Time on our Hands - Mason's Story

 

Time on Our Hands - Mason's Story
by Melanie Brown
Copyright  © 2017 Melanie Brown


Mason really needed to use the time machine again.

 


 

I came charging out of the portal in my tight fitting camo-pants and boots, wearing an olive drab tank top with crisscrossed bandoliers of shotgun shells across my chest. Several men had my Master pinned to the ground and they were beating him. I fired a blast from my shotgun into the air. The flash lit the whole area and everyone’s face was frozen in fear.

“Get off my Master!” I shouted angrily.

The three men that were on top of him backed slowly away from my Master. He looked over at me, incredulous, “Blossom!”

“All right you primitive screw heads, listen up!” I said in a stern voice. Every eye was on me. I raised my shotgun into the air, “See this? This is my BOOM stick! It’s a twelve gauge double-barrel Remington. Top of the line. Walnut stock. You can find this in the sporting goods department.”

I walked up to my Master and nodded to him to get onto his feet. A couple of the men looked like they were getting ready to jump me.

I pointed the business end of the shotgun towards them and I scowled, “Now I swear, the next one of you primates even touches me…” I fired a blast into the ground at their feet throwing dirt up in the air. They stopped their movement and backed away. I grinned, “Groovy.”

Smiling broadly I walked over to my Master and put my arm around him. “Okay you assholes, there’re going to be some changes made around here!” I pointed my shotgun at everyone as I swung it in a wide arc.

“First!” I shouted. “My Master is now in charge. Second! Slaves now get to wear clothes! And Third, Slaves get to eat real food. Any of you lunk-heads disagree? Remember the boomstick!”

My Master looked down at me, brushed hair from my eyes, “I love you, Blossom!”

Staring dreamily into his eyes, I said, “Give me some sugar, baby.” He then bent down and kissed me deeply.

“Mason…”

Grinning broadly I raised my shotgun high over my head, “Hail to the king, baby!”

“Mason!”

“Huh? What?” My eyes focused to see Spencer setting his lunch tray down next to me. As he settled into his seat, I said, “I thought you were going to call in sick today?”

Spence smirked with a shrug and said, “I was, but then I remembered that I too have a test today. In English.”

I took a bite of the corndog I’d been ignoring for the last few minutes. In silence I watched Spencer pour what had to be a lethal amount of salt onto his Salisbury steak. He took a bite and then delicately sprinkled a light dusting of more salt. He took another bite smiled with his eyes closed.

Still chewing and staring into his plate, Spencer said, “Why did you tell Mrs. Johnson about what happened to us?”

I shrugged. “She asked me why I was late.”

Waving his fork, Spencer asked, “Why didn’t you just… I don’t know… lie?”

I frowned at my fellow escaped slave, “Dad always told me that honesty is the best policy.”

Frowning back, Spencer said, “Well, there’s another expression… ‘discretion is the better part of valor’. It didn’t have to be a big lie. Your bicycle had a flat. Your house caught on fire. North Korean agents kidnapped you on the way to school. Something normal.”

I shook my head, “It’s not like she believed me anyway. She just told me to sit down.”

Spence grinned, “But we’ve got photographic proof.”

I shook my head again, “No we don’t. We left our phones on that hill a zillion years into the future.”

Suddenly looking thoughtful, Spence said, “Oh shit. That’s right. Oh, but hey man. I checked the machine and found we were eight hundred fifteen years in the future.”

Frowning at Spence, “That’s a trifle more than the minute you said.”

Acting all indignant, he said, “Well I beg your pardon!”

I sat in silence for a minute, quietly finishing my corndog. I looked over at Spencer and asked, “Do you think you could set the machine for that exact moment we left the future?”

Spence looked down his nose at me, “What, you want to go back there?”

I looked back at my plate and said, “No, no. I was just curious.”

Spencer shook his head. “I sure as hell have no desire to be hog food. But it’s a moot point anyway. My controls just aren’t that precise. I used some big honkin’ vacuum tubes from a TV transmitter for the power. Sadly those tubes allow for too much drift.”

Staring at nothing, I said softly, “I would like to know how my Master is.”

Not hearing me, Spencer asked, “Oh, how did your test go?”

I did a thumbs up, “Ace in the can, man. Ace in the can.”

*          *          *

Spencer set his tray down at the table where I was sitting. “Hey dude.”

