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Writers' Corner - September - "Present"


Jolly
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The here and now is in a gift wrapped box. You can open it or show it to someone else. Because there is no time like it.

Rules:

1. Less than a thousand words, more than hardly any.

2. Deadline is Sunday September 30th.

3. Votes in by the end of October 5th

4. Keep the friendly nature of the corner.

5. Go for it. I've never had more fun sitting reading nothing, than I have sitting reading something.

6. Good luck!

Start writing.....NOW!

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THE NOODLE MONSTER

(a script by Daniel Williams)

Narrator : The year is 1981, the world is relatively unthreatened.

man walks into house, inside the house is a nice girl.

Man : Hello

Girl : Oh hello!

Man : How are you?

Girl : I am ok, how are you?

Man : Not bad, Alright I suppose.

Man : I like standing here though, because you are a very nice girl.

Girl : Aww, Thank you!

Man : So, shall we go to that place then?

Girl : Ok!

man and girl exit the house, girl picks up a newspaper on the way out.

Girl : Have you seen this?

Man : What is it?

Girl : Scientists say they found traces of life somewhere.

Man : Oh really?

Girl : Yes

Man : Bah, I wouldn't listen to them just yet.

Man : So where are we going then?

Girl : To the labs, they are having a party.

Man : Sounds nice.

Girl : Yes.

man and girl arrive at their location

Girl : Here it is!

Man : Wow.

Girl : Yes, its a strange building isn't it?

Man : You are correct, It is a strange building.

Girl : Lets go in!

Man : Ok, nice girl.

man and girl walk through the sliding doors and head down the hallway then turn left and go through a door.

Girl : Hi everyone!

White coats : Good evening! How are you?

Girl : Good!

White coats : we see you brought a friend, who is he?

Girl : He is a good man.

Man : Hello scientists!

White coats : Hello!

Man : Why are you having a party?

White coats : Dunno, nice food though.

Man : Yes, this is nice food.

Girl : Did you see Dr. Helper?

White coats : Yes, the signs of life are a cause for concern.

Girl : Oh?

White coats : Yes, its like nothing we have seen before.

Girl : Oh...

Man : Well I'm going for a walk around town now, have fun!

Girl : Bye!

White coats : Later!

Man : Goodbye! See you after!

man walks out the labs and heads towards the busy town.

Man : Cause for concern? Doesn't bother me.

Man : Its always nice to have a good walk around the town, look at buildings and the lovely sky.

Man : Its early morning! Very nice!

Man :I think I will go look around some shops, I like looking around shops.

man enters a shop

Man : Hmm, this shop sell a wide variety of things at a cheap price.

Man : Quite interesting to look around.

Man : I have seen enough now, though.

man leaves shop

Man : I am feeling quite hungry.

Man : I think I should have some food.

man walks over to a food vendor, he orders some noodles.

Man : Ah, Noodles!

Man : Very good food.

Man : Noodles are Very good.

man finishes the noodles and throws the container into a bin.

Man : Those noodles were nice, Cheap too.

Man : I think I will walk some more.

man walks

Man : Yes its a lovely day.

Man : That girl was very nice.

Man : Very Very nice.

Man : I could love her.

Man : Would she love me? She is a lovely girl.

Man : Hey, there is a chair there.

man walks over and sits in chair

Man : I think I will sit and watch what happens for a while.

Man : Whats going on other there?

In the distance a few people are arguing.

Old-Man : You young fools don't realise. Have you read the papers?

Young Man : Yes, I Have.

Young Man 2 : Whats your point old man?

Young Girl : Yeah!

Old-Man : Read those papers good, its all there printed for you. Fools.

Young Man : Whatever you say, grandad.

The young people walk off.

Old-Man : Silly people, when will they learn? Those signs of life are not normal.

goes back to man in chair.

Man : Wonder what that was all about?

Man : This signs of live bussiness?

Man : I can't be bothered sitting here, I am going home.

man walks home.

Man : AHH! Home.

Man : I'm going to bed, I'm tired.

man gets into bed and tries to sleep.

Man : I wonder what this signs of life stuff will be? Wait and see.

man nods off.

the next day, the man gets up.

Man : I have woken up, I will go outside now.

man walks outside.

Girl : Hello!

Man : Hi!

Girl : Have you heard?

Man : Heard what?

Girl : They say the signs of life could be.......A Monster!

Man : What?

Girl : Strange isn't it?

Man : Yes it is.

Man : A monster?

Girl : We should watch the TV to find out more.

