Twelve tales of the supe.., p.9
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       Twelve Tales Of The Supernatural, p.9

           Mario V. Farina
 
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as to what was the best procedure to undertake at this point. They decided to send out for pizza and continued the discussion until midnight, then decided to adjourn until noon the following day. The phones at Goggle had rung incessantly throughout the day and during the evening hours.

  Randolph was haggard when he arrived at work the next day. He was informed by the receptionist that a Mr. Adam Schwester had attempted to report for work in the place of Randolph. She had reluctantly admitted him to the Director's office.

  "What's this about you coming in to take my place?" Randolph demanded angrily.

  "I work here!" retorted Adam. "I've been employed at Goggle for six years as Director of Communications. You’re the one who’s the imposter!"

  "Nonsense," responded Randolph. When the last syllable of this word had been spoken, he dissolved from view!

  Adam sat in Randolph’s vacated chair and found the TT-Mail printout that Randolph had placed in his desk. He pressed a button on the Intercom and said, "Ms. Jameson, hold my calls for the rest of the day. I need to do some serious planning."

  "Yes sir, Mr. Schwester" responded the voice of the receptionist.

  Adam pointed the remote to the TV set. CNN was reporting that many disappearances were being reported throughout the country and turbulent occurrences were taking place at many localities of the world.

  He pressed a button on the phone. "Max, We need to talk at once!”

  “I’ll be right over,” said Max.

  When Max arrived, he showed no indication that Adam Schwester might be a stranger to him. It was as if the two had known each other for years.

  “We have very little time to talk,” said Adam. “I think we’re in the midst of the greatest change the Universe has ever experienced. From what I read just before your coming here and from what I saw on TV, it appears the normal flow of time has been destroyed. It may be that because of this disturbance, many people who are currently living will suddenly vanish; others, who never existed may suddenly materialize. I may be one of them though you don’t seem to be aware of it. Events may happen that were never destined for occurrence, while others may take place but with different results. Activity may be taking so many never-destined forms that they will make no sense. This kind of tumult may continue until the flow of time has settled out.

  As he spoke, the TV was showing details of horrendous scenes, torrents of water gushing from the streets, buildings collapsing, dams splitting, panic amongst disorderly crowds of people.

  “We may have started this when we sent Roger Benson back in time yesterday,” muttered Max. “It seemed innocuous. What can we do to undo the damage that has been done?”

  “Max, there is nothing you or I can do. I read an article that Roger had TT-Mailed to the office. It had been written by an eminent RPI professor suggesting that meddling with time, to even the slightest extent, such as a visit, would throw time into turmoil that would need to arrive at equilibrium by itself. Her article was ignored. It’s like a heart that goes into fibrillation. While it beats normally, humans thrive; when it begins random and meaningless fluttering, they die.”

  “But . . .” Max’s statement was never finished. He suddenly faded and vanished.

  Adam appeared stoic, standing motionless. The room began heaving and buckling. A crevice opened in front of the TV. The set fell into it while a blast of wind entered through the opening and tossed articles around in the room as if they were in the midst of a tornado. The tumult continued for several minutes.

  What was left bore little resemblance to what had been normalcy only minutes before. Adam was gone. There was no motion in the room. There were no sounds. Then, there was nothing.

  The Ouija Board

  Lie Detector

  "Where are the wires?" Fred Moore demanded with some annoyance as, escorted by Detective Unger, he swaggered into the room and looked around. "I've done lie detectors before. They put all kinds of wires on you and there's a thing that makes charts, and also an operator. What gives?"

  It was true. There was no lie detector in the room; only a simple wooden table, some folding chairs and an Ouija Board on the table.

  "Yeah," replied Detective Unger. "We've heard that you brag about beating lie detectors. And we also know you're scared of Ouija Boards. That's why your test will be a little different today. If you'll look at the table, Fred, you'll see we brought one here especially for you."

  "You can't do that!" yelled Fred. "Ouija Boards are evil! What you're doing is illegal. I refuse to continue without consulting my lawyer."

