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Farewell to New York

Bodo Wontoschka

Farewell to New York

Stories and Poems


Yummy Yummy Yummy I got love in my tummy Ohio Express 1968


BookRix GmbH & Co. KG
81669 Munich

The Time Jump

 

Hi, Guys and Gals! And welcome to our all time hit feature

 



THE TIME JUMP



Starring Harvey Kate, Master Rialdo, Pope Dabley, Jack Rhubarb, Dino Pastrami, and the fabulous “Out Crowd” from the lower East Side. And this is how it goes:

 

“………no! First center da zoom on the turning star and hold it….wait for da beep…thassit! Now open the slide and adjust the focus….watchit, don't drop the frame. The whole rig cost me fivehunnert- dau-zant. Here, take the lens. Insert it…..go ahead, insert it. Watchit, wait, til it clicks….thassit! Now you push the main shutter and wait for the blue LED on the Ampex-Divider, grade eighty-two. Then it begins to hum…. if you want, you can hum along with it…(both begin to hum). Thassit. Okay, now you can  release the first snapcord…now the other. Lift it……no, lift it, it's getting too hot underneath. Let`s set it down on the garden wall. Dammit, the shit is steaming, what did you do…..you musta mixed up the entries. Here, wait, you must start the helium pump, before you switch it on, that'll cool it down some.

Now the entries….here we go. Sounds good. Okay, keep it running. We need another minute to tune the tunnel monitors.... Now you can take your seat in the cockpit, and do the time jump. Shut your helmet. Dial one-o-six point five gigahertz on your synchronicity intercom….you can do that by moving your eyebrows up and down….see, now the display is opening on your visor. Don't stare at it too hard, that'll make it flicker…..steady!…thaddaboy. You're looking good. You see the panel with the green warp scale?”

“The one right underneath the scram valves?”

“Exactly. Okay, you just push that little lever away from yourself real hard….”

Something made “whoosh” and “clonk”, and the colour of the entire time capsule changed from red to green.

“Awright, Shali Tango, you're looking great and you have a go for liftoff. Countdown starts at zero minus seventeen seconds (crackle)…eleven... (fading)….it….ven….(crackle, crackle)….The rest was white noise, and at the same time the capsule disappeared in a bluish blast, leaving behind a blackened garden wall, a bunch of ignition wires, twisted and smoldering, and a whirl of sparks raining down on Harvey Gemps, who just stood there, gaping.

“Wha….?”

This had been a weird one. Maybe they had underestimated the generator output, which had failed them a couple of times, so they had to have it improved considerably during the last overhaul at UNITED SYNCHROTRANSIT DOCKS in New Haven last summer.

Harvey stepped forward to look over the garden wall and across the street, where something caught his eye among the tables of “The Trap”, Rialdo Montesso's sidewalk café. If that wasn't Kate Morino over there, right in the middle of the crowd, holding a tray full of capuccinos, and Harvey could see people turning and staring at something, that was blinking in the sun. And sure as hell, that was Pope Dabley climbing out of the time capsule in his bright orange overall, taking his helmet off and putting his shades on, smiling at Kate as if he had just gotten off his bicycle.

“Is that, where I'm gonna go?” Dabley asked, standing right next to him, “That's not very far, I might as well stay here, or just walk over.”

“Of course it's not far, what counts is the time lag. Can't you see, we're not even ready and you're already over there.”

Dabley squinted his eyes.

“Who's the broad…. looks like Kate Morino. I thought it was Belinda working on Wednesdays.”

“Then maybe it's Tuesday over there, man, we did it, I mean, we`re gonna do it!”

“You mean I went b a c k?”

“Looks like it, doesn't it? Try to remember, what did you do yesterday?”

“I dunno….was a strange day…messed up somehow….but how come we're sitting here on Wednesday, looking at Tuesday?”

“Because we're standing right on the edge of the warp zone. It's the garden wall…see..?” He stepped back, and the vision blurred, and was finally replaced by the regular Wednesday view of “The Trap” with lovely Belinda in her yellow apron serving a croque monsieur to someone smoking a fat cigar. Dabley stepped closer to the wall again, the vision blurred, returned, and there he was, climbing out of the time machine, while Kate Morino gave him a startled look, and all the people turned around, what the fuss was all about.

“Wow, yeah, you're right, and we haven't even done it yet. Let me go over and check it out, can't wait to meet myself.” He was going to jump over the garden wall, when Harvey pulled him back.

“You don't want to create a paradox, now, do you? You could harm yourself, and everybody else. Let's go and do it, we must close the time loop first, so we get it stabilized. Come on, let's hook up the generator. You'll be getting there before you ever left.” Dabley nodded.

So they went through the whole launching procedure again, something made “whoosh” and “clonk”, and the colour of the entire time capsule changed from red to green. When Dabley was gone, Harvey looked over the garden wall again. Everything looked as before. Dabley was already sitting at one of the tables, with Kate Morino setting down one of her cappuccinos in front of him. Harvey felt relief. Oh lawdy, oh gawd!. That was a close one. But the loop was holding steady now. Harvey began to roll up the wires, and picked up the tool chest. The effect of the warp radiation was just as strong as before, he could feel it. Wild images flashed past his inner eye. Meanwhile, but one day back in time, Pope Dabley, on the other side of the street, discovered a bundle of leaflets in the breast pocket of his overall, with a note attached to it, in his own handwriting:

Watch your step up along the alleyway The hard rain these past days has been washing the dirt out from under the roadbed in places. But I do hope you be home safe and have a good journey. Now hand out these leaflets, so everybody can see how crazy you are.

 He pulled out one of the leaflets from underneath, and red it out aloud. It was printed in one of his favourites, Curlz MT, size twenty, and in red ink: (Regrettably, for technical reasons, that could not be ...

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