What I came up with is probably gonna be a little different from most. And as for the 100 words, more or less, I picked more. (Sorry.) First, a little background filler: this story takes place on the Georgia Tech campus, shortly before the monthly amateur radio testing session. Volunteer Examiners, such as my hubby Smarticus and I, administer and grade these tests so applicants can (hopefully) earn their FCC-issued amateur radio licenses. When the story opens, Smarticus and I have arrived early for the test session, and so far, are the only ones there. OK, get the picture? Here goes:
Yeah, right. The way I figured, it'd be more like two or three smokes, so I gave him a peck on the cheek and a pat on the butt, and headed for the classroom by myself. As usual, the room felt like an airless sauna, so as soon as I got there, I cranked the super-duper-sized turbo-prop floor fan all the way up to what we liked to call the wind tunnel setting.
The fan roared to life, and created an instant gale force blast that whipped the cover up and away from a never-before-seen whatchamacallit (Please forgive the technical jargon.) sitting in the corner of the room. I, never one to stick my nose where it doesn't belong, immediately walked over to the behemoth to investigate.
The industrial gray contraption... rather generic-looking, if you asked me... boasted knobs, buttons, and dials galore, and a metal plate that said, BEWARE: Wormhole Generator. I, never one to fiddle with unknown knobs and dials, immediately fingered the Cosmic Positioning System doohicky with one hand, while leafing through the latitude and longitude guidebook lying beside it with the other.
I took a quick peek at my watch. Oh good, I had at least five minutes. Plenty of time to change the world. Phooey on the Butterfly Theory. Nerts to worrying about a paradox. I was gonna go kill Hitler with my — my — never mind; I'd worry about that when I got there.
I punched my destination date, latitude and longitude into the CPS keyboard, took a deep breath, and then used both hands to pull the giant knife switch down. The air shimmered like a heat mirage, and then settled into place, forming what looked like the gaping undulating mouth of a dark tunnel. I, never one to venture half-cocked into any kind of adventure, immediately took a flying leap into it.
I'm so dizzy, my head is spinning...
Before my stomach had the opportunity to purge its contents, the spinning slowed, and came to a gradual stop. On wobbly legs, I emerged into a vaguely familiar room.
I looked around, noting the familiar arrangement of desks and computers, and the roar of the turbo-prop fan. A picture of Governor Max Cleland on the wall, next to another of President Hillary Clinton. And a calendar, telling me the year was 2013, and the day, the same as when I'd stepped into the tunnel. The generator that delivered me to this parallel universe was no longer there, but a different machine — a cute one — stood in its place. It looked like a big red apple, detailed with an adorable smiley-faced worm emerging from a hole, and fanciful lettering that identified it as Einstein's Bridge to Everywhere. On the wall beside it hung a portrait... a portrait of me, identified as Susan Flett... oh my God!... the bridge's inventor!? Oh, crap. Well, if I invented this thing, maybe I could figure out to get back home. To the right home, the place where I belonged...
"Anybody here to take the test yet?" Smarticus asked, as he entered the room.
I stared at him. Clearly, it was him. Same voice, same grin, same scent of cigarette smoke and sunshine emanating from him. But aside from an obvious upgrade in clothing, there was something else different about him, too. Something — intriguing. Time seemed to stand still as I continued to gawk.
"Um, no," I said, unsure of who we were to each other in this new reality. For all I knew, we could be nothing more than passing acquaintances.
"Tell you what, hot rod," he said, stroking my cheek, and making my toes tingle in the process. "After we get done here, let's stop at The Italian Stallion on the way home. I'll get you some chianti and something to eat that has all the garlic and mushrooms your little heart desires. With the grandkids all coming in tomorrow, you deserve some relaxation and a special treat today. Maybe a foot rub when we get home?"
I, never one to act without considering the consequences of my decisions, immediately smiled. "Sounds good to me, babe. There's no place like home."
Anyhow, thanks so much to the brains behind this bloghop, our delightful hosts Luanne, Laura, and Stephen. It's been fun. If you'd like to check out the other entries for this bloghop, just click on the badge in the sidebar, and it'll whisk you away...
Speaking of whisking away, if you aren't participating in this bloghop already, where would you want to go through that wormhole?
In honor of Einstein's birthday, I'm thinking instead of a birthday cake, we should all have ... pi. After all, tomorrow is 3-14, ya know. Make mine lemon meringue.
Woo-HOO! LATE BREAKING NEWS: Carol Kilgore has completed her random drawing for the winner of a signed copy of her book In Name Only, and the lucky winner is (Insert drum roll here.) Keith, AKA the Optimistic Existentialist. Congratulations, Keith!
Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.
Perhaps home is not a place, but an irrevocable condition. [James Baldwin]