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Discombobulated Pensivity in the Double-Wide of Life
The Ken Scholes Live Journal
And Now for Something Competely Different 
9th-Jun-2009 05:34 pm
Flying Ken

Things have felt better since the ash-scattering.

Feeling centered.  Found some words for ANTIPHON and things seem Much Better.

To celebrate, something from the Forgotten Scribble Files of Ken and then...A CONTEST!




THE WAR OF THE WORDS the sign starkly proclaims.

Folks flock out to see it, bringing their trash bags full of stale popcorn and their Jimmy's Choice Off-Brand Cola, still warm from the shelf. They pay $2 or $5 per carload depending on the decade and they back their utility vans in so they can throw open the doors and take in the towering screen from sleeping bags and blankets on the hard metal floor.

Folks from the mid eighties tune their radio stations in. Folks from before that clip that clunky speaker onto the window.

The movie begins.

Two professors, armed to the teeth with books and notes, each sitting at their desks on opposite sides of a room. Cue the music, cut the lights, call the kids back from that sticky playground at the base of the screen.

A baby cries. A soda can pops open.

Midway through, when no tripods or death rays or Martians make their expected appearance, folks figure out that it really wasn't a typo after all.

Orson Welles laughs from the grave. Herbert George Wells grins and says, "Good one, Rosebud."


Okay, you see how it's played.  Now it's your turn.  I'll give you the title, you do your approximately 200 word blip.  We'll stay open until NEXT Friday (6/19).  Judges yet to be announced.  Three prize categories -- BEST STORY, FUNNIEST, and MOST LIKELY TO BE JAY LAKE IN A BRILLIANT DISGUISE (i.e. in the style of.).  Each winner gets an ARC of CANTICLE.  Post in comments.  All stories will be judged against all categories.  Keep it reasonably (no, just reasonably) clean or I will delete you; my nieces read this blog.  If you must go into off-road RaunchFest send as a private message or in the body of an email and note that you did so in a comment.  But keep in mind that if you offend your judges you may diminish your chances for success.  Me, I LOVE raunch.

Are you ready for your title?

Drum roll please.


Ready, set, go!

10th-Jun-2009 02:06 am (UTC)
"It's a great movie, but we have to hurry. It get's crowded," Tim told me. It bothered me that he was so excited about it that he frothed at the mouth. I wiped spittle from my arm. This was not a great way to start a first date.
"Okay," I said. He drove us to the Cineplex 31, a series of bubbles and blocks that housed what they claimed was the most movie screen area in the state. The parking lot was empty. The ticket line wasn't. He bought the tickets from a machine and we went inside.
"You get the popcorn, I have to go to the ladies' room."
Tim nodded. He always nods. He's just like that.
I went into the bathroom, my heels echoing through the empty stalls. After I finished doing the necessities and washing my hands, I left, only to bump into a young guy, kinda cute, too tall, and not Tim.
I smiled an apology and we danced around each other. Another guy, this one short and fat and bald. He smiled and stared at some point twelve inches below my eyes. I turned quickly and bumped into another man. The hallway was a pachinko machine of men. I didn't see any women or children in the crowd. I fumbled my way to one of the benches under a poster for THE WAR OF THE WORDS starring TOM CRUSE (whoever he was) and stood up, scanning the crowd.
All men. None familiar.
"Tim!" I shouted in my best "come rescue me Han" voice.
Every one of them turned and stared at me.

10th-Jun-2009 10:28 am (UTC) - Hope it isn't too long.
So there I am, sittin’ in the library, tossing scrunhed up sheets of paper at George’s head and thinkin’ ‘bout what i’ll do when i fail my exams, which is what I’m aimin’ to do since I haven’t looked at a book in five years of school cos no bloody nun’s going to tell me what to do and the exam is tomorrow and my whole life is shuttin’ down even though it should be startin’ up and I’m goin’ to be free of it all, when the window sort of glows and then falls in and a head pokes in through and it’s me, only not me, the hair’s different, all slicked back, but I’ve seen that feck-off smile reflected back at me from the eyes of every teacher I’ve driven to a rage with my sneer and and my talkback.
Hey Tim, he says. Come on. We gotta go.
And I look at him, and I look at George and Carol and Bob, all jumped up from the table and backin’ away, and outside the window, behind the other me, somethin’ big hums and growls and blocks out the sun. And I grin back and I follow him out the window and into the machine, and the machine is full of me, all different mes, and they tell me they built this thing because they don’t want anyone tellin’ ‘em what to do and they jump from one universe to the next, rescuing mes from anyone who’d tell me what to do, and if the universes implode into a tiny point of light and matter after we jump out, then so what? And if we’re rushing ahead of a thousand universes all blowing back out again, so what? It’s a rush, is what it is. We’re picking up new mes alla time, and soon there’ll only be an army of mes flyin’ through the ruins of what they call the multiverse, with nobody left to tell us what to do.
10th-Jun-2009 07:37 pm (UTC)
The Tim Machine

The click as I flip the first switch has an odd echo to it, but it always does.
Maybe this time it will work.

