When I got up this morning, I didn’t have any particular plans for “Twicebound”. But then it got ‘interesting’. It might surprise you, because it did me, but Eddie showed a spark of imagination and cleverness. Terrifying, I know. It changed up what I’d come to accept as the ‘natural’ order of things.
Kind of like what happened yesterday. What happened yesterday? Well, my sister turned seventeen. This would be my second sister, sibling number #3 (counting me in that roster). Seventeen. In other words, she changed up the natural order of things; last I checked, she was twelve, four feet high, and making snarky remarks. Now, she’s seventeen, almost as tall as I am, and…. well, she’s still making snarky remarks. Maybe things haven’t changed that much after all.
So, can I dedicate a chapter of a book to somebody, instead of the whole thing? No? Yes? Whatever, since you can’t make up your mind, I’m going to anyway. Happy birthday, o sister. You and Eddie can play fast and loose with the rules of reality together.
Chapter 6 – part 1
‘All right, guy. It’s moment of truth. We get to see if you actually know what you were talking about, Vančura.”
The big man made a disdainful rumbling sound and raised an eyebrow at Benwright.
“You know, the more I hear you say that, the more pompous you sound. That’s the problem with time travel; people don’t get smarter the more times you see them.”
One of the guards behind them choked down a laugh and Eddie grinned. Benwright reddened, then turned away, slamming down a button on the console. The deep electric hum of the STAd sounded and the sharp crack of sparks echoed.
Eddie flinched, remembering the first time he’d been sent through the knothole. He glanced around, hoping that the guards weren’t paying attention. They were watching him like hawks and he sighed plaintively.
“Dis gonna hurt. Allover ‘gain.”
Vančura nodded, expressionless.
“Yes. It’s going to hurt, all over again.”
“You’s the win’ unner m’wings, man.”
That got a chuckle from the big guy. There was a twinkle in his eyes as he glanced around the room. The STAd towered over them, humming softly as it charged its massive capacitors. Then he turned a grin on Benwright.
“Time’s a funny thing, Technician. It seems to have given me a fellow traveler with a spark of wit. This time around the trip might just be interesting.”
Benwright rolled his eyes and nodded to the guards. One of them un-cuffed Eddie from the pipe railing and pushed him towards the STAd, with one rough hand on his shoulder to keep him on track. For some reason and one he couldn’t figure, that annoyed Eddie. He shook free, scowling at the guard.
“I c’n walk on m’own.”
Still glaring at the man, he stepped under the STAd and tripped over a floor panel. With its characteristic whine and crackle, the STAd fired. The blast hit him, slamming him down into the floor panel. He considered raising his head, then thought better of it. the second blast thumped down and the world faded out.
Eddie’s last coherent thought was that tripping on the floor wasn’t such a bad way to make an exit, all things considered.
* * *
It was dark. Not pitch dark; there was a dim glow coming from… somewhere he knew his feet should be. There wasn’t enough feeling anywhere to tell if he was upright or not, so he had to rely on memory
Unsurprisingly, the limb worked, stretching out to find the expected resistance. The finger tips still couldn’t feel, but he knew there was something there. Curiosity was gone, replaced by dim knowledge. Confirming facts he already knew seemed tiring, so he stayed still.
Gradually, the nerves began to function again, and he could feel the corrugated pipe under him. He was back in the drain pipe, as he’d expected. Shifting his head, he studied the faint light from the opening near his feet.
He couldn’t be sure, but he thought the time seemed about right. And the slam of the car door agreed with him. Footsteps crackled in leaves, then the voice bounced around the pipe and echoed in his aching head.
“Hey, you. There’s a city ordinance against loitering, here. Come on out of there, slowly.”
He sighed. Time-travel was so predictable.
End Chapter 6 – Part 1
Go to Chapter 6 – Part 2
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“Twicebound” gets a new installment every Saturday, assuming I haven’t drowned in the snow melt in the backyard.
The previous installments.
Chapter One: Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3
Chapter Two: Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3
Chapter Three: Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3
Chapter Four: Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3
Chapter Five: Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3