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Rated: E · Short Story · Sci-fi · #2067883
He finds the means to finish his time ship.

Doctor Time sat in his brown leather Lazy Boy and paid special heed to the infomercial on his 65” Omega high definition TV screen.  The Doctor’s eyes grew wide.  The new Ronco Magic Screw Driver (the Ronco Mascred) was being advertised.  It promised to fit any type of screw--be it standard, Phillips, metric, Orion Hunter or even the problematic Saturnian Star.  Stripped head, no problem; tight spaces, no problem; you name it problem; no problem.  It was a physics breakthrough, in that the metal alloy making up the Mascred interacted with the strong nuclear force, allowing for super-strong gripping, etcetera, etcetera.  Technical aspects aside, it had special powers to be sure.  So the infomercial said, anyway.

Therefore Doctor Time sat up with a bolt, his frizzled hair a tangle of white wiry unkemptness adorning his left eye and his craggily countenance with minimal success. 

“Clara!” Time blurted, pocketing a half-consumed bag of peanuts in the Boy’s arm pouch for future munch.

Clara strode in from the all white kitchen wearing a pink and purple apron, her eyes keen as stilettos, her round face an amaranth red from an abundance of kettle steam.

“What is it Emmett?

The good doctor pointed a long, bony finger at the screen.

“Look there, Clara, that screw driver they are advertising--that’s just what I need for my ship!”

Clara eyed him narrowly, then tossed a dishcloth which landed atop Emmett’s head.

“Oh, Emmett, I thought you gave up that idea of time travel long ago.  That silly ship you were building--do you still think you can get it to work?”

Emmett pulled the dishcloth from his head, held it like a dead rat for a moment, then dropped it to the side.

“Clara, you know all those connections in the ship, the parts from all the different planets; why, the connections are what stopped me.  Now I have hope!  With a screwdriver such as the Mascred, I can finally finish my ship.  And the universe will be mine for the taking!  Not so much the where, Clara, but the when.  My time ship--I know I can make it work! 

Clara picked up the dishcloth and shrugged her shoulders.  On her way back to the kitchen she said evenly, “Okay, Emmett, go for it--you’re the doctor.”

And so the good doctor went online and ordered the Ronco Mascred and it was delivered in three days by Universal Parcel Service.  Emmett opened it with alacrity and held his new tool in his hand, beaming like he had just discovered gold, silver and platinum in one fell swoop. 

“Here it is, Clara!  Do you like it?”

Clara pursed her lips and wrinkled her nose as if she had swallowed a lemon.

“Get the hair out of your eyes, Emmett,” she began.  “It lacks color,” she went on, “But, if it works, I guess that’s all that matters.”

Emmett’s attention was focused on the Mascred, and not on his wife.  He examined his new screwdriver with the perspicacity of a retired doctor, and Clara’s words passed him by like so much ebbing hubbub.

“I’m off to the lab!”  Emmett announced, holding the Mascred like a thin trophy.  “You will see, my dear!”

“Luck, my love,” Clara said.

Emmett’s time “ship” was an oblong enclosure the size of perhaps two antique telephone booths.  Emmett was thin and lanky, so he had no trouble accessing all the nooks and crannies wherein circuit boards and various panels needed work.  They needed work, all right, and as Doctor Time tightened here and made adjustments there, he hummed an old, old tune Earth tune, Time is on my Side.  His great grandfather had introduced it to him--some rock group, long ago, called the Rolling Stones.

He toiled mornings, mostly.  Circuit boards showed new life, computer screens displayed data, lights long since dimmed glowed anew.  Clara brought him Oort Cloud Tea, biscuits milled with whole grain from Rigel, and watercress sandwiches warmed by their Gamma Litton Oven imported from Vega’s fourth planet.  At first, Clara supported him totally with foodstuffs, but only partially in spirit.  Emmett was fully into it, though; he was a mission unto himself, he was an obsession holding a tool on which he sought success.  He would often repeat to Clara his favorite expression, “This is big, this is big bang!” 

Clara would grin, but after a time her grimaces deepened.

Finally, the big day came, the day of time travel.  The good doctor was confident that all was in order, that all the connections were sound and that the Mascred had performed beyond all his expectations.  He was more than mad scientist--he was an adventurer, he was a visionary, he was the one who would revolutionize science with the breakthrough of the millennia--that breakthrough being time travel.  He would go forward in time!  And thus he discussed it with his beloved Clara; it was not to be too much of a leap--just one week.  Yes, that was his goal, his “trial run,” his grand venture into the future.  Clara eyed him with pride, and kissed him on his forehead through a miasma of white hair and wished him success and Godspeed.  “Forward!  Into the future!”  She cried as he shut the hatch. 

Doctor Time flipped the switch as the reading on the main panel read, One week into the future.  There was a high-pitched whine, a silvery spinning shimmering, and an eerie distortion of the entire lab. Then, everything disappeared, and Clara lost consciousness.

Clara was in the all white kitchen.  Doctor Time sat in his brown leather Lazy Boy and paid special heed to the infomercial on his 65” Omega high definition TV screen.  The Doctor’s eyes grew wide.  The new Ronco Magic Screw Driver (the Ronco Mascred) was being advertised.

967 Words
Writer’s Cramp
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