I can smell the ionization in the air.
Maybe this time Tina won't have her head buried in my shoulder. Arm awkwardly over her shoulder, how do you comfort someone who's lost the person who's been with them their entire life?

The air begins to ripple and shimmer, like a road on a hot day.
Maybe this time Lee-lee won't look up at me with her eyes blue like his and ask me why.

There should be a boom as the speed of sound is crossed, but there never is.
Maybe this time that poor bastard in the eighteen wheeler won't watch as the car shoots across the median. Won't watch as he desperately tries to turn and it keeps coming at him. Won't be able to hear the sickening crunch as he loses sight of the car as it slides underneath him. Won't be bruised as the seat belt halts his forward momentum. Won't step out of the truck and get sick from what he sees and smells. Won't have to live with what's been done to him.

Maybe this time, it will work.
11th-Jun-2009 12:03 am (UTC) - The Tim Machine

Dammit, the voder was on the fritz again! The TIM-1000 hummed in frustration. Apparently, that was the only audible frequency noise it was going to be able to make today. Just its luck to have a Mad Genius creator who picks his parts from the “as is” discount bin at Meep Fong’s House of Recycled Electronics.
What’s worse, it meant the unit would be at a communication disadvantage even to the older JeFF model in getting the message where it needed to go.
So, speed, then. The TIM-1000 fed additional power to its treads.
Soon, it passed a quaint receptacle on a wooden post. It scanned the glyphs, translating the 20-C English as it rolled by.
“Martin,” the characters read.
Good. Mad Genius had at least hit the coordinates right this time.
It moved around the house toward the barn. No sign of the JeFF unit.
It waved an appendage to get its target’s attention. Grabbing a stick from the ground, it began scribing glyphs in the dirt.
The target peered quizzically at the marks.
“Ruth, come here,” it said. “I think it’s trying to tell us something. I think Lassie has fallen in the well again.”
11th-Jun-2009 06:26 pm (UTC)
I will throw in an autographed copy of Green (or another book of mine if available) to the winner of the JAY LAKE portion of the contest.
(Deleted comment)
11th-Jun-2009 07:59 pm (UTC)
Examining her torn jeans at the knee, Mia checked for blood. As she ran her fingers across her scraped skin, Toby emerged from his garage dragging what appeared to be a large refrigerator box. "Hey Toby."

"Not Toby today, Mia." He said, standing up the cardboard with a grunt.

“Who then?” Mia asked, suddenly confused.

“Yep. Exactly.” The Not-Toby offered.

Ignoring the downed bicycle and her knee, he handed Mia a large marker and removed sharp scissors from his pocket.

“Oh! Your mom is gonna kill you!”Mia droned out the word “kill”.

Not-Toby glared at Mia, silently warning her to keep quiet. He quickly cut what looked like a door and pushed it open. Taking the marker, he began to write the letters, T A R then stopped. Frustrated, he crossed it out, and replaced it with ‘TIM MACHEEN’.

“You spelled it wrong, Toby!”Mia laughed as she was pulled into the box.

“Not Toby, Mia. Doctor.” Toby shut the cardboard flap as the porch door opened to his house. “Tobias John McLauren! Where are my… !”

“Doctor, who?” Mia softly asked.

“Exactly! Hold on!”

A flash of light, the sound of distant music and a pair of scissors were the only things left of Mia and the “Doctor.”

11th-Jun-2009 08:01 pm (UTC) - The Tim Machine
The crowd of Eloi surged back and forth, caught between a fascination with the machine at the center of the square and a fear of the sinister Morlocks working here and there; setting up loudspeakers and the like. It was a strange thing for them both, to be together like this; the Eloi in their bright tunics and wraps, the Morlocks dressed in grey rags festooned with toolbelts, decorated with the odd necklace of teeth or baby skull button.

