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4. They do a little theorizing.

3. There's a New Girl in Town

2. A wish for something interesti

1. You Are What You Wish

20 Years Later: Ready... Set...

avatar on 2023-11-17 01:49:33

526 hits, 102 views, 3 upvotes.

SciFi Stuck

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"... No way... I... you, of all things, how can you be my daughter!?"

"I mean, she does look an awful lot like you, Karyn," Jon noted, gesturing to Evelyn beside him. "The new you, anyway, after the wish this morning."

"And I used to look an awful lot like the old you, mom," Evelyn noted, running a self-conscious hand through her newly-blonde hair. "It's a bit weird actually; I'm so used to seeing you with red hair like mine. And older than me, and less chesty..."

"Okay, okay, I get it!" Karyn waved her hands in evident disgust. "Just, I'm not your mom yet, okay!? I'm not ready to be anyone's mom yet! I'm not ready to even start thinking about being someone's mom yet!"

Evelyn seemed hurt. "You weren't ready for me the first time around, either..."

"Karyn, breathe," Jon reassured her. "Don't freak out just yet; it's a lot to take in, but the Stone is still tucked away at my place. I'm sure we can at the very least do some damage control with it, alright?"

Karyn inhaled sharply, then exhaled just as sharply. "We really should have just buried that thing..." she grumbled. "We're 0 for 2 on good wishes now, and besides, didn't we establish earlier that wishes can't be reversed!?"

"Yeah, don't remind me," Evelyn replied glumly. "I'm pretty sure that means really bad news for me, given my hair..."

"Wishes can be modified," Jon insisted. "And for something as vague as 'anything interesting', I'm sure we could make that one into just about anything we want, right?"

Neither Karyn nor her daughter seemed to buy it. "What was that about your hair, Evelyn?"

"Dad and I were theorizing about it on the walk to your current house," she explained. "For starters, he told me how the Stone seems to modify genetics, so that means anything it does that changes either of you might change me, and vice versa. It might even be that, if we wished for me to have my original red hair, it wouldn't grant that, since that could be construed as reversing your wish, for example."

"Or it could be that, if we wished that, then Evelyn's hair would turn red, and your hair would turn strawberry blonde or something," Jon chimed in. "Of course we wanted to see if you were okay with it first, but I figure that once we get the stone in hand, that's an innocent enough test to see what we can do from here."

"Yeah, but we need to be suuuuuper careful with what we wish for from here," Evelyn warned. "It's also possible that there's some Back To The Future shenanigans going here, and the reason I'm blonde now is that my entire childhood is totally different thanks to the Stone! I don't remember anything different — all indications are that I came from a timeline where the Stone either doesn't exist, or else you got it rid of it early on and never told me about it — but maybe I'm getting the same protections as someone who heard the wish, for whatever reason, and that's why I'm not perceiving whatever butterfly effect is going on? I'd certainly imagine that the existence of something as powerful and disruptive as the Stone would have a huge change on the future."

"Some possible futures," Jon interjected again. "I mean, we know that there are multiple possible pasts back from now, depending on whose memory in this town we say remembers the 'true' past or not, blonde or ginger. Who's to say there aren't multiple possible futures from here?"

"This sounds like it's gonna get too confusing too fast," Karyn rubbed her temples as she walked with them. "Time Travel shenanigans are hard enough to keep up with when they're just on TV."

"That's why we need to experiment some, see it for ourselves," Jon said.

"NO, that's why we need to be careful from here!" Evelyn burst out, getting a surprised look from Jon and Karyn. She sighed, and explained, "Look, Mom, Dad, it was already a miracle enough in my own timeline that I even existed at all... you were just teenagers, guys, doing horny teenager things, and then, there I was! And Karyn was right a moment ago; if I found myself in those shoes, having to be a mom at this age when I'm not ready for it, I don't really know how I'd rationalize keeping the baby."

A pregnant silence weighed down the air around the trio for a long moment.

"... I don't think you need to worry about that," Jon replied in a shaky attempt at reassurance after a while. "You're definitely still here with us, for one, and the Stone doesn't exactly take its time to slowly fade things out like in Back To The Future. For two, we aren't going to knowingly try and mess with you and your life or anything; there's not really any interpretation of what's going on here where I'm not responsible for you being here, so it's on me to set things straight, alright? And for 3, we can make protective wishes to guard against any butterfly effect or whatever it is you're worried about erasing you once we get the Stone back. You're in good hands, alright?"

"Jon's right... Er, your father's right?" Karyn tried a more matronly tone; she didn't really like how it felt on her tongue, but it was worth a shot. "We'll take care of you. There isn't really any good way I can think of to fix things without making a bunch of wishes on the Stone, so we may have to risk that, but, we definitely aren't going to erase you or your future, s-sweetie. Trust us a little, okay?"

"...You guys really are the best mom and dad ever." Evelyn surprised Jon and Karyn with a sudden hug, pulling them both in close. They were taken off guard, but for her, it must have been the most natural thing in the world, judging by the look on her face. "That hasn't changed."

Jon and Karyn exchanged a Look while still in their daughter's embrace. It only lasted a moment, but they may as well have had a full conversation in that moment, just with their eyes. We're doing this, then? You know what this means? Karyn might have asked apprehensively. Look at her, Karyn. Of course we are, Jon would have replied. He was first to hug her back. I know I'm not ready. Karyn slowly followed suit. But I guess nobody is.

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