Good Morning Ted and Jody:
Today marks the end of the Amanda Saga, as I have appended the last chapter and the epilogue. The Amanda Saga, or as I have now chosen a working title, Amanda7, may be the first in a series of books of about 70,000 words each that loosely could be called “Amandas in Time” (indeed, I may call the series that). I find all sorts of paradoxes and impossibilities with the concept of time travel. Those paradoxes and impossibilities make it interesting. At some point, I may branch out to explore the parallel universe I referred to as “level 4 number 7” in this first book. But, first, I suspect I need more practice writing about simpler things like time travel rather than the more complex things like a parallel universe. I already have the plot for the second book in the “Amandas in Time” series. I have tentatively assigned Amanda and Brice Clarkton roles as Agents for ATI in this next story. But, you know me, things change fast.
I have already begun the proofreading and am astounded at the number of mistakes, typos, and missing punctuation (not to mention an almost total absence of parenthetical remarks and very few footnotes). The astounding part is that I found relatively few things to correct. However, I am not a particularly good proof reader and even worse when it comes to proofreading my own writing. I used to tell my students that spelling, grammar and the like counted on grades for all written material the submitted; but, “if I find errors you have serious problems and need to take more English.” So, after I have found what I can, I will ask others to proof read it. When that happens, I suspect the number of necessary corrections will, like the title, become exponential.
After the errors, typos, mistakes, missing punctuation and other garbage has been removed, I will set about to try to publish it. I will initially seek a traditional publisher or an agent who deals with traditional publishers. That phase will take some time—a hell of a long time as I have no track record. So, while I am doing the proofreading and seeking publishing, I will continue writing. Amanca7 has taken me a bit more than 2 months. In those two months, only one day went by without my adding to the manuscript. So, I have a start on a habit. I mentioned to someone recently I haven’t had a good habit since I gave up smoking. Time for habit to replace smoking (so I can stop gaining weight).
I did inflict this first book on you in my daily missives without asking. If it has been a burden or inconvenience I do apologize. However, unless you tell me to stop, I will inflict the next one as I write it. I will not be offended if you don’t want any more nonsense. But then most of my letters are nonsense anyway, so I thought . . . If, by any chance you have any comments, criticisms or the like I would love to hear them. That sort of thing can only help me to improve how I perform my new habit–writing.
Over the next ten days I have a colonoscopy and an operation on the spine in my lumbar region. Both or either could occasion my missing a day here and there. (Ah, you say, blessed peace.) I do, plan on living through both; for, I am enjoying learning to drive the Ridgeline and writing fiction (real not just the stuff I make up for letters) every day—I do want to see what happens in what I write next. The characters constantly surprise me and make me think.
I hope this finds you healthy, happy and warm.
Warmest regards, Ed
059 Arresting Byron Mellon (AKA Judge Franklin Belemany)
Fiction in 780 words by T. Edward Westen, 2017
Special Agent Fleishman stood watching the empty mechanical transport chamber through the portal built into the doors. The ‘ACTIVE DO NOT ATTEMPT ENTRY’ sign on the door was pulsing through a sequence of colors and brightness that made the sign seem alive. The door itself carried a mild electrical current designed to further dissuaded entry. Special Agent Fleishman knew that merely touching the door release would result in a shock sufficient to reduce to zero any desire to physically grab and pull the handle to attempt opening the door, not to mention requiring one to pick one’s self up off the floor after.
For reasons, unknown to Special Agent Fleishman, the ATI Council had placed a shield around this and its sister mechanical transport chamber beginning with the design of the chambers and running through a few years after Byron Mellon destroyed them by transporting lava flows into each. Special Agent Fleishmann’s visit here was the first sanctioned time visit to the facility since its destruction in 2692. The ATI Council shield necessitated restarting the time travel project from scratch. Hence, Special Agent Fleishman realized he was a time travel machine that resulted from using living time cell implants rather than large physically fixed mechanical devices for time travel like the one he was about to enter.
The lights in the room began to oscillate between bright and dim. A humming sound surrounded Special Agent Fleishman; and, the ‘ACTIVE DO NOT ATTEMPT ENTRY’ sign shone brightly red. ‘Ah, so he returns home one last time,’ thought Special Agent Fleishman.