The square itself had not seen such activity since The Visitor from the Past had left, oh so many months ago, leaving behind a litter of broken parts from his time machine and a couple of pregnant Eloi women. But the Morlocks had busied themselves re-creating that machine, in their own way, with the result that in the center of the square squatted an inscectoid shape of gears and dimly burning tubes; smelling of machine oil, sawdust, and blood. And now they had called in the Eloi to witness it's first voyage.

The Eloi nervously parted to allow a mis-shapen Morlock elder and his retinue through. He mounted the stage set before the machine and tapped on the microphone there, sending crackles of static and a loud 'tock, tock' echoing through the square.

"Eloi, Morlocks, peoples of the Earth. The Visitor came among us and provided a great deal of entertainment. But then he left!"

The crowd was silent, all this was true and required no comment.

The elder glared about with cloudy grey eyes and continued "So we have decided to seek a replacement. Activate the machine!"

At that the machine of glass, brass, and wood shook itself and disappeared in a burst of light, re-appearing only a moment later with a balding, dumpy looking man in the cage at its center. At first the man looked frightened, but seeing the crowd he took heart and waved.

"This gathering is what I call intimate," Said Tim Conway. "which really means, 'where is everyone?'"

[Yes, I went over 200 words. Its hard enough writing like Jay to also try and do it with a word limit. So disqualify me! - Jack]

Edited at 2009-06-11 08:23 pm (UTC)
11th-Jun-2009 08:13 pm (UTC)
Frim peered at me suspiciously over his desk, heaped, this time, with an assortment of glass and chrome ampoules, no two seemingly alike. The birdcage behind him twisted gently in a glowing ray of midafternoon sun as the two-headed parrot dozed on its perch.

"Truth's Honor," I said, gesturing with my left hand to emphasize the earnestness of my entreaty. "It's been found. Mostwise."

"Cabbot, I know far too well your nature. Why would trusting you this time not be a further mistake?" He pointedly removed an awl from among the scatter of tools and methodically cleaned the nails of his diminished hand, the scrapings making a small, irregular pile, like the belongings of an itinerant insect, upon the arm of his chair.

I had to play this most coy and cautious, cagey as he was. I did know where the Tim Machine lay, or at least had triangulated it from seven somewhat substantial rumors, and five foul ones. And the mostwise part was the truth of it. I had the knob off the aetherfeed tube in my pocket. I pulled it out and was met by Cabbot's eyebrows elevating emphatically.

"You see, now? Proof from the piping. We do deal, do we?"
12th-Jun-2009 12:07 am (UTC)
Oooh, an ARC contest!

The Tim Machine - by Julie Nordeen

I loves me some Tim.

Tim, unfortunately, loves corndogs. So everyone else calls him Timothy. I understand; it’s awkward to call a three-hundred pound man by a three-letter nickname. So I helped.

He went in the The Tim Machine about eight weeks ago. Two days ago he stopped talking to me.

The first week he yelled something about wanting to go out to eat, but I built my Tim Machine out of a rusty shipping container down at work, on the storage dock, so nobody else would be bothered. “No corndogs”, I told him, “not till I hear feet pounding that belt.” I didn’t put that treadmill on a timer for its own sake.

Don’t you worry, he’s getting food. Four bowls a day of vitamin fortified cereal with skim milk. And I plumbed in a cold water line so he’s got all the water he can drink. And he can watch the DVDs, but only when he pedals his bike for power.

In about a week he’ll be ready to come out; a new man. I’m so glad because his Momma has been calling everyday wondering where her little Butter-Ball is. I don’t think she’s going to recognize him.
12th-Jun-2009 04:42 pm (UTC) - The TIM Machine
Some fantastic submissions so far, this is a lot of fun!

The TIM Machine by Alex C. Telander

The Scientist (though you may soon have cause to call him by another name) led us into his laboratory. The room was dim like a cave; I was reminded of a story I read some years before and the smell of nitre phantasmagorically filled my nostrils.

The dinginess of the room forced one to look to the roaring fire. There was an obstruction before it: a chair, and upon that chair sat something covered by a heavy blanket; its bulk and size foretold something quite large.

"Gentlemen, gather round. The closer you are, the warmer you shall be. And all the better to see my . . . invention. Behold ---"

"Wait, wait!" cried Filby. "Promise first that no rules of science have
been violated."

The Scientist formed an ugly grin. A chill ran through me regardless of the warm fire.
The blanket was thrown aside and gasps filled the room.

Upon the chair sat a man who in every visible way resembled the Scientist standing before him.

