Weren’t Your Eyes Blue?

April 25, 2013

Last month, HiLobrow announced its eighth micro-fiction contest: FANFICTION. The contest was sponsored by our friends at the used and rare bookseller Pazzo Books.

Here is the second-runner up from our fanfiction contest: “Weren’t Your Eyes Blue?”, by Joe Coen (of Houston, Texas). Coen is a planner/timeliner for the Human Research Program on the International Space Station. His fiction has appeared on HiLobrow before!



“NORRM!” shouts the Cheers patrons. The bar is buzzing with after work regulars.

“Suds, Sammy,’” says Norm bulling his way to his bar stool. Before Norm could drop, Sam Malone had already plopped the mug in its customary spot.

“Hey, Norm,” says Cliff, “Doc here was just telling us that one of the theories I came up with actually has a basis in quantum mechanics.”

“Proving once again that given enough time an infinite number of monkeys with an infinite number of crayons will eventually produce a Rembrandt,” says Frasier.

“But this monkey was smart enough to recognize it,” Cliff says.

“You’re at least half right,” Carla tells Cliff as she picks up empty mugs from the bar.

“So, I’m probably going to regret asking this, but what’s this theory of Cliff’s?” asks Norm.

“Anything possible, no matter how improbable, exists, but in separate universes,” says Cliff.

“What? Oh, wait a minute, I wasn’t prepared,” says Norm. He takes a long sip of beer. “Now I’m prepared. Run that by again.”

“Cliff, let me try,” says Frasier. “Our lives are all a sum of our choices. Some choices are more significant than others. Some are made for us. The theory goes that for every choice made, all possible outcomes exist in a separate, alternate universe.”

Carla screams and drops her tray of empty mugs on the bar. Sam rushes over to help.

“What’s the matter?” Sam asks.

“Oh my God, I could be Mrs. Cliff Clavin,” she sputters as she and Sam clean up the spill.

“So, let me get this straight,” says Norm. “Sammy here could be, oh, I don’t know, a cynical, chain smoking doctor practicing in the Bronx.”

“You know, when I was a boy, I thought about becoming a doctor once, then I discovered that I liked playing doctor, better. Still do,” says Sammy eliciting a chuckle from the guys.

“Or Carla could be filling vending machines in New York City and dating a cab dispatcher,” Norm continues.

“Anything has got to be better than being Mrs. Clavin,” says Carla finishing up the cleaning.

“Or Cliff could be the ring master of a flea circus or something,” says Norm.

“Exactly what I was saying. Or Woody a psychopathic serial killer,” says Cliff.

“I’m not sure I’m liking where this is going, Mr. Clavin,” warns Woody. “I get my cereal from a box.”

“Later, Woody, later,” Sam assures.

“And it’s already dead,” Woody adds.

“It’s all right,” Sam says. “Could you please go get the mop?”

“Well, okay, usually dead,” Woody adds before leaving to retrieve the mop.

“So, Doc, if I’m hearing Cliff correctly,” interrupts Paul, “There’s a universe where people live in Disneyland and vacation in Realityland just so they’ll gain appreciation for all the things they don’t have while living in Disneyland like free will, chewing gum, automatic weapons and a Harry Potter ride because Harry is owned by another universe ironically called Universal even though it really isn’t for reasons we’re discussing and where the meaning of the torments and suffering of those of us stuck in Realityland are ultimately unknowable because the God that gives also takes and is trying to win some crazy bar bet He made with the devil?”

Doctor Crane, Cliff and Norm remain silent and try to avoid eye contact.

“Paul, I better call you a cab,” says Sam.

“But, I haven’t had anything to drink, yet. I just got here,” says Paul. “I haven’t done anything. I never do.”

“Still, better safe than sorry,” says Sam.

“I swear that Paul is cursed, or something,” Cliff whispers to Norm.

“I’m just glad those disgusting boils he had on his neck finally cleared up,” Norm whispers back.

As Paul and Sam discuss Paul’s sobriety among themselves, at the far end of the bar, a goateed man dressed in a dark suit with a red tie hands Phil a twenty dollar bill.

“Told ya,” says Phil.

Meanwhile, as Cliff and Norm discuss Paul’s curse among themselves, Frasier notices Lillith emerging from the hallway leading to the pool room. Their eyes lock.

“I’m sorry, have we met before?” Lillith asks.

“You look so familiar to me. Have you appeared on stage, perhaps? In Chicago, specifically?” Frasier says.

“Sorry, never been to Chicago,” Lillith responds. “You must be mistaking me for someone else.”

“Perhaps I could buy you a drink,” Frasier offers.

“No thank you,” Lillith says and turns. She calls toward the hallway. “Hurry, my love, we have to pick up little Sammy by six thirty and the traffic will be dreadful.”

“Honestly, Lillith, if you didn’t have to drag us here after work each day, we wouldn’t be in such a rush,” Diane says as she emerges from the hallway.

“Oh, why such a sour face,” says Lillith before planting a light kiss on Diane’s lips.

“I fail to see how that will speed us along in any way,” says Diane.

Frasier awakens in a darkened room. Lillith, Diane and the bar are gone. He shakes his head as Lt. Saavik, the female Vulcan first officer of the Soyuz class starship USS Bozeman removes her fingers from his temple.

“Why did you break the mind meld?” he asks.

“We may have bigger issues on our hands than having been lost in time for ninety years,” says Saavik.

“How so?”

“The nightmares you have been having are not random thoughts from your subconscious.”

“What are they, then?”

“Memory fragments from alternate timelines, universes even. Apparently, you and I once lived radically different lives in a city on earth called Boston in the late twentieth century.”

Puzzled, Frasier stares into Saavik’s eyes.

“And Saavik, weren’t your eyes blue?”


ALL CONTEST WINNERS! 1. TROUBLED SUPERHUMAN: Charles Pappas’s “The Law” | 2. CATASTROPHE: Timothy Raymond’s “Hem and the Flood” | 3. TELEPATHY: Rachel Ellis Adams’s “Fatima, Can You Hear Me?” | 4. OIL SPILL: A.E. Smith’s “Sound Thinking” | 5. LITTLE NEMO CAPTION: Joe Lyons’s “Necronomicon” | 6. SPOOKY-KOOKY: Tucker Cummings’s “Well Marbled” | 7. PULP HERO: TG Gibbon’s “The Firefly” | 8. FANFICTION: Lyette Mercier’s “Sex and the Single Superhero”