Across history, there was no name more loathed than Elias the Time Jerk’s was.
At any moment of his choosing, he and his Temporal Easy Chair would fade into sync.
He liked to watch History in the unmaking.
Not this time, however. A temporal rift had tossed him facedown in the dust of Yuma, Arizona.
Elias brushed himself and walked into a diner.
“Mafle Garfle Mumgle,” said the waitress.
“Great,” said Elias. “Phaseshift sickness.”
Elias smiled, gladly accepted some coffee, and headed to a mall for a new chair and radio parts.
Rebuilding was easy, all it took was time.
Every day at noon, I head down to Harry’s Hotdog Cart for a footlong with mustard, sauerkraut, and relish.
“The usual, Sam?” asked Harry.
“Work your magic, Harry,” I said.
Harry smiled and waved his tongs.
The man’s a hotdog wizard, I tell you.
Just as Harry handed me his latest masterpiece, a scream came from above. And then WHAM!!!! a red blur smashed into the cart, scattering bottles and buns everywhere.
I picked myself up and looked at a woman sprawled across the cart.
Red dress. Dark hair.
“No cutting in line, bitch!” I yelled.
Paco was a lousy groundskeeper.
Every flower he planted wilted, every tree he planted died, and the sidewalks were crooked and cracked.
Paco thought about using Astroturf for the grass at Park Tower, but the building owners said no.
“This is your last chance, Paco,” said the owners. “Make the grass grow, or you’re getting deported.”
Paco watched the grass slowly turn brown.
He panicked. In desperation, he spread fertilizer over the lawn, turned the sprinklers on full blast, and prayed for a miracle.
What he got was a five-hour nap, the miraculous Park Tower Lake, and a pink slip.
All around the buffet table, piled high with the most delicious and tempting snacks, people stood and waited.
“What are you waiting for?” asked Abe, arriving late.
“Good things,” said several people in the crowd around the table. “Good things come to those who wait.”
“Screw that,” said Abe. He rushed to the buffet table, grabbing up all the tasty snacks.
He even filled his stovepipe hat with pudding.
“You snooze, you lose, suckers!” shouted Lincoln.
Only later, as he was throwing up his purloined goodies, did he learn that the table had been the scene of a skunk fight.
The glowing glyphs twisted around Abraham’s skin like sheets of ice on a river.
“Mother was not content to teach me respect for The Lord,” said Lincoln. “She inscribed powerful, holy prayers upon my body. Like some common circus performer.”
“Do they hurt?” asked the reporter.
Abe put his shirt back on and sighed, grimacing in pain. “Only when I think evil and unholy acts,” said the President.
The reporter jotted that down. “So, what malfeasance are you pondering to cause your discomfort?”
Abraham stabbed him in the throat.
“Keeping this story out of the papers,” he said, blaming Mother.
I don’t consider myself a hero, but there are times when I feel good that someone has something to dip a chicken nugget into or for a hamburger.
It probably doesn’t make much of a difference, though, so I do my best to remain humble.
Dijon Lad has issues, though. He goes out at night in costume, fighting crime.
He sometimes shows up for work with his arm in a sling or with a black eye.
He’s been drinking more than usual, too. White wine and Dijon mustard are good for grilling, but bad for a commercial shoot.
He finished carving “BOBBY AND WENDY FOREVER” on the tree, then folded his knife.
Bobby had all of her albums. Every concert bootleg too, thanks to other obsessives and Napster.
Obsessives, not stalkers. Stalking is bad. Very bad.
He had other trinkets from her life. A curl of her hair from a hotel shower drain in a locket. Photographs that the corner drugstore duplicated and collected for him. And dresses that the cleaners said they’d lost.
All he needed was her. He had to prove his love.
He patted the gravestone, picked up a shovel, and began to dig.