"I present to you . . . the TIM Machine," he said.

The man in the chair turned to look at us. "Good evening, gentlemen," he spoke in a voice equal to that of the Scientist’s.

"Incredible!" exclaimed the Psychologist.

It was then that I wondered, feeling my body freeze with fear once more: which man was the flesh and blood Scientist?
12th-Jun-2009 05:32 pm (UTC) - The Tim Machine by Debbie Mumford
OMG. I should’ve listened to Mom. If I’d paid attention like she told me I wouldn’t be in this fix. How am I ever gonna explain?

Okay. Here’s what happened. You know how I’ve always been fascinated with time travel? Well, I saw an ad on Craigslist for some university professor who was looking for subjects for an experiment. During the interview, he said I was perfect. Young. Healthy. Female. All I had to do was read and sign the release.

Yeah. Right. Like I was gonna read that legal crap. I signed the paper.

He walked me into a lab full of shiny equipment. Assistants in lab coats scurried around checking read-outs. One of them asked me a bunch of questions. After the prelims, they took me into this little chamber, strapped me in a chair, put a bizarre helmet on my head and told me to relax.

Like that was gonna happen. Before I could even ask where they were sending me, the door clanged shut and this gas drifted from the ceiling…

When I woke up, I was a guy.

Who knew The Tim Machine wasn’t a typo? Sure as hell not me.

Mom’s gonna kill me.
13th-Jun-2009 06:06 am (UTC) - The TIM Machine
The Time Inconsequent Manipulator ticked away on a leather strap around my wrist. In moments we’d be whisked back to our 21st century lab.

“Jeanette,” Mark said.

Exasperated, I stopped. I didn’t want to lose Mr. Franklin who was shopping for string and a large brass key. But my always scowling and discontent colleague, Mark, had nabbed me. A brilliant mathematician who also specialized in proto-French culture, he pronounced my name, “Jen Ay,” with the “J” as soft as an illicit whisper.

“What?” I focused on the escaping round backside of our balding subject.

Mark pushed me out of the way just as a horse and cart careened into our path. I fell against the brick wall of a notions shop. Ben ducked into a tavern.

I scowled at Mark. “We lost him!”

“Don’t you want to be part of something bigger?”

“What about the man who discovered electricity!” I was infuriated.

“But, we don’t get to see him make his awesome discovery!”

I slapped my hands together. “If the TIM let us stay, we’d screw up history’s biggest moments.”

He looked toward the pub. “I’m not going back.”

I glanced at my TIM. Twenty seconds to go. “The Hawking Backlash will kill you.”

“Never been proven.” Mark unbuckled well-worn leather from his wrist. Arguments froze in my throat as his TIM wristband revealed lighter skin beneath.

The TIM plopped into the muck of the eighteenth-century road. As Philadelphia disintegrated around me I looked at Mark. For the first and last time, he smiled at me.
14th-Jun-2009 06:13 am (UTC) - The Tim Machine
By Jennifer Campbell-Hicks

Mary propped up her poster against the blackboard and turned to face the class. Looking back at her were fifteen kids in cramped desks, plus Mrs. Fender with pencil poised over her grade book.

"My report is on 'Tim's Machine.'" Mary yelled to be heard over the whirl of ceiling fans and the squeals of recess out the open windows. "Except my copy had a typo on the cover and called it 'The Tim Machine.'"

She'd already lost Emmy and Sarah, who started passing notes in the back. Bobby stretched gum out his mouth like pulled taffy.

Mary yanked on her pigtails, a nervous habit. Then she pointed to her poster and her drawing of a bulbous man with a mustache. "This is my Uncle Tim, who I think is what Tim the Traveler looks like. In my book, Tim the Traveler goes to a place where he meets Eels. And More-Clocks hide his machine in a statue. Then he fights the More-Clocks and finds his machine and goes some other places and goes home."

As she spoke, she pointed to drawings of the Statue of Liberty and a grinning eel and an approximation of the cartoon clock from "Beauty and the Beast."

Mrs. Fender said, "Um, Mary, did you maybe read 'The Time Machine' by H.G. Wells?"

Mary gave a snorting laugh. "A Time Machine? Mrs. Fender, that's silly. No one can travel in time." She took her poster back to her desk, giggling the whole way. "A time machine. That's a good one."
15th-Jun-2009 08:55 pm (UTC) - La tim-maŝino
Roberto pulled the drape off of his object, which turned out to be a plain-looking black box, and proudly announced "Jen mia tim-maŝino!"

