When an Epic Sea Battle Disappears

Art by Florian Prou

Art by Florian Prou

“WHAT HAPPENED?! How did this puddle get here?” Shouted the Museum Director, joining the Deputy in front of the painting.
It had originally depicted an epic battle between the Spanish and the British on the high seas, now it just depicted the high seas. No ships in sight. The Deputy had noticed it, and dragged in the Director from vacation. They still opened the museum, but partitioned off the room with the painting.
While the men stood there staring at the scene, a small boy trotted into the room towards the deputy and pulled on his sleeve. The Deputy forced a smile while bending down to the child’s level. “Hullo, what can I do for you? Are you lost?”
The boy looked sheepish, and he pulled out three ships from behind his back and showed the man. Ships that looked exactly like the ones originally in the painting. Still dripping wet. “I sowwie mithter” the boy said.
Trying to stay calm, the man asked “Young man, where did you get those?”
The boy looked down and stared at the ships. “I learned thith game from my muvver, but pleath don’t tell her. I can put the thips back.”
Shocked, he told the boy to wait. He asked the Director to get started on the report, and he would be there momentarily to finish it. He told the boy he wouldn’t tell a soul if he fixed the painting.
The boy smiled and walked over to the painting. Placing the ships into the puddle and placing a chubby hand onto the frame, he muttered something under his breath. The Deputy will never forget what he saw: like watching a theatre moving picture go backwards. In less than a minute, the floor was dry and the painting was fully restored except for the tiny handprint on the frame. As the boy walked out of the room, the Deputy wondered how he was going to tell the Director.

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6 Perks and 6 Horrors of Living in Los Angeles

Everyone and their mom wants to move to LA, to visit LA, to exist in LA. That’s all well and good until you actually move here, and you have to deal less glamorous stuff like skyrocketing insurance, rabid bums, or stepping in dog shit at every turn. But there’s the sunny flip side, where there’s literally sun almost every day, access to unlimited fresh fruits and veggies, and the beach…did I mention the beach? The beach! BEACH!!! So I compiled a short list of good and bad things about being an Angeleno. Since I like to end on a positive note, we’ll start with the baddies:

1. Traffic: I could write a book on the traffic of LA. No. One. Can. Drive. Here. Or maybe I’m so egotistical that I think I’m the best driver anywhere, but putting that aside, people on the road here are DANGEROUS for a few reasons:
-Lots of people smoke weed while driving
-People texting and talking on their phones, causing us all of us but you to miss the green light *shakes fist in anger*
-People here generally don’t know what the frickin blinker/turn signal is or even bother checking to see if they can even cross into my lane (that would be a NO because I’m right next to you yelling at you!!!)

2. Pollution: my sinuses have been permanently plugged since I moved here (no I don’t have allergies)

3. Dog shit: it’s EVERYWHERE. Also, there was an underground wild Chihuahua mafia plotting the downfall of Los Angeles about a year ago. You think I’m kidding? Makes me scared anytime I pass someone with a Chihuahua, it might be undercover!

4. Mutilated people everywhere: Such a variety of uses for silicone and plastic unseen anywhere else. Come on, you’re 21 years old, WTF do you need bigger boobs and a brow lift already?? Are duck-faced good selfies that important?

plastic duck

5. Insurance: not sure if this needs more explanation other than my stuff tripled when I moved here. *Palm to the face*

6. Tourists: it can cost me up to $30 just to park by the beach during the summer because all the parking garages are gouging everyone because they can. I live just far enough away from the beach that I need to drive, and all I want is to see some sand and the water, and I have to cough up my first born to see it.

Ok ok baddies and rants over with, onto the goodies:

1. The Beach: sand, sun and fun in basically year round wonderful weather: even in January and February you can probably go sunbathe. Aaaaand I live really close to it.

