Thawing Time

My name is George Applewhite. And I messed up. Big time. The date is May 5th, 2015, and the time is 9:42:34 a.m., and it has been for 32 hours. Why? Because I messed up. Big time. This is how it happened: I was in my lab in the basement, and I was working exceptionally hard on cracking time travel. I finally built a machine that would theoretically do it. It was a 5’ by 10’ by 3’ rectangular prism with many knobs and screens to set the time of the destination. Made of titanium, it looked very impressive. The big test had finally come.

“Come down here, kids,” I called, and two 7-year-olds scampered down the steps and into the lab.

“Hi dad,” Jake and Sarah chirped.

“Wanna see me travel through time?”

They certainly seemed interested.

“Okay kids, this is how it works. Whoever presses this button travels back to the set time, which now is five seconds. So I will appear five seconds before the press of this button, so another me will appear while I am still talking. Ready? Go!” And everything froze.


The usually energetic kids were now as still as a stone. I tapped them. No reaction. I shouted and screamed in their ear. Again, no reaction. I went upstairs to my wife. She, too, was frozen, in the middle of making breakfast. No matter how loud I yelled no matter how forcefully I pushed her, she stood still. I had frozen time.

I stepped outside. Everyone on the streets was frozen. I walked towards the nearest coffee shop: “Café De Jouissance.” When I went in, the customers were as still as my family. I decided to travel the city to see if everyone was frozen. I traveled on a bike I found, since all the cars were frozen ( I couldn’t drive through them), and biked across the city. Some things looked strange, like a soccer ball suspended in the air at Central Park, and a dog in the middle of grabbing a frisbee. I spent what felt like a day searching around, and no matter where I looked,  the people, pets, and all the living things were frozen. The sun wasn’t setting. What have I done?

I quickly pedaled back home and burst through the door. I was exhausted. After making myself a cup of coffee, I walked into the lab. I needed to build something that will make time continue again, even if it took all of the materials in the world, which I had at my disposal. I tried to find out what was wrong with the machine, and I couldn’t find anything. I decided to make a new machine to unfreeze time. It was almost identical to the first machine, but it didn’t have any screens or knobs: just one red button.  It was made of titanium as well, it was a rectangular prism, and the same size. I labored for untold hours, even though time wasn’t moving. I was about to connect the last wire, but I was so tired I spilled my coffee on it.


I cursed, screamed, spat, and no one could hear me. I went back to the machine that froze time, studying it. And then I realized how stupid I was being. I flicked the off switch, and everything went into motion again.

“Dad,” Jake said. “I don’t think it worked.”

I laughed so hard my guts felt like they were going to come out and gave Jake and Sarah a big hug.

“But Daddy,” Sarah said. “Why are you so happy? It didn’t work.”

“I don’t care.”

And I meant it.



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