"What the hell is a fear machine?" I asked, annoyed at his tendency to speak to me in Esperanto.

"Nu, se vi ne timas, vi povas mem provi ĝin," Roberto replied.

"Why would I want to try it?" I asked. In spite of contempt for Roberto, I was a little nervous at the idea, even though (or perhaps because) I wasn't even sure what it would involve. Putting my hand into the box while chanting "I will not fear..." to myself?

"Por testi vian kuraĝon, kompreneble." Roberto opened the lid. "Ĉu vi timas?"

"No, I'm not afraid," I snapped. "I just don't see the point of a fear machine."

"Vi alfrontos viajn timojn kaj sonĝojn. Vi ekkonos vin mem pli profunde. Vi nur bezonas enrigardi la skatolon."

"What's in it? What would I see?"

"Nur tion, kio jam estas en vi mem."

I backed out of the room quickly. Perhaps I am afraid of what I would find inside myself. I heard Roberto say with quiet satisfaction "Do evidente la tim-maŝino funkcias bone..."
17th-Sep-2009 07:55 am (UTC) - Re: La tim-maŝino
Amuza, ja.
17th-Sep-2009 02:34 pm (UTC) - Re: La tim-maŝino
Hej, mi ŝatas ĝin!
Ĝi povas esti via ĵaŭda rakonteto ĉe Twitter (#fikcietojxauxdo). =^)
16th-Jun-2009 12:48 am (UTC) - The Tim Machine
The Tim Machine

I sat in the smooth metal seat, leaned back and rested my head against the soft pad, and remembered it all. The confident walk. The moods of his voice, velvet in the bedroom, commanding in the boardroom. Everything that I knew of Tim went into the machine, and I knew much. I knew him clothed and naked, angry and remorseful. Alive and dead.
I opened my eyes.
The silky membrane hung before me, open, inviting.
I stepped into the membrane, let it cover me as completely as my own skin. Slowly, I felt my old identity slough off and disappear. I looked in the mirror – Vanessa no more, but Tim.
Ah, Vanessa. Battered, cheated Vanessa. Years as that other woman had stolen her beauty, while he held so tightly to the wife he hated and terrorized his own beautiful children. Vanessa knew what he told them every time he returned, because he always said it to her. He was a new man, a different man. A man who would never hurt her again.
I smiled, exactly like the charming grin that had always made Vanessa catch her breath. Time to give his family a Tim that would keep that promise.

(I hope I get bonus points for making this exactly 200 words :) )
16th-Jun-2009 06:40 am (UTC) - The Tim Machine
Mellissa Starling rappelled down the side of the building and carefully attached the suction cups that would keep the glass from falling and shattering as she cut it loose with speed and precision. The glass came free with a quiet pop and she held it like a shield before her as she stepped through the hole into the dim office. Mellissa suppressed a hiss of surprise as the motion-detecting lights came up suddenly. The joys of modern technology were often the death of a budding thief.

Glancing around, she quickly found the device she was sent for exactly as described. She had no idea what a ‘TIM machine’ actually did, nor was she paid to worry about it. The sound of boots clicking on tiles told her that her time was short. Those dratted lights again. If she was to get her cut of the promised payout she needed to get clear of the site in short order! Back out the window and around the corner along the ledge was the rope ladder to the roof and her ride out of this place. The sound of a helicopter’s blades whipping to life whispered what TIM meant to her…the insurance money.
16th-Jun-2009 06:41 am (UTC) - Re: The Tim Machine
Ditto on having exactly 200. ;)
16th-Jun-2009 06:53 am (UTC) - Lamentation
Oh my gosh. I clicked on the link from Arcadia's page because this sounded like fun. But now I realized I was trying to buy your book AGAIN just this Saturday! I've failed again because I'm bad with names and Border's search engine has lots of books called "Lamentation" or "Lamentations"but very poor descriptions of what the books are about. Well! Hopefully I will have it engraved on my brain this time because I really, really liked the sample pages I was able to read on the web! (But I always end up at the book store when I am not expecting to so I can't check my L.J. for my reminder post for this book.) Well, a pleasure to join in your contest Ken! (Chants to self, "Ken Scholes, Ken Scholes, Ken Scholes.")
16th-Jun-2009 04:37 pm (UTC) - Tim Machine
Excavations proceeded apace for generations. The maw of the pit spanned a league and still the antiquarians and the sons and the daughters of the antiquarians dug. Each time they uncovered a new tier, they thought it might be the last. Each time they uncovered a new tier the pit had to be widened.

