Experiment #323

The Cleverest Contraption of Jeremiah Brown Part 10

When the town showed up at the Ferris wheel, they found Jeremiah holding Mayor Brewins hostage on the highest platform. He peered over the edge as the crowd gathered.

He waited until they started getting restless, then shouted, “I’m only here for what you owe me. What he”—here he shook the mayor—“promised me.”

Murmurs broke out among the crowd.

“The majority of you have nothing to fear. The mayor and the town council…well…” he brandished the device high … Read More

Experiment #322

The Cleverest Contraption of Jeremiah Brown Part 9

Amelia did not sleep that night. A pit in the middle of her stomach would not dislodge. At first light, she dressed herself and hurried to Jeremiah’s workshop. When she arrived, Jeremiah’s section of the workshop felt hollow and empty though it still contained a jumble of tools, materials, books, and half-finished inventions. In the midst of the chaos sat a wide drafting desk. On the desk, Amelia found a letter:

Dear Amelia,

You are right. I … Read More

Experiment #321

The Cleverest Contraption of Jeremiah Brown Part 8

The sheriff showed up a few moments later and apologetically served Jeremiah some papers. Colonel Rotan had decided to sue Mr. Clifton over the lawn incident and had named both Jeremiah and Mrs. Peterson in the suit.

Jeremiah went in search of his assistant but found that Francis was not at the workshop. In looking for Francis, he came across Francis’s appointment book, opened to that day’s date. He found both a wealth of client meetings … Read More

Experiment #320

The Cleverest Contraption of Jeremiah Brown Part 7

Through the polarization of his constituents over Jeremiah’s invention, Mayor Brewins had found the old fighting spirit he’d had in college debate club. The man who hadn’t had an opinion in twenty years of public service finally settled on his right to nothave an opinion, whether morals and the good of the people were involved or not. And he further resolved that no one could tell him differently, even if that person had saved him … Read More

Experiment #319

The Cleverest Contraption of Jeremiah Brown Part 6

All three reporters quoted Mayor Brewins on his affection for the system and how it had increased his moral intuition. One of the three seemed unconvinced that the invention was real. The other two, though they seemed to believe in its existence, felt unsure about its implications.

Upon reading these reviews, several of the mayor’s constituents decided the contraption, if it existed at all, amounted to a form of mind control. At a town council meeting, … Read More

Experiment #318

The Cleverest Contraption of Jeremiah Brown Part 5

Word soon got around that Jeremiah had “gone funny” or could “no longer keep track of his marbles,” but these speculations did not come from Amelia. Francis had been “dropping some eaves” near the door and heard everything. He was not a malicious man, even once Amelia had scorned him, but men who lack imagination tend to fear and envy those who have it. If Jeremiah fell into the camp without marbles, Francis did not … Read More

Experiment #317

The Cleverest Contraption of Jeremiah Brown Part 4

Jeremiah went straight to his workshop and began to build. When customers showed up the next morning, he hadn’t stopped. Francis made some excuses for his employer and scheduled the customers for a week from Thursday. Jeremiah sometimes got into these building moods and, within a week, Francis was sure, he’d have gotten it out of his system. But a week from Thursday came and went without the display of any prototype or blueprint or … Read More

Experiment #316

The Cleverest Contraption of Jeremiah Brown Part 3

“You’ve met my friend, Miss Valerie Fontaine, haven’t you?” Amelia asked. “She works across the street. According to her, Mr. Montclair fired all but one of his dishwashers.”

“Well, I’m sorry about that, but it’s Mr. Montclair’s restaurant. He paid for the machine. I can’t tell him what to do with it.”

“Miss Fontaine went on to say that the Olde Towne Diner next door and Frisco’s Saloon across the street have both fired all their dishwashers. … Read More

Experiment #315

The Cleverest Contraption of Jeremiah Brown Part 2

As is typical with politicians, Mayor Brewins agreed with whichever constituent he was speaking to at the moment, and pledged his defense of their claim to the death. No headway could be made, and all three parties threatened to boycott the event.

To solve this problem, Jeremiah Brown built a giant Ferris wheel on top of the town square. He affixed three great platforms to the wheel so that they could be moved on and off … Read More

Experiment #314

The Cleverest Contraption of Jeremiah Brown Part 1

The famed young inventor, Jeremiah Brown, got up on stage at Stapleton’s theatre to display his newest invention: an automatic conscience. A breathless moment followed where the standing-room-only crowd stared at what seemed to be an empty table. One confused little boy in the crowd called out, “There’s nothing there, Mommy!”

The crowd burst into laughter.

***

As problems came up among the various people in his town, a teenaged Jeremiah Brown began to invent solutions. As he … Read More

Experiment #307

The Well Laid Plans of Dogs & Cats

A tenuous peace had reigned in the Smith household when Skittles yawned and said, “They love us more.”

“Nonsense,” Duke replied.

Skittles pointed to the immaculate cat tree and the overflowing cat feeder, then to the dirty dog bed and the empty dog dishes.

Duke growled. “We’ll see.”

The dogs, Roscoe and Duke, worked their puppy dog eyes and wagged their tails.

The cats, Skittles and Pinklionlady, ignored everyone.

The dogs didn’t want to just win; they wanted to destroy the … Read More

Experiment #293

Aunt Myrtle

A portrait of Aunt Myrtle hung from a noose in our living room. The noose itself was just my father’s way of using whatever bits and pieces were about to do the task at hand. He also thought it’d be a nice conversation piece among visitors, if we ever had any.

Aunt Myrtle, my mother’s favorite aunt, had long black hair twisted together in a loose bun that spilled out the back in snake-like waves. Her … Read More

Experiment #273

The Wizard of Wall Street

Not so many years ago, Wall Street had its very own wizard. He was typical of wizards–eccentric, bearded, and obsessed with numbers. He mumbled to himself and rarely bathed, but wherever he went a stream of hungry young traders followed him. They tried to catch every clairvoyant word that slipped through his chapped lips.

Read the rest on DailyScienceFiction.com

Experiment #245

The Miracle Man Part 5

“You doing anything?”

Cindy looked up. The bartender stared at her, smiling.

“You wanna catch a late, late dinner?” The bartender asked.

Cindy looked over her shoulder to see who he was talking to.

“You,” he said, looking right at her.

Cindy looked at him bewildered. “Why?” she asked.

The bartender grew self-conscious. “Can’t a guy ask a pretty girl out anymore?”

“That’d be a miracle,” she said.

“Well,” he said, “call me Jesus Christ.”

“You’re far from the Messiah,” she said, but she … Read More

Experiment #244

The Miracle Man Part 4

Soon they landed back in court. Virgil had lost a very lucrative business deal due to some the client’s daughter. Now his business was in trouble and he tried to reclaim his two thousand dollars and to prevent Cindy from using a shared savings account (one set up by them for the window seat and alcove installation) to pay for the repairs. Virgil lost this case, but it did not matter much to Cindy. The check … Read More