~ A 250 Word Story ~
Donning the ARrig, Jessie powered it up. Anticipating the moment since waking at age four this morning, she held her breath. Her older friends invited to the birthday party had tried to describe what was about to happen, but none really could to any level of accuracy.
“It will show you cool stuff to explore,” Joti had informed her.
“You’ll get to make cool stuff,” Andy had added.
A chime indicated system boot completed. Virtual objects began appearing in her field of view. Some resting on furniture in the room, some floating, some growing from the floor. One of her favorite songs began playing. Then nothing else happened.
Jessie reached out and touched the most interesting object, a bottle opening into itself, but not. A voice described the bottle to her.
“This is a Klein Bottle,” the voice said as the bottle slowly rotated in the air before her. “Smash it!”
Jessie complied by reaching out and smashing it with her clenched fist. It flew apart into a pair of flat strips which twisted around onto themselves so that both sides were the same.
“These are called Möbius Strips. Try pushing them back together.” Jessie did and they rejoined into the Klein Bottle.
* * *
Jessie sighed while awaiting liftoff, very happy to have completed her advanced mathematics study goals by her sixteenth birthday. Topology of non-orientable surfaces was her specialty. Now she was heading to Saturn to apply her uncanny mathematical knack to research that planet’s complex, strangely braided rings.