  "These things aren't evil except for evil people, Fred. You're not scared of being found out, are you? We told your lawyer we were going to test your credibility. He agreed to that."

  "Yeah, but you can't use the results in court, detective."

  "You're right Fred, we can't, but if you flunk the test, we'll know you killed Joseph Armando, and that will help us a lot. If you refuse to take the test, it's an automatic flunk."

  "All right, all right. What do I have to do?"

  "Just put one hand on the board. I will ask you a few questions that can be answered yes or no. You don't have to say a thing. The pointer on the board will move automatically. We won't be here more than ten minutes. This board was made in 1892. It's real old. The new ones are toys. This is one of the originals from the old days. It was sold by William Fuld whose company made them. When you touch it, this thing will know you better than you know yourself. Fred, it is one hundred percent accurate. I don't want to scare you but keep this in mind. One hundred per cent! Now sit!"

  Fred sat reluctantly in one of the metal chairs in the room. Detective Unger sat to his left. Fred stared at the Ouija Board. It was obviously old. The letters and numbers on it were partially rubbed away. The positions of Yes and No, however were unmistakable. The heart-shaped planchette looked worn from much usage but appeared well able to perform its function of pointing to answers. When ordered to touch the board, Fred put four fingers of his right hand lightly over the barely discernible words, Good Bye.

  Detective Unger spoke. "First question, Fred: Is your name Frederick Moore?" Fred was preparing to respond when the planchette moved rapidly to the word, yes and parked there covering the word. Fred gasped audibly.

  "Are you answering these questions willingly?" The planchette darted to no. Fred began shivering.

  "Did you kill Joseph Armando?" The planchette sped to yes. Fred's shivers changed to severe shaking of his entire body.

  "Have you killed others besides Joseph?" Before the planchette had a chance to move, Fred sprang from his chair while, at the same time, giving the board a violent push sending it skittering across the table and off the edge. It fell to the floor with the sound of splintering wood. "Let me out of here," he bellowed "Take that damned thing away! I'll tell you what you want to know. Burn that monstrosity! Send it to hell!"

  Alarmed by the outburst, detectives Hendricks and Wilkins stormed into the room. Fred, mumbling unintelligibly was escorted from the room by Detective Wilkins.

  "Looks like that electronic fake you rigged up worked," commented Detective Hendricks.

  "Yes, it did," replied Detective Unger. "But I did not have time to press even one button on the wireless box in my lap. The planchette on that mock-up did all the pointing on its own!"

  The Thought Mailers

  William (Bill) Foster and Wilhelmina (Billie) Mason were in training. They had both been hired as Product Service Representatives by General Snacks Incorporated. This company was manufacturer of condiments such as candy, chips, snippets, morsels, and bits. Product Service Representatives were intended to handle telephone calls from customers and answer questions about their products.

  They were seated side-by-side at a table in a classroom that had been set up to train a dozen new representatives. There was a chalkboard at the front of the room where the instructor could write key words on a white surface. Students sitting at tables would be able to li
sten to the instructors and write notes using pads that had been put on the tables. In front of each student was a card showing the name of the student, including any nickname that the person might have.

  Bill smiled at Wilhelmina and said, "I see your name is Billie. This is a coincidence my first name is William, but my nickname is Bill. So, we are Bill and Billie sitting next to each other."

  Billie smiled back and responded, "I'm happy to know you, Bill." I imagine we'll be seeing a lot of each other during the next several days. I was hired Friday for this job, and we will be learning a lot about the company's products so that we can explain them to customers. "That's another coincidence," said Bill, "I was also hired Friday."

  Both students were in their mid-twenties. He had sandy hair and was clean-shaven; she had Auburn hair beginning on top and changing to blonde at the shoulders. Neither wore glasses. Someone glancing at them for the first time, would have thought that they might be recent college graduates, which, indeed, they were.

  Class was to begin at 9 a.m. so they had about a quarter of an hour, or so, in which to continue their conversation. During their talk it was discovered that they were both interested
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