Thursday, July 19, 2007

Ten year old Max was cleverer than Swatches in a cuckoo clock. He tackled IQ tests in ten minutes flat, obtaining perfect scores with one hand while beating the last level on his Nintendo DS with the other. He was so clever there was really no way to tell how clever he was, because no one had ever seen the likes of it before. So they gave up trying. "I want to invent things," the wunderkind stated one day out of the blue.

"He's clever," they said, "Give him everything he wants." And so they gave him a laboratory. It took him twenty minutes to work out the principle of time travel and prove it with a device that could transcend linear chronology.

"Wow!" everyone exclaimed.

The principle was simple: a perpetual motion energy field influenced by variably poled magnets.

"Aha," everyone said, quite confusedly, "But It's cute how he built it in the form of a 1920's Buick."

From his first journey in the years he brought back two of his future, older selves, one 15, the other 25. He dressed them up like Chicago gangsters to match the car.

"How sweet," everyone commented, "let him do it!"

He also set his future selves to work, each building a new time contraption and journeying off to snatch back further twins from the timeline who in turn began the process all over again.

"Ohhhhh, ahhhhhh," everyone noted with astonishment, "it's exponential."

By now there were hundreds of thousands of Maxes, each a unique instance from some point in time, population doubling and trebling by the moment.

"Hey," everyone noted with sudden consternation, "maybe this wasn't such a good idea after all."

But it was too late. Max opened up a dead end milliminute in a skipped chronological beat and transfered every man woman and child that wasn't him smack dab into the middle of it.

"Hey," they all nodded, "this looks very much like a cornfield."

But it was the beginning of the end. The youngest Max hadn't yet discovered girls, and as his elder versions explained them to him, it flustered him so, that he lost all his cleverness. Soon the Maxes were little more than a lonely, lustful mob with no place to go. They floundered around a few decades, lamenting the loss of ladies, then vanished into the timeless stasis of extinction.

Story #405


Anonymous said...

Oh, it's chitty chitty bang bang... we love you.

Well, at least that's how I remember the words going.


Sandy said...

The Elder one: Cool going to watch a baseball match. As a matter of fact i m the elder of all three. So i get to drive this car.

The Second Younger brother: The big bro doesnt know the key is with me. So i get to drive the car. Anyway i hv look cooler than him.He doesnt have a chance in the crowd to woo girls.

Finaly the youngest one: Stupid baseball match. I wanna play with my friends. Thats why i hvnt dressed up in suit. LET ME TELL U A SECRET "I have punctured the tyres"

Sandy's Fantasy

Kevin Wecker said...

"And this photo is of little Davey's first soccer practice. Hmmm... I wonder what became of the two older Beckham boys?"

KHM said...

The details of the time travel had been painstakingly worked out: the precise coordinates for little Simon to arrive at his old family home in the Hamptons from St. Louis to spend just a few happy days in his familys' glory days as they celebrated acquisition of controlling interests in the steel industry. Sadly, they'd neglected to pay any attention whatsoever to the dresscode of the day, completely singling Simon out as an interloper of the most bizarre kind...

Anonymous said...

This really reminds me of my wedding, even though nothing in the picture is the same. First of all, nobody was as dorky looking, though my brother-in-law gives off the same air of squarishness. Since it was early afternoon, the men in our wedding party wore carefully fitted morning suits with ascots, not ill fitting tuxes, and they had gardenia boutoniers, not anything red. After the wedding, Grandpa Weirsdo got his restored Model A (not Model T or whatever that is) and two more from a Model A club to take the wedding party to the reception. There was even a little boy wedding guest something like the one in the picture, my cousin Trey. The little girls gave him a hard time.

Unknown said...

Rumors of his death had been slightly exaggerated.

Scarlet said...

Chitty, chitty, no bang!

Jamie Dawn said...

