The Hair of Time

It passes through the moment faster than you do. If you stand there, the thing humming in your groin, your gut, for a full hour, your total exposure time might be measured in mere milliseconds, but the thing itself is… energetic. You’ll know you’ve intersected its temporal flightpath as it passes through eternity. You’ll remember the feeling, on the off chance you experience anything similar, ever again.

The larger device, of course, left two paths. You recall, it was moved, once -went out in one location and came back in another:

“The thing had started from the south-east corner of the laboratory. It had come to rest again in the north-west, against the wall where you saw it. That gives you the exact distance from my little lawn to the pedestal of the White Sphinx, into which the Morlocks had carried my machine.”

In the far future a sphinx both confronts and contains a riddle. The strange energetic zones of the outward-bound and the likewise returning machine are thus acknowledged and hidden, the riddle asked and answered.

The sensations of encounter with each path are quite different. Everything depends on how you comb the hair of time.

But for all of future history, there remain two larger zones of unusual energy in the area and a third, much smaller one, where the model was sent off, never to return. The resulting zones of disturbance have contributed to the local legend of the Surrey Triangle.

— Don Mark Baldridge is a professor of both Art & Computer Science with one of those ancient, shade-strewn colleges that dot Pennsylvania. He has most recently sold fiction to Cossmass Infinities and writes the occasional review for American Journalism. A lifetime ago, he was nominated for the Pushcart Prize -but that, anna cuppa coffee… amirite?

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