Today’s flash fiction comes to us from Val Muller, the author of CORGI CAPERS: DECEIT ON DORSET DRIVE, a mystery novel for young readers and FOR WHOM MY HEART BEATS ETERNAL, a spicy sci-fi romance with a twist. This is a “deleted scene” from FOR WHOM MY HEART BEATS ETERNAL. In this scene, our protagonist Anna has been sent back in time—inadvertently—and must seek the help of her physics professor… forty years before he became the man who discovered time travel.
Next week’s story will be by Cathy MacKenzie, who has self-published two books of poetry, “To Love a Grandmother” and “Poems of Inspiration and Love,” which can be found at: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/camack. She also appears in various anthologies, such as those published by Rebel Ink Press and Dancing With Bear Publishing. Visit her website (at end of this week’s story) for more information on this author.
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Look of Wonder
By Val Muller
Anna slumped back against the stiff couch. It was firm and hideously striped— mustard yellow and brown and something that might pass for green. It was just like her grandmother’s vintage couch from way back in the Seventies.
‘This is the Seventies,’ she told herself.
She stared across the coffee table at the young man sprawled on the shag carpet. His pants were ridiculously orange and ridiculously tight. She felt a blush of a thought and made herself look away.
‘This is your professor,’ she reminded herself. ‘He’s forty years older than you.’ But the twenty-two year old in front of her sure didn’t seem like it. She watched the way his brow raised as he examined the tablet. His eyes remained wide, amazed at what must be alien technology to him. She recognized the same intensity, that look of wonder, on the face of his modern-day counterpart back in the lab each time he stumbled upon something absolutely amazing.
The tablet screen beeped, and his amazement melted to fear. “I think I broke it,” he mumbled. “The data I was viewing just disappeared.” His face paled. “We needed that data… What if we can’t—what if I’ve trapped you here? I’d never be able to forgive myself.”
“The data’s probably still there,” Anna said. She stood up and took the tablet from his outstretched hand. Then she looked at the screen and smiled. “Here it is,” she said. It was just a matter of sliding around icons. But how could she even begin to explain to him about operating systems and apps? If he was going to find a way to send her home, she’d better try.
“Here,” she said, sliding on the floor next to him and getting ready to deliver a lecture on tablet technology. She slid her finger across the icons on the screen and started to explain. In the middle of her lecture she stole a glance at his face. He wasn’t looking at the tablet. He was looking into her face. And his eyes glowed with that sparkling intensity, that look of wonder—the way they always did when he was gazing upon something truly amazing.
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Catherine A. MacKenzie