The Haunted House – Part 9

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 SEPTEMBER 8, 1972

“Bernard when are you going to give up on that fool idea,” Betsy asked.

“It’s not a fool idea,” he muttered. He’d been trying to build a time machine since he was a kid. Granted, after years of physics classes and reading a library of research, his attempts had become much more sophisticated.

“Sure, love.” Betsy leaned down to where he was hunched over and kissed his neck. “I’m going to bed. I’ll see you in the morning. Do you mind putting the garbage cans out before you come to bed?”

He finally looked up. “Is it Monday already?”

She laughed, “It is.”

“I’ll be darned.” He set down his screwdriver and went to take the cans out to the curb. Years later he would swear he’d only been gone for 30 seconds. He hadn’t even had time to pick up one of the cans, let alone drag it down the long driveway to the curb.

There was what sounded like a huge explosion from inside. All the windows in the house shattered and cascaded to the ground. He raced across, crunching the glass with his slippers, terrified of what he would find inside.

There, blown clear from the office door and down the hall was Betsy lying in a crumpled heap. The door to his office was open and a dim blue light scanned across the door.

“What happened?” he shouted, racing to Betsy’s side.

He tried to wake her, but it was too late. She had blood running down the side of her head and wasn’t breathing.

By the time the ambulance came, the blue light had faded. They assumed she’d fallen down the stairs and he didn’t correct them. Maybe he should have.

When the police came they thought it was him. Accused him of atrocities that he’d never thought of, let alone done. He loved her dearly. He was lost without her. But they arrested him anyway. But with no evidence to convict, he was released to his now empty home.

It took some time to realize that every time he entered his house he was jumping forward a month in time. He rarely left his house anyway so people didn’t immediately notice he’d been gone. It wasn’t until the bill collectors showed up that he realized he’d missed months of payments in only a few days.

But for the first time since Betsy had died, he felt the dark cloud of hopelessness lift. He’d done it! He’d created a time machine of sorts. If he could create something to take him forward, then surely he could invent something to take him back. He could save her!

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