I nodded at him and looked out the lunch room window. “Looks like it’s trying to snow. I miss those summer days eight hundred fifteen years into the future.”

Spencer shook his head, “You’re still obsessed with that? I think you’re in love with your Master.”

Frowning, I said, “Don’t be stupid.”

Spencer took a slug of his soda and after setting the can down he said, “Hard to believe that was two months ago. Wow… today! Seems like eight hundred fifteen years ago.”

“Have you ever tried to fire that stupid machine back up?” I asked, biting my corndog. I looked at my corndog and decided I was in a rut.

Spencer laughed. “Dude. I’m actually been afraid to try. Deankooncies keeps walking into the chamber and howls.”

“Awww. He misses his boyfriend,” I said with a chuckle.

I suddenly stopped breathing and clutched my chest. I tried to cough, but couldn’t. I couldn’t speak. I closed my eyes tightly as I suffered an excruciating pain in my gut. I tried to breath but couldn’t. I did throw up. I fell on my back on the table and started writhing in pain.

Spence stood up and grabbed my arms. “Man, are you okay? I know the food here sucks, but…”

Another kid at our table jumped up, “Shit man! If something pops out of his chest, I’m out of here!”

Sounding desperate, Spencer yelled out, “Somebody call an ambulance!”

*          *          *

We were waiting for the doctor to return with the results of the CT Scan of my abdomen. I had only been a wake for a couple of hours. Mom, Dad and Spencer stood by my bed. Spencer kept cracking jokes and Dad kept hounding me on how I felt. He was hoping to sue the school for poisoning me.

We all got quiet when there was a knock on the door and then the doctor entered the room and walked up to me. He was holding a folder with the CT Scans inside.

“Good afternoon everyone,” smiled the doctor. He pulled some printed images from the folder. “I know you’re all worried about what Mason’s problem is, so let’s just get to it.” He held up an image, “Mason, you appear to have we call a hepatic cyst. Basically a cyst on your liver. These are usually benign and not cause for concern. You were probably born with it. However, in your case we may have a problem.”

I felt a cold rush wave over me. “I’m going to die, aren’t I doc?”

The doctor chuckled, “No. You’re not going to die. But we need to remove the cyst as it’s an unusual size, about an inch long. That’s what’s causing you so much discomfort. The size has me worried as it might indicate cystadenocarcinoma…”

Spencer interrupted, “I think I heard the word cancer in there.”

Not liking being interrupted, the doctor said, “That’s my concern. Even if it isn’t cancerous, the size alone is enough to warrant surgery. The surgery isn’t a big ordeal. We’d use laparoscopy most likely to remove it.”

Mom giggled and pointed at the image. “Funny. It looks like a tiny person. No really. There’s a face. See the eyes? And those look just like tiny arms and legs.”

Spence and I both looked at each other and again I felt like I was hit with ice water. I snatched the image from the doctor’s hands.

I started crying, “Oh my God, Spence! Look. Look! That’s it! That’s what it is. Oh my God!”

Spencer took the image from my hand and studied it. “Naah. It’s just your imagination.”

I grabbed the image back from Spence and slapped the picture. “That’s not a cyst! Look at it! There’s a face! Dammit! It’s my Master’s baby!” I started crying hysterically.

Looking confused, Dad asked, “Baby? Your Master? What are you talking about, son? It’s impossible for you to have a baby inside you.”

Slowly shaking his head, Spencer said, “Well… actually he can.”

Everyone turned to look expectantly at Spencer with their mouths hanging open. He coughed nervously into his closed fist. Looking sheepish, Spencer told Mom and Dad the story we’ve been keeping secret. I just cried.

*          *          *

Dad kicked the side of the time machine. “Bullshit! First you expect me to believe a fantastic lie that you traveled in time. And then you expect me to believe you did it in this pile of junk?”

Defensively, Spencer said, “That’s not junk! It’s a delicate instrument.”

Dad kicked it again. “It’s junk. It doesn’t even look like a Tardis.”

Tapping his finger against his lips, Spencer said, “That’s not a bad idea…”

Slapping the side of the machine, I said, “Dad! It’s not a lie! Spence and I went into the future with this thing. Eight hundred and fifteen years to be exact.”

Dad folded his arms. “Where is your proof? You have pictures? Did you steal the captain’s log?”

Studying the floor, I said, “Our phones are still in the future. And Dad, we traveled in time, not abducted by aliens.”

Mom said, “No wonder you haven’t answered lately.”

