this is out of sequence and re-posted: 008 Tuesday, June 16, 1926, Where to Go? Where to Look?

008 Tuesday, June 16, 1926, Where to Go? Where to Look?

Fiction in 1238 words by T. Edward Westen, 2017

“There is nothing physically wrong causing your memory loss, Mr. Calkins,” said Doc Emerson. “Given you were held at gunpoint and forcibly taken I would hazard that there is mental trauma. I have read about it in the New England Journal of Medicine some time back. As best I recall, it goes away. Either something will jog your memory, or one day you will wake up and your memory will all be there.”

Mrs. Calkins lips tightened and he face became sad. “I don’t know where I belong, but I don’t belong imposing on Tom and Thora. I don’t know where to go and I have no money. So, what am I to do?

Doc Emerson’s face showed he had an idea. “Norma Rae,” he called out and waved his arm so Norma Rae could see him and respond.

“Yeah, Doc?” she replied.

Doc Emerson grabbed Mrs. Calkins’ hand and said, “Come with me, I have an idea.” The two marched across the crowded living room to where Norma Rae was talking to a tall, thin fellow wearing a sidearm and a badge.

“Phil, Norma Rae, this is Aida Calkins, Mrs. Calkins,” Doc Emerson said.

Norma Rae said, “We met in the kitchen after the service for old Nathan and before Thora and Tom got hitched.” She turned to Mrs. Calkins and said, “You did a nice job on her makeup and lookin’ good in that dress.” Norma Rae winked. Then Turning back to Doc Emerson she said, “What can I do for you Doc”

Gesturing towards Mrs. Calkins, Doc Emerson said, “This lady has lost her memory. A far as I can tell it is only the important stuff like where she lives, works and the like that shew can’t remember. The not so important stuff like language, mathematics, how to apply cosmetics, dressing herself, which fork to use and reasoning powers she retains.”

“What are you getting at, Doc?” asked Norma Rae.

“Quite frankly she needs a place to live, work and all that important stuff until her memory comes back” replied Doc. Emerson. He paused and looked Norma Rae in the eyes. “You remember when Clive Stevens little boy was born and he almost lost him because the switchboard was not operating cus you went to the store?”

Norma Rae held out her hands palms forward as to ward off his words, “I got back in time, didn’t I?”

What if you hadn’t?” asked Doc Emerson. “That was a breach birth. Either Clive’s son or wife could have died. What if you had help?”

“I have explained to everyone that the company won’t pay more for switchboard help,” said and exasperated Norma Rae. “Besides why do you have to bring it up at a wedding reception for God’s sake?

“I bring it up for her sake,” Doc Emerson said pointing to Mrs. Calkins. “She needs someplace to live, sleep, eat and work until she remembers where she belongs.”I suspect we could raise the money right here.” At the top of his lungs, Doc Emerson yelled “ATTENTION EVERYONE. ATTENTION.” The murmur of conversation in the kitchen and living room began to die out.

Phil, the tall thin man wearing the silver star said in a strong firm voice, “Listen to Doc everyone. He has an idea you all need to hear.

The rooms went silent.

Doc Emerson moved to the staircase and went up two steps so he was looking over the heads of everyone. “I am sure that you all know about how Mrs. Calkins, Aida, got here last night. I am sure that even though I just finished my examination of her you all know she has what we in the medical profession call temporary memory loss.” He looked around and saw that most of the folks were nodding their heads. “Well, she needs a place to live and work until her memory comes back.” He paused and said, “Norma Rae, how many telephones do you handle?”

Norma Rae spoke up “Forty-three.”

“If we could get the switchboard open an additional 40 hours a week, how many of you would be willing to pay say, 60¢ more a month on your telephone bill?

Every person in the room raised a hand.

Doc Emerson said, “I find the vote of this special meeting of the Committee of Telephones Users of Carbon County, Wyoming unanimously approved a rate hike of 60¢ a month. Meeting adjourned.”

A voice called out from near the front door, “I didn’t hear no meeting called to order.”

Doc Emerson responded, “It was a vote in support of your boy, Phil.”

Phil Collins replied from the front door, “Well that’s alright then.”

Doc Emerson turned to Norma Rae again, “Looks like you need to hire an assistant. What do you say to 35¢ an hour, room and board?”

Norma Rae laughed. “I appear not to have a voice in this.” She turned to Mrs. Calkins and said, “What say you? Do you want a job, bed and board, Mrs. Calkins?”

Only if you call me Aida, Boss Lady,” replied Mrs. Calkins.

Norma Rae smiled and said, “No more boss lady, I am still Norma Rae.” She stuck our her hand and when Mrs, Calkins shook it, Norma Rae said, “You are hired, Aida.”

the room burst out in applause and whistles and “Alrights” and one “good show.”

{Present Day} Agent White and Special Agent Simpson entered the detective squad room from the stairwell.

They saw Detective Philipson at his desk glued to his computer screen. His only movements were his right hand guiding his mouse and periodic clinks of one of the mouse buttons. “Any luck?” Agent White asked.

Detective Philipson shook his head no. “Nothing so far. If they dropped her off in the past where we have computer records, she should have shown up. The thing is, she doesn’t know we are looking for her as time travel is not something in her universe.”

Until now,” said Agent White.

Right,” replied Detective Philipson. “But she can not have deduced time travel is possible and routine and had no idea she should leave us a clue. If she is smart she will keep her head down and not panic.” Detective Philipson looked thoughtful for a moment. “The bright side is that unidentified female bodies are easy to find. We keep track of them. She isn’t one of those.”

Special Agent Simpson said, “There is nothing ordinary and routine about time travel?’

Agent White asked, “Do you want to try Gettysburg again?”

No, what I mean is I get you can do it. I’ll be damned if I know how. But it is not part of normal things to do in a day. The woman has to have some idea of what happened to her, but she will not know it was purposeful. She must have read enough fiction to come up with all sorts of implausible reasons she is where she is”

And When, she is” added, Agent White.

Yes, as I said, I am still shaky when it comes to this stuff. But I would go where I knew something or someone if I were her.”

OK,” said Detective Philipson, “I’ll try building Mrs. Calkins’ past so we can try to figure out where she would go if she were dropped in any time period.”


About democratizemoney

Retired University Professor
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5 Responses to this is out of sequence and re-posted: 008 Tuesday, June 16, 1926, Where to Go? Where to Look?

  1. I’m confused now.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. beetleypete says:

    Just as well you headed these ‘reposted’! 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

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