In the world of science, Ned Green is a towering colossus, one of the best minds of his generation. In the world of dating, however, he’s a complete loser, doomed it seems to a lifetime of celibacy, until one night he makes the scientific breakthrough of a lifetime. Ned unravels the secrets of one of the Universe’s great mysteries, and opens the door to a world of unimaginable pleasure.
Ned Green wandered into his laboratory in the depths of the Moore Research Faculty and walked straight into the door. He was always walking into doors. It had been a regular occurrence: at school, at college, and even in the tiny apartment where he lived a few blocks away from the research facility. It wasn’t that he was stupid, in fact, quite the opposite. He was one of the finest minds of his generation, at least, he was according to Professor Lucius. It’s just that he usually had more important things on his mind than checking whether doors were open.
Sometimes he was thinking about quantum mechanics, or string theory, or the origins of the universe. And sometimes he was thinking about Jenna.
Jenna lived in the next apartment to his. Jenna was taller than him. She was toned, blonde, and utterly gorgeous. She was a fitness instructor and he usually bumped into her when she was setting out for her morning run or coming back from the gym. In fact he had never seen her without lycra clinging to her tight, luscious body.
He only knew that her name was Jenna because he had seen her mail on the shelf in the hallway. Jenna Kuzsinski. So far, he had only managed to say “Hi!” on five occasions. Jenna had not replied. In fact, she had never spoken to him. He had heard her speak, in fact, he had heard her shout, things like, “Oh my God!” and “Yes, yes, yes!” and “Oh fuck yeah, harder, harder!” but that was when she was with her boyfriend and he, Ned, had been kneeling on his bed, with his ear pressed to the bedroom wall.
It’s fair to say that Ned was a little frustrated. That was hardly surprising. At twenty he had told himself there was plenty of time to lose his virginity, and that the right girl would soon come along. Now he was twenty-nine and there was no sign of the right girl turning up. Jenna certainly wasn’t the right girl. She was the wrong girl in every way. Her toned, muscular thighs alone could probably snap him in half. He would still give anything to be naked with her.
Ned wasn’t unattractive. He just wasn’t attractive. More importantly, he had no idea how to talk to girls. None. He was geeky and awkward, gangly and angular. Being thin was better than being overweight, he supposed, although he would have given anything to be a muscled god, just to see how it felt. He’d once tried to lift weights, and had even laid out an elaborate work-out plan. But after half an hour of heaving and pulling and pushing in the college gym he was bored. He didn’t understand how people could use their time like that: hour after hour after hour doing nothing but monotonous movements. Life was too short.
Besides, it wasn’t the body that mattered, it was the personality. Ned had plenty of that, but it was not the kind of personality to which girls were attracted, it was the kind of personality to which multi-billion dollar medical and scientific research corporations were attracted. Admittedly, there were plenty of women in science, but his early experiences with girls had created such a phobia of the opposite sex that sometimes he started to sweat and shake if he was even in the same room as a woman.
Of all those early experiences, there was one in particular that had traumatized him. It happened at party organized at Freefield High School. Someone had smuggled in alcohol and the party ended up a chaotic mess of fighting, crying and at least two school expulsions. He missed most of it. He had turned up, stood inside the school hall, suffered a hail of abuse for being there, for wearing glasses, for being a virgin, and retreated, as he usually did, to the janitor’s room, though not before sneaking out a bottle of beer.
He sat there for an hour or two, sipping the foul tasting beer, thinking that at least he would be going home after dark with the smell of alcohol on his breath. He was shaken from a prolonged daydream by the sudden opening of the door. A girl sprawled across the floor of the janitor’s office. It was Chelsea.
Ah, Chelsea. Chelsea Wolff. The hottest girl in the school. Tanned, lithe, with natural long blonde wavy hair; when Chelsea twisted and gyrated in her lycra cheerleader’s outfit, no-one, not even the players were interested in the football game. And there she was, hauling herself to her feet, her breasts nearly spilling out of her tight black dress, her bare thighs hypnotizing Ned as he sat, speechless.
Frozen though he was, he had managed to stir himself to get up and by hooking her under her arms, pulled her to her feet. Even to this day he could still sense her intoxicating fruity perfume, mingling with vodka fumes.
She struggled in his arms, and tried to turn round as he was attempting to help her to a seat at the desk in the janitor’s office. For one glorious moment, he was holding her, her breasts crushed against him, her lips allowing her soft breath to escape onto his cheek. He genuinely thought that she was about to kiss him. And then she vomited all over him.
She staggered backwards, pointed at him and roared with laughter, called him a loser, and walked, unsteadily, out of the janitor’s office.
That was just one of a string of minor humiliations and setbacks that convinced him that there was no way he would ever be with a woman, and that he had better get used to it. His problem was compounded by the fact that his taste in women was ridiculously unrealistic. To put it bluntly, he was attracted to bimbos. Blonde, dizzy, big-breasted women: goddesses who would never in a million years even look in his direction, unless it was to vomit over him. He didn’t want to be with any other kind of woman, but had no chance of ever dating someone he was attracted to. Yes, Chelsea had screwed him up badly.
So instead, he had poured his frustrations into science. Science had always been his friend. In the world of science he was not a loser. In fact, he was a giant. He had graduated with honors, sailed through his post-graduate work and was now working as a researcher for the Moore Corporation – a conglomerate that was busily buying up all the most innovative tech companies on the planet, while recruiting the best and brightest talent.
Ned was officially working on quantum computing for a big commercial contract, but in the evening he used the laboratory facilities to conduct his own experiments. The director of the facility, Professor Lucius, gave him plenty of latitude as long as he completed his work to the required specifications, which Ned always did.