Man : Ok, lets go inside my house!

Girl : Lets go!

man and girl walk into the house and sit on the couch, they switch on the tv.

Man : (Wow! Sitting next to such a beautiful girl! this is bliss!)

Man : (Her loveliness caresses the air around her! I think I'm in love!)

Man : (Wow! Such wonderful feelings! Pure Bliss!)

Girl : Ok, here is the news report.

Man : Ok, nice girl.

News : Good morning, know the traces of life? Scientists are going to blow up the area where it is, to open the area up more and see what they find. Ok? Check back later to watch it.

Man : We should wait to see what happens.

Girl : Ok!

Man : Get a drink or food or something if you want.

Girl : Thanks!

Man : No problem, thanks for gracing my house with your wonderfulness.

Girl : You are sweet!

Man : I want to tell you something.

Girl : What is it?

Man : I love you.

Girl : ........Really? You do?

Man : Yes, please be my girlfriend. I love you more than anything else, you are my favourite!

Girl : Oh! I Will!

Man : YASSSSS!!!

Man : Love is Lovely!

Man : Come on girl, lie on top of me! Get into my arms! Let me hold you, it would be pure bliss.

girl lies on top of man, girl gets into mans arms, man hold girl and she holds him back.

Man : (This is unbelievable! Such a strong feeling! Amazing! Unlike anything else!)

Man : Want to go to sleep for a bit? Until the news is on?

Girl : Ok! lets cuddle eachother.

Man : (WOW! Amazing! This is amazing!)

man and girl go to sleep, they wake up just in time to catch the news.

Man : Hmm, the news is on now.

Man : Wake up, come on quick! Come on my love!

Girl : What? Oh, hello.

Girl : Oh, the news is on.

Man : Lets watch!

Girl : Yes!

News : Hello people watching the television, they are going to do that bomb thing now. Lets go over to our cameras there, Ok? Yes, lets go over there.

Scientists : Hello! We are going to blow open this cave thing.

Bomb people : Alright, we are ready!

Scientists : Ok! Lets get ready!

Bomb people : 5! 4! 3! 2! 1!

KABOOOOOOMM!

smoke clears, they see a huge tunnel.

Scientists : Whats this? Something massive has tunnelled its way out of here!

Scientists : Lets follow these tunnels!

Scientists and camera crew and everyone else runs through the tunnels.

after a while they come to the end.

Scientists : Whats this?! Something has tunnelled up to here and escaped! What could it be?

Bombman : A Monster?!

Scientists : Dear God!

Cameraman : Hey Look! What the hell is that over there?

Everyone at the place : DEAR GOD! WHAT IS THAT MASSIVE THING? A MONSTER!

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Present

My heart’s beating faster than I can ever remember; like a muffled machine-gun. I need to pee but hold it and try to breathe slowly.

I sneak a few steps closer to the stairs and listen. It sounds quiet. The question of what time it is doesn’t occur to me. I try to find out whether they have gone to bed or not through my own senses.

The light in the hall isn’t on, not unusual. The front room door is... I lean round the staircase, hugging the beam close to my chest... the front room door is shut! That is a good sign. That does not normally happen before bedtime.

I feel a bit cold and the press in my bladder is constant. Perhaps I could risk going to the toilet and not flushing. If I don’t flush then they can’t hear me. If I sit down and wee they really can’t hear me, I can be quiet. Slowly I step back over the top-step, I know this is a squeaky one as I tested it before bed. I have marked the other squeaky ones with lego.

The bathroom floor is cold and the room is dark. My hand hesitates by the pull-string, tensing it ever so slightly. No, that will bring them. I release the string and relieve my aching tummy. I almost flush the toilet! The natural urge to reach for the handle after having a wee is strong but I stop before I press it too far. A gurgle comes from the cistern.

I come back to the stairs. It must be late, there’s no light coming through the window at the turn of the stair. I step onto the wide part of the staircase and look for my lego. No! They’re gone! Can I remember which are the squeaky stairs? I place my foot carefully on the inside edge of the first and ease my weight gently onto the step proper. I gradually make my way down the stairs, clutching the banister to stop too much of my weight pressing down. I hop over the last step. Success!

I have my back to the front door, directly ahead is the hall with the door to the study facing me. On the left wall as I look is the door to the front room and the door to the dining room; opposite the dining room door is the entrance to the kitchen, which goes under the stairs.

I hear a cough!

