They met, two strangers in a strange town, pushed together by intangible winds of fate, each pretending he had any say in the hand-over-hand events strung like beads on the necklace of his life. The natives of the town paid them no mind, since they took for granted the violently sudden, random appearances of strangers such as these, deposited without care or grace into their midst. These people were Inherents, and their town was Fourwindstown, and this was the way they had always known life to be.
Addax, the slate-gray talking feline with the curious habit of morphing into various items of furniture when under extreme stress, arrived first. The fact that he talked was hardly curious, in the context of his natural born world, especially when taking into consideration that, out of his immediate family, he was neither the glibbest nor the most eloquent. No, the only thing that made him remarkable, in the world from which he had come, was his transformation ability.
His parents had been ashamed to learn of their son's embarrassing knack, since, for the most part, furniture was foreign to the more provincial of the Woodland citizens. What they did not understand, they often mocked, and so they mocked the cat-turned-ottoman when Addax had been scared breathless at his first speech competition. But news spread and it wasn't long before poachers began to comb the forest for him, eager to sell him to the Circus. He was easily foundusually game darts into dens or nests when frightened; Addax poofed into a fine grandfather clock the moment the rifle came to bear on him.
His stint in the Circus was short-lived, however, since nothing about carnival life was truly terrifying enough to prompt a transformation. And children these days were no longer impressed with talking cats. They sought more peculiar fare. Angry about decreasing profits, the Circus finally sold Addax to a road-side witch who was half blind and not actually aware enough to properly make a business transaction. Addax kept house for her for a while, but it was his reorganization of her herb shelf that he would forever remember as the cause of it all.
The witch, having kept everything in her pantry in the same exact place as it had been for hundreds of years, set out to boil up a soup one day. She pulled down the tarragonlittle did she know that it was actually the saltpetre; saltpetre that had found its way to the tarragon's spot in Addax's alphabetizing of the pantry contents. Unmindful of her terrible miscalculation, the witch stirred in one and one half teaspoon of saltpetre rather than tarragon, thus creating not a tasty soup but a powerful potion instead. When dinner was served, the seemingly minor error going utterly unnoticed, two things happened: first, the witch was cured of her blindness and her senility, at which she suddenly realized her mistake; and second, Addax was swallowed up by a thick purple-silver smoke that imploded and left nothing behind at all.
It must have been his strange transformation behavior with which the potion reacted, to produce such an immediate and absolute result, the likes of which have not been seen before or since in the long and colorful history of his world, or any world for that matter. And so Addax was hurled to the cold and distant ground of Fourwindstown, not more than four seconds before Luka Makarovskyi was similarly tossed down beside him.
Luka Makarovskyi had the misfortune (he had quite a few, like highly enjoying performance dance while having little talent for it) to strongly believe in proving that things were not at all how less educated people perceived them. This was, as others saw it, chief among his faults, but Luka managed to be oblivious that it even was a fault, primarily because he was right a good fifty percent of the time.
In his youth, this persistent enthusiasm led him to prove that the spooky cave was, in fact, not haunted; while on the other hand it found him stuck in the coin collecting club, agreeing that, yes, it was as boring as everybody said. This continued throughout his life, until he set out to prove the one thing wrong that was absolutely right. He went to the Bermuda Triangle.
He had first learned about the infamous Triangle in university, a specialized science school, where he was studying molecular chemistry. The enlightening conversation itself didn't take place on the campus, but rather behind the small town bowling alley which was a popular hangout for the students. It was also a popular beat for the small town thugs, who found geeky science students magnificently easy pickings, so it was after being soundly mugged did Luka first hear about the Bermuda Triangle.
"When I graduate," his companion wheezed, "I'm moving to the Caribbean. They live an easy life there" he paused to spit out half a tooth "and it's a lot warmer than here. The only thing you have to watch out for is the Bermuda Triangle."
Luka, searching himself for broken bones, didn't really care about what his friend was saying. He replied, "I hear those pirate gangs really cause a lot of trouble down there."
It was actually at the school when he learned that his idea that "the Bermuda Triangle is a pirate gang" was a total misconception. This was pointed out to him by the class to which he was presenting a talk on tropic cultures, but it wasn't a very big deal because they were scientists and didn't really care about other cultures because what did people really have to do with science anyhow; they all were just taking this class because it was required. Publicly shown up, Luka stole away to his computer, finally seeking for himself the truth.
Wikipedia said this:
"The Bermuda Triangle, also known as the Devil's Triangle, is a region of the Atlantic Ocean in which a number of aircraft and surface vessels have disappeared in what are said to be circumstances that fall beyond the boundaries of human error or acts of nature. Some of these disappearances have been attributed to the paranormal, a suspension of the laws of physics, or activity by extraterrestrial beings by popular culture. Although a substantial documentation exists showing numerous incidents to have been inaccurately reported or embellished by later authors, several others remain unexplained."
He read on and on, unable to stop, completely drawn into the article. He read about the History of the Triangle story, the Natural explanations, the Popular theories and the Famous incidents before coming to a bold decision: He would examine the Triangle, carefully, scientifically, and he would prove all these people wrong.
So of course, when his expert team of Ukrainian scientists spotted the mysterious cloud floating approximately 10.16 centimeters off the water, Luka demanded full speed ahead. Once inside the cloud (and he would never, ever forget what happened here, because what happened was absolutely someone else's fault), someone pushed him overboard. Downright pushed him off the boat. He braced himself for impact with the water, but he should have prepared for impact with the solid ground, instead, because he had fallen straight to Fourwindstown.
The sight, if you had been off to the side, watching as it happened, looked something like this: The front step of a cartographer's shop. A wide, clean, raised sidewalk, and then the short drop to the packed-dirt street. Then, a sound of whistling wind and a clap like lightning striking the church tower, and suddenly a large, slate-grey cat hurtles to the ground as if he has been launched from a down-facing cannon only four feet up. A faint purple-silver cloud is dislodged from his fur as he cracks against the sidewalk. And, just about four seconds after this, the wind kicks up a notch and there's another lightning clap and a light haired young man appears from the air itself and slams to the ground on top of the hapless cat. The wind sound fades away, and villagers blithely step around the newcomers on their way to market.
"If you would be so kind," Addax grunted, "as to remove yourself from my back."
Luka, sitting up more from instinct than because he was asked to, looked shocked. "You speak Ukrainian?"
Addax pulled his bruised haunches up behind him and sat facing the stranger. He blinked. He hadn't the faintest idea what Ukranian was, so he said, "Of course."
Sitting (in their respective fashions) they were about eye to eye. Now that the pleasantries were over, they each pondered the events leading up to the rather unpleasant crash landing. What, if anything, could they have done differently so as to not wind up smashed against a sidewalk in an unfamiliar town? They didn't realize that they could have done nothing at all, since history flows in only one direction, and that this had been slated to happen since the beginning of time. Not only did every event beforehand come together like so many ingredients in a master chef's recipe, but this "result" of that mixture was itself just another ingredient for events that had yet to come. This was the great law of existence, something that they had really failed to grasp.
"I suppose I shouldn't have reorganized the old witch's pantry," Addax ventured.
"Maybe I should have worn shoes with more traction on the boat," Luka hypothesized.