Author : Duncan Shields, Staff Writer

It was like a hula hoop hanging in mid air. Looking through it, Todd could detect a little something that looked like a heat shimmer even though the lab was pretty cool. The hoop-gate didn’t hum which was odd considering the amount of power he was putting through it.

Two quarters lay steaming on the floor on the other side of the hoop.

A minute ago, Todd had thrown one quarter through the hoop. The quarter had hit the shimmer in the hoop with a light flash. There was a clink and then two quarters hit the floor on the other side.

Todd walked around to the other side of the hoop and picked them up. The quarters were cold to the touch but warming up to room temperature rapidly.

It was complicated but he thought that the coin had gone back in time, arrived in a multiverse with no corresponding time machine and been rejected. It had been bounced back to Todd’s time but because there had been no receiving machine on the other end in the past, the quarter could never have been sent. Therefore, the original quarter continued on its original path.

Reality rearranged itself to make this possible.

One quarter turned into two identical quarters.

Todd threw both quarters through the hoop back towards his desk.

Four quarters clinked onto the linoleum.

Smiling and with a wide-eyed chuckle, he went over and picked up the four quarters. He shook them in his hand like a high roller at a craps table.

Behind him, Fluffy lifted his head from the dog pillow and cocked his ears at the sound of the quarters clinking.

Todd tossed the quarters through the hoop again.

He heard a skittering of paws before shouting and turning too late to stop Fluffy from dashing forward. Fluffy was up for a game of fetch. She sped forward and leapt up through the hoop after the quarters.

There was a flash and the smell of burnt hair. Fluffy didn’t even have time to yelp.

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