Oh no! Someone is still up! I skirt back toward the stairs but my brain holds me, wait a moment. That cough it’s not dad. Ahh, it’s Uncle Geoff! Of course, he’s sleeping in the dining-room. I am out of sight on the foot of the stairs. I need to pee again now! I hold my breath as I hear him leave the kitchen and go into the back room.

I wait again. Listening for sound that he’s gone to bed.. I don’t know how long to wait. I can smell cigarettes. I ease round the bottom of the stair straining my eyes and ears for sight or sound of my uncle. No light, a soft sound of talking; he’s watching telly. That’s good, he might not hear me.

I creep to the front room door. The reason this door is usually open is because of the thickness of the carpet in the room. It means the bottom of the door drags on the floor but we have to shut it at night or else the cats will get in and sleep on the good chairs. They’re not allowed to sleep on the good chairs and when ever I see them doing so I try to catch them to tell them off but they get away. And then mum tells me off! Work that out!

I reach the handle and push it down, it’s stiff but I can do it. I push but the door doesn’t budge. I feel a rise of disappointment and look at the lock on the handle; no surely it’s not locked, I’ve never even seen the key… I push a little harder and the door creeps open. The brushing of the carpet startles me a little and I hold my breath listening for any movement from the back room… none. I creep into the room, close the door behind me and switch on the light.

I blink but only for a moment as before me resides my goal, the holy grail, the Tree. Its gaudy decorations please me greatly, I can see the little cotton-wool toilet roll man that I made hanging proudly from a limb. And I smile because the whole context of the tree has changed; it was the focal point of the room but now it is the backdrop to the presents!

I sneak forward, looking for my name amongst many. There’s a pile with mine on them! This round one looks like a ball! And what is this big square box...

"David" a voice behind me speaks sleepily. I stop still and then turn. My dad is lying on the sofa, a makeshift blanket round his hips. "What are you doing up? What time is it?" He pauses while he focuses on his watch "It’s 2am, I must have dozed off. Come on, back to bed with you. It’s way to early son. Up we go. Into bed, whup! There we go, nuh-night matey, go back to sleep... Merry Christmas."

I hear him go to the loo, he flushes it. Then he goes into his bedroom. I can hear some brief conversation and then the silence descends again. That big box! I’ll wait, maybe I can sneak back again once he’s gone back to sleep. Maybe….

The first thing I notice is the light coming in through a crack in my curtain. The next thing I notice is the stocking at the bottom of my bed! Huh? But how...? Cool!

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I’ve been here before.

I haven’t of course, it’s “already seen” translated directly from French. God knows what they call it, the poor bastards. Our language is constantly pilfering theirs when we can’t think of a suitable phrase. Where do they go?

You’re in the majority if it’s happened to you. Some never experience it; the memory error telling you you’ve been somewhere, heard something, seen someone before. Coupled with an eerie, nagging feeling as you try to pinpoint exactly when you saw this moment. “Did I dream it?” you ask yourself, but it’s not like remembering a dream. It’s real. You can feel it.

De ja vu. Ever since my head hit tarmac at eighty miles an hour I’ve been plagued by it. I average out at about a case a minute, but sometimes it can be as much as four a minute or as little as six a hour; just enough time for me to think I’ve repaired myself before being brought crashing down to Earth by a face I don’t know but have seen, or a conversation I’m now having but have heard before.

This is why I’m here, a small café. I’ve been referred to some kind of backstreet physiologist by a front street specialist with nowhere else to go. When your mind is broken in a way such as mine, there’s little that modern surgery can do without risking further substantial damage. And it’s not as if I’m dying, far from it. I’m just not alive now. I’ll be alive in a moment.

“Tony?”

A middle aged man beckons me over and motions me to sit in front of him. His face is a familiar picture, delighted to be finally meeting the freak he’s heard so much about.

“I’m so delighted to meet you! I’ve heard so much about your condition.”

A waitress I’ve seen before but never met, reads out the specials that I already know I don’t want before writing down the white coffee I’ve ordered before.

“So, what do you want to talk to me about?”

“Your head.”

“Fancy clarifying that?”

“Well…is it happening now?”

Now. “Is it happening now?”. That’s an interesting question. Since my accident I’ve struggled with all aspects of time, and before my accident I was hardly the promptest guy in the world, but “now” is something I find particularly difficult to grasp. I don’t even bother wearing a watch anymore. “Now” is utterly unquantifiable in my condition.

I only have before and after.

“It happened when the waitress came over. And it happened when I first saw you. And it happened when I started this sentence.”

“So, quite fierce at the moment then?”

“At which moment?”

He laughs.

