NARRATOR: Today is a special in Greater Boston. Today is the day that Jake Fisher arrives from another world through some strange time traveling device that I don’t fully understand. It’s got something to do with doors and a place called . . . Ostium. In just a few moments he’ll walk through that door and onto the platform at Alewife station on the Red Line. I don’t really know why he’s coming here, at least not yet. But perhaps once he makes his dramatic entrance, I will know and comprehend more.

And here he is now. 

Enter one Jake Fisher.

His clothes are wrinkled and disheveled, his hair unkempt. He appears to have gone through a lot. I’m curious as to when he last slept. My guess is as good as yours, even though I’m the narrator. You see Jake Fisher doesn’t belong in this world. He is a visitor here, a stranger, an interloper, one might even say . . . An intruder. 

Does he belong here? That’s a decision you will have to arrive at.

[Short pause] 

Jake Fisher is walking onto the platform, looking at the Alewife Station sign, wondering where he is and perhaps more importantly, why he is here . . .

JAKE: Are you . . . Are you talking to me?

NARRATOR: He is confused at the moment. Unsure of what is going on . . .

JAKE: You know I can hear you, right?

NARRATOR: The questions continue as he tries to understand what has happened to him, and where he has ended up this time. Perhaps Jake Fish-

JAKE: Please stop that. I can hear everything you’re saying. Who are you? Where are you?

NARRATOR: Wait, you’re telling the truth? You really can hear me?

JAKE: Yes. What’s going on here? 

NARRATOR: That . . . That has never happened before. There have been plenty of occasions where I have tried to reach someone, and even more when I have really wanted to, but all to no avail. Except now . . . Maybe it has something to do with your being from the outside? Not from here.

JAKE: Where even is here? Alewife? What kind of name is that for a train station?

NARRATOR: It is named after Alewife Brook. You are standing on a platform of the Red Line in Greater Boston.

JAKE: Boston huh? And . . . What year is it? Nothing really jumps at me indicating it’s the distant past or future.

NARRATOR: The year is 2018.

JAKE: Oh, okay then. Don’t know if I ever expected to be back in such a contemporary year, where nothing big really happened, related to Ostium at least.

NARRATOR: There is a lot happening in 2018. The incorporation of the town of Red Line. The election of its new mayor. Not to mention the whole “molasses incident.”

JAKE: The town of Red Line? I thought this was a subway line?

NARRATOR: Oh it is. But a group of people decided to make the Red Line better. More efficient. To get people to where they want to go faster. And to make this line of the T a better place for all who inhabit it. 

JAKE: Wait! If it’s its own town, then where do the people live? In homes near the stations?

NARRATOR: No. They live on the trains. Two or more people or entire families live in the train cars.

JAKE: With all those seats? Do they sleep on them? In sleeping bags perhaps?

NARRATOR: No, silly. The cars have been converted into homes for the people that live there.

JAKE: Wow, that’s something I’ve got to see.

NARRATOR: In two minutes you shall have your wish, when the 10:40 arrives.


[Train rolling into station]

JAKE: Holy shit. I thought you were kidding. You’re goddamn serious.


JAKE: They really are living on the train. Looks like most of the train cars. And there are the people, just living in their homes . . . On the train car. And the passengers get on . . . In their homes. 

NARRATOR: Indeed. And you need to get on too. 

JAKE: Why? Where are we going?

NARRATOR: You’ll see in time. 

[Train door whooshing open]

[Muttering voices]

JAKE: Hi, hi. Excuse me. Thank you. I’ll just stand here. Sorry to bother you. Don’t mind me.

JAKE [whispering]: I feel really uncomfortable right now. This feels so weird. 

NARRATOR: You shouldn’t feel so. This is just a normal day on the Red Line. 

JAKE [whispering]: Can they hear you talking to me?

NARRATOR: No. But people can hear you talking to me.

JAKE [whispering, exasperated]: That’s why I’m whispering.

