I built the Machine. I cracked my knuckles. I turned every dial. I pressed every button. I flipped every switch. I could feel the entire expanse of Time begin to unlock as I slowly reached for that one lever that would put everything into motion. The money not spent on divorce attorneys, the respect not given to me by the University, the Laboratory not used to manifest this monster; it would all be paid back a thousand fold!
The lever glided down and clicked.
Time was very much… unmachined.
Aha! The Machine was unplugged.
Again, I could feel the entire expanse of Time begin to unlock as I slowly reached for that one electric socket that would put everything into motion.
The impact could be felt from all around the house.
“Hey!” my wife shouted from the kitchen. The kitchen fuse went out and she couldn’t make another damn frozen margarita, which was unfortunate, because she’d only had six since seven o’clock that evening when the mini bottles of Amaretto ran out. But, this sort of criticism can only be expressed after the fact. At that moment my heart was stomaching the shock of a living room, once empty, save for the Machine and me, suddenly full with thirty different men and women. All strangely dressed with strange odors, and each one with a gun pointed at another’s head, and in their other hand, each a gun pointed at me. I needed a sweater before thirty different warm laser sights covered my body like chicken pox.
“Are you Doctor Michael Moro?” they asked in unison.
“What’s that, Michael?” my wife asked.
“Doctor Moro, it’s come down to you,” said a young brunette woman. She was thin and beautiful, like my wife before she learned pork and chocolate cured an attractive figure. “Time has become so muddled and fluid that we had no choice but to go back as far as we could, to the very beginning of time travel.”
“Uh-uh,” I said, more focused on the guns.
“Society has fallen apart now that we know the end before the beginning. Music has been corrupted. Singers, songwriters and composers, as soon as they develop a masterpiece, they send it back to the start of their careers. Now there’s no new music. Entire movies vanish into oblivion as soon as actors learn they haven’t won an Oscar, so they go back and tell themselves to land parts in the movies that did win. Politics are the worst! Politicians, with the foreknowledge of their defeat, are going back and rigging elections in their favor.”
“Least that hasn’t changed,” I commented.
“And the politicians that did win, are going back and rigging the elections further. Stuff like this is happening in every aspect of life and society and now we’ve reached a standstill. This must end! Time travel must be abolished.”
That was asking a lot if you recall the divorce attorneys, the respect, and the laboratory mentioned above.
“Michael, who’s out there?” asked my wife as she exited the kitchen with a partially blended ice margarita. Despite inebriation, she deduced the danger quickly. I hadn’t seen her so sharp since earlier that day when she sliced herself cheesecake. “I’ll go fix the fuse and make some more margaritas,” she said, nervous and embarrassed of her alcoholism. Everyone watched her leave in silence, except for me, who focused on the brunette that would visit my imagination the following morning in the shower.
“But if you’re all agreed my time machine is so destructive to your future, why explain the situation at all, or hold guns to each other’s heads, or my head?”
“We’re not all against your time machine,” said a tall man with silver hair and a tattoo of George Washington wrestling a bear on his left arm. “If you destroy time travel, half the people in this room will be unemployed. In the future, you’ll have laid off a fifth of the country.”
“But you don’t need me, it sounds. The machine’s already built and turned on. Why not do the deed yourselves, or not do the deed?”
“We arrived here by time travel. If we destroy the machine, we destroy the means by which we came to destroy the machine. The Paradox would put Time and Space in eternal limbo! We’d never escape,” explained the brunette. “But you, who came to this moment without time travel, can destroy the machine without creating a paradox. But if you refuse to do so, we’ll be forced to kill you and let the chips fall.”
“Then I’ll destroy it.”
“We thought you’d say that,” said the silver head of hair. “Which is why if you attempt to destroy the time machine, we’ll kill you.”
Standing there amongst my last moments of life, I thought of my wife and how much I wished she were by my side. Her fat ass could absorb the laser beams.
“How many glasses do we need?” my wife called from the kitchen before turning on the blender. As blades crushed ice, the power in the living room short-circuited and the time machine shut off. Immediately, the room was empty. All their strange odors and goofy “fashion statements” were gone, much like my erections lying in bed with my wife.
She peaked out of the kitchen, then jogged out and threw her arms around my neck and embraced me.
“Oh my God, I’m so glad you’re all right! Where did those people go?” she asked.
“Oblivion, perhaps. The blender short-circuited the time machine, and God knows I’m not rebuilding it. But wouldn’t you know it, despite all my complaining, it was your drinking that saved my life.”
She softly kissed my neck and I felt sudden passion ignite, calling back to that of our youth. An insatiable lust that only our love could fulfill.
“This doesn’t change anything,” I mentioned. “I still want a divorce.”
Trevor Foley presently lives in Wisconsin and dreams of leaving, which he managed once, but poverty is an elastic leash. If you should ever see him, say “You’ve been sat at table blue,” and he’ll kindly shine your shoes for you. Flattery will get you further.