“Tony, I know you don’t feel like it, but you’re one of the luckiest people I know. And I’m going to tell you why.”

“Please do.”

He laughs again and puts four sugars into his half full coffee cup, each movement and grain instantly recognisable.

“Bare with me. There are two theories about the Universe formed from metaphysical philosophy, based on the knowledge that atoms vibrate and move. Why do they do this? How do they move? Where do they move to? No one worth respecting would say that they really know, but this does throw up some interesting questions. If all matter vibrates on it’s own accord, do we ever really make our own decisions?

He must sense my scepticism as he continues without allowing me to reply.

“Let me put it simply. This cup of coffee in front of me. Say I’m responsible for it’s movement and the coffee represents the tiniest physical object. I can either make a conscious decision to move it towards you.

He does.

“Or I can decide to move it randomly without consciously deciding where it goes.”

He shakes the cup, spilling sickly sweet coffee thick with sugary mush over the table.

“Sorry about that. Now, if we expand this example to encompass everything you see, everything you don’t, we are left with two methods in which the universe is governed. Either everything is random, human thought, achievements and endeavours are nothing more than a by product of meaningless movement. Or, everything is planned, choice is an illusion and fate is a scientific principle. Neither are particularly favourable, but wouldn’t you rather be part of a beautifully complex machine than a part of a cosmic lottery?”

“This is all very interesting, but Dr Bridge said you could help me, not depress me further.”

“Tony. Don’t you see? If this machine theory is true, then there is no reason to suggest that this is the present. This could very well be the past, or indeed, the future. Time as one long continuous, unstoppable strand. Never changing. Never altering.”

“And just what does this have to do with me?”, I humour him.

“Tony. I believe that it’s possible, that you are remembering the future.”

I laugh, stand up and leave.

*********************************************************************

I call after him, but I think it’s too late. I’ve lost him, but I was so excited and I couldn’t help but go straight for the jugular. Here is a man who regularly experiences the sensation I’ve dedicated my entire life to. The difficulty in studying de ja vu is that it’s impossible to predict when it will happen. It’s always happening with Tony.

I give chase, pleading to him to hear me out. If only he’d give me a minute. I could work with him, work for him. The things we could do!

It seems as if I’ve struck a cord, as he slowly turns round and makes his way back towards me. He stands face to face to me, not one jot of emotion on his face, no way to read what he thinks. He grabs me by the shoulders and moves me a step to the left.

As he brings his arms away, a bird shit falls to the ground in the place I was standing.

I smile.

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  • 2 weeks later...
He stands in silence with the twelve strangers, thankful for the night sky’s clarity. Unlike the awkward silences of earlier, this is a mutual, respectful silence of the countryside, enhanced by the purity of night. They are in awe, reassuringly humbled with such frightening ease.

It’s difficult to identify individuals in the darkness, the cottage hidden from the flare of the city, deep under the shadows of the Peak District and its ominous, ill-disciplined curves. During these silences he evaluates people into categories of potential – a best friend, a stimulating enemy, a soul mate you could comfortably share a shower with. Yet past experience shows it’s likely to be none of these, bracing himself for the inevitable mediocrity, a twist that never comes – a casual acquaintance, a temporary friendship born through convenience, the lip service exchange of an email.

The kind of people you might consider sharing a real name with.

He listens as a tentative discussion emerges, hoping for a common interest he can feign interest in. Astronomy will do just fine. They examine Canes Venatici, deduce how Orion would look when viewed from the Southern Hemisphere, conclude that the Milky Way is the clearest it’s been for a long time. Hearing the relatively knowledgeable thoughts of the group, he’s shocked to realise how little about these people he actually knows. He has no idea what these people are seeking in this isolated limestone cottage, or indeed if he knows himself. Aside from the obvious, he doubts if it really is the Hunting Dogs above.

A girl to his left, second in line with a haircut to match, suddenly shrieks and points at the sky. It’s the nearest thing to an audible word she’s said since arriving.

“Look a shooting star!” she gasps almost stalling, “I’ve never seen one before.”

Her voice is suitable for reality television, and he wastes no time in dismissing her because of it.

“Quickly make a wish!”

He recognises this voice as a plain-eyed lady from the North. Whilst trying to remember from where exactly, she reiterates, like they’d failed to hear her first time.

“Quickly, make a wish.”

“Nah.” comes the reply, “It’s silly.”

“Can I bagsy it then?”

A new voice. He can’t match this one to a face, but in trying to do so he’s remembered North West lady comes from Stockport.