2. Farmers markets: dude, brah, man…these are awesome. It’s nice to know that you can still get food that’s not poisonous, and it’s actually cheaper sometimes than at a grocery store. Plus you shop at one often enough and the folks get to know you and cut you deals.

3. All the crazy awesome different types of people: people from all over want to be in LA, so whether you’re in class, the market, church, or walking by a group of angry bums on the corner, most people are from somewhere else other than LA.

4. You can be an extra in a major movie: It might take a little time, but it can happen. Current dream is to be a zombie movie extra, covered in guts and slime, chewing on Brad Pitts’ arm.

Hopefully I won't look this ratchet

Hopefully I won’t look this ratchet

5. Name anything and you can find it in LA: it might take you an hour to go 5 miles to get it, but it’s quicker than ordering it online! Or you could FINALLY develop some patience (or lack thereof) and just order it online anyways so you’re not stuck in traffic (see Baddies, #1).

6. Outdoor activities: on any given time of the year, you can rent a boat, jet ski, paddle board, canoe, dinghy, some flippers, and hit the water. You might freeze your important personal parts off, but it’ll be fun! Hiking, camping, just being outside! You could surf in the morning, and snowboard by the afternoon if you REALLY wanted to.

So those are a few good and bad reasons for living in LA, I’m sure there are tons more but these were the most obvious for me. What do you think? What are your favorite or most hated reasons from living/visiting in LA? Lemme know down below!

Hope and Forgiveness Through Music

IMG_2177.JPG

It was open mike night at the local dive, when He walked through the door. He set up his guitar and equipment, looked carefully around the room, took a deep breath and began to play. The music meandered then swelled, and took over the noisy room, causing all to stop and stare.
The bartender saw his Wife, forgiving him and wanting him back.
The college dropout saw her Father, telling her how proud he was regardless of the decisions she had made.
The town drunk saw his Daughter, promising to always be there for him.
The starving artist saw his Muse, urging him to always create.
He continued to play, and play and play. It was like joy was pouring from his hands, sunlight and love weaving together. When he had given everything he could, he stopped and started packing up. The bar slowly went back to their original activities, dazed after this man’s performance. The bartender rushed up to the man and asked, “Friend, what was that? How…?” The man looked around the room with such love in his eyes, and then looked at bartender. “You all saw what you needed to see: Hope and Forgiveness.”–Tiny Tale by Tiff the Traveler. Art is titled Rise by Paul Villinski

Time: Gift and Curse, part 2

The Creature stayed under the couch until Pup and his wife went to bed, and then slunked around the house, searching for a place to wait for an opportunity to tear their flesh from their bones. Hungry, hungry, hungry, it was so hungry. It’s belly was slightly swollen, full of growing hungry Creatures. This Creature was more scavenger than hunter, but living prey was still food, just have to be careful and wait for the element of surprise. But safe was more important right now. It finally found a dirty, cobwebbed section behind some boxes up in the attic, and lay down to sleep.
Over the next week, Pup went back frequently to get Time-Orbs, which pulled that rift a little farther apart with each use. On Saturday, he wanted to get ahead of everyone else at work, so he did as much as he could that day, using about 10 hours from the Time-Orbs. Pup was so proud of himself, and so very happy. His apparent success at work all week was driving towards a promotion, and Mrs. Pup was extremely happy with all this extra quality time he was giving to her.

Life is sweet, I think, exiting the study to grab the wife and head out the door for a date night.
The Creature and a few others wake up when the door slams shut, and they decide to go see if the Things are around. The Creature feels much safer within the pack than by itself, so they creep out of the attic, and start exploring the house, looking to sneak up on a Thing to eat. As they were walking down the stairs into the hallway, past the study, the pack hears a loud thumping, ripping sound coming from the study, and then some heavy steps of something tall and big walking around. The Creature hears the noise, and lets out a surprised squeak and a trilling whistle, which sends the whole pack clamoring up the stairs and back into the attic. When the trilling happens, the large something stops walking around in the study, and lets out a loud groan, “Ole friend, what in the high plains of hell did you do?”