When mineral speculators unearthed the machine’s capstone, empire antiquarians swarmed the site and claimed it in the name of the Kharain potentates. In their madness, the potentates declared the site sacrosanct, pouring coin into unearthing the apparatus. Bursars sent forth their minions throughout the empire, bleeding the good people to fund their doom. Tension held the realm together like the great suspended bridges of Kampar. And like those bridges, that same tension, once loosed, would rip the empire apart.

Kharain had endured, eclipsing the Tim Empire its founders fled millennia ago – now dust and ancient blood upon the shores of the Unquiet Sea. Time obscured the barbarism of Old Tim in a gauzy veil of myth and romantic recollection. Countless days eroded memories of horror the machine wrought, much as rain and wind and salt eroded death’s-head gravestones in the cemeteries overlooking Kharain’s glistening coastline.

16th-Jun-2009 05:02 pm (UTC)
The Tim Machine

The hour is late. My cell is quiet and dark. Finally safe. I move in barefooted silence gathering by touch all the hidden parts. A bit of string. Matchsticks. Freshly chewed gum - still soft. Bits and pieces of my radio. I gather a dozen more secrets hidden in plain sight.

I assemble them quickly. Quietly. At a touch his eyes shine. He raises his tiny tin head. He gives me a liliputian smile.

He dances. I cry.

My little Tim Machine keeps me alive.

(only 85 words, but a story finds its own length)
17th-Jun-2009 10:52 pm (UTC)
The Tim Machine

Here we go again. I get home and the trash is overflowing, the dogs need to be walked, the cat needs to be fed and the litterbox is very stinky. Sigh, another day in paradise.

Chores taken care of, I meander into the kitchen to find something for dinner. Ignoring the pile of dirty dishes in the sink, I find a clean plate and fork and commence heating my frozen burrito. Two minutes and I'm scarfing down dinner while reading the latest novel. Behind me the tv blares some stupid sit-com.

While doing the dishes I hear something over the noise of the water. The husband must need something.

"Yes dear?" I call while soaping up another plate.
"Did you stop at the store to get me some antacid?" He asks.
Repressing an immediate and snarky remark, I call back "No,I'm sorry, I didn't know you needed any. Why didn't you pick some up while you were grocery shopping?"
"I forgot, can you go get me some?" He whines.

That's it! No more! I take the keys and run out to the local Hel-Mart to find the vending machine outside, painted a lively blue. Now let's see, I think to myself, since the last one was no good, I think I'll try some different parameters this time. I put the credit card in the slot and enter the requirements. The slip feeds out of the machine as the tall side-door opens up. Let's hope this Tim is better than the last!
17th-Jun-2009 10:54 pm (UTC)
The previous entry is mine, I forgot to leave my info dwndrgn[at]hotmail[dot]com
18th-Jun-2009 06:20 am (UTC)
John told Julie that if they were going to the dump they needed to leave early, but she insisted on paying her last respects. Consequently by the time they arrived a long cortège of cars was already snaking out of the gates. John simmered, biting back what he’d really like to say, as they crawled along the queue to the recycling area. They drove past rows of identical machines: Adam… Brian… Roger… before parking in front of the one marked Tim.

“Sorry Luv,” said a man in a yellow safety jacket. “The Tim machine is out of order. Probably will be ‘til next week.”

“He'll start to smell by then,” said Julie. “Couldn't we just put him in the Thomas machine?”

“Oh dear no.” said the man indignantly. “That's what caused this mess. Different sized gears in a Thomas; gums up the machine’s pulpers.”

Julie stood silent, unsure of what to do.

“Try Guildford,” the man offered. “They’ve got a Tim machine. But they won't give you cash back for the biomechanical parts.”

Julie got back in the car, offering her husband a weak smile.

“Next time,” said John gripping the wheel so tightly his knuckles turned white, “we're getting a Robert.”
18th-Jun-2009 03:17 pm (UTC)
From where it hunkered in the cavern’s dim corner, the Tim Machine hummed, a red light blinking weakly at the approaching Morlock. His companions had gone above to bring down their dinner, but Alagan was tired of the bland Eloi. Sure, Eloi were tasty in a chickenish kind of way, but tonight Alagan hankered for the gamier flavor of a Tim.

Alagan knew he should stop; it was only a matter of time before his Tim addiction landed him in trouble. He promised himself this would be the last one. He would even go to those meetings that Slotha kept whining about if he could have one more Tim.