Looks to me like the yougest boy whined enough and got his way. The older brothers were forced to dress up for the wedding, and the little prince got to wear his favorite Adidas sweats and comfy shirt.
That kid is most likely a HOLY TERROR!

Anonymous said...

Kevin knew quite well he was not the prince of Lichtenstein, but it seemed he was a double for the kid. So when the hotel his family was staying at greeted him as the Prince, he was naturally confused, but then got a brilliant idea...

"Yes," he said, "I'm the prince of Lichtenstein! Kevin Ostertop is just my disguise. I want to be rebooked in the penthouse at the Four Seasons, I want VIP treatment, I want a butler to do everything I want, I want the fanciest car they can get their hands on, and I want a chauffeur to drive me around! Now!" Kevin was quite an ambitious young fellow. He would be sorry when this family vacation was over.

Ben Latini said...

The kiddnapping went smoothly, though the getaway car was slow. When a crowd had noticed the goings on and gathered to inspect, taller boy had flashed his dazzling, if sinister smile and coverted the agression into fake affection, with which the little hostage was forced to comply. He knew that shorter boy had a gun which he hid behind his back. A photo was taken, and the hostage was identified due to his crooked front tooth. The police stopped the three on the highway, and the car exploded in all directions, filling the sky with luminous pieces of metal and flammable gas. The road washed in flame, the veteran officer called for a fire truck. For the sake of the boys parents, they later rummaged through the rubble, and fished out a pair of crooked teeth. They were displayed on the mantle, next to the photograph. They moved to a new state, and when asked about the origin of the two objects by neighbors and guests who hadn't known that they once had a son, the father would say of the teeth, "They were gleaned from an unfortunate prisoner during an African war," and of the photograph, "Uh...I think it was someone's wedding."

Sandy said...

Bill and Jim had a lovely wedding even though Bill had tried to convince Jim that he should be able to wear that darling strapless number he saw in Bridal Magazine. Jim's mother was barely tolerating the relationship and Jim was afraid if he dressed in drag his mom would boycott the wedding. The ceremony went off without a hitch except for one minor detail. Bill and Jim's adopted son Ernie, refused to wear his little tuxedo; embarrassing the happy couple with his lack of fashion sense.

Cie Cheesemeister said...

"Bleeding hell, I do hope that Father doesn't expect us to stuff our arses into this thing to go to the North Plodqiddle Social," Master Jerry, the middle brother of the Wallingford clan muttered through his teeth.
"I think it might be right good fun, rather," said Master Garry, the youngest of the trio.
"Shut the bleeding hell up so they can take the picture," Master Nicholas, the eldest brother snarled menacingly through his perfect smile. "And then I'll have a chat with Father and see if he has truly lost his marbles. I simply can't see having the three of us stuffed into the back seat and Father riding up front with Xerxes when we've a perfectly good limo that will hold all of us comfortably."
"All in, Lads," said their father Sir Barry cheerfully. "'T'will be a bonny drive in the countryside this fine summer afternoon. Chop chop now!"
"Bleeding hell, he has lost his marbles," Jerry moaned.
"Nah, I think he's just been nipping at the rum Cook was using to flavor his birthday cake." Garry remarked. "Oh, come, lads, it will be fun, you'll see!"
"Bally chip off the old block," Nicholas groaned, thinking that in another month he could return to Oxford and concentrate on his forthcoming career as a dedicated purveyor of fashion.

Anonymous said...

why aren't you in the blog of note? nothing interesting in there for almost a week since you've been gone.

Steve Will said...

Remember when we took this photo?

Remember when you two told me to smile "Or else?"

We all knew what "Or else" meant.

I smiled. But you did it anyway.

That was 13 years ago. Remember?

Oh, are you uncomfortable, guys? Yes, that looks a little uncomfortable. Don't worry. It'll all be over soon.

Joey Fanelli said...

