Volume 1 Issue 17: Abnormal Normalcy

We had one submission this week, by returning contributor Tim Clark.
Please enjoy.

———————————————————————————————————

Coffee through the ages
Tim Clark

In our offices, here at Life Explained, Multi National Corp there is a picture on the wall. It is old, it was on the wall when we moved in, the building is old, and had been abandoned for years. One of the associates who considers himself an avid, amateur historian feels it may be an example of an early daguerreotype. Not that anybody cares. Daguerreotype, photograph, big deal, nobody cares, pretentious bastard, anyway.

In the picture there are several men dressed in suits with waist coats standing to the sides of and behind a seated woman. The men all look somber and serious and normal, to our mind for the photographs of the time period. But, the expression on the woman’s face is what really stands out. She looks completely shocked; her face is screwed up in pain, and disbelief.

It has been a subject of speculation since we moved in. One day we decided to find out what caused such her to react in such an unusual manner.

Combining an iPod, a microwave, three dimensional printer and an abandoned nuclear reactor from a scrapped Los Angeles class submarine we assembled a time machine.

One bright, sunny warm morning, we grabbed some Starbucks Venti Espresso with an extra shot, pulled the lanyard that kicked off the whole shebang, and traveled back to the seconds before the photo was taken. Five minutes later we were back.

“Well, how did it go? Did you make it to the right time?” Jonas, the chief engineer asked. He had worked hard on the lead shielding. Melting down hundreds of fishing weights and forming a blanket to wrap around the center core, and keep the radiation in check.

“Did anybody get hurt?” Ol’ Doc Mullen asked.

“No, everything worked fine, better than we could have imagined.  We ended up in the exact right place, at the precise time, right before the shot was taken, which is amazing, considering this was our first attempt. Everybody made it back, without a scratch. It was a complete success, for us, anyway.” I said.

“Well, why does she look that way?” Asked a dozen voices echoed around the room.

The travel party all looked at Bob, the legal expert we had taken along, just in case, you never know when you might need a lawyer, you know.

“I spilled my coffee, a whole Venti right on her lap, just before the shot. She was so mad we barely got out alive.” Bob said, looking defiantly at the crowd.

“Oh, I see.” And people went back to their cubicles, or over to the coffee shop.

 

Week 17: Prompts

In this week’s news we saw a tragedy of four people killed while dining early in the morning at a Waffle House. Watching/reading the coverage, the aspect that struck me was how fixated everyone was on the nudity of the shooter. There are many bizarre details to this story but his nakedness is definitely ranking high, which is fascinating to me.
So for this week’s story, write about an event, negative or positive, but include a bizarre aspect that overshadows the rest of the story. For example, you could write about how a couple struggling to conceive were finally able to start their family and a clown delivered the baby. Or how a high-schooler got a football scholarship and his father and she-wolf mother were so proud. You get the idea. Normalcy, tragedy, triumph but with one detail that is distractedly off.

Okay?

500 words, Friday morning (8 am- I am adding 12 hours because I am late this week.)
Send to mercurialstories@gmail.com.

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

Up ↑