NARRATOR: No shit, Sherlock.

JAKE [whispering]: Okay, I didn’t expect. Why are you even talking to me anyway? Are you Marley’s ghost or something?

NARRATOR: Very droll. No. I am the current narrator for Greater Boston, and today I am narrating your story. 

JAKE [whispering]: Do you narrate everyone’s story?

NARRATOR: Yes. There was another narrator, but he couldn’t take it anymore. He found me annoying, I suppose.

JAKE [whispering, sarcastic]: I wonder why.

NARRATOR: Unlike the other narrator, I will have you know I have free will. I don’t have to narrate your story. I choose to because you are a new player in this field and I want to know more of your story and reason for being here. But I can leave you to your own doings anytime I wish.

JAKE [whispering, desperate]: Please don’t. I . . . I need your help here. You said you were taking me somewhere.

NARRATOR: That’s not true. The train is taking you to this specific destination. I merely told you to get on said train.

JAKE: [whispering]: Okay, but you had a reason, right? 


JAKE [whispering]: So where are we going?

NARRATOR: We’re not going anywhere. I am an incorporeal being narrating this tale and have no physical location per se in this universe. You however . . .

JAKE [whispering]: Okay, fine. Where am I going?

NARRATOR: You’ll see.

JAKE: [whispering]: Dammit.


NARRATOR: You may disembark at the next station.

[Train slowing]

[Doors opening]


JAKE: Thank you for letting me into your home, and on the wonderful Red Line. [Quietly] God, this place is weird.

NARRATOR: Live here for a while. You’ll find it has its charm, its own unique ways, and a joie de vivre you won’t find elsewhere.

JAKE: Sure. I’ll take your word for it.

STRANGER: Did you say something, pal?

JAKE: No, sorry. Don’t mind me. Just talking to myself. [Quietly] Which way am I going?

NARRATOR: Exit the station and I’ll direct you.

[Going down stairs]

[Walking sound]

NARRATOR: Go right along this street. 

JAKE: No fancy street name to give me?

NARRATOR: I could, but you haven’t earned the right. You’ve shown little else but disdain for the predicament you are in here, so I will dispense with the colorful details and keep very specifically on point.

JAKE [sheepish]: Okay. I’m sorry. It’s been . . . A really long day or couple of days . . . or week. I don’t know how long it’s been since I had a chance to rest and sleep. Guess it’s making me irritable.

NARRATOR: Do you know why you are here?

JAKE: Well, I’m a time traveler of sorts, and normally I’m pretty good at going through doors and getting to where I want to go. At one point I could even create my own doors to where I needed to get to. But then I let my concentration drop, and now I’m just wandering aimlessly through time, hoping I’ll get back at some point.

NARRATOR: To this Ostium?

JAKE: Yes. And back to Monica.

NARRATOR: Someone you care for.

JAKE: Deeply.

NARRATOR: Interesting. One could describe Greater Boston as a city of people and the relationships between those people. Perhaps you have been brought here because this Monica might be here too.

JAKE: I suppose it’s possible. She might be looking for me. Trying to find me. 

NARRATOR: There are lots of people here on a similar quest: in search of one they care for.

JAKE: Isn’t that true of every city? Every town for that matter?

NARRATOR: Perhaps. But more so here. And the Red Line is part of the fabric that holds it all together.

JAKE: If you say so.

NARRATOR: I do. Take the next right, then a left.

JAKE: What about you? Do you have a story? Do you even have a name? Were you once . . . Living?

NARRATOR: Yes is the answer to all those questions. I will give you further details soon. And my name is Leon. Leon Stamatis. Take another left.

JAKE: Nice to meet you, Leon. Wherever you might be. I’m Jake. 

NARRATOR: I know you are Jake Fisher. I was granted that detail at least before you made your entrance into this world. And I am everywhere and in everything. 

JAKE: Cool. 