Mother told me, corsage in hand, "Do not speak unless spoken too," but mother said a lot of things. Mother said if I ate my carrots I could see in the dark, but as it stands now, I can only manage day-seeing. Mother said I should never take candy from strangers, yet she still takes me Trick-or-Treating every year. Mother said that Father was a mean drunk, but as I once said to her, "But that's the only time he ever pays any attention to me!" She would always say, "Verbal and physical abuse doesn't count as attention."

I, with cold eyes: "It's more than you ever give to me."

April's Place said...

Thanks for the comment! Check back, as I often update with new scenes from the "prairies" ;-) as well as other areas!
Your site is very interesting! I enjoy checking the new stories.

Lorena's Blogbilingüe said...

Cheesemeister, bloody good story! Sounds like something out of Masterpiece Theatre, love it.

Sorry,Indie, 'fraid I can't come up with anything better than Cheesemeister's. Maybe next time.

Come visit me again.

Noni said...

I guess the young boy is very naughty, he just jumped and got into the picture, the others are just forcing themselves to smile and wondering what this little son of a gun doing here????

Stan Johns said...

There is something intriguing about aligning the top of a vehicle's windscreen with the roof of the sofit board of the garage. What makes something that was merely intriguing, something quite obsessively compelling, is the ability, at the same time, to keep a golden ball hovering above one's head.

This reminds me of a patient of mine who insisted there were no amazing things left to wonder at in the world. He was a very happy fellow, nonetheless.

Which has nothing to do with me thanking you, Indie, for providing fertile material for imagination, and for linking to my simple blog.

All the best to you all.


Frances bo bancess said...

i'm stumped, but please, please tell me, is this taken straight from a family album?

April's Place said...

It's called "Time Travel"
This little boy was looking through a photo album his grandfather had and he was struck by this picture of 2 great great uncles all dressed up and standing by this shiny new invention, called the "automobile". The little boy in his 2007 track outfit, was just so mesmorized by this particular photo, he so loved cars and hadn't seen an old one like this before. He imagined what it would be like living back then and talking to these great uncles, who lived far different lives then himself. His imagination was so strong it took him right back in time, into the picture standing here beside his own history. He is smiling as he just can't believe it himself! But here is the proof, he traveled back in time!

April's Place said...

wow that's weird, i honestly hadn't read the other stories and noticed there is already one along the same lines with the time travel ;-) this one must really be about that... ;-)

Jess said...

Thanks! The wedding was fabulous.

DeLi said...

Eldest Brother: tell me something i didnt know
2nd Bro: you know its a recipe for disater to leave our youngest bor on his own...drat, he has no idea that tuxedos are a must in weddings
Eldest bro: tell that to the girls. he's not with me. im not gona baby sit when all hot girls are around 'adancing
2nd bro: no way for me too
Youngest bro: will you please stop talkin liek im not here. We are just gonna listen to priest and see couple kissin later anyway. plus i dont need black ribbon around my neck when all im waiting for are food, food, food..

now you guys, lets smile...the photographer's takin our pictures


Madeleine said...


You know I like your concept sensibility and your reading references is so alike mine, it scares me. Now, pesky question of the moment: how do you determine that "one-minute" story bit?

Indeterminacy said...

Everyone: I'm sorry I haven't posted a story yet - but hope to do so tomorrow (Thursday). Will also read all the stories and comment on them then.

Madeleine: I would love any reading suggestions that you've found in life that I may have missed (that will probably be a massive list). Yesterday something happened that surprised and scared me a little. Right out of the blue I got a myspace friend request from Gustav Meyrink. And when I looked, it really seemed to be him.

Your question is uncanny, as I was thinking of doing a post soon trying to answer your question of where these stories come from. At least it will be an introspection into the creative process, which I myself don't even understand fully.

Gone said...

"Mister canna have me picture taken with ye and that auld car", the little urchin had said the minute I stepped outside.
Moments later the car carrying my wife to be crashed as the drunken driver missed the turn ahead of the church.This picture is now the sole reminder of what was to be my wedding day, my smile didn't last.

