"Jim, you gotta see this!" Andy's voice rings out in the cold morning air." What is it, I am a little busy at the moment."
"Just come in here, I cannot explain it." In the next room, Jim finds Andy bent over an old television set, one of the big boxed variety they used to make back in the Fifties."Jeez!" He calls out in surprise." Do they even make those anymore?"
"A customer brought it in the other day, said it was acting strange. But that ain't the point. Look!" Says Andy." Look at what's on."
"Its the summit from tomorrow, I didn't know they changed the day, it wasn't on the news this morning, weird."
"That is just the point Jim, it isn't on right now, they didn't change the day, I checked. The summit is still scheduled for tomorrow
"Come on Andy, stop fooling. I can clearly see it on right now."
"Jim! Listen to me, I ain't fooling, this is from tomorrow. Somehow.. Someway, it's showing up on this old box."
"What!" He bellows." Like some kind a time machine."
"I don't know, I really don't. But look at the date, on the corner, this is from tomorrow at noon."
On the bottom right hand corner, in clear white lettering, Jim can clearly see the date; 11/22/19. An as an air of confusion begins to form upon his brow, he let's out an almost inaudible sigh, a slight protrusion of curiosity that seems to form upon his every breath." That cannot be possible, its gotta be some kind of trick."
"This ain't no trick Jim, but it is impossible."
As silence seeps into the air, they both watch, dumbfounded, at the contents that lay before them. This cannot be possible, Jim thinks to himself. How could this possibly be a broadcast from tomorrow. Maybe, he wonders, it's not the news that is a day off, but himself. I have been quite busy as of late, and have missed a day before to the annals of work. With that thought, Jim quickly bolts to the other room. To the far side, above the workbench he had occupied earlier, hangs a calendar that had been marked off after each day had passed. And as he looks upon it, he is amazed to find that, it is in fact, the 21st." So Jim.. Are you convinced! "
"Where did you get that thing from exactly, what did he say?"
"He came in yesterday, I've never seen him before, never been here before either. He dropped it off and said that it was acting funny, that was pretty much it."
"Do you think you could give him a call, ask him exactly what's wrong. But don't actually tell him what is happening, it sounds pretty crazy."
"Yeah no problem, no problem at all." As Andy leaves the room, Jim still stands in front of the box staring at its contents like a child would each and every Saturday morning. Changing the channels, he realizes, yields no further results, no further clues, as each station has only TV series, game shows, and all the normal drivel one would find on a daily basis. It's only when he finds his way to the guide that he realizes what exactly is happening. It's not just the news that is apparently a day ahead, but each and every station as well. Upon switching back, Jim finds that the story has now proceeded from the summit, and onto an accident on the back roads of fourth and Jefferson. Apparently, later on tonight, at approximately 6 o'clock, a woman loses control of her car, ramming into one of the street posts knocking out the power to the adjacent block. This is something I can actually check out, he surmises, although it seems a tad crazy to do so, all things considering..
"Jim!" Andy calls out." I gave him a call, and he didn't really give me all too much to work from."
"Well what did he say otherwise?"
"He said that it stopped working a few days before he brought it in. And before that said it was acting strange, wonky, is the word I think he used."
"Wonky?" He ponders." What exactly did he mean by that?"
"All he said was that all the channels were wrong, after that it just kind of blew a fuse a time or so later."
"That doesn't really give us anything. But it does sound like it might've done the same thing before it blew."
"Sounds like it, but now what do we do?"
"I don't think we should do anything right now. I am not so sure it's a good idea to be glued to this contraption all day. As who knows, too much knowledge of the future could very well end badly. I just don't trust it.. Hell! I don't really believe it."
"An what do we do with the customer in the meantime?"
"If he comes back calling, wondering when or if its fixed. Just tell 'em it's giving off a few more problems than anticipated, what with the age and all."
"Alright Jim! Will do."
It's hard to focus, Jim realizes, when a contraption such as that is in the next room. As he finds his mind wandering to the possibilities that may render themselves, the possibilities that may come forth, the possibilities that neither he or Andy could possibly predict, or for that matter, prepare for. But he can't help but think of what could be done, what could be saved, who could be saved. But it's a technology he doesn't understand, an a science he knows nothing about, as the side effects could be anything but desired. Throughout the day, he finds his mind is everywhere but the job, as he keeps on going back and forth from nonbeliever, to believer, to laughing at the stupidity of the situation, the stupidity of himself. But he cannot deny the facts at hand, as even he checked up on the fact that the summit, is indeed being held tomorrow, at least according to all accounts. But with that being said, it is only one mere fact, against a plethora of others that deny it, the existence of it.
" That accident is supposed to happen tonight, and not too far from here either." Jim says to himself. For my own benefit, maybe I could make a little detour home, see for myself."
Even if I did happen upon the accident in question, he wonders, what is it that I should do exactly. Am I supposed to just sit back and watch, or let things happen as they are supposed to. Which in turn brings out even more questions. If this is in fact a type of time travel, is it possible to change what may, or is supposed to come. And if one could even do that, what consequences would be at hand. Is that accident bound to happen at one moment or the next, no matter what my helpful hands may do.
"Jim!". Andy calls out." What are you doing?"
"Jeezus Andy! You gave me the Scare's. How many times do I have to tell you to not sneak up on me like that."
"I'm sorry Jim, but you seemed a tad lost there. What were you thinking of exactly?"
"Just that infernal machine, I can't seem to get it out of my head."
"I know what you mean, I have been the same way. I think we need to look into it more, see what else it has to say. Maybe it's a one shot thing you know, maybe more evidence is in
"I am not so sure that that would be such a great idea Andy, who knows what we may find out, about our friends, ourselves, this town."
"Don't you think that's a risk we should be willing to take?"
"For what purpose exactly!"
"For the greater good! Maybe we could save lives, maybe even our own."
"Who knows what events we may trigger if we do such things."
"Yeah!" Andy sighs." I guess. Well I am going to get going Jim, see ya tomorrow."
"Yeah Andy, I'll see ya."
Outside the air is thick, a paltry odor hangs overhead, and the mountains rise up out of the earth like a wall, or a tidal wave. Off in the distance, the streetlights disject upon the landscape like hordes of fireflies. As Jim sits in his car, staring at the empty lot across the way. After work, he normally would head straight home to just to fall asleep amidst the noise of late night t.v. But tonight, he cannot help but wonder if he should, in fact, take that detour he thought of earlier. To do so though, would be an admission of believability, an utterly crazed thought as far as he could imagine. But to not do so, would play upon his conscious, ever wondering exactly what might have been, if or if not said accident might have come into being, and if he should do something to change that fact. its a thought that has been playing upon his mind for the better part of the day, a thought that he has still not completely decided on. But even so, he can’t help his impertinence, the curiosity that seems to slowly gain strength upon the confines of his consciousness.
The stars are out, a mirror image of the lights that now pepper the city, and the moon drifts upon the sky with its porcelain glow. The houses appear empty, abandoned, the cars that now occupy the streets are few and far between, like rats that scurry upon the land in the cover of darkness. The street in question is just as such, with rows of houses that encircle each side, and a small suburban forest that caps it all off. Its about 15 minutes to, as Jim sits in his car waiting for what may, or may not come. The radio, set to the oldies, plays The Air That I Breathe by the Hollies, a song that seems to go quite well with the current atmosphere. As each car passes, Jim can feel his nerves suddenly coalesce, his excitement advance, like an active volcano ready to rupture in a fit of agitation. Its at about 5 to, when suddenly a small black subaru comes careening around the corner, in a flash Jim can see a woman waving her arms in a panic before finally finding a pole a block or so up. Hurriedly, Jim chases her down the street, and upon opening the door, he finds that the woman in question is actually Andy, his assistant from the shop.
“Andy!” He says surprised.” What the hell are you doing here?”
“I was doing the same thing your doing i imagine, seeing if i am crazy or not.”
“ Well are you alright?”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah, i am fine. A little bruised up, but fine nonetheless.”
“What exactly happened, i saw you careening around that corner pretty fast.”
“I am not really sure, my hands slipped from the wheel and i kind of panicked i guess. It's all kind of a blur to be honest.”
“Well we should probably call it in just in case, who knows what might happen otherwise.”
“Yeah you go ahead, i am just going to sit for a bit, as my hands are still shaking from the crash.”
Sitting high above the horizon, the sun is obstructed by the clouds sporadic abode, as they sprawl themselves across the sky in an almost interlacing pattern. The morning air still has a modest touch of briskness to it, denoting the fact that winter is now still upon us, that in turn makes Jim’s hands shake as he reaches for the keys to open up shop for the day. Andy, still not being present, usually starts about an hour after the fact, but with the accident happening just last night, one can not be sure when she might show her face, if she decides to at all. With a multitude of projects awaiting him, the morning passes by with ease, his thoughts wandering over to Andy every so often, and if everything is, in fact, alright. It is quite unlike her to not call in, Jim contemplates, whether it’s her being sick, or just running a tad late for work. As he has never been the type to check up on people when they had called in sick for the day, as it always seemed more intrusive than outright rude, but in such a case, he figures it would be more than understandable. There is an office out back, that he barely uses, and as such it has quite the disparity from the rest of the place. When one walks in, you can easily see the fact that it is hardly ever occupied, except for the fact of Andy, at times, who as well has always been the cleaner of the two. An even than, she prefers the desk that lies out front, as the open windows allows a natural intrinsic atmosphere to flow in. In turn, this office has a drab, almost prison type feel to it. What with the dark gray walls, that fully ensconce the desk within, as the only window, upon the door, hardly allows the world to beam through, let alone the workshop that lies just outside.
