#FFC52 I hope you like my story for TiV’s twenty-fourth prompt. It weighed in at 491 words.

* * *

“I’d seen some big ones in my time, but this one…..this one was huge.”

Christine looked up from the book she was reading. “Whaddaya mean? Bigger than last month?”

Emily waved the paper at Christine. “Take a look.” She tossed the paper on the coffee table between them.

Christine snapped her book closed and seized the paper. She furrowed her brow and scoffed when she scanned the title of the paper: Consolidated Power.

“What the hell?” She finally said after noticing the amount due. “Jacob!”

The two women heard the thundering cacophony of footfalls on the steps leading upstairs. A door was flung open and a disheveled teen boy galloped into the living room.

He stood behind Christine. “Mom.” Turning to Emily, he continued his greeting. “Mom. What’s up?”

Christine turned in her chair and waved the electric bill. “Why is our power bill four times what it was last month?”

“I uhh…” He picked at an unseen thread on the chair. “I built a device in the basement.”

Emily stood and walked around the coffee table. “What does it do?”

“It’s better I just show you.” Jacob started towards the basement door and called over his shoulder. “Come on!”

Christine and Emily followed their son to the bottom of the basement stairs. At the bottom, he flipped a switch on the wall, turned around and beamed at his mothers.

A haze of electrical discharge formed in the center of the basement. Waves emanating from the distortion seemed to bend reality, then dissipated. Christine opened her mouth to speak, but Jacob put his finger to his lips. “Listen.” He said.

The trio strained their ears and heard a conversation from the living room above.

A recognizable voice sounded. “….this one was huge.”

Another voice, equally as recognizable, responded. “Whaddaya mean? Bigger than last month?”

The women stared at their son, ignoring the conversation above. Christine was the first to recover. “Are we…?”

Jacob nodded. “We’re eleven minutes in the past. We can’t interact with anything and we’re not visible to anyone.”

Emily spoke next. “What’s gonna happen now?”

Before Jacob could respond, the overhead lights flickered on and another Jacob bounded down the steps. He gripped the same lever Jacob still held and hopped from one foot to the other while his mothers walked down the same steps. As soon as both women were at the bottom of the steps, he flipped the lever.

As soon as the lever’s contacts closed the room went completely dark. The steady thrum of the household air conditioning fell silent as did other household electrical noises.

This Jacob would be scolded for causing a city-wide blackout. Consolidated Power would cancel service to his home. He would be forever unaware of the trio who saw his device work since they blinked out of existence the moment the lever was thrown. He would grow up unknowing. He and his mothers would never experience the adventures his device wrought.

About Mark Gardner

Mark Gardner lives in northern Arizona with his wife, three children and a pair of spoiled dogs. Mark holds a degrees in Computer Systems and Applications and Applied Human Behavior. View all posts by Mark Gardner

16 responses to “Unaware

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