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Time Things

by on November 24, 2015

I stood up a little straighter. Normally I tried to keep down; standing up straight and tall during a shootout is liable to get your head blown off. But all of a sudden things had gotten quiet out there. Now, maybe Shotgun Dan Irving and his band of wild desperadoes suddenly decided to solve their problems with a civilized discussion of their differences, but I kinda doubted it. I poked my head over the makeshift barricade. Shotgun Dan was nowhere to be seen. Instead, a massive green-grey dinosaur was tromping its way merrily through Silver Saddle Stephanie’s saloon. Steph looked mighty put out at that. “Oh, blast,” I said, dropping the Western idioms I had been using for the benefit of the civilians. “It’s a time thing.”

“You bet it is,” said the purple-suited figure who had just materialized next to me. “Sam, I told you, don’t mess with the time machine!”

“I wasn’t messing,” I said huffily. “I was only looking.”

“You’ll have to explain the semantics to me later,” she said. “Excuse me a sec.”Β  She flew off and blasted the dinosaur with a fireball just as it was about to step on a shrieking civilian. That’s Gaseous Girl for you. Always saving the civvies.

I watched as she blasted the dinosaur for a while, until she had finally knocked it down for the count. Then she flew back to me and the barricade. “Okay, where were we? Right. The time machine. Now, look, Sam, normally I work alone. But the mayor wanted to set up this volunteer sidekick internship thing, good PR for the city, whatever. It’s cool. The thing is, I thought I explained the ground rules. And rule one is, don’t mess with time. Time things get complicated fast.”

“It’s not like I was going to kill You Know Who or anything,” I said. I had actually been planning that for the next trip, but there was no need to explain that just then. “I only wanted to see the West. Like it used to be.”

“You mean with the cholera and the scarcity of indoor plumbing?” Gaseous Girl remarked archly.

“It wasn’t all bad…”

“Sure. Whatever. We’re going back now.”

“Oh, come on,” I said. “It’s only one stupid dinosaur. And you took it down. No big deal, right?”

Gaseous Girl sighed. “Did you notice it was a mama dinosaur?”

“Aw, cute!”

“No. Not cute. Where the mom is, there’s probably eggs. And do you know what eats eggs?”

I considered the question. I didn’t much like the answer. Then the answer presented itself in a chorus of new screams from the saloon. “Velociraptors,” Gaseous Girl said, her face very grim. “Now we’ve got Velociraptors. This is just swell.”

I took cover once more behind the barricade. As Gaseous Girl swooped out to deal with the raptors, I solemnly promised myself that I would never use the time machine again. Not for a while, anyway.


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  1. I found this line that tickled me the most, “Now, look, Sam, normally I work alone. But the mayor wanted to set up this volunteer sidekick internship thing, good PR for the city, whatever. It’s cool. ”

    Darn pesky politics just getting fingers into pies they shouldn’t be in. LOL

  2. The whole fantastical notion of this is wonderful!

  3. I enjoyed the clashing of different historical eras, and you always use informal language really well in your story. I would have liked either a little more description of the saloon or of the dinosaur to know how a (I’m picturing T. Rex) dinosaur could have fit in a standard-sized building.

    • I appreciate your comment. I know I need to work more on description; I tend to go right into dialogue and action and sometimes I need to slow down and set the scene. I wasn’t envisioning the dinosaur fighting in the building as much as smashing the building down, like a dog tearing through a pile of leaves, so to speak… πŸ™‚

      • “Through” put the dinosaur in the saloon for me.

      • Ah, okay. I can see how you’d get that interpretation. I shall be more aware of my word choices in the next go-round. πŸ™‚

  4. This was so brilliant! πŸ™‚

  5. I liked that final line, “not for a while anyway.” Mischievous characters always keep things interesting.

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