Monday, January 3, 2011


Time Douche - Ch. 1 - It's About Time
By John Elrod II

“What is your life worth? Hmm? This is a rhetorical question we are forced to ask ourselves constantly. Though there can be no concrete answer, we still ask it. What does it even mean? Is that how one measures a life? With dollars? Of course not. What do we use? Hmm? Yes: time. Our lives are measured in the time encompassing them and the impact we make on this time. It is absurd to use any other measurement for a life. 'One needs time for everything.' Does anyone know who said that? Eighteenth Century French philosopher, Voltaire. Of course, he was referring to some form of evolution, but--"

"Oh! I know this one! He was Dracula, right?" you try to interject some humor into the room, but your joke falls flat, as Thomas Nubleman, this evening's host, takes the question seriously.

"No. Voltaire was not Dracula. Anyway, time..."

Nubleman continues his soliloquy on time -- nobody is actually listening -- and you've just about had enough of this insanity. Your thoughts have grown desperate.

I get dragged to this freaking dinner--by the way, where's the fucking food? Some dinner without morsel one--and this boring bastard has been droning on for twenty doggone minutes about temporal shifts and chronotonal ballasts and aaaaah! I just want some chicken! If he doesn't shut his mouth soon...

You turn your focus back to him.

"... Although we often think of time as its own entity, in fact, time and space are intertwined. They exist on the same plane. This means, theoretically, when we move through space, we are also moving through time. What does this mean? Hmm? If we can learn to move through space, we will move through time, as well..."

You don't have thoughts, anymore, as much as you have threats.

If this motherfucker doesn't give me some goddamn chicken...

He continues.

"... thus..."

Oh, he did not just bust a 'thus'! That's it. I have to leave.

In agitation, you quickly search your surrounding area to find any excuse to leave. Then, you spot the wine: a beautiful Merlot. You'll wear it well. With a swift motion of your arm, a nearly full glass of wine splashes onto your shirt.

"Aw geez! Aw geez!" you exclaim. "Geez, I'm sorry. I just was so engrossed in what you were saying, I made a complete mess of myself. Can I use your restroom?" They should invent an award to give you for this performance.

Nubleman, visibly perturbed -- although, he kind of always looks like that -- responds, "But of course! Just up the stairs, there. Feel free to take a shirt of mine from the closet, too." His offer is accompanied by a forceful push to your back, as he turns and begins his rambling, once more, "The reason I've asked you all here, under such secrecy, is because I am planning a trip to France, but..." he continues, but you've finally managed to get outside of earshot.

You've got to hand it to this guy. As pompous as he is, his house is exquisite. An oak banister lines a marble staircase, and all of the windows appear to be complemented with silk curtains. The only unsightly thing about the entire place is all the clocks. This guy really wants to showcase his hard-on for all things time. Your eyes can't wander three feet across the wall without running against some intricate timepiece -- the higher the intricacy the higher the price, most likely. Within the bathroom, you're visually accosted by its stance in complete opposition to the foyer. There's nearly nothing decorative about this room. Everything is stainless steel and sterile, still with a shine but somewhat subdued. Then you're almost shocked into words by the stark contrast of what you seen in front of you to literally every other inch of this bathroom.

"Wow, look at that shower."

Your astonishment is warranted. This shower seems to have been crafted from one piece of solid titanium alloy. It stands at a looming eight feet tall, enclosed with what has to be, at least, two-inch thick two-way mirrors. Upon closer examination, the door opens automatically, on touch. With a soft swish, you're presented with the view of a convoluted interior, housing numerous buttons and knobs, but the most intriguing feature is centered squared right at you: a chair. This is no ordinary shower chair your grandmother might use for bathing. This is hard, cold, reflective metal. This is not built for comfort. This is built for business. This is Captain Kirk's shower chair. In back of the chair are several compartments. You open the largest of them.

"Clothes. Weird clothes. I guess he did say I could wear his clothes. It couldn't hurt, if I use his badass shower."

Naked and staring at your shivering reflection in the contraption's door, you touch it. The wind from the door's movement gives you chills. Second thoughts race through your mind. Maybe you shouldn't. What? You're standing naked in this man's bathroom; a man who promised you chicken, and gave you nothing but a headache. You're doing this. With that, you lob yourself into the chair.


The door whizzes shut, as a low, ominous hum grows rapidly into an angry whir. Lights flicker, a screen on the backside of the door illuminates your face, and your heartbeat quickens. In an attempt at calmness, you focus your attention on the cold steel seat sucking the heat from your exposed skin. It is to no avail, as you only grow more frightened with each passing beep. Beep. Beep. In a frantic haze, you lash out at everything in sight, pressing button after button. Nothing. Just as you think to scream: silence--darkness. Nothing remains but the illumination of the screen to capture your momentary relief. Did you break it?


