Einstein and Tesla were on its trail. Many more speculated. H. G. Wells brought it to the public imagination. I’m asking you to suspend disbelief in favour of entertainment, and to go along with my story about a trio of garage engineers who think they are one of the first to have accomplished it. The unraveling of time. The capability to view, but not influence, short scenes from the past and from the future.
My name is Rod, and my partners are two nerdy guys named Thomas and Jerry (yes, Tom & Jerry). We are bachelors, and probably with good reason. From a secluded underground room in the Hydro plant where Jerry works as an engineer, we have built a machine that made a monkey disappear, and, within minutes, come back to us in an altered state. The room was part of a network of storage vaults for tools, equipment and the like. We had access to it because Jerry had some pretty damaging life-changing information about one of the security guards.
Three years it has taken us to come to this point. What we really wanted was to have control over where and when the machine would go, but so far it is random and without control. The traveler has no way of knowing the time or place of his visions, and, as mentioned, cannot influence things in any way. We nicknamed it Galadriel’s Mirror.
The only thing we can do from this end is to bring it back. The unfortunate monkey could not have known he was making history.
I am certainly not going to tell you how this works, or regale you with imaginative stories of golden levers with glass handles, flashing lights, and the world going by at fast forward as the stupefied traveler sits in his comfy seat.
Our simplified concept sees time as if it were contained in the grooves on a long-playing record of infinite size. These grooves hold the information of what has been since the beginning, and what will be in the Ever. The record is there to be seen. Jumping the grooves is what no one (as far as we know) has been able to do. To send the machine on its way requires a great amount of energy that must be sustained until its return. Hence, our life saving deal with the security guard.
After the first shock of seeing our little passenger leave and return, we observed him closely before removing him from his plastic cage. He was breathing rapidly and looked a little nervous and pale as his glance darted from place to place. He was unwilling at first, but we coaxed him out. I picked him up and checked his vitals which were alright aside from the pulse and respiration. These were calming down quickly. We let him loose. He was still a little agitated, jumping from place to place and peering nervously in all directions. But, there was something a little different about him that I could not put my finger on.
The others noted nothing, and declared our work a success.
And now, it was time for me to go.
To be continued…
Lee Dunn has been writing since the age of 18, but found that work got in the way for the ensuing 48 years. In his home town of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, he reveled in his independence at an early age, and spent as much time as he could exploring the city’s Arts scene. He was introduced to poetry and prose by the works of two literary giants, namely J.R.R. Tolkien and J.W. Lennon and thence fell in love with the written word. His work includes poetry, short fiction, and personal essays, and ranges in theme from the surreal to the horrific, nostalgic, and themes on the human condition. He has been published on Spillwords.com, The Dark Poets Club, Journal of Undiscovered Poets, Crepe & Penn Literary magazine, and the Shelburne Free Press.