Mr. and Mrs. Pup come home later on that night after having a great time, laughing and smiling at each other all the way to the door. After doing what happy couples do following a good date night, Pup helps Mrs. Pup pack her back for her business trip, with the flight leaving in a couple hours. All too soon, the taxi pulls up, and Mrs. Pup leaves, giving Pup a long, lingering kiss, before jumping in the car and speeding off to catch her plane.

I walk back into the house with a big stupid grin on my face, thinking about what had happened earlier. Walking down the hall, past my study and into the kitchen to make myself a sandwich. Oh wow, this master piece is gonna taste like Heaven, I think. I’m about to take a bite, when I hear a growly, trilling noise that sounds out of my deepest darkest nightmares.
I whirl around and come face to face with Living Nightmares on four legs. There are four of them, covered in mangy oily black fur ending in shiny scaly skin on their legs, tails, and serpentlike heads. Their eyes glow a dull orange, and seemed to be very hungry. They had padded into the kitchen silently, no sound coming from their footsteps, and had fanned out into a half circle formation, leaving me with no hope of escape.
The two on the right, started to creep forward, pointy teeth bared with greenish tinted slime dripping down their jaws. I grab the nearest object, a spatula, and start swinging it back and forth in front of me. “Get back! Get. Back. Now!!!” I yell, my brain trying to process what these things were, how did they get into the house and what am I going to do?
They all took a step back, but seeing that the spatula was no real threat, they became brave and took a few steps closer. The one on the far right, growling and pacing, all of a sudden leaps at me, slimy teeth aiming right for my throat. I swing the spatula with all my might with eyes closed, hoping I can fend it off…
THWACK
THUD THUD THUD
Howling, trilling cries fill the kitchen.
My spatula meets dead air, as my momentum makes me swing around in a circle like a gauche ballerina. Opening my eyes, I see a huge, grizzled older man, wearing a filthy chewed up duster and matching hat, holding a rusty Civil War era sword. He is standing in front of me, facing off with the remaining Creatures.
“Get back ya hear? Get, GET!” he says, as he swings the sword back in forth in front of him.
The Creatures start trilling and hissing at the Stranger, not wanting to attack now, but near starvation making them desperate.
He kills off another one, a loud THUD sounding off as its headless body hits the floor. The last two, a large muscular one and a slightly smaller one with a swollen belly, are all that’s left. The large one turns its attention to the Stranger, and the smaller one to me. By now I’ve found a large butcher knife, and feel a bit better about my odds of survival.
“Don’t let ‘em bite you!” growled the old man, never taking his eyes off his target.
With no warning, the Creatures charge at the same time.
The Stranger successfully runs his sword through the gut of the large Creature, and they both fall to the floor, but the Creature is still fighting, trying to claw at him and bite at him. The Stranger scrambles quickly to his feet, places a boot on the creature’s face, pulls out his sword, and slices off its head.
I was not doing as well. My butcher knife was lodged in the Creature’s mouth, and I had one hand on its jaw and another on its chest, trying to push it away, but it was very heavy and stank of rotted flesh and decaying garbage. I try to give a mighty push, and then I’m pushing away at nothing. The Stranger had walked across the room, and yanked it off me by the scruff of its mangy neck, and pinned it to the ground. I stay on the ground and stare at the his back and the Creature pinned down under him. It’s moving and squirming under the old man’s weight, desperate to stay alive and even more desperate to eat his leg that he was using to pin it down.
“Hold still ya rotten Hound a Hell,” he says, and drives the sword downward and through its neck.
It instantly stops moving, and silence filled with out of breath noises fills the kitchen.
The Stranger stands up, grabs a kitchen towel hanging nearby, and wipes his sword, and throws the destroyed rag onto dead Creature. He faces me, and offers a me a hand up, which I take. We both look at each other for a moment, sizing each other up. His face looks like a road map, full of lines leading from his eyes and mouth, and disappearing into his hairline and jaw. Tall, bright blue eyes, leathery skin, and most of all, my rescuer.
“Man, you look just like your Gramps, God rest his Soul,” he says finally, clamping a big hand on my shoulder and peering into my face.
“Are you…? You’re Chuck!”
His worn, wizen face cracks open into a smile and he drops his hand to shake mine, “At your service, young Pup!”