Dad’s eyes went wide, “You lost your phone? I paid good money for that! I’ve been paying on a phone that’s a thousand years away?”

“I’m sorry!” I exclaimed. “We dropped them when our Masters captured us. And it’s eight hundred and fifteen. But hey. What about our brands?”

Still folding his arms, Dad said, “Tattoo parlors do that don’t they?”

Pointing at my pants covered leg, I shouted, “Do you really think for one moment I’d inflict that much pain on myself?”

“You and that goof-ball standing next to you probably got drunk one night and had it done,” said Dad, scowling.

“I don’t believe this!” I shouted.

Dad stepped towards me and bellowed, “But you expect me to believe that you and what’s-his-name went a thousand years in to the future, changed into girls and had sex with your Masters. Yeah. I buy that. Not!”

I suddenly winced from internal pain and heaved. I held up my hand and said calmly. “I’m okay. I’m okay.”

Dad said with some worry in his voice, “Mason, we have to get that cyst removed. The doc said it’s growing and if it gets much bigger it may damage some of your organs.”

“No!” I exclaimed. “I told you! I’m having my Master’s baby!”

Mom looked really confused. She said, “But son, your body isn’t designed to have babies. Your baby has nowhere to come out.”

Dad snarled, “Don’t encourage him!”

“I’ll have a C-section,” I said, trying to sound reasonable.

Spencer said, “Mason, don’t you remember? The doc played along with you. He said if that was a baby it’ll wind up crushing your organs and killing you before it could survive outside the womb. Which you don’t really have.”

Dad pointed at me and shouted, “We’re scheduling a surgery appointment to get that damned tumor removed!”

Mom nodded and looked nervously at her feet, “Your father’s right, Mason. That tumor has to go.”

I held my stomach with both hands and shouted, “This is my Master’s baby!”

*          *          *

I pushed Spencer out of the way as soon as he answered the doorbell. I didn’t even look behind me as I darted down the hallway to the cellar door.

Spencer looked confused, “Hey! Now what arrr…”

I flung the door to the cellar stairs open. It banged loudly against the wall. I bolted down the stairs and made a bee-line to the time machine. I ran up and hit the power button on the side of the machine. I heard that whine start ramping up.”

Breathing hard, Spence ran up to me and said, “What the hell are you doing?”

Sweat running down my face, “I’m saving my baby, my life and your reputation although I think that’s long lost its chance for redemption.”

Spencer tried to push me away. “You’re insane. You can’t get back to your Master!”

Starting to cry again, I said, “I’m not going to try. What’s the minimum setting you have this machine?” I set my new phone on a table and aimed the camera at the time machine and started the video.

Spencer thought for moment, and then said, “Probably all the way to the left would be something like one second. But it’s not reliable.”

I took a deep breath, “That’s good enough.” The machine reached a fever pitch. I started for the chamber.

Spencer stepped in front of me, blocking my path. “I know what you’re trying to do. You think a short instant trip will turn you back into a girl and you just stay here in the portal. It’s not stable. It could just as easily turn you into a monkey or a squid or even a politician!”

“Out of my way, Spence!” I growled. “I’m doing this!”

“No you’re not! You aren’t going …aaahh!” cried Spencer as Deankooncies bit his leg.

I pushed him and darted into the chamber along with the cat. There was a loud thunderclap and a bright light.

“Ah crap!” I cried. “It didn’t fucking work!”

From behind me, I heard a frustrated voice, “I beg to differ… Blossom.”

I looked down and saw the boobs protruding in my shirt. My small hands. Long hair falling around my shoulders.

Grinning I stepped out of the chamber, “I’m a girl! Look! I’m a girl!”

With a howl, Deankooncies darted from the chamber and disappeared.

Spencer looked at me and sighed. “Yes. You’re a girl. So now what?”

I grabbed my phone and shut off the video. “I’m going public! You’re going to be famous, bucko. You invented time travel.”

“But it’s not stable!” Spencer protested.

I wasn’t listening. I was sending the video to everyone I could think of.

*          *          *

I looked up as Spence set his lunch tray down at my table. He took a deep breath and exhaled. “My God. It’s such a zoo.” Heavy with sarcasm, he continued, “Thanks so much.”

I grinned at my friend. “You’re welcome. Oh come on! You know you love this. You always dreamed of everyone thinking of you as this great scientist. Well, there you go.”

