Welcome to my writing corner. Here you'll find stand alone stories and tales that stretch much longer. You'll find tales ranging from medieval adventure to modern stories about real people with a sci-fi twist. If you like/hate what you read, drop me a line and let me know.

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Thursday, June 17, 2010

What If? - Chapter 7

The next two days go by very slowly.

I spend time making adjustments to my list, prioritizing, categorizing, it turns into two lists. One list of things I’ll see and another list of things that I won’t see. Some of the things are too painful, some are just silly, but I vow not to erase anything from the list. The List becomes a constant interruption to my day, a nagging itch, a burn on the tip of my tongue. I pull it out of my pocket constantly and jot down changes. Little wholes are forming along the folds and the edges are tearing, but I don’t care. This is The List.

It’s noon on Saturday, the rain is gray with the wind whipping droplets of water onto the windows. I tell my wife that I’m going to help Pat with some yard work. The steering wheel feels tiny in my hand; the wind threatens to tear my tiny car off the highway. My mind rushes with anticipation as I pull between the yellow lines and lift the parking brake.

The halls are empty, most of the lights turned off; I nod to a janitor who nods back before sighing and plopping his wet mop on the old tiled floors. A few minutes later I’m at the door to Pat’s lab, the door is locked, blackness on the other side of the window. I look down at my watch, it’s 12:45, I’m early.

Each second ticks by slowly as I lean back against the white brick walls, painted and repainted so many times the walls are starting to look plastic. Finally I hear the jingle of keys and Pat’s dragging feet, I look up and there he is, giving me an awkward wave.

Pat slides the jagged key into the door and clacks it open. He tosses the key on a nearby table and hits the light switch; bright florescent lights burn my eyes after being in the dark hallway. We exchange small talk. Pat turns his back on me and starts warming up The Machine. My eye is drawn to the small brass key lying on the table. Without thinking I slide my hand out and palm the key into my pocket. I’m not a thief; it just seems like what I should do.

Before I can decide to put it back Pat turns around. “Everything is ready.”

I hop into the uncomfortable chair and Pat straps the gadgets to me.

“Now remember, you have to picture the moment of the outcome very carefully.”

I close my eyes; in the darkness between my brain and my eyelids I conjure up an image of a girl with straight brown hair, a youthful smile and a tendency to mispronounce the word ketchup.

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