The previous episode to this story (EXPLORE) can be found here.
Having travelled through the television by some strange kind of magic the children were now standing on a beautiful sandy beach looking between their friend, Frankie, who was the same age as them and an older version of the very same person.
“Wow,” said Stan. “This is a wild start to a boring half term holiday.”
“I think I need to explain,” repeated the older Frankie, She started to tell the kids as they settled onto rocks around her. “You are correct, Frankie, this shouldn’t be able to happen. You and I shouldn’t be able to be present in one of the worlds.”
“One of the worlds?” Stan asked.
“Yes, Stan, one of the worlds. There are many worlds or realities that are all happening at the same time, but with slightly different stories in each. In this world, that you have arrived in, I am as you see me now, older. In your world reality Frankie is your friend and still very young.”
“But how.. er, how…” Stan was having trouble trying to get his head round what the older Frankie had just told them.
“It’s a bit like two channels on the TV,” the younger Frankie said, “Like ‘More 4’, and ‘More 4 plus one’.”
“Ah,” Stan commented, pulling a face that suggested he was beginning to understand what was going on.
“Normally two existences of the same being cannot normally appear in the same reality. This is what we call a paradox.” Older Frankie explained.
“A pair of socks?” giggled Jensen, making Stan giggle too. Ruby and young Frankie stared at them with looks on their faces that told them to be quiet.
“A Paradox … ” Older Frankie said “… is something that cannot happen. Yet here we are and it has happened. Two Frankies in one reality. This is not good for any of our realities, but it has been allowed to happen so that I can ask for your help in changing things and re-establishing the true order.”
“Woo, Hoo,” Stan said. “All this sounds like something from a crazy story. It’s like something from Star Trek, or magic. Am I dreaming?”
“I’m sorry Stan it is real, you are not dreaming, and I’m sorry if it is a little difficult to understand.” Older Frankie smiled at him.
“It’s just so odd,” Stan said again.
“I know, but…” Older Frankie started to speak.
“Stan, please let me speak. I am finding it difficult to be with an older version of me, you know. If it’s strange for you just imagine how strange it is for me,” Young Frankie butted in.
“Thank you,” Older Frankie said as she started to explain more. ” Deep down, Frankie, you have knowledge about what’s happening, but I shall tell you all now so everyone knows what’s going on.”
Everyone sat quietly, listening carefully to Older Frankie as she explained about different realities, and how they were being pulled together. They found it all a little difficult to understand but tried as hard as they could. Older Frankie told them that some of Frankie’s friends ‘The cousins’ had removed something from the reality they were standing in and this had been part of the problem.
“What the cousins did was not wrong, but we did not foresee what might happen. It had to happen, but now we need you to help us return the balance, both here and in other realities. Will you do that for us?” Older Frankie asked.
The friends all looked at each other, all thinking the same thing, that they were being invited to take part in an incredible adventure. After a moment or two they each solemnly said “Yes”.
“Trying to understand everything is giving me bit of a headache,” Stan said, “But I think it’ll be fun.”
“But what do you want us to do?” Ruby asked.
“I can only tell you about the first thing we need you to do, my sisters will each tell you something else.” Older Frankie looked at each of them in turn.
“Please tell us what you want,” Younger Frankie said , speaking for everyone.
“I need you to find a sign in your world and bring it back to this beach to rebalance this reality.”
“What sign?” Ruby asked
“Frankie knows what the sign looks like, and before your day is out you will be given information about where you can find it.” Older Frankie said. “For the time being that is all I can tell you…. Now I shall return you to your world.”
A few minutes later the friends found themselves sitting back on the sofa in Frankie’s house. They were still watching an episode of the cartoon on television that they had been watching before whatever had happened had happened.
“Did that…?” Stan started.
“Yes, Stan. It wasn’t a dream.” Frankie told him.
“Are you still watching that?” Frankie’s mum stuck her head round the doorway. “I’ve finished my call. So who wants to help me in the kitchen?” She asked. “We can cook up something together that will be out of this world.”
Hearing that Frankie, Ruby, Stan and Jensen all looked a little surprised, then started to laugh together at the same time.
“Out of this world,” Ruby said.
“Out of this world,” Jensen repeated.