Author : TJMoore

Dr. James Fredrickson appeared in the middle of the deserted street with a slight “Pop”.

Looking around he immediately realize that the experiment had been a success. He was no longer in the lab on Long Island where he had been only seconds ago. Relative seconds he mused; time is relative.

He began to walk with purpose toward the nearest building, a used book store called “Parchments Past”. He began to get a little nervous as he took in the street with its chilling emptiness and littered gutters. It suddenly occurred to him that the silence was so complete that it was disturbing. He clapped his hands to be sure he hadn’t become deaf and was rewarded with the echoing sound of his clap fading into the distance. He began to be a little afraid.

The experiment had worked well with mice and clocks and other small items placed in the chamber. They had disappeared and reappeared exactly one month later in exactly the same state that they had been in when they left. Time pieces designed to keep time to the millisecond had come through with no measurable time lost. They had invented a real working time machine. The fact that you could only go forward in time and they hadn’t figured out how to control or even change the amount of time forward was just something to be worked out. The only quirk they had discovered was that the mass of the object in the chamber affected the position of the object on return. The heavier the thing was, the more it moved to the east of its starting position when it returned at the end of the month.

They had calculated Dr. Fredrickson’s return position to be a deserted lot in Eastport, NY. He recognized the lot just up the street and his unease increased. No place was this quiet.

He opened the book store door and stepped inside. It was as deserted as the street. A clock on the wall showed the time was five minutes till three but the position of the sun indicated that it was mid morning. James shivered and looked at his own watch. Three minutes till three. He left the store and jogged down the street to a small deli. The smell of meat was heavy in the air. He looked in one of the coolers and saw that, although the power was off, the meat wasn’t rotting. The clock on the wall was frozen at five minutes till three. He slammed the door shut and ran down the street taking in the empty cars, stores, sidewalks and shops.

Nothing living moved as far as he could see. No birds, no cats or dogs, nothing. The grass and all the trees looked pale.

In a panic, he began jogging toward the lab almost eight miles away. A car in the street had keys in the ignition but when he opened the door the dome light didn’t come on and when he turned the key nothing happened, not even a click from under the hood. It was dead, like everything else.

He continued walking to the lab occasionally stopping to peer into deserted buildings.

Every clock he saw was stopped dead at five minutes till three.

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