make it either. You turned the corner in the last several days and have made significant improvements.” The nurse wiped her eyes and blew her nose and then continued. “No one understands what happened. It doesn’t make sense. But the mother is grateful and would like to thank you personally. Speaking of which, can you tell me your name? Your birthdate? And your address?”
The question was subtle enough. It had to be a fairly standard question for someone with possible brain trauma. But she had said it a tad too casually. In that moment I realized that the hospital had no idea who I was. I hadn’t accounted for that. I must have walked out of my apartment without my wallet though I couldn’t remember specifically doing so. And my cellphone was still sitting on my dresser, that much I knew for sure. I began to speak and began to cough and choke. My throat felt like I’d swallowed three brillow pads successively. I motioned for something to drink and as I did so I noticed the reflection of someone in the hospital room’s bathroom. My first instinct was that it was a police officer.
Something snapped in that moment. I knew I was in trouble. Maybe I wasn’t in trouble just then… not at that exact particular moment, but sometime soon anyway. It was all going to come down like a spectacular house of cards.
As the nurse was pouring water into a glass I glitched the water in mid-air and began detaching myself from the various equipment and machinery. I decided I would be discharging myself right then and there, thank you very much. And as I stumbled through the dresser drawers looking for my old clothes I began to realize how badly I must have been injured in the accident. My clothes were nowhere to be seen. So the paramedics must have cut them off of me at the crash site. I gave a quick shudder at that thought and started for the hospital door.
As I walked past the man in the bathroom there was a small part of me that was proud I’d guessed correctly, even if I was more than a bit overwhelmed at the implications of it all. His name badge said his name was Detective Barley. He was a small man, prematurely balding. He had a miniature notepad out, with a corresponding miniature pencil. A quick glance at his notes made me realize his prime concern was figuring out my name, birthdate and address. The same exact questions the nurse had asked me. On a lark I took the notepad and tossed it in the toilet. And the pencil I placed in the air above his head, and then I walked out.
Twelve minutes later, after I’d found clothes and hobbled my way 3 blocks down the street, the glitch snapped closed and life continued forward.

Once Yolanda found me again there was hell to pay. She invoked her displeasure in so many different and unique ways I realized how clueless I was to what she was capable of. If I had had any cajones at all I would have left then. But there was something there that made me feel like I couldn’t leave. Destiny maybe? Fate? The good times were so very good maybe? They made up for the bad? Did they? When we were laughing together, it was true, nothing felt wrong in the world.
But those moments were becoming less and less these days. I actually couldn’t remember the last time we laughed together. Our inside jokes had long since dried up and evaporated completely. What kept me here to slog my way through this pain and this chaos? Was it the hope that it would be better after the wedding? Was that it? I knew that was foolishness. And yet I couldn’t make myself walk out the door. I just couldn’t do it.
My life, as I’d known it was 100% founded on Yolanda. Yolanda, her family, and her estate. Maybe that was the truth. The money. Maybe I knew that I would be ridiculously rich after I was married to her and that was what kept me around. Was it the hope of being pampered and catered to once we’d tied the knot? She wasn’t letting up about my being jobless, so that couldn’t be it completely. And yet, there was this feeling like it was destiny that had brought Yolanda into my life and I couldn’t do any better.
Unless of course I could find that red headed beauty that is. The only one who might have a clue as to what was going on around me. The glitching, the powers, this wild new world. Maybe she was the key to figuring it all out. Who was she, I wondered. Did she have the answers I needed? And most important of all, where was she now?

A month after the accident Yolanda and I were picnicking at the park in the bright summer sun when I realized Yolanda was smiling at me. “What?” I asked completely caught off guard. “What is it?” I wondered aloud.
Nothing. I’m just happy to be with you. Right here. And right now. I didn’t really understand and then she continued. I really can’t wait to begin the rest of our lives together. Ah. There it was. It was the engagement again.
I had just started working back at an architecture firm as a pre-visualization artist. So I wasn’t completely a fullboat artist, but I hadn’t completely caved and gone back as an architect completely. It meant giving up my brushes and switching to Photoshop, CAD and markers. It was a cut in pay, but Yolanda didn’t seem to care what I made, just that I was employed.
Against my better judgment I had started saving cash away for a ring when one of Yolanda’s aunts pulled me aside and let me know that Yolanda’s mother’s ring was ready for the asking if I wanted to have it. This had caught me completely off guard. I made my excuses and decided I would fund the ring on my own, so I diligently put money aside each week for exactly that purpose.
Realizing that the park was just a baited situation to get me to pull the trigger completely turned me off for the “magic” in the air. Had she thought I’d purchased a ring already? Or did her aunts mention her mother’s ring was available for the asking? I didn’t know. All I knew was that Yolanda was not about to get engaged now and I needed to find the quickest excuse out of the park imaginable.
That was when the Celtic siren walked by. I didn’t see her face, but I didn’t need to. She was wearing the same headband to hold back her fiery mane. And I would recognize that hair anywhere.
In a snap judgement I glitched the world into a pause and took a deep breath. I did a quick calculation and figured I probably had maybe three minutes? The engagement thing had me amped up, but I had thrown a glitch only a half hour before in order to take a deep breath and calm myself after something Yolanda had said.
And so I slowly stood up and walked around to the front of the woman who was striding through the grass about fifteen feet away. She was paused in midstride with one foot precariously off the ground. It looked as if she was performing a circus trick actually… what she was doing wasn’t possible in real time. Her center of gravity was too far off kilter. But I’d long since gotten used to the bizarre positions glitches caught people in.
I was more than a little nervous that as I came around to the front of my Celtic dream that she would again be watching me as I moved. But this was an unnecessary concern. Her eyes were resolutely pointed in front of her in the direction she was walking. But then the strangest thing happened to me as I came to a stop in front of her. I was aware of a flicker in time that moved through me and then faded into the distance. I shook my head a bit to clear the sensation and looked around for any evidence of some change. But I saw nothing.
And then on impulse, I gently grabbed the woman’s left hand which was at the apex of its swing and then gave it a gentle kiss. At that moment I knew something was wrong. A feeling like my ears needing to pop came over me and I began looking around furiously for the source of the imposition. Eventually I discovered a note in my pocket I hadn’t placed there myself. I flipped it out and read it. And then I sat down on the grass and read it again.
“You have no idea how unsafe this is. Release the time shift. We can talk somewhere else when it is safer. You are going to get us both killed.”
The questions dog piled on one another instantaneously. Who is “we” she was referring to? Why was it unsafe? Killed? By whom? Where did this note come from? I was such a complete and utter beginner to this underworld of time shifting I had no idea what I was messing with. Obviously this new world was so much bigger than I really even comprehended.
And so I complied. With no other data or input to go on besides this note I figured I had to. I dropped back onto the picnic blanket and positioned myself as close as I could to where I was before and then I dropped the glitch. Yolanda had been looking away from the tree when the glitch started and her gaze settled back my direction with a questioning look on her face. I tried to act as nonchalantly as I could and then a cough spontaneously combusted out of me. I covered my mouth with the hand that held the note without thinking and instantly regretted it.
What is that? Yolanda asked.
“What? This?” I said looking at the now crumpled up paper in my hand. Trying to make it look as insignificant as possible. “This is nothing. Just trash I picked up on the ground. It’s nothing.” And then I heard the words reverberating in my head again, ‘you are going to get us both killed.’