"The next three chapters, starting from this one, will
begin a little before noon the next day. Thank you."
- Lou Morris--the author,
not knowing how else to
Corbin Wick jumped out of bed excitedly and slammed the
alarm clock off. He excitedly got dressed, then excitedly
ran into the bathroom and hopped into the shower, wincing
slightly when he realized he'd got them in the wrong order.
He didn't care--he was much too excited.
"Corbin?" came a motherly voice from beyond the closed
"Yes, mom," Corbin replied, walking into his bedroom,
toweling parts of his clothing dry. "I'm already up."
"Okay, honey." He heard her footsteps as she walked back
down the staircase.
He placed the towel in his hamper then picked up his
brown pleather (plastic leather--Do I have to keep repeating
this?) suitcase, which was filled with useful time/reality
traveling items: first-aid kits, food, clothing, a teddy
bear, flashlight, and some odds and ends. He calmly exited
his bedroom then walked down the stairs. By the time he
reached the last step into the living room, he was busting
with excitement--worse than a little kid on Christmas Eve.
"Where are you going?" Corbin's mother asked.
Corbin stopped short of the cellar steps. "Just another
"Not without a wholesome breakfast, you aren't."
"No but's about it." She placed a plate, pilled high
with scrambled eggs and hash browns, on the dining room
table. "Eat," she said.
He had no choice but to do as she said. So he did--as
quickly as possible.
Ten minutes later, he bounded down the basement
steps--dripping bits of egg and potato--dragging his suitcase
There it was; right where he left it--siting all by its
lonesome on his workbench. His reality machine.
He carefully picked it up, cradling it in both hands like
a newborn child or a really nice Christmas gift. Nothing
could happen to it, he thought. Not now. He was too close
to suffer another setback. He knew how to make it work,
He snapped himself back into reality and glanced at his
digital watch. Ten minutes to twelve.
He couldn't wait any longer. He plucked his pocket
recorder from his shirt pocket. "Lab experiment number
fifty-six. Notes: I think I can control the reality machine
by placing an exact picture in my mind of the desired
result." He clicked it off then pressed the big red button
on the garage door opener/reality machine...
A plop of cherry vanilla ice cream materialized three
feet above the basement floor and splattered to the ground.
Corbin frowned. That wasn't what he pictured. He
pictured the Revolutionary War, not an ice cream parlor.
What went wrong?
One more try. This time he strained himself, mentally
forcing a scene of the Boston Tea Party into his head. Tea,
he thought. Tea... tea falling into the water... falling...
falling down... cold water... falling... cold...
He continued to imagine for about ten more minutes.
Falling... cold... icy water... falling... Splash.
As he pressed the button, the digital hourly chime on his
watch went off, sending his mind in a far different direction