Branch

Title

It was at 2 am, beneath a spectrometer covered in scientific dust, that Marta Lieb detected the first verifiable proof of a branching universe.

On the television a few metres away, an advert for the cologne "Bleu de Chanel" ran, in it, an attractive French man declares he "will not be the person he is expected to be anymore"- before storming out of the collapsing room.

Suddenly, a pixelated and warped image appeared on the spectrometer, it was the man from the advert, seemingly just moments after he stormed out of the room, he is in a queue for the post office waiting in line to post a letter and to put money on his pre-paid British Gas card, he seems impatient, almost annoyed at how expected everything he is doing.

He fidgets and groans, before looking at the envelope he is holding, he then screams "Envelope, fly to your destination within 3 working days" before hurling the envelope with all his might at a wall, it hits the wall before landing on the ground. The man quickly picks it back up, before saying "I'm not going to be the person you expected me to be any more" and storming out of the post office, a fluorescent light comes loose from its fittings.

Marta realised that every time an advert is televised it formed a new universe within which the advert's protagonists must live their lives out for eternity.

After running through variations in frequencies, angles and symbol rates, she began to quickly form a large list of channels, tuned into new universes surging out of the television. By narrowing the band she could align the universes together in order for her to make continuous observation.

Entries from her diary of observations:

45653- A family from a Mortgage advert who has just moved into their new home, while installing carpets on the second floor their debt fuelled happiness drains away as they realise that none of them are related to each other, the children wail, the mother punches the dog, the father storms out and goes to the bank, and finds out there is no mortgage on the house, there is no house, another man in the bank then hurls his money at the teller window, before saying "I'm not going to be the person you expected me to be anymore" and he storms out of the now insolvent bank.

49852- A man is standing shocked and soaking in water in a pool lounge, his female companion had just shot a pool ball at his face, which then disintegrated into liquid water. The woman desperately tries to convince him that the water was a metaphor for the unexpected hydration from a leading shaving razor. This does not help the situation, he is now more disturbed by the explanation than the pool ball explosion, previously assuming that it was simply a loving prank by his friend. She changes tact, insisting that it was in fact a prank and not a metaphor for unexpected hydration from a leading shaving razor. But he doesn't know what to believe any more, he walks into a toilet cubicle and rests his head in his hands. The friendship has changed.

51254- A group of young fun loving attractive adults are driving in a brand new Seat car, around a sunny non-descript European city without any traffic, but the doors won't unlock, they try and make the most of it because they are fun loving, but the doors still won't unlock, they continue to drive, singing to the fun loving pop music, the doors are still locked, one of the passengers makes a 40 minute long impassioned speech proposing that they take turns at the wheel and tag other cars at high speed and watch them crash with fun loving faces, but there is no traffic, there never is any traffic, the dense, sunny, fun loving European city has no traffic when they are in the Seat, no-one enjoyed the speech and the doors are still locked, after half a day they resort to urinating into the air conditioning vents, but after an accidental press of a button, the A/C blew the fun loving and attractive urine into the air, the windows won't open, the doors are still locked, they are still having fun but they no longer love the fun.

53574- A pot of bio-yoghurt sits on a pedestal in a bright void, it sits there in despair knowing that it is not yoghurt but a disgusting fake, it is in fact a synthetic jelly made from the recovered remains of collapsed oil rigs, it was used in the advert because it looks thick and yoghurty, it looks more yoghurty than yoghurt. The fake yoghurt now dreams of nothing but rotting into a sour block of curd but it cannot for it is synthetic.

86547- A man bursts into the void, shoving the yoghurt into his mouth, he says "Ie no goin who e he ersun I a ekpeked o e aeinor", before storming out of the void which then collapses into itself.

Marta considered the sheer amount of advertisement universes created every day throughout the world, millions upon millions, and the suffering insanity that is ensuing, all that pain, confusion, outnumbering the joys and wonders of her own universe by billions to one, she could not comprehend it, infinity pressing down at her from all angles.

A knock at the door brings Marta's face out of her hands.

The door opens of its own accord, behind it, Gaspard Ulliel, the face of Bleu de Chanel, unexpectedly here at Marta's door.

'Did you expect me to be here?' Gaspard's steel blue eyes drilling right through Marta.

Marta shakes her head, mouth gaping.

Gaspard straightens his back and nods, satisfied.

She looks back at the TV, seeing an image of herself and Gaspard on the balcony of a tall luxury tower. A urine cloud floating up from a crashed SEAT full of fun loving people wafts up in front of the balcony, glowing in the city lights.

Gaspard traces Marta's chin and Marta, fluttering, pouts her lips.

Gaspard suddenly narrows his eyes; 'Are you expecting a kiss'

Marta, about to nod, suddenly says 'No, no I am not expecting a kiss, a kiss would be UNEXPECTED'

Gaspard straightens his back again and nods, before drawing Marta even closer in.

Then everything was white noise.

Marta turns back from the TV and sees the remote in Gaspard's hand.

Gaspard puts the remote down like a dead bird; 'Marta, TV is bad for you, come with me, we can have the love of a thousand towns, but not cities, that's too much'

Marta thought of all the universes she could now explore, all the scientific possibilities of science. 'Sorry Gaspard, my love, is for the truth' before stifling laughter at her inanity.

Gaspard put an index finger on his lips, nodding. 'Okay, but if I leave this building, something might fall down'.

Marta, already picking back up the remote waved Gaspard away without even looking at him: 'Yeah leave, go be unexpected, go smell good somewhere else'

Gaspard leaves the room.

A ceiling mounted wifi router then snapped off and struck Marta in her head, as she lay on the floor bleeding she cackled, as she watched Marta on the TV driving around a SEAT, having fun, loving the fun, cackling as she drove around empty European city streets.