His current spare time activity was wormholes. Ned subscribed to the theory that an infinite number of alternate dimensions existed. He was certain of it. It was the only explanation that made sense, which threaded everything mankind had discovered about the Universe together. According to Ned’s theory, every choice we made created another alternate dimension, in which the opposite choice was played out. He was also convinced that it would be possible to travel from one dimension to another.
That was what he was working on the night he made his breakthrough.
It happened suddenly. He had been tinkering with the capacitor housing and trying to find different methods to launch the wormhole initiator without overloading the system, when he accidentally transposed the wrong circuit.
A flash of light blazed through the laboratory, throwing Ned to the floor. When he stood, he saw a perfect circle of darkness, ringed with white and purple light, hovering in the middle of the laboratory. He approached it cautiously, walking around it. It wasn’t a projection, or an illusion. It was real.
He stretched out a finger and watched as his fingertip disappeared into the blackness. He pulled it out again quickly. Could this be it, he wondered. Was this the wormhole? Had he really done it?
This was the moment he had been preparing for. The big decision. Did he take the risk and step into the wormhole or did he sit back and let the moment pass? He shook his head. What did he have to lose?
Cautiously, he stepped forward, lifting his foot and putting into the hole. It disappeared, and he could feel a force, a sucking that was pulling him in. He lifted up his other foot to step fully into the hole and instantly felt darkness close around him. Everything was completely pitch black and he felt a horrible lurching in his stomach. He felt weightless, as though he was drifting in space. And then, he realized that the darkness was tangible. It was hard, wooden. He stretched out with his arms and a rectangle of light broke through the dark.
He was in the wardrobe of his apartment.
Stepping out, he looked around. Everything was as it had been when he left that morning. The Spiderman poster. The collection of unwashed mugs. The scattered clothes. Tentatively, he walked through his apartment, opened the door and stood in the corridor. There was nothing at all unusual about it.
That was when he heard footsteps on the creaking stairs.
It was Jenna. She was coming back from the gym. He turned to go back into his apartment, to hide. The door wouldn’t open. He had locked himself out.
Left with no choice, he stood, leaning on the door, trying not to shake too much as Jenna approached. She wore a tight white sports top and tiny black lycra shorts. Her thighs glistened a little in the light of the corridor, and her face was flushed. She glanced at him, briefly, then unlocked her apartment door.
As she put the key in the lock, Ned remembered. Of course. He kept a spare key under the carpet outside the apartment. He clicked his fingers, a habit of his, usually reserved for moments of realization and enlightenment. He bent down, pulled back the carpet and took the silver key. When he rose to his feet he realized that Jenna was standing in front of him.
“Hi,” she said, smiling. She was standing closer to him than any woman had ever stood. He stammered something that sounded like ‘Hi,” but he couldn’t be sure.
“Do you want to come in for a coffee?”
Ned wasn’t sure he’d heard her correctly. She placed her hand lightly on his shoulder and looked at him, biting her lip.
“Er, no thanks, I’ve already had coffee,” he blurted. He scrambled with the key in the lock, opened his apartment door and hurried inside.
“What the hell was that?” he muttered. “And why didn’t I say yes?”
His heart still pounding, he looked around the room. None of this made sense. Had he really travelled to another dimension? He opened the wardrobe. There, he could make out the purple and white ring through which he had stepped. Taking a deep breath, he stepped into the wardrobe. A second later he was standing in the laboratory.
“It worked!” he said out loud, clicking his fingers.
He had so many questions. Nothing in the alternate dimension seemed different. So which dimension was it? Obviously, one where he had made many of the same decisions as this one. That would explain the apartment, and Jenna living next door. Although it didn’t explain why she said hello to him, or why she invited him in for coffee.
Maybe he was more attractive in the other dimension?
He took another deep breath. He had to explore more. He needed more evidence. He stepped into the black ring and closed his eyes.
This time the wardrobe door was already open. He stepped out of it, into the apartment and as he was adjusting to his surroundings, heard a knock at the door. He quickly closed the wardrobe and walked over to open his apartment door. It was Jenna.
She was wearing a ridiculously tight red off-shoulder dress that revealed most of her tanned, gorgeous thighs.
“Hi,” she said, breathlessly. “Can I come in?”
“No, sorry. I, I, I’m busy at the moment.”
He closed the door.
Standing with his back against the door, he closed his eyes. You idiot! Why did you say no? But, more importantly, what the hell was going on. He walked over to the mirror, half expecting to see a muscled athlete. But no, he was exactly the same: tall, gawky and pale.
What was going on? He tried to retrace his steps, looking for clues. What was different? Initially Jenna hadn’t been interested in him. That was normal. Then she changed.
Something dawned on Ned.
Years ago, at the height of his sexual desperation, he had read a book on hypnosis. It was a highly dubious book, suggesting that you could hypnotize women into falling in love with you. Ned had thrown the book away as it was unethical, creepy and worst of all, didn’t even work. But he remembered that the author had suggested that once a woman had been hypnotized, it was important to have a trigger that could bring about the state of hypnosis at the whim of the hypnotist. The author had suggested a finger click.
Taking another deep breath, he stepped out of the apartment and knocked on Jenna’s door. Within two seconds, she opened it. She was still wearing the red dress and seemed delighted to see him, smiling broadly.
Nervously, he lifted up his fingers and clicked them.
Instantly, Jenna stopped smiling. She frowned, and then reached down as though to cover her legs.
“What do you want?” she said, aggressively.
Ned clicked his fingers again.
Her expression softened.
“Hey. Do you want to come in?”
Ned’s heart was pounding. He nodded. Almost instantly, Jenna grabbed him by his laboratory coat and pulled him inside. In her apartment, she pressed her body right up against him, crushing her breasts into his chest.
“I want you to fuck me,” she said, breathlessly.
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