The smile doesn’t last too long when he remembers how he got here, and worst of all, how those Creatures got here.
“Pup, confound it, thanks for gettin’ me home and all, but did you use too much Time? Did you set the clocks wrong? What the hell did you do?”
Confused, I claim that I followed everything to the letter, just like Gramps had told me.
He shakes his head, “You made a rift that even I got through, so you did SOMETHING.”
He goes back to the study, and I follow him, still confused about what I could’ve done wrong. He demands to see the Time-Orb shells, and after hemming and hawing over those, he walks around the four corners of the room studying them. Finally, he looks at my regular clocks, and stops dead in his tracks.
“I mighta found what you’ve been doin’ wrong, Pup,” he says, grabbing one of the clocks off of my desk. He looks at it from different angles, and then pulls out a beat-up pocket watch from his duster pocket, and compares the two. “You’re runnin’ here a 5 minutes fast, and every time you use the Orbs, those minutes add up and rip up the Space-Time Grid even more.” He fixed my clock, and walks around fixing all the clocks in the room. “That explains why those Grid-Hounds got through, and how I even got through. You’ve ripped the Grid a whole new bum hole, and now only you can fix it. Lucky for you I know what ta do.”
Chuck gives me orders, and I follow them exactly. I pull my knapsack out of its hidey hole, and place the Time-Orb shells in a small circle big enough for a man to sit in the middle.
“What now?” I ask.
He points to the middle of the circle, “Sit. Now, and no matter what don’t move a mite.”
I comply, sitting cross legged in the circle, and look up expectantly at Chuck.
He tells me that this may hurt a bit, but it’s what needs to be done to fix the rift. I nod and Chuck squats down outside the circle, extending a hand to the side of my temple.
“Close your eyes.”
I close them. After a moment, the tips of his fingers start feeling warm, then hot, then burning, like a hot iron. I can feel my face distort, fists clenching in my lap, as hot excruciating pain lacerates up through my scalp and into my brain.
“Hold on, almost done now.”
I’m sweating through my shirt, and dripping onto the floor, and feel like I’m about to pass out…when it’s over.
“All done as we can be, young Pup,” he sighs and stands up, sounding tired and out of breath.
I feel like I just stepped out of the Fiery Furnace, sweat soaked and exhausted. I open my eyes and see about two-thirds of the Orbs are glowing again, just like before I used them.
“How did you do that?” I ask.
“I stole all the wasted time from your past, seems like you have a little less than a normal kid,” grunted Chuck.
“Is this enough?” I ask, hoping I didn’t have to go through that ordeal again.
“No, so we’re gonna have to get more, but if we grab a happy moment, than we don’t need as much.”
Chuck tells me what kind of happy moment he’s looking for. I balk right away.
“No, find something else! It’s all I’ve got left!” I say angrily.
Chuck says there’s nothing else that he could find in my memories that would work and power up everything else, and he must take it to close the rift. Angry but resigned, after a few moments I nod in agreement. He reassures me that taking happy times don’t hurt as much as wasted time, tells me to hold still once more.
Taking something from me that I’ve treasured for years.
After all the Time-Orbs are filled up, Chuck and I set them to the right time, and pack them all into the four corners of my study, save one. We step out of the study, set the final Orb right outside the closed door.
“What now?” I ask.
“We burn the bodies,” said Chuck, walking back towards the kitchen that had started to smell like a land fill.
We haul the bodies to the backyard, and build a bonfire and burn the Grid-Hounds to ash. The fire left a charred section in the yard, and the grass never grew there properly again.
We went to the back porch and sat, drinking some beers and watching the bonfire die down.
“So now that you’re back home, what are you going to do now?” I ask.
“Eh, notta clue, maybe go surprise the bejesus out of my widow,” Chuck says with a wink, “or just travel around and enjoy myself. She don’t need me busting up her new life. Plus the Other Side was an helluva mess and dangerous as all get out. I just need a vacation.”
I nod and tell Chuck that when he’s ready to come back, to let me know and we’ll get everything fixed up and squared away.
“Just promise me one thing, Pup,” Chucks says.
“Anything.”
“Be careful how you use those glowing blobs of Time from now on. Havin extra Time runnin’ around can be nice, but not when it causes all kinds a trouble fer you and the missus. Be a good steward of the Time ya got, and you won’t need to use so much extra.”
“I promise.”

