Jacob’s Ladder

He wanted to capture the day she died.  He wanted to bring her back and that’s why he built his Jacob’s Ladder machine.

There had always been too much information in his head, but he learned to focus and reduce the level of chatter.  He also discovered that certain drugs made it easier to focus.  Matt Brandon was a candidate for a doctor’s degree in advanced physics.  He was thirty-five and extremely intelligent … He was also mad.

He was inspired to build his Jacob’s Ladder by watching old movies like the original “Frankenstein.”  He loved special effects.  His ideas were influenced by reading science fiction.  As a student he studied quantum physics: the mathematics of Time and Parallel Worlds.  Lorna was the name of the person he wanted to bring back.  She was not a lost love who died from some tragic disease.  She was not even a real person.  Lorna was part of  Matt’s mind, an alter ego.  She died  (broke off from Matt) when he turned fifteen and he was forced to “grow up.”  Afterward, Matt never felt whole.  More than anything he wanted to go back to a time before he was broken.  After years studying esoteric texts and completing courses in exotic science  he was able to build his Jacob’s Ladder, a Time Machine.   Matt believed the machine could reset his life.  He could start over and become the person he was mean’t to be.  He would be able to embrace his long, lost love — the part of himself that died.

Matt watched with fascination as electric bolts climbed up the Jacob’s Ladder.  His hand was on the control lever and his body was encased in fields of electricity.  He stared at his hand as he turned the lever to the point of no return.  With a terrible snap, Matt felt his body hurtle across the gap in time.  An acrid smell hit him like a hammer and he realized he was choking on smoke.  He thought sparks from the machine started a fire in his workshop.  He looked at his hand, still on the control knob — but it wasn’t his hand.   It looked more like a wrinkled claw than a hand.  Matt was no longer in his workshop.  He was out in the open, in a dismal field surrounded by burning buildings.  With trepidation, Matt realized the machine did not send him back in time, but into some far future on a parallel world.  He was old, ancient — a crumbling relic of himself and he could barely move.  His dream of reunification was shattered — Lorna was lost forever.  Matt was at the Nexus — a  dimension where all Time comes to an end.

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