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Books by Quantum Muse contributors and friends.
A Felony of Birds

by Harris Tobias
The Greer Agency

by Harris Tobias
Assisted

by Harris Tobias
Hold The Anchovies

by Harris Tobias
Alien Fruit

by Harris Tobias
Peaceful Intent--Stories of human/Alien Interaction

by Harris Tobias
CHRONON--Time Travel

by Harris Tobias
The Stang

by Harris Tobias


Welcome

by Harris Tobias


W e l c o m e

Leroy Johnston gently lifted the girl’s body into the chamber. He was
amazed at how small and light she was. He hadn’t meant to kill her but she
was such a little thing, as fragile as a butterfly and just as pretty. She started
screaming. He couldn’t have that. Why did this always happen to him? Maybe
he was the stupid man everyone thought he was.


All he wanted was a kiss. He thought that was what she wanted too. It sure
looked like that’s what she wanted. Wasn’t she flirting with him? Why was he
always so wrong about these things? She was always so nice. Not like the
others. He was invisible to them. She always had a kind word for old Leroy.
Like he mattered, like he was someone.


Leroy placed the body in the small chamber. He put her in the only seat
and straightened her white smock, her dark hair. She looked so peaceful he
thought of kissing her all over again. He felt that urgent pressure in his groin
that made him do stupid things. He didn’t kiss her. He realized he’d been bad
and, suppressing his lustful urges, quickly closed the door.


The control console was a maze of dials and switches. No one would ever
suspect a big galoot like him to know how to operate it. But he did know. Maybe
he didn’t understand the physics behind time travel but he had watched the
scientists set the switches a thousand times. And he knew that his survival
depended upon getting rid of the body. He knew which switches to throw and
which dials to set. He had memorized the pattern of lights and worked the board
until he got the pattern right. He chuckled to himself that he had the ability to
work so complicated a device. No one would suspect that he had that ability. No
one.


He paused before setting the time dial. Past or future he wondered? If I send
her into the future, he reasoned, they might have ways to find out she was
murdered. They might even be able to know who it was and tell the authorities.
Who knew what abilities they had? No, it had to be the past and far enough in
the past where they wouldn’t know what happened and probably wouldn’t care if
they did.


He turned the dial as far to the left as it would go. He bid goodbye to the
broken woman in the chamber and threw the switch. The machine hummed and
built in pitch until with a brilliant flash, it vanished-- fifty thousand years into the
past. Leroy heaved a sigh of relief. He was proud of himself, he figured out how
to hide the body and avoid detection. Not to bad for a man with a fourth grade
education. A faint glow of pride suffused his brain. Maybe he was smarter than
everyone thought.


Leroy set the dial to the present and activated the machine. There was the
familiar hum, the flash and the chamber was back. But what was this? It wasn’t
empty, the crumpled body of the woman was still there slumped in the seat. A
second of panic then realization. Of course, she was dead. Dead bodies can’t
move on their own. He would have to go back with it and leave it there. Leroy
shook his head in disbelief. How could he make such a careless mistake? Once
again he set the dial as far back as it would go. This time he also set the
automatic timer for sending and receiving or, at least, thought he did. He double
checked everything but, to be truthful, he was not as certain as he was.


Leroy contorted his large frame to fit inside the chamber. It was a snug fit
for two, especially for someone as big as he. He was relieved when the machine
wound up and flashed. When the falling sensation finally stopped, Leroy looked
around. The chamber had come to rest on a barren, rocky slope. In the distance
were high mountains, a wall of ice towered above him. Awed by the strangeness
and desolation of the place, Leroy opened the chamber door and carried out the
body. He placed it gently on the ground. For the first time he noticed the cold, it
was bitterly cold and all he had was his thin cotton janitor’s shirt. The one with
his name stitched on the pocket.


He saw movement below him. A large, fur covered elephant of some sort was
lumbering up the slope. It was like nothing he had ever seen, huge and shaggy
with enormous curving tusks. Cold as he was he watched, transfixed, as it
climbed steadily towards him. When he could not stand the cold a second longer
he pulled himself away from the scene and took a step toward the chamber just
in time to see it vanish. Now what was he going to do? The strange beast
passed directly below him. Behind it came a ragged band of hunters, wearing
furs and clutching stone tipped spears. Impulsively he called out to them. They
turned as one and saw him. They did not look welcoming.



    
        
      
  



2013-08-12 09:00:42
It's fun to see a time machine used to mete out justice for someone who might have gotten away with it. Fun flash story, indeed.


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Books by Quantum Muse contributors and friends.
A Felony of Birds

by Harris Tobias
The Greer Agency

by Harris Tobias
Assisted

by Harris Tobias
Hold The Anchovies

by Harris Tobias
Alien Fruit

by Harris Tobias
Peaceful Intent--Stories of human/Alien Interaction

by Harris Tobias
CHRONON--Time Travel

by Harris Tobias
The Stang

by Harris Tobias


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