Spencer took a bite of his chicken fried steak…or what looked like chicken fried steak. “I wanted to be famous…but not quite this famous. Everyone’s staring at us.”

I frowned. “You’d think they’d never seen a pregnant girl eat a corndog before.”

Smirking, Spence said, “Well, in this school, that’s not as unusual you may think.”

We were famous. We both had been on every major news show you can think of. Video of us standing in by the time machine. The video of my transformation went viral. Interviews on late-night talk shows. And not to mention all the requests Spencer was getting for sex changes.

Most of the mania was starting to settle down so we could get back to some kind of normalcy. I intended to stay in school for as long as my gynecologist allowed. She said my pregnancy was perfectly normal which was incredible under the circumstances.

Dad had been really pissed at me at first. He was not at all happy that his son was now a pregnant girl. And just when he was finally adjusting to me being a girl, my old gaming buddy, Troy, asked me to the prom. Can you imagine? Me going to the prom? With a boy? Dad was not happy he was going to have to pay for not only a prom dress, but a maternity prom dress as well.

And then there was the call from my brother away at college. He congratulated me on the time travel, but chastised me on becoming a chick., It was like a step down to him. Even some girls felt that way.

And, everyone calmed down after my assurances that I would step back into the machine and return to being a boy after I gave birth. In all honesty, I couldn’t imagine being a girl my whole life. Being a girl…and pregnant…was exhausting.

“So how’s Deankooncies?” I asked as I nibbled on my corndog.

Spence forced a smile, “She’s doing great after she gave birth to that litter of six kittens.”

I nodded. “At least we know why she was so irritable.”

He squinted at me. “Are you wearing make-up?”

I grinned. “You like? Cindy is showing me how to do make-up. It’s fun!”

“I bet.” Spencer’s smile faded as he stared into his food tray.

Feeling a bit of dread, I asked, “Is there something wrong?”

Spencer nodded slowly. “Two things. You’re not going to like either one, but I have to tell you.”

I furrowed my brow and in a hushed tone I said, “What? Don’t tell me you’re pregnant too!”

Grunting a humorless laugh, Spence said, “No. Though that might be better.” He drew in a long breath and sighed. “Now, this is all speculation and we can’t say with any degree of certainty, but this is a theory my buddies and me came up with. Having disturbed the natural flow of time by just going to the future, and returning, then you making that small jump to change sex and now that we know of a particular future…that future will now probably never exist. Bob and Frank will probably never be born. None of that will ever happen. Those two weeks we spent up time is nothing more than a mobius strip in a bubble off the main flow of time.”

I started to cry. “What? Of course he exists! He fucked me, goddammit!” The lunch room suddenly got quiet as all eyes turned to us. I looked around and lowered my voice. “I’m pregnant! He squirted his seed inside me.” I pointed violently at my stomach. “Explain this!”

“Calm down,” said Spencer as he tried to hide his face with his hand. “You’re making a scene.”

I stood up and cried, “I am not making a scene!” The lunch room went completely silent. I looked around at everyone staring at me. I sat back down and lowered my voice. “Okay, I’m making a scene. But I don’t get it. If Bob doesn’t exist, how am I still pregnant?”

Spencer scratched his head and looked away. Finally he looked directly at me. “It’s complicated. Look, time is fluid. No future is set in stone. By participating in the future, we altered it. Just like when you make an observation, you alter your observation by observing it!”

I knitted by brows together with my mouth hanging open, “Just what the fuck did you just say?”

Taking another deep breath, Spencer said, “I’m saying that no matter how good I make my time machine, it’s impossible for you to return to your boyfriend. Okay? I’m sorry.”

I started crying. “Bob is dead!” I wiped my eyes with the back of my hand saw a black smear. Ah shit I thought. Stupid make-up!

Spencer shook his head. “He’s not dead. He never was and never will be. That’s different from being dead.”

“Not to me!” I shouted. I started crying little sobs for a few minutes. Spence just stared into his tray.

After a few minutes, I calmed down. Spencer had handed me a tissue to wipe around my eyes. I was afraid to look into a mirror. Trying to not start crying again, I said, “You said there were two things. What’s the next disaster you want to tell me.”

Afraid he might hyperventilate with all the deep breaths he was taking, Spence glared into his lunch tray. “The fucking government!”

I looked sideways at Spence. “What about the fucking government?”

