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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Time (11/15/12)

TITLE: You do the Crime--You'll do the Time
By Beth LaBuff
11/19/12


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The cesium atomic clock in the hallway reads 9:49:59. Benches line the perimeter of the corridor with a separation that gives access to the double-door entry of the courtroom. My case is scheduled for ten a.m. Iím hounded by the supposition that my case will be used to set a precedent and the judge will make an example of me.


As I wait, my vision encompasses the gray-scale concrete and dull metal in this monochromatic hallway. Illumination of the space is accomplished by recessed fluorescent lighting. ďMonochromatic and fluorescent,Ē thirteen and eleven letters respectively. I have an obsession with words that contain over ten letters. At this moment, Iím glad that an obsession isnít considered a disorder. Itís because of a disorder called kleptomania, eleven letters, that Iím here awaiting trial.


Iíd never had an encounter with the law. Then, in my junior year at the university, my quantum physics professor introduced us to the concept of time-travel. I began spending evenings and weekends postulating and contriving a machine that could transport me through time. One year and five months after that initial conceptís fusion with my brain, I took my first journey back in time to the year 1975. Time-travel fascination escalated into obsession number two.


It was that time-travel obsession that gave rise to my kleptomania. With each excursion into the past, I had a yearning to acquire a souvenir, a proof that Iíd traveled through time. So, I stole an item that was contained in the exit portal in the past. I became adept at time-travel. It nurtured my addiction. I could grab an item and return before two seconds passed on a cesium atomic clock. My disorder is kleptomania, and I have it bad . . . inordinately bad.


Passage through time became possible with the invention of the clothes dryer. It was the static build-up of tumbling clothes that became the means of my passage. The clothes dryer, located in millions of homes, was the exit portal. I could travel back through time to a date as early as the 1940ís. Some evenings, I made two or three trips, always bringing back one souvenir from each trip. I never stole more than one item at each stop; even kleptomaniacs have their own code of ethics.


On the fateful day of my arrest, the police awaited my return. As I exited the time machine, I was ordered to ďDrop the sock!Ē I complied; they shackled my wrists. The dropped anklet was taken as evidence.


I decide to focus my thoughts elsewhere; now I fear that is a mistake as I find myself pondering the brobdingnagian pile of evidence that will be shown to the judge. Brobdingnagian, fourteen letters, means immense, enormous. I have the book Gulliverís Travels to thank for that word. It will be that homage to my addiction, that rival of Mr. Everest that will convict me. My pile of sins is comprised of knee-highs, white bobbysocks, crew socks, toe socks in rainbow colors, and I canít even allow my thoughts to dwell on all the argyle socks in that heap or Iíll break out in a cold-sweat.


Trepidationóthe word contains eleven symbols from the Roman alphabet that describes my current emotional state. My crime spree has ended. Iím remorseful over my pilfering ways. Legal counsel assures me that rehabilitation is possible. The populace will once again be safe from the dither thatís induced when they remove a singleton sock from their dryers. I am in custody, ultimately awaiting incarcerationóthirteen letters.


The cesium atomic clock in the hallway displays 10:00:00. The courtroom doors open. . .


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This article has been read 1084 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 11/23/12
Oh this is brilliant! I thought there might be quite a few time travel stories this week. Though yours is the first, I dare say, even if every other story is about time travel not a one will rival yours! This is hysterical, creative and explains the missing socks of the world! I also totally love all the awesome words you used too. Splendid bit of writing!
Noel Mitaxa 11/25/12
I counted forty two sentences, which you may be able to serve concurrently - otherwise you'll be completely washed up. You've had a lot of fun here, and thanks for inviting us along for the ride, as you try to answer that age-old question - "Where does the other sock go?" Yet despite this highly-engaging story, I have to say that you have totally missed the point! Tsk Tsk!
Where does the other sock go?
It goes on the other foot!:-)
Ellen Carr 11/26/12
This is a very creative piece of writing, with depth. It touches on obsessions. The obsession with long words is interesting, almost asperghers ic. (not sure if I've spelled that correctly). I'm glad you gave the meaning of 'brobdinnagian'- what a great word! I like the sock connection too. Most enjoyable. Thanks.
Ellen Carr 11/26/12
Whoops - I meant 'Brobdingnagian'. I knew I'd get that wrong!
Camille (C D) Swanson 11/27/12
Cute story. Thanks. God bless
Verna Cole Mitchell 11/27/12
Suddenly I'm a fan of Sci-fi-time travel---anything that's written this awesomely has converted me to a fan. The creativity, the humor, the gifted story telling makes this an all-time favorite for me!
Loren T. Lowery11/28/12
In a word: priceless. I so enjoyed your story and the way you told it. Had I known about your time travel earlier, I would have just nodded my head when one of my socks came up missing and said, "Yep, probably Beth. Wonder if she ever got rehabilitated?"
This has got to be a winner, it sure is in my book!
Melanie Kerr 11/29/12
So worthy of the top slot! Now I know where my lost socks are! Excellent writing.
Verna Cole Mitchell 11/29/12
Happy dancin' with you! Told you so!!
Loren T. Lowery11/29/12
See, I'm a time traveler too, but into the future predicting this win! If only I'd remembered to play the lottery. Congratulations on this well-deserved win, Beth. It's a keeper for sure!
Margaret Kearley 11/29/12
Absolutely amazing Beth. Your skill amazes me ( and I wish I could find a huge word for that, but I can't!!) Many many congratulations - well deserved.
Myrna Noyes11/29/12
:D CONGRATULATIONS!! :D This story is fully deserving of its highest honors this week! It is so clever and humorous and enlightening! :) WAY TO WRITE!!
Noel Mitaxa 11/29/12
Numero Uno! Great work Beth, you deserve it.
Bea Edwards 11/29/12
Woo hoo! Extraordinary story-supremely crafted to topic. Congratulations on this hilarious, informative read.
Ellen Carr 12/03/12
Congratulations Beth. A well-deserved win.
Catherine Craig 02/10/13
Definitely original. Thanks so much!