Jules Ander, a scientist of some renown, tittered with delight as he completed the prototype for the invention he’d striven his whole life to create. He held it aloft and marveled at the simple design to harness and balance the intricate mechanical structures and elemental fuels. It was life and machine together, the first device of its kind, and a leap forward in humanities ability to distort the rules of physics.
Loathe to set aside the Second Bookmark, a simple name that barely hinted at the creations capabilities, Jules carefully returned the item to his workbench so that he could prepare for his journey all the same. He considered locking it away, but decided there was no need as only he and his assistant and any knowledge of its existence, and he would only be gone for a few minutes. Without a second glance he left the lab to grab what he needed from his private chambers down the hall.
When he returned, his assistant, Amber Rettin, was studying the new bookmark. She didn’t bother to look up as she asked, “You finished it?”
“Yes, it is ready for testing.”
“What are you going to use as the test subject?”
His calm and confident response caused Amber to look up from the device and study her mentor. She was surprised to see he was not wearing his normal lab attire, but had switched to boots, jeans, a long-sleeved flannel shirt, and, taken aback, she pointed at the scientist’s hip. “What is that? What are you doing?”
Jules let his right hand casually fall to the butt of the Ruger Vaquero he had holstered just below his waist. He smiled broadly and jostled the revolver in the gun belt, easing the leather’s grip on the smooth metal. “I certainly can’t go unprepared.”
“Go? You are seriously going to test the device on yourself?”
“I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Jules stepped to the workbench and began to activate the device. A series of flashing lights spiraled down the smooth surface indicating that everything was working properly. With a curt nod and a satisfied smile he reached across to the adjacent bookshelf and withdrew the first volume of Stephen King’s Dark Tower series.
“This is madness, Jules. You can’t test the device on yourself! What if something goes wrong? All your knowledge on how the bookmark works will be lost. Please, please, stop this foolishness.” Amber reached out to grab him but her hands passed through empty space.
Jules had already placed the Second Bookmark on the first line of the book and he’d been pulled in straight away. The device worked. It was a success unparallelled in all the great moments of scientific discovery. And, no one would ever know about it.
“Go then, there are other worlds than these.” Amber looked down at the desk, unaware of what she had just said and unsure of why she was standing in the laboratory when she normally would be at lunch at that time of day. Seeing a book titled “The Gunslingers,” the first in a seven book series, she picked it up and turned to the first page. Perhaps she had come to the lab to find something to read while she ate.
“The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslingers followed.”
Intrigued, she tucked the book under her arm and left the room, flicking off the light as she passed into the hallway. She would return to her work studying the radiation levels of sun bursts after losing herself for a few chapters. She hoped the book was good as her mind had been plagued with several issues recently and she needed a good escape.
My sincere apology to Stephen King, and my thanks to Stephanie from Be Kind Rewrite for always supplying such fun prompts to inspire my writing. Yep, this is another response to this week’s Inspiration Monday writing challenge. I couldn’t help myself: Second Bookmark. It called to me, just as the Tower calls to all who will protect it. With all the potential universes spinning around the tower, all the possibilities, all the worlds, truths and untruths, why wouldn’t Roland have help from the beginning of the tale in at least one of them. All things are possible…
You know you want to play along. This is the first time I’ve broken “the rules” by going over the word count limit. Whoops!
There are none. Read the prompts, get inspired, write something. No word count minimum or maximum. You don’t have to include the exact prompt in your piece, and you can interpret the prompt(s) any way you like.
No really; I need rules!
Okay; write 200-500 words on the prompt of your choice. You may either use the prompt as the title of your piece or work it into the body of your piece. You must complete it before 6 pm CST on the Monday following this post.
NUNS WITH KNIVES