After our monthly adventures in Mejaran last year, I could hardly not do another yearlong prompt in 2014. But I wanted to give someone else a chance to create the world we all will have the opportunity to play in this time around.
Which means, for the very first time, the writing below is not mine. And that my initial contribution will be in the comments, which... feels very strange, to be honest. Not bad, just different.
Anyway, without further ado, let me allow Greg to introduce you to: Vancouver Irrealis.
It was a moment's inattentiveness from some cosmic observer. In the blink of a quantum eye the entirety of Vancouver slipped somehow sideways a fraction of an inch, and everything changed. It was a slow and subtle change; at first it was nothing more than an odd haze like a heat haze at the edges of the city and out on the water, but the hazes grew more regular and it became harder to discern things past them.
Then the streets and houses of Vancouver itself became affected; sometimes it would seem like they weren't there, or that they'd grown thinner or wider, or suddenly had trees on them that had never been there before. People talked about it as they stood at crosswalks or queued at the coffee shop. But it was only odd, it wasn't disturbing.
Then the first gossamer building slipped into existence in a scintillation of coloured lights, replacing the Vancouver Art Gallery for entirely ten minutes before fading away again. People clustered on the other side of the street, their shopping forgotten while they stared at it, and one or two of the braver ones waved at the people they could see inside. Some of the people inside waved back.
Soon it was established, five times a day on a schedule that slipped steadily back an hour every week, the other Vancouver started showing through, and people could pass from one into another if they timed it right, or if they'd developed a knack for it. Reports came back of a Vancouver very similar to the real one, but different in ways that got to you after a while. Vancouver irrealis pressed in on the real world, and the pressure was bound to have consequences.
The other people were just like the city, almost identically human, but the differences, when you started to see them, nagged at you day and night. Like the faint patterns on their skin, just a tiny bit like lizard skin. Like the extra teeth they had in a mouth almost the same size. Like the fact that their edgemost fingers were the longest instead of the shortest.
Tristam was sat on an outside bench at the Yaletown Brewing Company, a decent pub cum restaurant downtown, enjoying the crispness of early autumn, when Vancouver irrealis manifested itself right there, and pulled him through into the other Vancouver.