‘Variable Planes of Motion’ by Garrett Biggs

— Joyce Chong

This could be where they meet. Eighth row, left aisle, emergency escape.

This week I have a story about alternate universes, branching realities, love, nostalgia, and loss that was recently published in The Offing written by Garrett Biggs. Biggs plays with ideas of the fragility of time, the tenuous connection between not only the choices we make, but the unstoppable, unshifting flow of time moving past us, grazing over all the things we can’t know, the world a series of moving parts with their own solar paths.

Gabe drives in, orders one chocolate milkshake, and somehow in every permutation, Milo takes one look at him, sees he’s ordered chocolate, and deliberately hands him something else.

In a way this story reminds me of a lot of story-heavy interactive choice games. There’s this feeling of the intangible, the things that are destined to happen no matter what you decide to do. Some things are just more inevitable than others, some thing propagate themselves between each permutation, reluctant to let go, to let entropy take the reins.

Now, the clouds are starting to wither and the car is burning ozone. He’s about to reach 90 mph, and beside him, there is a mother or a love or a ghost in the passenger seat.

The Offing