Progression #18

[Chapter Five- “The Factory” — Part Two of Two]

progression number eighteen

{To be continued…}

[Original writing & photography by J. E. Lattimer]

© 2012 J. E. Lattimer all rights reserved

*

***[For my subscribers who do not read English]***

1)

The sound of an industrial steam whistle marked the end of the work day. Charlotte Altomare and her coworkers on the line abandoned their stations and walked in single file toward the back of the large room.

Everyone continued in a straight line down a dark tunnel that led to the locker rooms. No one said a single word [Since conversing while on company property could be grounds for immediate termination.].

Charlotte changed into street clothes as quickly as possible.

2)

She moved down another short tunnel that led to the exit.

There was a camera on the wall next to the door that served as a time clock. Each employee paused in front of it for a few moments while facial pattern recognition software confirmed their identity.

Charlotte waited while the people in front of her went through the motions. When it was her turn she stared directly at the black lens until she heard the lock on the door click.

She pushed her way through the heavy steel door and sighed.

3)

Security cameras watched her as she crossed the street to the underground parking garage. She passed by the elevator and took the stairs down three levels to where the car was parked.

Thank God I have three days off! Charlotte thought.

She left the stairwell and walked toward the car while pulling a cigarette out of her purse. A flick of the lighter, a slow inhale, deep breath, exhale.

An overhead light flickered as she unlocked the car and climbed inside…

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Progression #17

[Chapter Five- “The Factory” — Part One of Two]

progression number seventeen

{To be continued…}

[Original writing & photography by J. E. Lattimer]

© 2012 J. E. Lattimer all rights reserved

*

***[For my subscribers who do not read English]***

1)

The ten hour shift at the factory was nearly over, and Charlotte Altomare was extremely anxious to go home.

The supervisor had informed everyone during the lunch hour that there wouldn’t be any work for three days, and that they should all enjoy their time off.

Charlotte was looking forward to leaving the uncomfortable black helmet and white smock in her locker and having some time to herself. She had a splitting headache from the machines- The earplugs didn’t work.

2)

Charlotte had spent the shift at her usual spot, standing at the beginning of the middle treadmill.

The vast network of machines in front of her connected the maze of wires to the circuit boards and then dropped each unit down onto the worn treadmill below.

She was the first human to inspect each unit after completion. There were six specific points that she was required to check before sending the part down to the next person [Who was responsible for inspecting the next six points, and so on.].

3)

She had always wondered what the parts were for- Had even worked up the nerve to ask the supervisor about a month ago while on break.

“No one knows.” He had told her. “Even I don’t know. The guy who had my position last year told me that these circuit boards are all used in the war. But he was eliminated shortly after that, and, at the end of the day, it’s only a rumor.”

Since that conversation Charlotte had decided that asking questions was a bad idea.

Progression #16

[Chapter Four- “Home” — Part Three of Three]

progression number sixteen

{To be continued…}

[Original writing & photography by J. E. Lattimer]

© 2012 J. E. Lattimer all rights reserved

*

***[For my subscribers who do not read English]***

1)

Jack walked down the short hallway and entered the bedroom. The bed was neatly made and the room was immaculate.

He opened the door to his closet and was shocked to find the space filled with various cardboard boxes stacked waist-high. All of his clothing had simply disappeared. 

Jack went to the room’s only window and peered out between the blinds. He looked down at the small parking lot behind the building, but did not see Charlotte’s car.

2)

He moved away from the window and walked into the room that had functioned as his art studio for many years.

Artwork was scattered across the drawing table. The abstract ink drawing that he had finished earlier in the day was nowhere to be found.

“Where did these come from?” Jack said.

He did not remember creating the paintings, had never seen any of the images before.

Jack sat down at the desk and took a few deep breaths. 

3)

He picked up another stack of artwork from the corner of his writing desk and was flipping through the pages when he discovered a large folder.

“What’s this?” He muttered to himself.

He opened the folder and was completely dismayed by the first document he found within.

“I- I don’t understand! This can’t be real!”

The room was spinning and he was suddenly lightheaded.

He was overwhelmed by fear, confusion, anger and sorrow.