Raising his palms defensively he said, “Now they assured me there’d be no problem if you wanted to use the time machine again to return to being a boy. But. And this is the big but… about ten guys in suits and military uniforms came to the house. They said they were taking my time machine. I asked them why. They said so it could be studied by top men in the government. When I asked who, all they would say was that it was top men.”

“They took your time machine.” I just stared coldly at Spencer. “Well if that ain’t just fucking peachy.”

Still staring into his lunch tray, Spence quietly said, “Oh. And one more thing.”

I threw up my arms in exasperation. “Oh my God now what?”

“Your mother asked for one of Deankooncies kittens…”

*          *          *

“Aaaarrghhh!” I snarled through clenched teeth. I felt my face and neck muscles tensed. I had a death grip on my Mom’s hand.

“Ten centimeters…”
“Push. Breathe…”

I tightened my grip on Mom’s hand. “Aaaah! Why didn’t you talk me out of this!” I snarled.

Mom said, “I did try honey. Keep breathing. It won’t be long now.”

I was uncomfortable. I had been on my back for what seemed years. I couldn’t imagine doing this without an epidural, though Mom said she didn’t use one with me. Even though there was a sheet draped over me, I hated having my legs up in the air with my nether regions on full display.

“Push…”

“Breathe…”

I turned to Mom, tears streaming from my eyes. “There’s not even anyone here I can scream at that I hate them for this.” Mom laughed a little. She softly stroked my matted hair. Dad didn’t want to be in the delivery room. They wouldn’t let Spencer or Troy in because they weren’t family. I was shocked that Troy wanted to be here.

I also deeply embarrassed when a group of doctors came through the labor and delivery room. My doctor stopped them and asked them how they thought my delivery was progressing. So I had eight men standing there and staring at my all-together pointing and commenting.

The pain was excruciating. I felt a wave of nausea flow over me. I turned to Mom and trying to breathe, said, “God, Mom. I’m never doing this again!”

Mom smiled and said, “We all say that.”

“Here comes the head…”

“Push, mom. Push…”

And suddenly the pressure was gone. And then I heard crying.

“It’s a boy…”

I felt a wave of desperation. “Where is he? I can’t see him.”

Mom said, “They’re just cleaning him up and taking his vitals. Don’t worry Blossom. You’ll see him!”

A smiling nurse came into view carrying a tiny bundle. “Here mom. Meet your new baby boy.”

I started crying as I reached out for him. I stared in awe at the tiny figure in my arms. I looked up at Mom, “Oh my God Mom! Look! I have a baby!”

Mom smiled at me. “He’s beautiful. And now you’re a mom too. Have you decided on a name?”

Not taking my eyes from my baby I said, “Bob.”

*          *          *

“She needs some rest,” said the nurse to the crowd of people in my room. “You are all going to have to leave for now.”

Mom, Dad, Spencer and even Troy were next to me while I was in bed in the hospital room. There were also several reporters and a couple of news cameramen.

I looked over at Dad, holding Bob. “How do you feel, grandpa?”

Dad just beamed. “I feel great! I can’t wait to teach him football.” He handed him back to me.

Spence walked over to me, but declined my offer to let him hold my baby. I said, “Isn’t he gorgeous? Don’t you wish you’d gotten pregnant too?”

Spencer shook his head. “No, I’m fine. And yes, he’s gorgeous. He looks just like Frank.”

Glaring, I snarled, “Spunky, you’re damned lucky I can’t get up.” Spencer laughed and walked away.

For a moment, I just held my little baby Bob and stared at him in wonder. Never in a zillion or even eight hundred and fifteen years would I have ever thought I’d experience something like this. I was suddenly overwhelmed by sense of deep sadness. I was holding my baby fathered by a man who now would probably never even exist. It boggled my mind.

At the foot of my bed, I heard a reporter ask Troy if he was the father. He quickly said no and walked away.

I looked up at Mom. “Isn’t he beautiful? Oh God, Mom. I can’t believe I’m a mommy!”

I really wasn’t paying much attention to the reporters in the room. The nurse was trying to chase them out. But a time traveling boy returning pregnant and then becoming a girl and giving birth would naturally be a big story I guess.

“So, now that you’ve given birth, do you plan on going back to being a boy?” asked a reporter trying to get near to me. I didn’t really pay him much attention. I couldn’t take my eyes off my baby.

Mom looked at the reporter, “No. I don’t think she’s going to.”

And you know what? She’s right.

*          *          *

The End



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