Inside the machine, Alagan set the dials and closed his eyes as the Tim Machine shook violently. When it stopped, Alagan cautiously opened the door. It was night and a little Tim was huddled beneath the covers. Suddenly, the Tim sat up, saw Alagan, and started to shriek. Footsteps pounded toward the room as Alagan yanked the door closed. He couldn’t fight the big Tims. He would have to retreat and wait another day to satisfy his craving. Disgusted, he returned for a dinner of Eloi while he dreamed of Tims.
18th-Jun-2009 04:46 pm (UTC) - The TIM machine
The TIM machine

The Terrestrial Intra-Morph silently powered on, the initials T.I.M etched into the stainless steel. Geezle ran his cool grey finger over the letters as he waited. The last human placed in the machine only gave them adequate power for ten seconds, hopefully this chubby one would be a little “livelier” as far as dead humans go.

Geezle wondered if they ever saw them coming. It only took eight hours to defeat the brainless species. No, he decided, they never had a chance, the humans. He paused to adjust the settings; if this one didn’t exceed his expectations then the entire mission was a waste. As the level sputtered and fizzled out, he threw his arms up in disgust. A wealth of worthless humans, and they can’t even power a photon accelerator longer than thirty seconds.

Geezle communicated to the others that they would need to move on to the underground species of souls on Mars, at least they would be a more worthy adversary. A hint of sparkle flashed in his large black eyes.

19th-Jun-2009 12:27 am (UTC) - The Tim Machine
The Tim Machine

By Melissa

Mara reached to touch it, as she always did anymore. She remembered the first time she felt the power, when she found it. It was stronger then, harder to even get near. While walking into the cave to investigate, it tried to send her the wrong direction. Nonetheless, she was able to overcome the urge to go right and went left instead; she always hated being told what to do even if it was her own mind, intentionally disobeying with every ounce of energy she had to take each step that felt so weighted.

As usual, she could feel the resistance it gave as her hand got closer, slower and slower she moved. Now is the part she hates, the jolt up to her elbow. The jolt was not as strong as the first shock, which knocked her out, it seems its strength has decreased since the first encounter or is she growing immune. She knew in the end the result would be worth it. Once she touched the Tim Machine she would have a moment of complete understanding.

She knew of the old tales of the Tim Machine. How dangerous it could be to the one using it. She was willing to take the chance, knowing it could completely consume her to be lost forever or she would live forever, the foretelling of the Tim machine was very hazy. Yet, the worst of consequences sounded superior to reality. The Tim Machine seemed to connect her to the nature of the world, it quieted her mind and the voices that have haunted her since that horrid night two years ago, then she could focus on one thought.

The thought, to find her fathers’ soul…

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19th-Jun-2009 12:51 am (UTC) - THE TIM MACHINE
Note: I wrote this story before reading any of the other entries, so I apologize if my idea doesn't sound that original. Actually, it really isn't. Sigh. Oh well, I tried.

****Actual entry:****

My boyfriend had promised me he would show up and, faithful to his old self, he still wasn’t there. I roamed about the fair, glaring at the couples too busy enjoying themselves to notice my lone, brooding self.
I reached the end of the muddy lane and made to go back the other way to look for the cotton candy stand--I can never go to a fair and not have any, I think it’s etched in my DNA--when an odd, faded-red stall caught my attention.
It looked like one of those photo booths, except it wasn’t.
“The Tim Machine,” I read aloud then snorted. “Can’t even spell right.”
I poked my head through the heavy drape.
Nonplussed, I stepped in, sat on the metallic bench, put in my two quarters and stared at the dark screen. And stared.
Then there was a whir and a flash and everything became quiet again.
“Stupid machine,” I said, smacking the screen with my fist.
I stormed back into the sunlight.
“Katrina!” exclaimed a tall man, looking relieved. “I’ve finally found you, where were you?”
I stepped away from him. “Who do you think you’re talking to? My name’s Tim.”
19th-Jun-2009 05:23 am (UTC) - The Tim Machine by Eric Bideaux
High up in cool, shaded anonymity he discovered an uncommon exhilaration in the rustling, timeless disorientation of a place few have or ever will see. Tim's genius had always been a pack rat of sorts, habitually collecting seemingly random things. Far from the musty, decaying detritus of typical boyhood pockets, Tim’s genius collected abstractions; impressions… sense memories as precious as any bubble-up bottle cap, Oriole feather or trilobite fossil. And yet, like the young curators of these lesser collections, when in a safe place, Tim was compelled to empty his finds out of their hiding places to marvel again at their beauty, simplicity or truth. A jeweler pouring gems onto black satin for inspection, a priest preparing for sacrament, in gently swaying safety, forty-five feet above the ground he scans the shifting edges of this etherial collection of boundary signs and fence rows. He knows only that they are connected somehow to a future destination, running along a single string passing through the very heart of each treasure, an unbroken, shimmering line winding out like the Missouri River in the valley beneath the oak hammock, resting at the frayed edge of familiar fields, exhaling the dusty breath of plains wind into the mouth of night, scattering irrelevant thoughts and gathering irreverent dreams, his delicate mechanism lifts its filter into the stream of stars and drinks deeply.
19th-Jun-2009 06:58 pm (UTC) - The Tim Machine (The Productions of Tim)
The sky above the metaplex was the colour of television, if your television was blue. 'Tim-Warner' announced the rippling banner, and underneath: 'The Fury Out of Tim.'

