I think I’m ready for June! I gave today’s prompt a shot, but I’m tired and feeling out of ideas. Several stories want more attention. They want to be finished! This evening I’m going to work on replenishing my brain.
In the meantime, I scribbled a few words so that I can feel as if accomplished something other than staring at my computer screen.
Millie Ann Hartigan stayed up too late once again reading nonsense on the Internet. The night before, she’d spent hours learning about secret lives of rabbits, taking time to read every comment on a page arguing rabbits in England were actually magical creatures. Tonight she followed a thread about the existence of time travelers.
She’d started the evening by reading a reputable essay on a reputable site about the physics of traveling into the past versus the future, but she was now reading an interview with a woman in west Texas who claimed to have served a time traveler breakfast in bed. Millie checked the clock. It was 3 a.m.
Millie leaned back against the headboard and sipped her wine. As a teenager, she’d read hundreds of sci-fi novels, her favorite always being about people visiting another time. How amazing it would be to step out of her own time and into another? She’d often debated with herself about whether to go to future or to the past.
The past would probably kill her. Plagues and witch hunts and other dangers. If she were a healthy white man or invisible, she’d go to the past. Maybe to the Victorian era when the dresses were so pretty. Or Japan when it was still closed to the world. What would it take to survive back then? Most likely she’d be like a squirrel running into traffic. No, she’d stick to museums and PBS documentaries.
She clicked over to see if her friends were up to anything at 3 am, but no one had posted anything. She scrolled through headlines of doom and hyperbole. The future might not be any safer, she reasoned.
Yawning, Millie determined to turn off her infernal laptop and go to bed, but then the next headline caught hold of her common sense and kicked it aside. Hack Time Travel! These easy steps will leave you stunned. She clicked.
And that’s how a short while later, she had her laptop on her kitchen counter and was searching through her cabinets. She couldn’t believe her luck. She had all the ingredients listed in the article as well as the right kind of batteries, random bits of wire, and mirror big enough to walk through. She poured herself another glass of wine and went to work. By 4 a.m. almost everything was in order.
The instructions had final pieces of advice. You’re visiting another universe in time, dress carefully. First impressions count in every timeline! Looking at her tee-shirt and boxer shorts, she sighed, questioned her sanity, and went to put on a pair of jeans and tennis shoes. She the long mirror into the kitchen and propped it against the counter. Muttering to herself, she dropped the wire connected to the batteries into the gray mixture simmering in the Pyrex bowl and put the other end of the wire to the mirror. “If this doesn’t work,” she said, looking at her reflection, “I’ll drink another bottle of wine to forget how stupid I am.”
Then her image wavered. A second later, it blinked out. She saw nothing of herself or her kitchen. She picked up her laptop and read the instructions again. At the bottom she noticed for the first time very small print. Portal destination may vary. Results guaranteed for one trip only. “Whatever.” She set the laptop top down and reached out her hand, which disappeared into the mirror.
Millie stared. Half believing she was dreaming, she stepped into the mirror and vanished.
Thanks for reading!