Chapter 24 Epilog

One of those divergences, that I had forgotten about, did not happen until a few months later.

It was March of 1965, when my parents let me know that I might be getting a baby brother or sister soon.

Well – of course! I had totally, in the rush of things, forgotten my little brother, the bane of my childhood, the best friend of my adulthood, my little brother Michael.


OTL, Michael was born on July 27, 1965.

This baby was due the second week of November, 1965.

So…butterfly time.

Hell, I had Butterflies. Was I going to get my best buddy, my totally understanding (bigger) little brother Mongo? – or – oh my God? – maybe a little Sister?

Which, after all, was Mom's Dearest wish.

The pregnancy went fine, everything went well until Halloween.

That was – true-to-form. Michael had been early in OTL.

IN this world, he was born at sunset, 6.20 PM on October 31st 1965.

Which IS a bit spooky if you think about it.

He was a happy little kid. Well, hell, people who didn't know my secret were surprised at how well I took care of my little brother. But – hey, I had been a father, and a grandfather. Being a big brother again was relatively easy.

The kicker came on the morning of October 31st, 1971.

I was working on my Doctoral dissertation at Tokyo University. I had taken some time out to come home for Mike's birthday, but I heard him get up and run to the bathroom.

He was retching, violently, and it sounded like he was trying to dry heave his colon out. "Yo, little man." I said gently. "Stay calm, try to breath deep. Rinse your mouth out." I held a tissue for him to wipe the nasty ropes of drool from the side of his mouth.

He looked at me, and I could see the change in his eyes. I jumped back.

"Bro." he said in a much deeper voice than he had used last night. "What happened?" He looked around. "Where are we?"

He stared at me. "You shave your beard last night?"

I heard Mom and dad in the hallway. "You guys OK?" asked Dad.

Mike went white when he saw them. "OK, did I die in my sleep? – or am I hallucinating?" he looked at me "– but if I'm dead, why are you here, Steve, you aren't dead too, are you?"

"Oh, boy." I said. "This ought to be good."

I looked at him. "Remember that TV show, "Life on Mars?"

Not, The End – Just a good place to stop this thread. 58,000 words or so, 151 pages. I'll start a new one, if Steve and Mongo start telling me of their adventures in the Seventies.

Comments and reviews are always welcome – even if it's "You suck! Stop polluting my bandwidth – as long as you tell me WHY you don't like it, OK?.