On the Fritz

On the Fritz

I was sitting on the couch in my living room, reading Bickford’s Things to Forget, when I heard the time-travel machine turn on. I looked up across the room to see it disappear. Where could it have gone on its own?

There was nothing I could do. I went back to reading about a man named Mitch who used to sit in his back yard in a reclining chaise lounge and now and then combed his hair with his fingers.

The time-travel machine reappeared. I set the book down. I got up to take a closer look. As I got near it went away again.

I felt the air where the time-machine had been. There was a slight suction like space minus time.

I called Burt who repairs time-machines. I told him what happened. He’d never heard of that before. I asked what to do. He said there’s nothing I could do. I asked about when it returns. He said if it returns. I said yeah. He said he didn’t know.

I waited next to the spot where the time-machine disappeared. It returned. I opened the door and got in. I sat in the seat.

There was a vibration and my living room disappeared. The time-machine was afloat in an ocean. It bobbed. I was nauseous, unrolling the window, leaning out, throwing up. I typed in the time I had left in the time-destination panel, touched the red button, and was back in my living room.

A moth landed on the hood. There was a hum from the time-machine and the living room disappeared.

The time-machine was packed in snow and ice, the moth frozen stiff on the other side of the glass. The glass began to crack. I typed in the previous time. Then I was back in the living room. Wind from the ceiling fan blew the dead moth onto the floor.

I felt the vibration again and swiftly whacked the console panel with my palm. The time-machine remained where it was. The vibration returned, followed by a whack, and the same surroundings. A minute went by.

I got up and returned to my book on the couch. I read about a woman named Beth who went outside.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.