Here's the winner
We had to write 500 words on the picture below.
My take is a time travel/Wizard of Oz combo. If I do it over, I think I'd use actual names instead of labels.
The Time Wizard
I tossed a head of cabbage into the grinder.
a thousand bucks will get you fifteen minutes each. That’s all the time
you have to change the past. When your time’s up, you’ll end up back
here. Did everyone sign the waivers?”
They all nodded. I double checked the extension cord.
Con Man rose from the sofa and stepped into the tub. As I secured the bicycle helmet, I enquired about the purpose of his trip.
“I want Dorothy. The sympathy approach failed. Apparently, when I
claimed losing my grandmother to a tornado, I hit a sore spot. I’m
going to try another angle.”
I made some notes, then flipped the
switch. The generator hummed. Lights flickered. Then ‘baraap,’ Con Man
vanished. I don’t know why time travel evokes a gastrointestinal
response, maybe it’s the cabbage. Not wanting to disappoint my
clients, I started setting up the next trip.
I just snapped the straps onto Suit Coat when Con Man came back. He plopped onto the couch with tears in his eyes.
“I couldn’t do it. She’s too innocent, too perfect. I just didn’t have the heart.”
Suit Coat scoffed.
“Idiot. She out-conned you. This girl is definitely not innocent. You need brains to play this right.”
“Well, braniac, if you’re so smart, then why aren’t you with her?”
“A worthy advisory never accepts the first offer. A few gold bricks didn’t impress her, but a road paved with them might. “
I flipped the switch for round two. Humming. Flickering. ‘Baraap’. One left. Moron twitched in the chair.
“Does this cause cancer? How do I know I’ll end up in the right spot? What if I land in dinosaur times?”
“It’s safe.” Another cabbage turned to green confetti. The
incessant questioning challenged my focus. I thought something
exploded when Suit Coat returned. He started unleashing his rage on my
“You break it, you buy it!”
That caught his attention. Moron snickered.
“Can it!” Cracked Suit Coat. “At least we had the courage to ask her out.”
poor soul never had a chance to defend himself. The ‘baraaap’ echoed
as he catapulted to that moment in time when he could have made his move
Fifteen minutes went by and he never returned. Maybe all his
fidgeting jostled something loose. I sent the other two gentlemen on
their way. When they were gone, I tried to contemplate what went wrong.
knock on the door interrupted my thinking. I opened the door to find a
disheveled young woman, her hampered appearance offset by defiant red
shoes. I didn’t need to know her name.
“I hear you’re the time wizard. I need to go back to before I met my husband. He’s an animal.”
I went to the fridge for some cabbage, happy to have my answer. Time is a fickle thing.
“That will be three hundred dollars.”