Byron Mellon appeared in the middle of the large chamber. The ‘ACTIVE DO NOT ATTEMPT ENTRY‘ sign on the door was replaced with one in green that read ‘ENTRY PERMITTED.’ Special Agent Fleishman reached out and tentatively touched the door. ‘No current, the juice is off,’ he thought. He reached down where he had set a wooden chair with his left hand and opened the door with his right. He stepped in to the chamber leaving the wooden chair in the door to block it from closing.
The motion and sound of the chamber door opening attracted Byron Mellon’s attention. He stood straight and faced Special Agent Fleishman and stated, “This chamber is off limits. I will have to ask you to leave.”
“We will both be leaving,” said Special Agent Fleishman. “You sir are under arrest for murder, destruction of property, a couple of score of violations of the Timeline Integrity Act and too many local, temporal violations to list for such things as theft, identify fraud. But, the list is too long, so let’s just stick with murder.”
“Who in the hell do you think I murdered?” demanded Bryon Mellon.
“Actually,” said Special Agent Fleishman, “we have video evidence of your murder of Adrian Dougherty on the 344th day of the year 2692, when you did cause this chamber to flood with hot lava from Mt. Vesuvius while he was in this chamber doing some update work.”
Byron Mellon glanced in the direction of the control panel on the left side of the door behind Special Agent Fleishman. He began what appeared to be random steps off to his right and declared, “Today is only the 343rd day, You can’t arrest me for something I can’t have done yet.”
“Tricky these legal technicalities,” said Special Agent Fleishman. “So, you want a charge that is historically based? How about assuming the identity of a child who died a week after he was born about 700 years ago? But it doesn’t matter what the charge is for I am arresting you. Once I turn you over to the Council . . . ‘
Byron Mellon’s slow apparently random steps to the right and toward the control panel abruptly became a dash. Byron Mellon hit the control panel at full run with his right hand extended and aimed at the chamber’s activation control. He pushed the button. The control was activated and the door began to close.
Special Agent Fleishman, walked, a deliberate walk, toward Byron Mellon and the control panel as the door refused to close because of the wooden chair Special Agent Fleishman had left specifically to prevent it from closing.
Byron Mellon kept repeatedly striking the control to activate the time chamber. He did not seem to realize wherever the chamber took him, it would also take Special Agent Fleishman. He did not notice the chair blocking the door from closing. He was a man lost in the helplessness of having been trapped like the rat he was. Indeed, Byron Mellon, AKA Judge Franklin Belemany, continued trying to start the chamber’s time transport mechanisms even after Special Agent Fleishman had him securely restrained.
060 Epilogue (304)
Patrolman Eddie Philipson didn’t mind working Christmas Eve. His wife, a nurse, worked the evening shift at the hospital. Besides, his working Christmas Eve gave another officer a chance to be at home with his family. ‘I hope when Maggie and I have children someone will work this shift so I can stay home with the family too.’ He smiled at the thought. He and Maggie had talked about starting to, as she put it, enlarge the family in two years once she had finished her work for the RN. Being an LPN was all well and good, but she wanted the increased patient responsibilities and the money was good too.
Patrolling solo in a car was a new experience for Patrolman Philipson. Keeping one eye on one side of the street for potential issues and the other eye on the other as well as both eyes on the road was more than he was used to doing. He was approaching the small park in the 1200 block of Mission Boulevard. The duty sergeant told him to keep an eye on the area by the swings as they had some reports about drugs being sold there. As the duty sergeant had put it, “That ain’t healthy for little kids who just want to swing.”
Slowing so as to better see in the dying twilight, Patrolman Philipson saw a there was no drug activity at the swings. Picking up speed to check out the fraternity house at 1246 Brentwood where there had been an illegal firework display the evening before, Patrolman Philipson’s quiet was broken with a radio request to pick up a woman at a cigar store on Mission and take her to the hospital. The radio cracked again. “Hurry, her water has broken.”
title page follows
By. T. Edward Westen
Copyright © 2017 by T. Edward Westen
This is a work of fiction. All Characters, incidents, dialog and places are drawn from the author’s imagination and should not be construed as real. Any resemblance to real events, places or persons—living, dead or to be born—is an accident and was not intended.