Progression #15

[Chapter Four- “Home” — Part Two of Three]
progression number fifteen
{To be continued…}

[Original writing & photography by J. E. Lattimer]

© 2012 J. E. Lattimer all rights reserved

*

***[For my subscribers who do not read English]***

1)

“Hello?” Jack called out. He closed the door and snapped the deadbolt back into place.

“Charlotte? Are you home?”

No response. He stood next to the door and calmly surveyed the first two rooms within the condo- The living room and the kitchen.

Certain things had remained the same while other aspects were completely different. The appliances in the kitchen were much more elaborate than he remembered and he did not recognize most of the artwork hanging on the walls.

2)

Jack took a few tentative steps across the room. He felt like an intruder in his own home.

The large bookshelf was still in the corner, but he didn’t know the titles and authors displayed on the spines. He pulled a large history book from the shelf and quickly flipped through it.

There was no longer any doubt that he was experiencing a different version of the earth.

“This is unbelievable.” Jack said.

He placed the book upon the nearby coffee table.

3)

He glanced toward the hallway and realized that a black cat was peeking around the edge of the door frame, watching him.

“Hermes!” Jack said. “Hey, buddy, come over here…”

The cat approached him and smelled Jack’s hand as he leaned down to pet him between the ears.

“I’m so glad that you haven’t changed!” Jack said.

The cat started purring while rubbing up against his leg.

He stood up and sighed. It was time to search through the rest of the condo for clues…

Progression #14

[Chapter Four- “Home” — Part One of Three]

progression number fourteen{To be continued…}

[Original writing & photography by J. E. Lattimer]

© 2012 J. E. Lattimer all rights reserved

*

***[For my subscribers who do not read English]***

1)

Jack walked to the end of the city block and, as he turned right at the intersection, he was able to see his condominium halfway down the street.

He was pleasantly surprised to see that the building looked almost exactly the same- The white aluminum siding on the outside and the metal railing on the staircase had both changed to wood, but the rest of it remained unaltered.

“Well, here goes nothing.” Jack said.

He traveled the remaining distance to his home.

2)

Halfway up the flight of stairs Jack paused. He had the distinct feeling that he was being watched.

He looked across the street and noticed a strange figure standing in the shadows between two fire escapes there. It looked like a man dressed all in black, but something didn’t seem right- The man’s face didn’t look human, it seemed to be metallic and out of proportion.

The hairs on the back of Jack’s neck stood up.

What is that thing? Some sort of robot? An android?

3)

While he was watching the strange figure was swallowed up by the shadows- Disappearing from view.

What the hell was that thing? Does it know that I have crossed over to this world?

He reached the top of the stairs and pulled his key ring from his pocket. The keys appeared the same-Except for one that he did not recognize.

He selected the key that unlocked the deadbolt and slid it into place- Unsure of what he would find on the other side…

Progression #13

[Chapter Three- “The New World” — Part Four of Four]

progression number thirteen

{To be continued…}

[Original writing & photography by J. E. Lattimer]

© 2012 J. E. Lattimer all rights reserved

*

***[For my subscribers who do not read English]***

1)

I am like an alien in this world, a stranger. Jack thought.

The names on the street signs were the same as before, and the actual layout of the city blocks had not changed- But everything else was different.

He watched as a white van drove past him- Two men in black uniforms occupied the two front seats of the vehicle while three individuals were sitting in the back with black hoods pulled over their heads. The van entered a dark tunnel under the building across the street and disappeared.

2)

Only a couple more blocks and I’ll arrive at the condo, if it’s still there. He thought.

He hoped and prayed that Charlotte existed in this version of the earth, that she was the same person and that they were still married.

I wonder if I’m an artist over here as well, or if I have a different job. Can I still draw or will I have to relearn it all?

A row of eye level security cameras swiveled to watch him as he reached the corner and turned right.

3)

There were still so many unanswered questions…

He had already discovered that the vegetation and the city itself had changed, but what other surprises had yet to be revealed?

Was he still in the trance? Was this merely a continuation of the vision in the forest?

If Charlotte is here, in this dimension- Or whatever it is- Do I attempt to play along with this reality, or do I tell her everything that has happened?