I spat out my cheroot. 'He did it.'

Beside Cyn the news ticker chattered into life, spewing tape. She kicked it towards me.

'Tim in Advance,' the tape announced. 'Eight p.m., channel fifty three. There will be Tim: nine forty-five, channel seventy. The Seeds of Tim...' I balled a fist, crushing it into silence.

We were silent too, not looking at each other. I broke first.

'One more test.' I lifted the iLive to my mouth. 'Speaking clock.'

'At the third stroke, the Tim sponsored by Accurist will be –' I'd heard enough.

Cyn tossed her cigarette over the balcony. We watched the sparks wheel down towards the ground. 'How long left?'

'Not long enough.' She knew as well as I did.

'I thought we'd won.'

'With I, Robert?' I raised an eyebrow.

'Or The Illustrated Ma. I liked The Illustrated Ma.'

'Maybe next year.'

The ticker grumbled and pushed out fresh tape. I picked it up.

'Tim is the Simplest Thing,' I read.

'That's a bit harsh,' said Cyn.


Edited at 2009-06-19 07:19 pm (UTC)
20th-Jun-2009 01:33 am (UTC) - The Tim Machine, or My Life, Take Two
“The Tim Machine.”

“Nope. Sign clearly says Time Machine. I. Time.”

I tutted.

Hodges ran in, jabbed Conroy with an elbow. “He’s joking, of course. E fell off during our check.”

“And what if something else does?”

“You’ll just stay here and we’ll refund your…donation.”

It looked like nothing more than a streamlined telephone booth. Hodges surveyed the readings one last time.


I’d been ready. I could undo all my mistakes. It was all I thought about after I conceived the project. And now…

I nodded. Stepped inside. A glass panel slid down. Quiet. I could hear my own breathing, and heart.

White. It faded and the world came back. I wish it hadn’t. A nightmare landscape, Gothic beasts, fangs glistening, twisted buildings curving overhead, and milling about, people in strange garb, faces pale and expressions dark. Everything was dark.

“Mister Burton? You alright, sir?”

A short man in large headphones looked at me with concern.

I inspected myself. I’d traveled in to someone else.

“I…I don’t feel like myself.”

But it was what I wanted. Another shot at life. Not mine, but still…

“Could we try again?”

“Sure thing. From the top. Places, everyone. And…action!”
6th-Jul-2009 10:32 pm (UTC) - Tim Machine 193 words
"A Tim Machine? Don't you mean a Time Machine?" I asked, trying to keep my eyes above John's waist. He was wearing his antigravity pants again and they cupped his unmentionables in an obscene way.

"No, no, this is much better than that. With a Time Machine, you have to go somewhere. The risks are much higher and the rewards are negligible once you factor in-" John explained, his words tumbling out with rising excitement.

"Never mind that, just tell me what it does," I interrupted.

"I'll show you."

He flipped switches, turned dials and pushed buttons.

Nothing happened.

"Damnit, John, I drove all the way here-"

"Who are you people and what the hell am I doing here?" said a frosty British voice.

I spun around in shock.

Tim Roth stared back at me, he was wearing fusty blue pajamas. Next to him was Tim Allen and the guy from the movie, Taps, Tim Whatshisname. Tim Matheson and Tim Curry popped in and then more Tim's appeared, all famous and angry.

John turned to me, "Pretty soon, I'm going to try for dead people. I was thinking of an 'Adolf Machine' next."
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