Surprise Guest

“Haaaappy birthdaaaaaaaay tooo youuuuuuuuu!” The gang of 10-year-olds cheered for their newest member after they finished singing. The birthday boy, Albert, took in a deep breath while he eyed the candles, then he exhaled as hard as he could. All 10 candles went out and his friends cheered louder.

“What’d you wish for, buddy?” Albert’s father asked him as he started cutting the cake. The boy grinned with sparkling brown eyes.

“If I tell you it won’t come true!” he accepted a piece of cake from his father and stood from the seat. His friends were already moving into the backyard. “We’re gonna go play! Tell me when grandpa gets here!” He took his piece of cake and ran into the backyard, luckily he did not see his father’s reaction. Albert’s mom approached her husband and placed a hand on his shoulder.

“You okay?” she asked. Her husband nodded as he stared out the window. He watched his son playing with his friends in the yard.

“I’ll be fine, I just hoped he’d wish for something I could actually give him.” He shrugged, and chuckled. “I don’t think he realized he gave it away when he asked about grandpa.”

“He is his father’s son,” Albert’s mom smiled and hugged her husband. “He needs more time, you know how close they were.” Albert’s father turned to his wife to return the hug, but something distracted him. He saw a small black dot hovering in the air in one corner of the living room.

“What’s that?” He stepped closer to it, and it grew at the same time. The tiny black dot became a large black hole tall enough for a person to step into.

“Don’t touch it!” Albert’s mom pulled her husband’s hand away as he reached for the hole.

“Haaaaapy biiiirthdaaaay deeearr Allllllberrrrt!” an old man’s voice emanated from the black hole, it sounded like it was moving closer. Before either of Albert’s parents could do anything an athletic, old man jumped out of the hole. “HAAAPPY BIRTHDAY TOOOO YOUU!” he shouted first, then looked around the only two people in the living room.

“Hey Wilbur,” he waved at Albert’s father, then nodded at his mother with a large smile. “Alice. Long time no see. Where’s the birthday boy? I’ve got a major gift for him.”

“You’re alive? How are you alive? How are you here?” Wilbur rushed to embrace his father, and assaulted him with questions. The old man shrugged and pointed at the large black hole hovering by the wall.

“I got a ride,” he said.

“From where?”

“I found another universe, another Earth on the other side of the black hole.” The man shrugged as if that explained most of it. “I made some new friends and one of them brought me home,” he explained.

“Really? Another Earth?” Wilbur asked his father. “What’s it like?” The old man smiled and pulled his son tighter.

“I’m glad you asked! Do you wanna find out?”

“What? How?”

“That’s why the portal’s still open! I’m gonna take you guys and Albert on a tour through the other Universe!”

“GRANDPA!” Albert’s high voice shouted. His grandfather was the first person he saw when he entered the house. The boy dashed across the room and jumped in the old man’s arms. “My wish came true!”

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