Jack continued walking and tried to act normal…

Progression #12

[Chapter Three- “The New World” — Part Three of Four]

progression number twelve

{To be continued…}

[Original writing & photography by J. E. Lattimer]

© 2012 J. E. Lattimer all rights reserved

*

***[For my subscribers who do not read English]***

1)

Jack reached the end of the trail and was dismayed by what he saw- The neighborhood he had walked through earlier had been a quiet suburban area with most of the homes up for sale. All of that was gone, replaced by a sprawling, dingy metropolis.

Massive skyscrapers loomed overhead. Traffic was snarled by a three vehicle accident on the street directly in front of him. People were milling about in every direction.

“I- I don’t understand how this could have happened…” Jack said.

2)

Jack moved down the street in the direction of his home.

Is the condo still there? He thought.

The trees had retained their amazing symmetrical patterns, but the people didn’t seem to care. Litter was laying all around.

How can they live this way when the natural beauty has been so accentuated and enhanced?

Jack paused at the corner and noticed that the weeping willow was gone. An enormous office building had been built where the tree had once existed.

3)

There were large towers attached to the roofs of many buildings. They reminded him of cell towers, but these were much larger and more elaborate.

As soon as he was within a half-block radius of the nearest tower his ears started ringing. It was a painful sensation and, to an extent, the sound reminded him of the hum in the forest that had placed him into the trance- Except that the hum had been peaceful, soothing. This was an artificial sound that seemed far more sinister in nature…

Progression #11

[Chapter Three- “The New World” — Part Two of Four]

progression number eleven

{To be continued…}

[Original writing & photography by J. E. Lattimer]

© 2012 J. E. Lattimer all rights reserved

*

***[For my subscribers who do not read English]***

1)

It was becoming abundantly clear to Jack Altomare that he was walking upon a version of the earth that was very different than the planet he had known- The gravel path seemed to be the same as before, but everything else was different.
No dead trees falling over, no chemtrails in the sky above.
The heat was not nearly as extreme and there was even a nice breeze.
The abstract vegetation that surrounded him on both sides was flourishing, thriving.

2)

He was cresting a hill when he caught sight of a massive tree that caused him jaw to drop.
The bark had a silver-white sheen to it and was glowing softly. The upper branches formed a complex pattern that almost seemed to be communicating a message.
It was a living piece of art and Jack knew that he would never be able to create anything in his studio to compare with such simple majesty. He stood and admired the tree for a few minutes before moving on.

3)

As Jack was nearing the end of the trail he saw a large plant that he could not identify.
The leaves formed a symmetrical arrangement and the plant was expanding and contracting rapidly- Breathing.
I have always believed in intelligent design, Jack thought. But this is amazing!
He wanted to spend more time exploring the area, but he was exhausted and wanted to see if the city looked and different. He missed his wife, Charlotte, and wondered if she was home yet.

Progression #10

[Chapter Three- “The New World” — Part One of Four]

progression number ten

{To be continued…}

[Original writing & photography by J. E. Lattimer]

© 2012 J. E. Lattimer all rights reserved

*

***[For my subscribers who do not read English]***

1)

Jack opened his eyes- He was back on solid ground, sitting cross-legged in the same place he had been before consciousness was stolen by the strange hum.
The vision had seemed so real- He had actually believed that his body had been transported off of the earth, that he had been absorbed and terminated by a distant star.
The shade provided by the tree branches overhead had helped to cool him off- He was no longer drenched with sweat and felt mentally and physically rejuvenated.

2)

He looked around and saw that the tree branches and plants were different- They had been moving around to form elaborate patterns before, and he would have said that it had only been a figment of his imagination, a loose strand of the vision that had spilled over into reality- Except for the fact that now that he was awake again they had not changed back…
Words could not describe the way the various shapes made his spirit feel- His mind reveled in wonder and marveled at the complex beauty that surrounded him.

3)

Jack stood up and walked the short distance to the old abandoned road. It was time to go home.
The deer that had led him into the forest was nowhere to be seen, but a wild horse was grazing on the other side of the road.
I thought all of the wild horses had been rounded up and killed years ago. Jack thought.
He glanced down at his watch to see how long he had been gone and found that the watch had stopped. The hands were frozen in place.
He walked down the road at a brisk pace, retracing his steps.