Sara said...

Thanks for your comment on my blog! The poem wasn't random. has a daily poem contest, and the way it works is that there's a collection of words (different each day), and you choose 20 or fewer and arrange them any way you want. So there is some limitation involved, but that's what makes it interesting, I think. I hope that clears up your confusion. :)

Also, I LOVE your blog. SUCH a creative idea. Keep up the good work!

Hobbes said...

Absolute power corrupting absolutely in your story, Indie.
At least in Calvin and Hobbes the duplicates get to become worms and creep people out.

Unknown said...

That was worth waiting for.

Indeterminacy said...

Thanks once more everyone for making this such an intriguing set of stories! I printed them all out and answered them sitting in front of the Hamburg Rathaus, waiting for my lovely muse to meet me - we went to a documentary film about The Clash, shown at an open air cinema.

Anonymous: Chitty Chitty Ban Bang was one of my favorite childhood movies!

Sandy (Sandeep Nair): I like the boy you described. That kid has everything under control.

Kevin: Cool that you got the soccer aspect in your story (I didn't think that anyone in America would recognize the jersey - I did because I had to buy just such a Jersey for my son when I was in Barcelona.

Kathy: That was a perfect twist on time travel - and one I hadn't thought of, though I knew right off that my own story would be about time machines and time travel.

Mrs. Weirsdo: I bet the girls are chasing Try today.

Doug: You slay me! But please don't take that literally.

Scarlet: No bang? :-(

Jamie: I think you could nip that terror in the bud, If I were hiring a mother, I'd try to get you!

Talespin: I thought your story was delightful, and a fun one to be in!

Live@theGrouchoClub: Your story has such a fast pace, goes so far in such a short time and length. Full of twists and turns.

(Rocky Mountains) Sandy: I loved reading your story! So funny! What more can I say? A cop here by the Rathaus looked over at me suspiciously because I started laughing for no apparent reason.

Cheesemeister: The cop moved in threateningly while I read your story!

Skeptic: Thank you for the compliment. But I think every blog on that Blogs of Note list will be of interest to some particular group of people - I've found some that were just what I was looking for, and many others that were just not for me.

Steve Will: That was wicked and devious! Loved it!

Joey: Your story really stunned me. The last line is quite a splash of reality.

Lorena: Cheesemeister has all the continents and oceans covered with her creativity. I would have given up too had I read her story before writing mine.

Noni: Sounds like a boy after my heart - always throwing a sly monkey wrench into the procedings.

Stan Johns: I think material for imagination is everywhere, and I hope the photos I select are interesting for other people. Soe photos are easier to write to than others.

Francis: I can't remember where I found the photo. My son actually picked this one out. I have a stand-by directory with photos I might use for this, and I let him look through them. (don't worry - the images are all rated G, or whatever the rating system is these days).

April: Thank you! I'll be back! Also, I think your story was great! Time travel was the first thought I had looking at that picture, but it took me a while to work out exactly what. At first I wanted to make the older boys into a father and grandfather.

Jess: Glad to hear that! Wish I had been there! When's the baby shower? ;-)

DeLi: And I bet all the girls will dote over the little brother. So they had better suck up to him!

Grocer: Tragic story. Sometimes insignificant photos, a letter or something else take on special meaning, when they become connect with a loss.

Arasay: Thank you for the kind words! Also, now I understand.

Hobbes: No survivors in my story, I guess.

Doug: Thanks for the thumbs up. I didn't much like my story.

Lorena's Blogbilingüe said...

Thanks for your comments in my Blog, Indie, I'll have to look up that story by Borges. I like his work.

Cie Cheesemeister said...

A lonely lustful mob with noplace to go.
I think I saw them outside The Church (an old church that was turned into a nightclub) on Saturday night.

Anonymous said...

cleverer?...or more clever?..are both acceptable?

Indeterminacy said...

Clever sounds better to me, but I guess you can use both. Some documentation: