It was a sweltering, summer day in a coffee shop on Wenyous Boulevard. Ethan Mikalos sat reading a paper at the counter as he did many times in this God-forsaken town. He looked up to watch the traffic go by on the boulevard of this sleepy, arid town and wondered how often he did this when he was bored.
It was late in the afternoon when the mysterious man walked into the coffee shop. Without looking up from his paper Ethan asked what the man would have. After a short pause the man replied that he'd have a Caramel Mocha Latte. A second later Ethan was hopping off his stool and heading for the prep station. As he worked he heard the man mumbling about a machine finally being ready. Ethan wondered to himself what kind of machine he was talking about and what it did. He decided the man was just another odd-ball inventor that seemed to litter this town.
Ethan blinked and found himself holding the Latte that just moments earlier was still blending. He looked around confused as he realized the blender pitcher was already in the sink. He turned around to find the man was gone and realized that the clock was now 10 minutes later than when he had looked at it before. He mumbled to himself about lost profit and resumed reading his paper.
An ambulance stirred him from the sleep he had fallen into. It sped by on its way to an unknown destination. He thought about where it could be going, considering the heat that had been bearing
down on the area lately. He then looked at the clock and it hit him it was nearly closing time. He got up off the stool and headed toward the door to lock up. Ethan commented to himself that another day of wasted profits was coming to a close. With a sigh he locked the door and turned the open sign to closed then started cleaning the counter of the prep station and went about finishing the other chores he had to do.
It was nearly 10 PM when the store was finally clean. Ethan walked out into a steamy, summer night and locked the door behind him. In the distance he could hear sirens blaring. He wondered what it could be this time. Walking to his car he felt a slight breeze kiss his face and thanked his God that there was any breeze at all, however dust filled it was. He got into the car and did his normal routine of dusting the interior and pumping the gas pedal that he'd developed over many years of driving the older model car. He cranked the engine and pulled out of one of the few parking spots that were next to the shop. As he pulled onto the road he was nearly side swiped by a car going too fast. He cursed at the driver and the blind spot in the mirror of his car. As he pulled onto the road to start his drive home, his thoughts turned to the days' events and that mysterious inventor who had come into the shop. Ethan thought about what the machine was that the man was so adamant about. He wondered if it had anything to do with the time lapse he'd experienced.
When he got home he parked in the garage and shut the door. He walked into the house and kicked off his shoes in the mud room. The life of a bachelor was a simple one. He looked at the dishes that were
piling up and decided he would get to them later. He walked into the living room and turned on the 11 o'clock news. It had already started by a few minutes and the lovely little Latin reporter was talking about the many events that had taken place all over the town.
"These events seem to be the work of some sort of time lapse," the reporter said. She stated further, "These events have been linked to an energy burst outside of town in a remote shack in the woods. According to official reports, there have been only a couple of deaths due to the events caused by this energy burst." The reporter went on to say the authorities were on the scene of multiple structural accidents all over town and they would probably be busy for a few days.
Ethan groaned at the thought of the congestion on the streets on the way to work. He switched the TV to one of his favorite programs and drifted into his thoughts. What if the events around town were related to the events in my coffee shop, he thought. What if they were related to that strange man who was in my shop that all of a sudden disappeared? What if all this was caused by that mysterious machine?
He found himself getting up out of his favorite chair and walking over to the computer to look up the address of the TV station. He located it and copied it down with a pen on the notepad he kept by the computer. He ripped the page with the address from the pad and shoved it in his pocket. He thought to himself, I will get to the bottom of this even if I don't know why I want to. He slipped his shoes back on and went to the car. He needed to do this right away for reasons he didn't understand. He opened the garage door and pulled onto the night covered street toward the station.