Becoming a Writer: How? When? Why?

Hello! Please, pull up a chair, grab your favorite hot drink, and let’s talk about how you became a writer: what triggered that important moment inside you soul that said “I shall place words on paper that will tell of stories and tales to regale the masses!”? Did you grow up loving to create stories? Did you have an epiphany moment over your coffee/tea/beer/wine/whiskey and decided that life wouldn’t be complete if you couldn’t complete a novel? Or were you just an awesome liar and decided to use your gift for good instead of evil?
For me, writing is a very new urge. I’ve been reading non-stop for my entire life, except for this Black Hole period known as ‘college’, and was perfectly content to remain an avid reader.
Until that one day.
You all know what I’m talking about, that day where everything changed: you developed an itch that antibiotics couldn’t fix, Netflix became a stale, boring pastime, you wanted to experience life just so you could write about it later. And then, you started to WRITE. So it was the summer of 2013, and I had just reread the Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (don’t know what I’m talking about? Get the eff off this page and find that book NOW. Don’t worry, I’ll wait.), and it suddenly dawned on me that I really wished she had created more Tents. The idea I had in my mind for a new tent was awesome (at least to me), that I started inadvertently writing Night Circus fan fiction, and I didn’t even know what the hell fan fic was at the time.
One thing led to another, and I started writing in a journal, using pics found around the Internets as prompts. I usually take one look at an intriguing pic and my mind is off to the races. One day, I was trying to find fun pics to practice writing with, and I came across The One.
My Muse.
The picture that spawned the ideas for my first novel…which I’m still working on to this day. And that book has been cooking away, mutating and morphing into something waaaay more crazy and fun than I could imagine.
So all this is fun and good right? Slogging away day to day on a novel, but like any insane beginner, I want lots of practice followed by lots of instant gratification (or mortification depending how bad my posts are) so I recently started posting Flash Fiction to Instagram. The stories continued to get bigger so I thought I’d bite the bullet and get this oddly named personal Internet space called a “blog”. Such a gross sounding name don’t you think? I’m trying to come up with better names, but all I’ve come up with is Dump Site and MyRants, and both make blog sound better. Ugh.
Anyways, I digress. I grabbed up some Net real estate so I could practice my writing and have instant confirmation on being able to write a story (flash or short), and being able to “publish” immediately and sometimes get feedback since I’m currently too embarrassed to tell people I see face to face that I’m a self-diagnosed storyteller. You see, I work in the Space Industry (no, nothing cool like NASA), and I work with a bunch of super smart, rock science nerds. So, we tend to not always agree upon the same types of fiction all the time, making it hard to find folks to give me constructive criticism when they hate my stories already.
So that’s where this blog and you come in. I am hoping that we can learn from each other, and be wide open with our posts and info, and give good feedback to each other!

So how did you kick off your epic journey into writing? What’s your favorite form of writing (flash, short, novel, etc)? Let me know what you think! And thanks for stopping by .