NARRATOR: Take the next right, then follow the road along until you reach it.

JAKE: Reach what.

NARRATOR: You’ll see.


[Fair sounds]

JAKE [excited]: Holy shit. This is where you wanted to bring me? Do I get to go on any rides?

NARRATOR: Just one. 

JAKE [hopeful]: Is it the roller coaster? Please be the roller coaster? I haven’t done anything like this in forever!


JAKE: Sweet. Do I need to get a special token, or can I just pay the attendant?

NARRATOR: You can pay the attendant. It will cost you a dollar.

JAKE: Which I do happen to have, randomly enough. I swear that wasn’t in my pocket earlier. Maybe left over from the tip I gave that pizza delivery woman.

NARRATOR: Cool story bro.

JAKE: Whatever.

JAKE: Here ya go. It’s just me. Thanks.

NARRATOR: Select the car at the very front of the line.

JAKE: I was planning to. Not many people riding the roller coaster it seems.

NARRATOR: There are reasons which I shall explain shortly.

JAKE: This is going to be such fun.

[Roller coaster sounds]

NARRATOR: I died on this roller coaster.

JAKE [shock]: What! Are you fucking serious?

NARRATOR: Yes. It’s what began this whole tale here in Greater Boston. I knew it was coming and I accepted my fate.

JAKE: You knew you were going to die? And you just let it happen . . . Could you have stopped it in some way?

NARRATOR: I suppose. But that was never part of the plan. I had scheduled it. It was meant to happen. End of story.

JAKE: Plans can change man. Don’t you have friends? Family?

NARRATOR: I do. And their lives have been irrevocably changed with my passing. 

JAKE: And that doesn’t make you feel . . . Well, like shit. For doing that to them?

NARRATOR: I . . . I never really considered it . . . Until it was too late. Until I was already dead. By then it was too late.

JAKE: You think!

NARRATOR: Right here is where it happened.

JAKE: And why the hell would you want to bring me here?

[Short pause]

NARRATOR: I . . . I haven’t been back, since it happened.

JAKE: Well, obviously. How would you?

NARRATOR: No, I suppose not. But now I have the ability to. No one else wanted to come back here. Wanted to do this again. Until you showed up.

JAKE [sarcastic]: Glad I could help facilitate your trip down memory lane.

NARRATOR: Thank you. It is appreciated.

JAKE: I was being sarcastic.

NARRATOR: I know, but my statement still stands.

[Short pause]

JAKE: Well, you sure took the fun out of riding a roller coaster. If I ever get the chance to do it again, I don’t know if I will or not. So what now?

NARRATOR: I don’t know. You did what I wanted. I have nothing more for you.

JAKE: Fine. Guess it’s time to move on. I’ll be looking for a door then. But first I need something from you.


JAKE: Yeah. I need a trinket. A little symbol of this Greater Boston you speak so highly of. To take with me on my journey.

NARRATOR: For what purpose?

JAKE: It’s a long story and I don’t have the time.

NARRATOR: I thought you were a time traveler?

JAKE: Very funny. Any ideas?

NARRATOR: How about the item on the ground next to your right foot?

JAKE: What the hell is this?

NARRATOR: It’s a puzzle box with a special item inside. Crack the puzzle, get to the item. My brother made it.

JAKE: How did it get here?

NARRATOR: That’s a long story. And I don’t have the time. Will that suffice?

JAKE: Yeah. This’ll work fine. Thanks. Where’s the nearest door?

NARRATOR: Turn 90 degrees counter-clockwise. And look straight ahead.

JAKE: Thank you. I suppose it was a pleasure meeting you, Leon. See you in another life perhaps?

NARRATOR: Very unlikely. Safe travels Jake Fisher.

[Walking away]

NARRATOR: And so exits one Jake Fisher from this world of Greater Boston and the Red Line, moving on to another . . . Or perhaps reaching his final destination of Ostium.

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