It's almost noon, and the sun has found its way above the clouds. A handful of customers sit restlessly, waiting to pick up the various electronics that still lay strewn across the concrete floors of the warehouse. But the only sound that seems to penetrate Jim's ears is the constant ringing as he waits patiently for Andy to answer her phone. After about a minute, he reluctantly gives in, hangs up the phone, and heads back to work, as his mind stays within the office walls worrying about what may be keeping her from answering. Why, he wonders, does one's mind have such a tendency towards the worst, as though sifting through the murky waters, never able to find land. As he realizes that his first thought is rarely a good one, rarely planted firmly upon the landscape looking across the waters in triumph.
"Sorry about that!" Says Jim." It has been a pretty stressful morning."
"Don't worry about it, I know how things can get sometimes." The man says with a chuckle.
"So what can I get for ya?"
"Oh! I dropped off a lawn mower about a week ago, said it wouldn't start, wouldn't crank, wouldn't do anything really."
"Right right." Jim says apathetically." Just give me a second to locate it."
Andy has always been the more tabulated out of the two, as Jim finds all the assorted machines, and mechanisms lined up on the front shelves according to name and date. A most peculiar way of ordering, thinks Jim, but i can’t fault the fact that it has been working thus far.”Sorry.” He says to the man at the front desk.” Andy is the one that organizes, so i may not be as proficient in this area as she would be.”
“So how did everything work out, did you find the problem.”
“I did, i did. It seems as though someone had tried to fix it previously, and had not used the right spark plug. Which caused the engine failure, but its fine now, i put in a new spark plug, and fixed all the ensuing damage done to it.”
“Thanks.” He says.” Thanks a lot.”
“You're welcome." He says, exasperated. "If you have anymore problems, bring it back in, we will fix it free of charge, if it’s of our own doing.”
As the day ends, the place is all but vacuous, still containing various thoughts that arise like steam from a boiling pot of water. All day, the same distractions seem to pull him in the opposing direction; Where is Andy? Is she okay? And was it always her they saw on the news that fateful day, or did that knowledge change the path one was supposed to take? These are all questions, questions without answers, questions that have permeated his very being throughout the day, a day that, at one point or another, seemed to have no end.
Outside, the sun finally finds its way beneath the mountains, leaving a light smear of orange, and red, complemented by the very trees that cover the land. In the distance, the roar of an engine, the high pitched calls of various birds, and silence, the type of silence one only gets from living in such populated areas. The drive home is a blur, a long forgotten memory lost to the confines of one's forgetful nature, one's own unfocused tendencies. An before he knows it, Jim sits at home, slumped over the couch like some Ill fated animal, as the television bears over him with the whitewash of the moon. When Jim wakes, the sun glares through the front window, allowing a streak of light to pierce his eyes with a fixated glow, as though it had picked this very spot, this very moment to bear down upon him. The clock in his kitchen flashes 9:00 am, he is late, late for work, late to get up, late to bed even, as he still finds himself slumped upon the couch facing the TV.
Jim has always loved the smell, the aroma, that coffee brings. Not just in the morning, but anytime, the sensation it brings forth whenever he passes a coffee shop, or a freshly brewed pot at home, or work, or wherever else he may find himself. He finds that the aroma itself is uplifting, even before a single drop has touched his lips. This morning, or this afternoon, at this point, is no different, as the smell encompasses the room as though sifting through the pores upon the walls of the apartment. But it is then, at this point, that his phone decides to ring, an eminently harsh annoyance when one has just gotten up.
"Hello?" Says Jim. "This is Jim speaking, who is calling, I ask?"
"Jim.." A voice says." This is Andy, Andy from work."
"Andy! I've been worried sick about you, how are you, is everything alright?"
"Well that's the thing Jim, that's the reason I called, you see.." She pauses." I don't think I may make it in today, actually, I am not sure when I will make it in."
"Of course, of course, take all the time you need, you know that."
The thing is.." She says, before falling silent once again. "Do you think you could do one thing for me?"
"Well." Says Jim. "What is it you need me to do?"
"The TV, the one we've been watching for the last few days.. Throw it out, throw it in the garbage, just get rid of it, trust me." She crackles." No good will come if it."
"Of course, whatever you ask. But." He pauses." Are you okay?"
"Yeah, I am fine, you don't need worry about me, not no more."
Wednesday, June 17, 2015
"Jim, you gotta see this!" Andy's voice rings out in the cold morning air." What is it, I am a little busy at the moment."