The times… They are toughened

I keep checking my personal calendar and I am falling behind.  I need to make some notable progress on one of the writing projects on my docket, but the muse… she has left the building.

I know life can get crazy, but right now it feels like crazy is the norm.  With so many “must do’s” piled up in front of me, it makes brain time for word-smithing a highly sought after commodity.  And while I have chipped quite a few of those tasks down to either completion or waiting on some other piece of the all consuming puzzle to arrive, the pile remains unconquered.

The Puzzle! 

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As you click the pieces together, it separates you from your soul…

Hmm, fun idea for a soul trap or demonic possession story.

Err, well so I guess the muse is still hovering above me.   That means it’s just me and my harshly used gray matter that is the stop block to the floodgates of my imagination…

and the fingers to put the words down…

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Tempus Automata – six

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The whole of my vision went hazy before it all pixelated into a monochromatic gloom.  At the same time, the surprised intake of breath from the inventor filled my ears as he grabbed for my shoulder.   My systems struggled to make sense of what had just happened, but just as suddenly, the colors of the world rushed back into focus.

The grip on my shoulder lessened once my creator realized where we were.   Across a neighborhood street laid the place of my creation.   A vintage Oldsmobile with rocket fins drove past us as the inventor tried to see through his own window.  Abruptly, he stood up and ran to the sidewalk.  He stood there and scratched at his head before he made his way back to me.

“What did you do?” he asked.

With my limited vocabulary, I tried to explain what I had seen and done, “I… I plucked the time string that ran behind me…”

“Hmm, the time string?”  He rubbed at his forehead as he pondered at my meaning before he asked, “Explain to me what you saw before you plucked it.”

“Before my eyes lay a single string that stretched into the far distance while what lay in front of me were many that branched outward.  When I attempted to touch those that were in front of me, they moved away of their own accord.  But I could grasp the long one that stretched off behind me.”

“And you called them time strings?”

I nodded in the affirmative, but I couldn’t think of a way to articulate why I had said that.  He was quiet for a long period before he asked, “How far did we travel?”

I replied, “Four hundred and forty one feet.”

His eyes lit up as he wiggled in place, “By my calculations, we traveled one second backwards… in time!  Ha, ha!   How wondrous!”

Despite his age, he bounced and skipped around and each step seemed to buoy up the energy inside him.  A huge grin plastered itself across his face as he turned back to me, “We must hurry back and run another test!  Come along my friend!”

He hopped off in a hurry.  By the time he made it back to the sidewalk, he turned back to see me in the same spot.  He made his way back and looked down at where my torso ended and what existed of my unfinished legs jutted outward.

He smiled, “Looks like I’ll have to carry you back, Grigori.”

Tempus Automata – five

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The rough edge of a large cardboard box pressed against the back of my skull, but that wasn’t quite right.  It was more a perception of sensory input from the mix of plastics and metal that formed our… my outer shell.  The caress of hands brushed against the edge of the cavity in my chest and each time a connection was made, it sent a shock through me.

My eyes blinked open and I could make out curly gray hair thinly scattered on the head of the inventor, my creator.  I looked on in wonder but the colors looked muted, separated by a thin tracking line that was constantly moving across my vision, “I… I see you.”

“And I see you, my friend,” he replied jovially.  “Bear with me just a little longer.  I am almost done getting this contraption plugged into you.”

I was conscious of his fingers as they rummaged around the inside of my chassis until there was a final satisfying click.  My systems struggled to process everything as new strings of data filled the passageways of my mind.  Strange new vistas opened up before my mechanical eyes.  Overlaying what was solidly in front of me were ghostly lines that segued into multiple directions forward but only a single glowing line behind.

“Power read outs are stable.”  The corners of my creator’s eyes crinkled, “It’s amazing what a bit of plutonium can do, isn’t it?  Now, hopefully no one will ever question how we got our hands on it.”

“What is… this?” I asked in wonder.

The inventor chuckled dryly, “Now that, my friend, is a mighty good question. “

He stared at something below my field of vision for a moment before he grabbed a dusty tome from inside the box that had held the mechanism; the mechanism that was now inside me.

“Excellent! This is a log of… oh my.”  Bemusement colored his words, “Well, it looks like we’ve experimented with this device numerous times before and many of those have ended in failure.”

But I ignored him.  I stared in wonder at the flickering lines that hovered in my vision.  Slowly, my hand extended out to touch them, but the ones that splintered outward wavered away from my fingertips.  When I brought my hand down in consternation, the long single one that continued behind me slid into my grasp.  As I reached out and held onto my creator, my fingers slid down the ghostly line just shy of where the branches split outward and I plucked.