I sat there in my one bedroom apartment watching the rain wash against my window. The pitter patter sound it made as it fell was quite relaxing. The water went from pouring, to moderate, then back to drizzling. I held a small black bag in my hand that I began to toss up and down. A friend had stopped by earlier and delivered it to me.
I can’t remember the last time it rained so much. It had been awhile. My thoughts began to wander. I looked down at my hands as they were black and musky. They were dirty from a project I had been working on for the past few years.
Whistle, whistle, whistle…I heard the kettle of hot water going off in my kitchen. I immediately got up and slid the bag into my pocket. When I entered the kitchen, I saw my cat curled in a ball next to my empty mug. He sensed my presence and popped his head up to stare at me. After a few seconds, he elegantly unfolded his body and leaped onto the floor. He rubbed his tiny head on my sweats as I stood there admiring his soft purr.
I proceeded to pour my hot water into my mug. When I finished my tea, I grabbed a nearby notebook and pencil and made my way down into my basement. Break time was over.
It was a project that I had been working on for some time now, as I said before. No other human in the world knew what it was. I kept it a secret from society. It was the first of its kind, and no one was to be trusted with my invention. After all, it could end up in the wrong hands.
While I was away, I placed a blanket over it for safekeeping. Clutching the sheet, I slowly peeled it back. There stood a tall chunk of metal. The inside was hollow, just enough space for a human to walk into. Above the opening in the center was a gun that shot a laser at its subject. An automatic sliding door was in the front of it, it too made of metal. The beast that stood in my presence could take you back by decades. Or, if you preferred, it could reveal elements beyond your imagination that were never seen before. It was a time machine.
Today was the day I had been anticipating for so long. My masterpiece would finally be complete. After endless hours of labor and sleepless nights, I was going to finish what I started. A grin came across my face as I pulled the tiny sack out of my pocket. Cautiously, I pulled the bag apart. I opened the palm of my hand and spilled several round red crystals into it.
All I needed to do to activate the machine was to pour the stones into the laser. The gems had such great energy that they could generate the beam used for blasting. So, I set up a ladder next to the machine, climbed to the gun and poured the crystals inside. A small light began to cook up inside of the hole where the laser would ideally shoot out.
I had never tested it before. I was very nervous. Who knew if the beam would kill me or actually send me to another time period? There was only one way to find out…my cat.
I quickly went upstairs to find the ball of fur curled up in the corner near the front door. With one quick snatch, I made my way back down to the basement. I placed the cat in the opening of the machine where someone would stand. He wasn’t reluctant at all. The cat laid there lazy as ever in a half yawn.
There was a remote controller on a desk in the room. I walked over and picked it up. I made it about three months ago and had not touched it since. I trusted that it worked well with my contraption. There was a green switch on the side that would turn everything on. This might have been the sacrifice of my cat, but I was willing to risk that for my life’s work.
Hesitation got the best of me for a few seconds, but I took a deep breath and flipped the switch with my thumb. Before my very eyes, a wave of light shot out from the roof of the metal frame. A blinding bright flash traveled across the room, causing me to turn away. When I looked back where I last saw my cat, a cloud of smoke had emerged in his place. He was gone.
Tune in next month for Part Two of the A Million Miles Away series.