Submitted by DaveK on Mon, 06/19/2017 - 2:32pm


Father Issues

My father scowled as I walked into his lab.

"You're late," he said.

"Got caught up partying with some friends from international studies. Did you know it's flag day in Finland? Well, it was." I plopped down in front of the monitors and fumbled for the controller.

"You should study something useful. Are you ready for this. It's three days past the solstice. The earth and sun's magnetic fields are starting to line up and reinforce. Balancing the fields can get tricky."

"Yeah, I'm fine. I've nailed all your simulations for the past month." I look at the game controller. I've been using these since I was six. The left stick controlled our field compensation and the right the compensation for the target time line. All I had to do was keep the crosses centered and aligned. Simpler than level forty-seven of Space Orcs.

The capacitors whined in the background as they charged. "A few moments now. I'm opening up a very close time line." A dark spot appeared in the center of the lab. It grew slowly then jumped to a six foot sphere. It cleared to show a room with parts of an apparatus similar to ours. It was covered in dust and there was a large reddish stain on the floor. "Interesting. My counterpart in this time line must have run into some problems. Maybe I can help."

The sphere started to swing back and forth. "Keep those centered. If it gets too off center it'll destabilize."

"I know Dad." The oscillations got worse. He turned toward me. I pushed the control all the way to the left. Still the sphere came at us. "Dad, watch out." I grabbed for his hand. The sphere enveloped him then disappeared with a pop.
I screamed then stumbled over to the wall and hit the fire alarm before passing out.


I looked around and saw the typical machines and displays of an emergency room. A nurse was standing next to my bed.
"Good, you're awake. It was a little iffy there for awhile. You lost a lot of blood."

"My dad?"

"We are trying to contact him. So far no one has been able to find him. The EMTs couldn't find your hand either."

"It's with my father."

"Your father took your hand?"

"What? No. What? Sorry, I'm a bit dopey. What did you say?"

"Your left hand is missing. If it's been kept on ice we may be able to reattach it. Does your father have it? Where can we find him?"

"No. It's gone. I don't know where my father is. I need to sleep now." I closed my eyes and waited for her to leave.

"Yes you need rest."


The summer solstice comes up again in a couple of days. I unlock the lab's doors and turn on the lights. I got the machine working again but there is no way I can get my father back. I look at the game controller on the table. I miss my left hand.