Saturday 3/26/2022 10:43:00 PM

 Part Four

I fiddle with the dials. I watched the numbers dissolve into decades. Time seeping into my veins one drop of poison at a time. The slowest of murders.

I go forward. To find a world that is dense and withered. It jerks angrily on its chain, but remains tethered to the past.

I go back. To find a place obese with gravity. Every breath weighs too much. Smothered in changes that change nothing.

Perhaps this machine is to blame. Or me for having built it.

Or maybe it was always this way. And it’s only now that time has stopped that I can see. How we were always feeble. Our bodies. Our world. Everything about us. Dirty rags dense with the dried blood of eternal war.

All our choices spilling like loose dirt into our grave. Burying us.

We drown in our soiled dresses. High on candy houses and singed witches. Still naïve enough to follow the breadcrumbs.

We pound our firsts against the glass. Until it cracks. Assuming the world has forgotten us.

Everything stopped.

I had wanted to move forward. Faster than time would allow. I had decided that the mechanics would resolve to the result I ordained.

In a way they did. Here we are. At the center of everything. The last leaf still clinging to an ancient, dying tree.

The shifting grin of perspective picking its teeth with the skeleton of our kingdom. If we ever did. We change no more. We only evolve against the sharpest edges and I’ve blunted them all.

Pets cat

I stopped counting. Stopped trying to figure out how to get back.

My machine became useless.

Everywhere we went was the same.

Still we sheltered inside of it. Our only home.

The world went to dust. Scattered by our breath. The distance chewed on the corners of the machine. Leaving us stranded. Our last thread severed.

Its humming motor always whispering of the worlds I’ve betrayed. 

Tearing at any skin left on the carcass. Cutting all the tender connections that once made us whole.

Its idling engine devouring any choices that might remain. 

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