The Devil is in the Details: On Descriptive Writing

The Daily Post

We often hear that we should “show, not tell” — that we should paint a detailed picture for our reader that lets them see what’s happening, rather than simply narrating.

Easier said than done! All details are not created equal: some detail throws a barrier between the reader and your story, and some detail is (ironically) not detailed enough. How do you tell whether a detail helps or hurts? Here are four things to keep in mind when you’re writing descriptively, and some writers who illustrate them perfectly.

Good detail is relevant.

Including every detail is the written equivalent of your friend who can never get to the point of a story because he can’t remember if it happened on Tuesday or Wednesday, or if it was 1 PM or 2 PM, or if the car was red or blue. Good detail is relevant to the point of your post.

Writer beware! Not…

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Time: Gift and Curse

Artist Unknown

Artist Unknown

My grandpa always seemed to get more out of his day than anyone else I knew. If a project took 10 hours, it would take him 7 hours, even 5 hours to get it done. He would hole away in his workshop, or wait til no one was in the house, and get numerous tasks done in record time. I used to ask him what the secret was, for I always ran out of time, and he would say “Hay now Grandpup, Gramps has gotta have some myst’ry ‘bout him!” I asked many times over the years and received variations of the same answer.

Then the day came when my Grandpa was dying, and I was devastated that my zippy Grandpa, who always had time for me, was going to be gone for good. He asked to talk to me alone, and of course I obliged him. I walk into the room and sit down by his bed. He smiles, grips my hand and pulls me close, “I want ta tell you ‘bout my secret now, but you gotta promise to breath this to no man.” Stunned, I listen as he whispers in my ear; listening to the one thing I’ve wanted to know my entire life.
“How is this possible?” I ask, sitting back in disbelief, but knowing that this was the only explanation for my Grandpa’s ability to manipulate time.
He shrugs, “Found it one day on a hike wit’ an ole friend.” He pulls a thick manila envelope from underneath his pillow, and hands it to me. It is thick, and light as a feather, with my nickname written on the front, “Grandpup”. “There’s a compass, a map, and a set of instructions, make sure ya follow everythin’ to the letter, you hear me Pup?”
I nod, not really understanding what I was agreeing to, but agreeing nonetheless.
“I’ll tell you one thing straight,” he said with sadness in his voice. “Remember my ole bud Chuck?”
I nod, urging him to go on.
“Well, let’s jus’ say we shared this secret, til he got greedy, and took more than he shoulda. I don’t know what happened ta him, but he just disappeared and didn’t come back. So when I say follow it ta the letter, I meant it.”
I start to ask him a question, when Grandma comes banging through the door, demanding that Grandpa needed some rest. “I need some time with ma man before the Good Lawrd takes him back,” she said, resting her hand on my shoulder and staring lovingly at her husband with tears in her eyes.
I swallow hard and nod. I lean forward to hug my Grandpa, and he whispers in my ear, “Remember to read everythin’ careful like. I love you Pup.” I tell him I love him too, and give my Grandma a quick hug, and walk out the room clutching the envelope with a heavy rock of sadness sitting in my chest.

Two hours later, the Good Lord took my Grandpa back home. The man, who made enough time for everyone, was gone.

