Good Morning Ted and Jody:
It was good to hear your voice yesterday. We are looking forward to seeing you in two weeks.
Sometime last year, I noticed a fellow at MickyDee where we lunch and where I often take breakfast when I have an early appointment in town. He sat in the back dining area by himself. He was there rain or shine. I then noticed him walking at different times when I was in Kelso or Longview. After months of just seeing him around, I stopped one morning and initiated a conversation with him. His name is Art. Over a period of several months, we talked about a number of things and our backgrounds began to come through. At one point our conversations were interrupted by a third man who came in and used that part of the dining room to do his daily online business—whatever one does online he did it using the Wi-Fi at MickyDee. The third man never spoke to Art, but Art and I were talking about the Declaration of Independence and the Preamble to the Constitution and the third man felt it his duty to enlighten us. Discussion with the third man went on for about a week. Then the third man’s schedule change or he decided it took to long to do his online business when Art and I were there.
Six or eight weeks ago, Art’s lodgings were sold out from under him. He is on disability and a local Christian group put him up in a motel (Art pays the same rent to the group and the group pays the motel) until a more permanent abode becomes available at the subsidized rate that Art can afford. Ten days ago, Art stopped showing up for his daily midday stop at MickyDee for a beverage on his daily walk. While I had hopes that he had found a place and it was some distance way changing his daily patterns, after a few days, I did get concerned. Yesterday, when Nancy and I went to lunch, Art was in the back dining room at MickyDee. I was greatly relieved and pleased to see him. He has a lead on a place to rent and seems excited about it. However, since it has been so long, he is anxious about whether or not they will rent to him—credit scores or the like could be an impediment since he lives on a cash basis—he cashes his monthly checks and pays for anything he gets with cash.
I didn’t realize how much his absence was weighing on me until he showed up and the worry was gone. Interesting how interdependent we can become with our fellow human being’s welfare without realizing it.
I trust this finds you healthy, wealthy and enjoying drier weather than we are. Happy Mother’s Day Jody.
Warmest regards, Ed
Fiction in 1040 words by T. Edward Westen, 2017
“I think I have an idea of why this only takes us to one time and place from here,”? said Dr. Choy. “Tell me about the structure of your recursive coolant.”
“It is simple, really,” replied Thomas Aldrich Edison, “when you understand that cooling is simply a matter or slowing down the movement of molecules and heating a matter of making them move faster. What I did was simply apply harmonics to make them move at a constant rate.”
“That jives with what I was thinking must be happening,” replied Dr. Choy. “Let’s change the harmonic and see if we can end up in a different time and or place.”
“That’s easy to do,”: replied Thomas Aldrich Edison. “Tell me what temperature you want and I have the harmonics mapped out to correspond to temperatures. A little trick I learned from my Great-great grandfather—keep notes and be thorough.”
“Give it two degrees below its current temperature,” said Dr. Choy.
Thomas Aldrich Edison looked at a chart on the computer screen and plucked a string on a 32-stringed banjo like device under the frozen human essence and said, “It is there now. 2 degrees below where we were.
Dr. Choy reached out and touched the 2 by 2-inch frozen essence bar and vanished. A split second later she reappeared. “That seem to have sent us back farther in time. I left one of those beacons Jonathan Simmons developed so we can find the exact point on the timeline on his receiver then we can map those out as you did the temperatures and the frequencies. You didn’t by chance work with any different shapes of structured bars, did you?”
“No, I only worked with the one,” replied Thomas Aldrich Edison. “Human essence is not easy to get in large quantities. It takes about 50,000 stem cells to produce a Nanogram”
Dr. Choy had an object in her hand that the tossed up in the air and then said, “Raise the temperature four degrees and let’s see when I can leave this beacon. It should be more recent.”
Thomas Aldrich Edison plucked two strings on the banjo like device and said, “We are there.”
Dr. Choy again touched the bar of frozen human essence and vanished. She immediately returned and said, “It is not linear.” She looked around and said, “I need more beacons and we can get readings from the two I left behind. Do you want to come?”
Thomas Aldrich Edison nodded his head vigorously and the two of them vanished.
Materializing outside of Outreach Agent Simmons work-living cubical
Dr. Choy announced their presence, “Johnathon, it is Sandra and Mr. Edison.”
Receiving no reply, they peeked in and saw Outreach Agent Simmons was indeed not there. Dr. Choy turned to Thomas Aldrich Edison and asked, “Shall we check in the early 21st Century for him? He visits a police station there periodically.”
“Yes, I would like that,” replied Thomas Aldrich Edison. As soon as he spoke those words, they both vanished.
Materializing in the stairwell of Police Headquarters, Dr. Choy and Thomas Aldrich Edison went down to Child Protective Services. Entering the office, Dr. Choy addressed the woman seated at the desk. “We are looking for Johnathan Simmons, he may be with Ms. Gunderson.
The woman at the desk looked up and said, “You mean that portly man who smiles all the time?”
Dr. Choy nodded and said, “That fits him to a ‘T’.”
“They just went up to the detective squad,” the woman replied.
“Thank you,” said Dr. Choy. If he comes back here, please tell him Sandra Choy and Mr. Edison are looking for him.” She nodded and reached for the handle.
The woman at the desk stood up. “Wait a moment. Let me call up there. When the man you call Jonathon comes around they often end up at the café drinking hot chocolate or over at Jake’s Pizza.” The woman picked up the phone and dialed a number. After a few moments, she said, “Bernice, this is Millie, is Ms. Gunderson up there?” She listened for a moment and then said, thanks, Bernice.” She hung the phone up and said, “The desk sergeant says the gang of them went for hot chocolate. That would be the café you can see to your right as you go out the front doors on the first floor.”
“Thank you. Millie, is it?” asked Dr. Choy.
Millie nodded and said, “You are welcome.”
“Would you like us to bring you a cup?” Dr. Choy asked.
Millie laughed, “Thank you but, I never touch the stuff.”
As they walked up to the first floor, Thomas Aldrich Edison asked, “Why do you not pivot to the café?”
Sandra smiled, “I could tell you I need the exercise, but I simply do not know the coordinates given the directions we have. Since we can see it from the front door, walking is the preferred mode of transportation.
As they approached the café they could see Outreach Agent Simmons, Special Agent Fleishman and Agent White with two men and a woman. ‘That must be Ms. Gunderson,” thought Dr. Choy.
Outreach Agent Simmons was the first to see them. He waved and called out “I’ll bet you need more beacons.”
Special Agent Fleishman got up and pulled to chairs from nearby tables and everyone scooched around to make room for the two newcomers.
Dr. Choy said, “As long as I don’t have a receiver in my lab, it is not economical to pivot to your lab every time I need to find out when I was. So, perhaps a dozen or so beacons would make it worth my while.”
Amanda White perked up. “So, you can get to other times and places with Mr. Edison’s device?”
Thomas Aldrich Edison beamed. “Yes, it is all a matter of temperature or the frequency at which we keep the molecules moving.”
When Amanda White said, ‘Edison,’ Captain Batan came to attention while still sitting down. He stuck his hand out towards, Thomas Aldrich Edison, “Mr. Edison, it is a pleasure to meet you. My name is Mohammad Batan, I am a captain in the detective squad in this fair city. Would you mind answering a few questions?”