Brenternet (The World as seen by Brent Moore)

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Location: Smyrna, Tennessee, United States

As the title implies, I am Brent K. Moore. I married MariLynn Simons on Sept. 25, 1999. we attend Stewart's Creek Church of Christ. We have five pets, a dachshund, Slinkie, a malamute, Juno, and three rabbits, Ebunny and Ifurry, and now Houdini.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Nephraim's Box Part 2

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If you haven't read it yet, start with Part 1.

Mr. Darp, after letting his bruises heal for a moment, decided to take a second trip through his new toy. After pressing the magic new location button, he gingerly poked his head through to the other side. This time, after looking first, he was ready to rush in because he was in a place full of gold. He stood up and all around, the only thing he could see was gold. He climbed a nearby pile and still all he could see was gold.

Darp let out a huge cry of joy. Then, he did what most any person would do in this situation, throw several gold bricks through to the other side. He started dancing and singing, “I’m rich! I’m rich!”

During his jubilation, he had failed to hear a buzzing sound off in the distance. Suddenly, around a pile about 100 feet away came a pair of four-foot-tall blue creatures, each wearing a brown security outfit.

“We’ve found our intruder!” said the one on the left.

“And, he’s taking the king’s gold” replied the other.

Darp found it humorous how security guards in any dimension could wear ugly brown uniforms. He didn’t find it humorous for very long because the men in blue started chasing him. He jumped back through the box, back into his original reality. The shorter blue guard commented, “he didn’t get much of our pavement.”

The first thing he noticed upon reentering his living room was the noticeable lack of gold. Instead, there was a silvery liquid, which he tried to avoid, not knowing if it was radioactive or not. He quickly consulted the box’s user manual. It states that, as a quirk, in certain dimensions, elements with an atomic number larger than 72 will have one added to its total number. This was labeled a “feature” and not a “bug.”

Darp recalled that Gold was somewhere near the bottom of the periodic table, but as a poor chemistry student back in college, could not remember what came after it. He found his Encyclopedia and found the table and realized he had a big pile of Mercury on his living room floor. Then he pondered about what he would need on the other side to yield gold on this side. The answer was platinum; once again not a very good tradeoff from his perspective.
He now had a mess to clean up.

*     *     *

After making several journeys to either side using his prototype, Nephraim devised a moneymaking plan. In the future, he found a simple, yet entertaining kiddie-toy. Taking it back in the 80’s, he sold that same kiddie-toy for 15 dollars. What the uninformed purchaser did not realize is that toy runs on futuristic batteries and will become useless in a couple of weeks.

With his 15 dollars, Nephraim went to a thrift store and found the perfect item, a used TRS-80, with enough money left over to buy a couple of vests, some boots and a Six Flags coffee mug.  Back in his future world, he knew of a local eccentric multi-zillionaire by the name of Maxim Marsh, who also was a vintage computer collector. This man operated an old computer museum whose featured item had been a Microsoft Windows 2438. Incidentally, Windows 2438 will be the last operating system the Microsoft people ever produce. This is due to the unbelievable unpopularity they will get after Mousepad Gates releases Microsoft Anti-Christ 1.0 a year later. 

Mr. Marsh was ecstatic to buy Nephraim’s TRS-80 for one million Terradollars. Globally, collectors had presumed all but one TRS-80 had been lost or destroyed by the mid 2150s; the remaining one working TRS-80 was being used at a public library.

Now, Nephraim had enough money to pay for his ten-thousand terradollar monthly rent for a long time. He still enjoyed life in the 1980’s but slept in his own time every night. His big problem in the 80’s was that he had no money.

*     *     *

Darp had called a local friend to help clean up the big pile of mercury on his floor. His friend was a middle school science teacher and Darp had offered him several ounces of mercury if he would clean most of it up.

In Darp’s third trip through the box, he found himself in a very lavish mansion. He knew this place had to be worth millions of dollars. The place had Victorian architecture and several interesting heirlooms made of precious metals and gems. From upstairs, he heard a female voice calling out, “Is somebody there?” The source of this voice soon started to walk down the stairs. An attractive 35-year-old Southern Belle wearing an expensive dress and plenty of jewelry came his way. “Honey, you’re home!” she said upon seeing him. Darp noticed a wedding ring on her finger and started to think he would like this place.

The two of them went upstairs and they talked for a while. Darp started to dream about never having to go back to his own reality. As soon as she was about to smother him with passion, a male voice came from downstairs, “Vivian! Are you home?”

She responded, “I’m up here Vince!”

Darp questioned, “Who’s that?”

“You idiot. That’s my husband Vincent. Now, you need to go find a place to hide until the coast is clear.”

At this moment, Darp’s assumption of being married to Vivian and his vision of the good life had been crushed. Thinking of his box, he replied, “I know of a place where he won’t find me.” In the interim, he went to a coatroom.

Listening outside, he heard Vivian talking to her real husband. He also heard that Vince was coming near to put up his overcoat. He was scared for a moment, but Vivian was able to distract her husband long enough for Darp to get out. He proceeded to sneak downstairs, but was not completely unnoticed.

Vince spotted him right before he got back to his box. Vince yelled out, “Hey! Who are you and what are you doing in my house?”

Darp, thinking quickly, picked up a silver ornament off a nearby table. He responded, “I’m from the IRS. I’m taking this to cover all your unpaid back taxes.” He, with the ornament, jumped into the box and reappeared in his apartment. From then on, he used the silver ornament as the centerpiece of his kitchen table.

*     *     *

For Nephraim, acquiring something from the past, taking it to the future and then selling it had worked once; he was hoping it would work again. He spent a good portion of his time creating a second box similar to his prototype. This time, he decided to make it smaller, specifically twenty inches square. He does this just in case he ever wants to take his second box through the first prototype.

After finishing his second box, he repeatedly changed the location on the other side until he found a date he could settle on. Eventually his box presented him with 1950’s New York City. He looked for anything he could trade which could become valuable in 1980. One gentleman gave Nephraim two dollars in exchange for Nephraim’s hat because the man thought the futuristic hat “looked funny.” He took his two dollars to a nearby nickel and dime store where he bought some comic books and baseball cards. He had neither heard of Superman nor Ted Williams but he figured he would be able to sell these items for a few dollars in the 80’s. He was pleasantly surprised when he sold them for a few thousand dollars; they were in excellent condition. He didn’t understand what difference it made, but he wouldn’t complain.

With his new money, he got a six-month lease on an apartment. He was starting to spend more time in the past and less time in the future.

go to Part 3.

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