Chapter 1: How Not to Build a Wormhole

Someone definitely fucked up.

Like ultra, idiot fucked up.

It may have been me.

I really should’ve pipetted more carefully. That’s the last time I take lab advice from Grey’s Anatomy.

A wormhole opened up in the middle of the laboratory—this part was expected. The unexpected part was bridging the completely wrong times and places, and not to mention that our supervisor Dr. Heinemann was out for lunch.

The discovery of wormholes was nothing new, really. They dotted the universe like sesame seeds on a hamburger bun. In fact, the curvature of a hamburger bun greatly resembles the current model for the curvature of the universe to the extent that hamburger buns are in high demand by physicists and their sale to consumers is prohibited. Currently, the weekly hamburger bun limit in Canada is two per person.

So you see, wormholes were nothing really new. What was new was the accidental discovery of how to open and close wormholes, as if they were giant interstellar doors.

This was accidentally discovered when one of Dr. Heinemann’s students, Aaron, got too high one night.

Aaron used an analogy that went something like this: “Worms dig in the ground sometimes—when they’re not doing other worm things. We can call these holes “wormholes”. But not anything can make a wormhole, however, because a wormhole by definition is a hole made by a worm. For example, if a worm dug a hole in a sandbox, that’d be considered a wormhole. If a worm dug a hole in an apple, that’d be considered a wormhole. If a worm dug a hole in a condom, even that’d be considered a wormhole. If a woman dug a hole in a condom, that’d be considered inappropriate, and her friends would probably question her mental state.

So, we can conclude that a wormhole can only be made by worms because a wormhole, by definition, is a hole made by a worm.

Aaron’s high reasoning continues, “But, if we think of a wormhole as just a hole, what differentiates one hole from another? What differentiates a hole made by a worm and a hole made by man? If we think of a wormhole as just a hole, then anything that can make a hole can also make a wormhole. Or at least theoretically, on paper.”

Of course, “on paper” didn’t mean much since Aaron couldn’t read.

What Aaron didn’t realize at the time was that there was a difference between holes made by worms and holes made by other not-worm things. By a quirk of the universe and sheer astronomical coincidence, worms were discovered to be hyperdimensional and highly intelligent beings which transcended space and time and enjoyed good games of hockey. Their physical presence in our universe represented one of infinite hyperdimensions in which these animals existed, and their digging in the dirt generated small microchasms in the fabric of spacetime that, when stitched together, could form dimensional wormholes.

In short, Aaron’s reasoning was entirely and completely wrong. He later went on to win the Nobel Prize for being wrong, the only person in history to do so.

This was how metaphysics was solved.

There was a loud bang as the wormhole ripped into reality, and my vision went black for a second. It returned and I began to see stars, my head spinning as I struggled to breathe. I looked around for anyone. Aaron, the 2020 Nobel Prize laureate for his worm theory, was gone. All the lab technicians were gone. The worms were gone. The ceiling was gone.

Wait, are those stars?

The lab was gone and, where the ceiling used to be, galaxies spiraled in colossal, gentle swoops which carried twinkling stars along on their slow march towards entropy. The stars seemed to wink at me. The cosmic ceiling began to spin and rotate around me, like I was some massive black hole holding existence together. Well, I guess people are wrong; the universe really does revolve around me.

The cosmos spun in a descending spiral, wrapping around me like a cylinder. They seemed to come closer and grow farther simultaneously, vibrating with energy, shaking me as they passed. My world rocked back and forth and my mind spun.

The galaxies and stars and planets were definitely getting closer now. The universe seemed to wrap around me like a blanket, threatening to suffocate me in the emptiness of space.

I tried to scream, but nothing came out. Faster and faster the universe span, until the stars and galaxies and nebulas were nothing but solid streaks of light. I passed out. But it wasn’t like the gentle pass out when you pull an all-nighter, it was more like the getting-hit-by-a-truck pass out when you drink too much and you lie in bed while the world spins forever. Yeah, that pass out.

Next chapter →

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