Previously: “The Pied Piper.”
For the curious, string theory is a theoretical framework in physics that attempts to explain how the four forces of nature — electromagnetism, gravity, strong nuclear forces, and weak nuclear forces — connect and interact.
This is not that kind of “String Theory.”
Have you ever had an experience that suggested someone else was in your house, and just thought “I don’t wanna know” and left it? Sometimes, fear of the unknown just seems like the preferable option than facing a real, concrete danger. Normally it’s nothing, though. One time, the beeper function of my wireless housephone went off, when I was the only one home. It could only be called from the living room. Another time, I swear someone took some change from my desk. They’re all probably just slightly disconcerting tricks of the memory.
But what would you do when something truly suggestive happens? Would you run, or just ignore it, like I did?
Last Monday was a normal day. I got up, brushed my teeth, changed into school clothes… All little parts of my morning ritual. It seemed like it would be another totally un-noteworthy day, until I saw the strings.
There were three or four thick twine strings in my room. They criss-crossed between the walls around my bed, one attached to the door. No way would I have missed them before; I should have tripped over them. They were tied to pins in the walls, which had also not existed before ten seconds ago.
Nobody could have been in my room while I was in it, let alone set this up. It was early, and my brain wasn’t processing correctly. I simply discredited the sight, untied the strings and left for school, leaving them balled up on my desk.
It didn’t get any better later. Outside my house there were hundreds of them, tied between houses, around cars, across streets… This had to be some super elaborate prank. One of those hidden camera shows, or a comedy improv blog. They had gotten everyone else to play along too; passers-by were tangled in them, tying them to objects they were walking towards and away from, as if they had been and were continuing to follow the course laid out for them.
I nervously continued my journey to school. On the bus, everyone except me was tied to the door. At school, groups of friends were tied to each other; teachers were tied to their desks and boards. Oddly enough, at this point all I could wonder was why I had been left out.
When my friend Lucy sat beside me in first period, she simply plonked her bag down on my lap and rested her chin in her hand, looking right past me to the window outside.
“Come on, I didn’t expect you to be in on this too.”
She sighed and started taking books from her bag. All the books were tied to her hands. I grinned, and yanked one of the strings off a book. She didn’t seem to notice, instead simply disregarding the book completely, letting it drop to the floor without a moment’s hesitation.
“Um.” I leaned down, picking up her book and placing it back on her desk. She took no notice.
“Well, if that’s how we’re gonna play it.” I smiled, trying to look playful, but really just trying to hide my nervousness. I bundled all the strings attached to her together with one hand, then pulled them all free.