After the funeral, I carried that sad rock in my chest for days, weeks, months and completely forgot about my Gramps’ secret and the envelope. One afternoon, I was sifting through some paperwork, attempting to finally shake the cobwebs out of my brain and move my life along until it felt normal again, when I come across that envelope. I sit down at my desk, rip it open and dump out the contents onto my desk. A wad of crisp, folded papers slide out, along with a battered compass and an old worn map. The front of the papers read Instructions and the map was of the huge wooded area that exists behind my Grandparents’ house, complete with coordinates marking a spot pretty far into the woods.
I read through the Instructions first. Ten pages of instructions that read like a list of rules and lessons learned, each marked by a number and the the date created. Grandpa had gone through many years to make such an in depth list.
The very next day, I put all the secret items in an old leather knapsack and start my trek for the spot on the map. After walking for a couple hours in the hot sun, I finally find the spot, with the coordinates dropping me right off at a natural made entrance into a huge copse of trees. It was so densely grown together that you couldn’t see through the trees at all. I pull out the Instructions, and reread some of it just so I wouldn’t forget what to do. Then, I take a deep breath, push aside the hanging vines and branches, and step into the darkness.
It is dark, the type of dark that comes out after the sun just disappears over the horizon, and I can barely see anything after being out in the bright sunlight. Waiting a moment to let my eyes adjust, I say “Tempus Continuum” as according to the Instructions, close my eyes, and wait a few minutes. When I open them, the grove had changed. Instead of being dark, the trees started to glow in different spots, and the spots almost look like eyes, glaring down at me in disapproval. All around the forest floor are pulsing spherical Orbs, with the faces of clocks counting off a myriad of hours, minutes and seconds. All of the Orbs were on their own timetables and had their own unique ticks and tocks.
A loud ringing goes off right at my feet, startling me out of my reverie. I look down at the noise and see an orb ringing and shaking like an alarm clock. After a moment, it makes a fizzling noise and seemed to die and dissolve into the ground. Not quite understanding, I hastily read the first 2 rules: #1, Handle with care; #2, Take only what you absolutely need, and no more. I open up my sack, and look around for the right Time-Orbs to take. There is an important work project that I had brought home yesterday morning and the due date is tonight, and I determined that 4 extra hours are required to finish it, meaning (according to the very helpful Instructions) that I would need to find 4 time orbs with 1 hour set on each of them. I find 4 one hour orbs, carefully load them into my sack, say “Tempus Continuum” backwards and watch the glowing and the ticking cease to a eerie silence. I start my journey home, eagerly wanting to test out my extra Time.
I get home and lock myself into the study, with apologies to my wife about having to work all night (just in case this didn’t work), and follow the Instructions: #3: Set all 4 Time-Orbs to the exact same time you want them to start, then place one in each of the four corners of the room you’re working in. Example, you work from 1-3pm, but need another 4 hours, you would set all the Orbs to start at exactly 3pm, and when 3pm starts, the Orbs will counting down one at a time, temporarily releasing you out of the Space-Time Grid (STG). #4, Be warned: DO NOT leave until your time is up. You could cause a rift, and let Unknown Entities (UEs) onto the STG.
I do everything as instructed, and then get to work.

Couple hours later, I join my wife on the couch for our favorite show.
She looks up at me with a smile, “You finished already? I thought you would be working all night?”
I lean forward and kiss her tenderly, pushing back the hair from her face. Looking into her eyes, I say “Babe, from this point on, I won’t let work get into the way of what’s really important, no matter what the reason.”
She smiles and snuggles up under my arm and we both settle in to watch the show. I send up a silent thanks to my dearly departed Grandpa, he could not have given me a better gift, than the Gift of more Time.

Meanwhile, unbeknownst to the happy Pup, he had ripped a small slit in the Grid. What Grandpa and the Instructions didn’t take into account, was that all the clocks in the Pup’s house ran 5 minutes fast, whereas no matter what, the Time-Orbs had to run on Atomic Time. So when he set the Orbs, he set them wrong. The bigger the time difference, the bigger the size of the rift: who ever causes the rift is responsible. Also, no matter what the size, releasing an Entity into the wrong Grid could be catastrophic.
A dog-sized creature, covered in fur and scales, silently pads out of the study, and creeps into the living room. It sees the back of the big soft mound, with two tall things sitting on it, staring at a glowing box on the wall and making funny noises towards each other. It doesn’t like the noises, and really doesn’t like the taller thing for some reason, so it quietly glides over to the couch and slides underneath it, abiding its time.

Click here for part 2