The hum returns, this time growing faster to the whir. The whir, this time, escalating to a pulsating roar. Faster, the beep dramatically crescendos into a sustained tone, and, after a tremendous flash, the bathroom is vacant -- and showerless.


In a blink, silence returns. You're sweaty and tired, but you can read the screen glaring you in the face. It reads: open. You press it, opening the door.

"There's no way this is a shower." You state one of the most obvious statements of the obvious to have ever been stated.

Again, your relief is short-lived, as you realize there is a breeze entering the doorway. Upon standing, you're presented with the view of a confusing exterior: a bucolic countryside. You promptly close the door, and return to your seat.

"Okay... okay..." you exhale.”Okay... think this out. He's an inventor... geez, what was he talking about? Dracula. Wine... shit! Traveling! It's a teleporter!" Why this seems to comfort you is a mystery.

"I've been teleported somewhere. I'm probably just outside his house." Ignoring the fact that this man's house is located in Boston, you open the door and step out. After a quick look around, you return -- closing the door.

"Okay... not in Boston. Where am I?" You rub your temples and slowly come to a stop.

Sheepishly, you scoff, "No... noooooo... it's not possible." Once more opening the door, you look outside. "Oh, god."

You close the door and wonder if the correct time to piss yourself is now, or five minutes ago. Just then, you hear a voice.

"You imbecile!" it chirps.

Deciding now is probably the best time to do the piss yourself thing, you reply, "Aaaaah!"

"Oh, do shut up." Pomposity oozes from a speaker over your left shoulder.

The voice is that of Mr. Nubleman. It seems he included a communication system in his design.

"Thomas?" At that moment, that question carries more hope than you had ever imagined could be felt for the possibility of speaking to Thomas Nubleman.

"Yes, you moron. You've stolen my time machine -- and why are you naked?" Thomas has apparently found your clothes.

"So, I was right. I'm in a different time? When am I?" your voice cracks with a childish whimper, "And how are you talking to me?"

Thomas' reply seems to acknowledge that he heard you, but he may also just be rambling again. It's difficult to tell with this guy. "You nincompoop. You can't just traipse through the space/time continuum, without leaving some remnants of having been there. You've created a wormhole, which is also how I'm speaking to you. Upon your return, you will travel through that same wormhole, thus, sealing it; however, since you took literally no precaution in this little daytrip of yours, you've left temporal debris. These chronotons have been disturbed, and they must be allowed to settle. Attempting to return, now, would result in catastrophic damage to the machine and most likely the continuum. Luckily, chronotons work fast; you can return within the hour. So, you must hide the machine, and yourself, during that time."

You do not respond.

"Do it!"

Still, you do not respond.

"Answer me!"

Three men in long blue coats and funny hats are riding by on horseback. They haven't seen the machine . . . yet.

"There are people here." you whisper.

"What? Whatever you do, do not come into contact with them. You are not prepared for this, as I am." he just can't avoid the condescension. "You are in Eighteenth Century France --"

"The time of Voltaire?" you interrupt. For some reason you’re proud that you've remembered this.

"Shut up, you fool. It is 1789, to be exact -- after Voltaire, before you just have to interrupt me, again. They are on the cusp of the French Revolution. Your actions could have monumental impact."

"Why would you be going to such a pivotal, volatile time?" You prepare yourself for his indignation.

"Why would I--WHY?! I prepared myself for years to take man's fairly innocuous maiden voyage through time! A feat you've stolen from me! You expect me to explain to you why?! Just you listen to me, and bring my machine back without fucking history up." His breathing is audible, even through time.

You pause for a moment to provide some space for clarity. "What do I do? Should I stay here? They are guaranteed to see me. Should I get out and try to move the machine before that happens?" You're beginning to panic again.

"Are you dressed? First, get dressed. Then, pop this speaker out -- it's portable -- and stick me in your pocket. Next, I can't believe I'm saying this to the idiot who thought my time machine was a shower -- that's what it was, right? You thought it was a shower? Moron. That wasn't even my bathroom -- Make a judgment call." He actually left it in your hands: your hands that had, indeed, mistaken a time machine for a shower.

Will You...

A. Stay in the time machine, guaranteed to be seen, and deal with what happens then?

B. Exit the time machine and attempt to move it, without being seen?

Rock the time machine back-and-forth, letting it fall on its side, utilizing its tubular shape and your position on a hill to roll away?


  1. Leave it to John to make this work. I was worried, but silly me... what was I thinking. Brilliant.

  2. Good man, John. This is one rollercoaster I'm looking forward to.

    Vive la France!

  3. Well done Mr. John.

    Well done indeed.