‘”Yeah, you can have it. My pleasure.”

The silence changes shape immediately. He can’t tell in the gloom, but he suspects that people may be closing their eyes in anticipation. Out here, superstitious comfort aside, it will make little difference. Out here it’s the new black.

After an unbearable delay, someone finally breaks etiquette.

”Well……what did you wish for?”

“I wished to see more shooting stars.”

The silence that follows is a mixture of embarrassment and awareness. He recalls once being asked to describe a favourite album to strangers, all of whom he knew wouldn’t be aware of it. He’d chosen an artist he knew people would be familiar with. It feels a bit like that now.

The benefactor seems unimpressed with how her gift has been spent.

“Oh, and what then? Will you make more wishes?”

“Yes. The same wish with each.”

“But then you’ll see more and more. Eventually you won’t see anything else.”

“Exponentially.”

This word deserves to be the last one, regardless if its usage is correct or not.

“You’ve ruined it.” a voice says with all the charm of a personalised number plate. “Come on, we should go back in and try to get started again.”

He senses the mood shatter with such a return to practicality. It’s obvious that no one knows how to get started, that’s why they were all out here, watching someone abuse the privilege of a shooting star. He’d suggested coming outside, remarking how a clear night sky was rarely visible at home. Everyone had agreed, all aware that it was little more than a delaying tactic.

“I suggest we go back inside, get the fire started, and then take our clothes off. See how it goes from there.”

He can’t tell by sight, but he guesses on three positive responses, six approving murmurs, two not so approving, and one abstention. Concentrating on these, he forgets to respond himself. Two abstentions, someone else will have noted.

It’s a consensus of sorts, and knowing it’s as good as they’ll get, they shuffle back towards the cottage, except for the wish maker who remains hopefully fixated on the stars. As they reluctantly trudge back, far from ready, they miss the second shooting star of the evening.

*****************************************************

He wakes in his dream, and then wakes again disorientated. He hates that. Something has obviously woken him, but as yet it’s not obvious as to what. His balls itch like hell and his watch is clearly visible - both of these things seem wrong. Four hours in, and already it’s the weirdest Christmas day he's ever spent.

The dormitory is lighter than it should be, and the beds look empty. He jumps down from his bed and lands onto ankles that confirm he’s no longer top-bunk material. Hobbling over to the door, he half expects this to be a second dream, but his balls and ankles are painfully confirming otherwise. He pulls open the door, expecting his gaze to be met by the dark stare of the hillside, yet he’s blinded instantly, the night awash with sparkle. Unable to see beneath the fluid sky, he hears the applause that has woken him.

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(It's not big, it's not clever, but hopefully it's fun!)

Calamity at the Temple of Time

Date: February 1943

Destination: Classified

Professor Fremont adjusted his glasses as the creaking cargo plane juddered downwards.

Sergeant Tait hopped out of the cockpit. "Almost time."

Fremont swallowed. "I'm not sure I can do this."

"Too late. We didn't bust you out of Germany for a holiday!"

The Sergeant yanked open the loading door of the jostling plane. A blast of humid air shot into the cargo bay. Fremont felt his stomach twist.

Tait grinned. "Quite a view."

Fremont crept to the open door. They were just sinking below the clouds. Rainforest covered the ground below, stretching right up to the shimmering horizon, but a manmade construction impressed them most of all.

"The temple of Ischezia!" Fremont said.

It loomed above the trees; an obsidian pyramid glistening in the light.

"And here's company, right on cue!" Tait shouted, pointing to the distance.

Just forming into view came a pack of German fighters, swooping towards them like ravenous hawks.

Fremont yelped as the fighters engaged. There was a loud fizz and bullets pierced the fuselage, narrowly missing both men, then the fighters were swooping overhead for a second attempt.

"Time to leave!" Tait yelled and shoved Fremont outside.

Fremont saw his life evaporate as the jungle raced upwards. He yanked the rip cord and the parachute burst open, but there was no relief yet.

Above he could just spot their plane belching fire under a hail of lead. It dropped under the trees with a fantastic explosion. There was no time to wonder about the pilot as Fremont hit the jungle canopy, branches scraping his skin till he hit the ground with a thud.

He barely had time to blink before an angry German voice yelled "Halt!"

Fremont shrieked as a soldier came forward, jerking his bayonet—then flew backwards oozing blood.

Sergeant Tait dropped down from above, machine gun smoking.

"Let's move."

Fremont ditched the parachute and scrambled off into the forest after him. "Our plane crashed!" He called.

