Monday, January 24, 2011


By John Elrod II

“Actually, it is Buonaparte. Napoleone di Buonaparte… although, now that you mention it, Bonaparte sounds much more French. Plus, it totally sounds sexual, as in: You hear that, old man? I’m going to be boning your daughter apart!” An unexpectedly immature Napoleon stands before you, gloating over a dead body of his making and thrusting his hips into the air.

You make the decision to run for it, leaving Bonaparte to himself.

Bolting for a nearby wooded area, you reach the tree line and duck behind one of them. The three men are speaking with Napoleon; they’re smiling, so maybe he -- nope, no he’s pointing them in your direction.

“Bastard,” you say to yourself.

What?” From your pants, Nubleman’s voice carries genuine concern; it’s likely not for you, however. “What have you done now?!”

As you pull the communicator from your pocket, you place it near your mouth and whisper, “Nothing, now be quiet. I’m hiding.”

Napoleon and the three men are still speaking with each other, but that quickly vacates from the list of things with which you’re concerned. A series of bright white lights flashes before your eyes. You’re momentarily blinded, and you let out a girlish squeal and fall to the ground.

“I… I feel strange, Thomas.” Your speech is slurred.

What happened? I hate this! I’ve been relegated to endlessly wondering what the hell is going on, while you experience everything!” Nubleman’s voice no longer carries any concern whatsoever.

You manage to stumble to your feet, not having heard a single thing Thomas said. Propped against the tree now, you turn you attention back to the four Frenchmen.

Wait, your thoughts pause.

Where the four men were, there are now two. The others must have come searching for you. In a panic you try to scramble away, but your body feels as if its bones are missing. You fall forward, back into the propped position, and concede that you will simply have to be captured; you are unable to run any more.

Wait, your thoughts return to the two men from before.

That one guy, he’s not wearing the correct clothes; he’s wearing clothes more closely resembling yours. It… it is you.

“That’s ridiculous. I must be hallucinating.” you speak directly into Nubleman’s box, absentmindedly.

What’s ridiculous? Tell me what is going on! I demand it! Or so help me…” The mighty Thomas Nubleman musters all of the empty threatening power he can.

You continue to ignore Nubleman, as your gaze has been enraptured by what the two men are doing. The you one just hit himself in the crotch; what the hell?

More flashes blind you, and this time they are extended in duration by nearly ten seconds; they are painful.

Grimacing and sweating profusely, you see the men are now fighting, but it’s no longer you; it’s the old man from before. Just then, a man surfaces over a hill beyond the dueling men--it’s you!

The flashes return, once more, but they are no longer surrounding you; they are radiating from you.

You desperately cry into the speaker, “Thomas! I’m seeing flashes--I am flashes! It hurts like crazy! I see other times! Why am I?!” Your cognitive dissonance has imploded.

Oh god.” Nubleman’s voice finally expresses concern for you. “I’m sorry. Your matter has been corrupted, and the resonating chronotons must diffuse you to stabilize the continuum.”

“Diffuse me? What does that mean?” You force through your painfully clouded mind.

In layman’s terms: time particles will attach to your atoms, tear you into microscopic pieces, and spread those throughout the wormhole reparation.” His voice cracks. “If it’s any consolation, my machine will suffer the same fate.”

“No it’s not any consolation!” You scream, throwing the transponder against a tree; it disappears in a flash of white.

You stumble out of the trees, toward the men. Your body is now a confused mess of luminosity, varying from head-to-toe and accompanied by a bit of periodic tonal ringing. The men can’t see you, yet you attempt to speak with them; a beam of white light replaces your words. With every movement of your mouth, the light becomes hotter. Your sight is still with you, but your eyes have become empty, glowing, white-hot torches. You drop to your knees and look again at the men; the other you has dropped to the ground and his crotch is smoking. You stop fighting the inevitable and give in to time. Your last sight is of a Frenchman putting a bullet through your head, before your entire body flashes three times and disintegrates into empty space.


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