The glowing time shit. Very important that it keeps glowing, or whatever.
"Right. Timewater. Aces. Here, let me show you what I mean: What's the exact
request this time?"
"Fine. You're Henrietta Paulding and you love your husband very much, but you feel you're losing his interest. According to this, he leaves Henrietta tonight. If you don't find some way to prevent that, she kills herself. Basically, you have to rekindle their affection. Show them they still love each other."
"No, see, you added that last bit. What I heard was 'have to keep a dude interested in his boring wife.' Is the guy here?"
"Yeah, he's in the next room, but Ziggy says that-"
"Sure sure. Tell Garfield that I got this one. Hey honey?" I yelled down the hallway.
"Yes dear?" answered the weary, toneless voice.
"How's about we have a three-way with that hot friend you've always secretly wanted to bone that I'm assuming I have?"
"Wha- FUCK YES!" There was the sound of a chair tipping over, followed by sprinting footsteps and some frantic fumbling for the phone.
A look of heartbreak passed over Al's face as I pointed at the little zig-zags of electricity cropping up all around me.
"Can you see them, Al? Can you hear them? Listen, Al: They're talking. They're saying 'suck dicks, Al.'"
"This is not the will of a loving God!" He protested.
"Jesus, dude. Will you stop moping? You've been curled up in the fetal position for the last three leaps. Grow a time-sack."
"S'not right," Al muttered, broken.
"This is totally gonna work," I promised him, applying the lipstick in the mirror.
"She's a single mom. Lost her job. Sexual Harassment. Should bring the boss to justice."
"Gotta pay rent."
"Should get an education."
"Should get about two grand an hour."
"HOW DOES STARTING AN AMATEUR PORN CAREER GET HER LIFE BACK ON TRACK?"
"She's got a kickin' body, loves to fuck, needs cash and has some daddy issues to work out. That's like the most basic porno equation and the answer is 'boning.' I just hope I leap before I end up with a dick in my mouth again."
"I still submit there was absolutely no way that could've helped you win that horse race."
"We'll let history decide. Hey, you think they pay extra for DP?"
"Listen, man: I talk to this Time Ghost that takes orders from Marmaduke, and he says your father never approved of you. Verbally abused you all your life. Really messed you up, right? Well, I've got two words that are going to make everything better: Vehicular. Manslaughter."
When the light show faded, I found myself in a veritable palace of cold glass and shining steel. A haggard man who looked like he hadn't slept in years eyed me with a dead expression.
"You're back. We did it." He said flatly, taking a belt from a flask.
"You're home. It's over. Goodbye."
"THERE. IS. ONE. MORE. THING," a computerized voice echoed throughout the technological cathedral, "PLEASE. TURN. AROUND."
I did so, and saw an ad-hoc steel contraption--little more than a pair of tank treads hooked to an articulating arm--rumbling towards me. Mounted on the tip of the arm was a silicone hand--fingers straight, palm out. The arm rose up unsteadily, coming to rest in a vertical position. Though the movement had stopped, the silicone still jiggled slightly from the momentum.
I smiled, and gave Ziggy his high five.
Al wept silently.
I'm pretty sure he built it just for this occasion. How can you leave that hanging?
"And that's why I was late to work!" I finished explaining to my boss and Editor in Chief, Jack O'Brien.
"Robert," He said, lifting his head from the desk.
"You were 10 minutes late to work. That story took two hours and 43 minutes to tell."
"I would've accepted 'traffic was bad."
"Traffic was bad, boss."
He sighed so loud and so hard that I swore he tore something. A wave of fury seemed to wash over him, but quickly turned to resignation. He motioned me out, and I bounced happily away to do my "job"--which I think is some sort of demolitions? I try not to ask too many questions, so everybody thinks I know what I'm doing. I also try not to pass out in the bathroom, but sometimes it's Monday.
Ha ha! So, you workin' hard or hardl- wait... no that's seriously alcohol poisoning. Call an ambulance.
When the door clicked shut, Jack swiveled his chair to face the windows. He hadn't shaved today. Yesterday either. It was difficult to get motivated, some mornings. Outside the glass, a small black bird leapt from its perch on the sill and took quiet wing, tilting madly in the whirling eddies before rocketing downward out of view. For a long, peaceful moment, Jack contemplated flight.
"Mr. O'Brien?" The intercom buzzed.
"Yes, Janice?" Jack replied automatically. He closed his eyes and willed all the solace of silence to seep into his cells, to soothe his fraying mind.
"Daniel O'Brien is here. He says he needs to see you. He's very insistent. And sir? He's got a... a box with him. It appears to be hissing."
"Send him in," Jack sighed, his fists briefly balling, but ultimately lacking the strength to clench.
"Jackatoa! What's crackin' homeslice? Listen," DOB began, waddling into the room lugging the unwieldy, rattling, makeshift cage, "I got a quick but possibly life-threatening question for you: What do you know about possums? Is it a lot? I hope it's a lot."
You can pre-order Robert's book, Everything is Going to Kill Everybody: The Terrifyingly Real Ways the World Wants You Dead on Amazon, or find him on Twitter, Facebook and his own site, I Fight Robots or you could just drink cough syrup and watch the SyFy channel, same diff.
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