Tait didn't look back. "Every Hun within two miles will be looking for that wreck. It should keep them busy."

"But the pilot!"

No reply. A few hundred yards ahead the trees were cut back to the stumps. Towering in the midst of this clearing stood the temple itself.

"The last relic of a lost race." Fremont whispered.

"Not exactly." Tait said surveying a bustling Nazi encampment that was formed around it. "We can't have long till they test. I'll secure our exit."

"I'm going in alone?"

"I'm sure you remember the way, mien Krout."

Fremont sighed at the insult, tugging off his overall to reveal a creased black SS uniform underneath.

"Stick to the plan." Tait smirked and dived to his belly, crawling out into the camp. He ducked inside a nearby tent and vanished.

Fremont didn't wait to see if he came back. With a deep breath, he marched across to the Temple. The entrance was dead ahead. The two guards saw his uniform and parted on instinct. Just like old times…

The huge temple was completely hollow. There was only one vast chamber and around its edge dozens of scientists worked feverishly at bleeping workstations. Fremont felt a chill as he gazed at what lay in the middle

The greatest mystery of all time:

The Time Machine.

It was an giant and sinister totem, its surface riddled with hieroglyphs that glowed with unearthly energy. You could feel a power shimmering from it. Its true nature had eluded them for decades.

High above the noonday sun shone down through a crack in the ceiling, glinting upon four enormous electrical coils surrounding the totem. Someone had been busy.

"Engage alpha test!" A German voice barked through a loudspeaker.

Suddenly the coils burst to life--blasting sizzling bolts of raw electricity into the totem.

Its hieroglyphs started to sizzle.

The test, they were too late! Fremont dodged the electricity and raced to the foot of the totem where stood a stone pedestal. Its surface was a series of granite dials engraved with ancient symbols. In the centre sat a glowing gem--the Key. Fremont carefully manipulated the dials until the gem popped upwards into his waiting hands. The scientists were just starting to notice him...

"Why did you come back?"

Fremont spun. He knew that voice, it was Else. Beautiful, sweet Else. She was still wearing the necklace he'd given her. There was a gun in her hands.

"You can't stop it." She said.

Fremont gripped the gem. "You found a way to enter a time destination I see."

"If you hadn't betrayed us, maybe. But time's up. The General insists we test. The Fuhrer is impatient."

"But with no destination the machine could only ever take us to-"

"Yes, to the present."

A shadow passed overhead. "Heads up!"

Fremont looked up as Tait came abseiling through the crack in the ceiling, weapon raised. Fremont waved at him to stop but to no avail.

Tait fired. Else fell.

Fremont darted to her side. "This machine was our curse, my love." She whispered softly.

Tait landed next to them, a second later as Nazi soldiers came charging through the door.

"Give me the gem!" Tait demanded.

"What? We came here to destroy it!"

Without hesitation Tait fired into Fremont's belly. "New orders."

Fremont stumbled, dropping the gem. What a fool he'd been to trust anybody with this temple! He collapsed beside Else, bleeding heavily. The whole room shook. The secret was revealed...

Bam!

White light exploded. Noise faded. But death didn't come.

Time had vacated the earth.

Bewildered, Fremont touched his wound. All was frozen. The bleeding had stopped. Tait had stopped. The soldiers had stopped. The electrical bolts had stopped. Even poor Else had stopped exhaling her final breath.

And Fremont was trapped in the present.

"But I can still move?" He gasped.

It was the totem that replied, its voice so ancient and deep Fremont ran cold with fear.

"Welcome Professor. We were expecting you."

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Sorry guys, clearly not a very inspiring word this month :D

Bastion for me. I have to say, when I first started reading the corner, I did struggle with your general style Bastion. But the more I read the more I enjoy your stuff. And this month, I really enjoyed it. If I were to read the pieces with no author attached I'm certain your would be the one I could pick out each time; and that can only be good! Very distinctive! :lol:

Although mad props to dw2k6 for "Hello people watching the television".

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While dw2k6's surreality had a certain charm I can't vote for that piece....

While Bastion's present-day worries had a political edge, that I like, I won't be voting for that piece.

While InsideOutBoy's Nazi scientist, US betrayal fun is something that will always make me smile.... I haven't voted for that.

And so it is between Hombre and Jolly for me. And I really can't decide, so i'll toss a coin...

Can't I vote for both?

Sorry, Hombre, I loved your Asimov-esque starscape but...

...

I vote for Jolly for tackling de ja vu; a friend of mine. Though I'm sure I'd read it somewhere before... :D

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