The Mysterious Bookshop


Lt. Jones Visits Yet Another Possible Future Part Four


Mandible pointed to the machine.  ‘There you go.  Keep me posted, Bibby.’

Bibby gestured to Lt. Jones. ‘Ok. But what about him?’

‘You trying to tell me my job?  I’ll take care of it.  Let’s go, Jones.’

And with that they went out the shimmering orange field through which George Mandible had entered. When they entered the anteroom, the Lieutenant started to speak. ‘Shh!’ said the security chief. ‘Not here. Come into my office.’  Then, with but a gesture, or so it seemed, another shimmering orange field appeared in the center of the wall; then Mandible stepped through, beckoning Lt. Jones to follow, which he did, although not without some trepidation. They entered a spartan office with another bare desk although this one did not have a big red button on it.

Mandible smiled.  ‘Takes some getting used to, doesn’t it?’  The Lieutenant spun to face him, his face betraying his shock.

‘It’s not hard to tell that you don’t belong here. I felt the same way when I arrived.’

‘Then you’re from another time too?’

‘I was sent here, just as you were. I’m trying to turn the Chicago of the future into a desert.’

‘What!  I’m trying to PREVENT Chicago being turned into a desert!  Why would anyone want to destroy the city?’

‘Not to destroy it, to save it!’

‘How do you figure?’

‘You see, radiation from the atomic testing program will destroy the ecosystem over time--the soil, the water, the air--all of it. If we act now, if we turn it back to nature, then the environment can regenerate itself.’

The Lieutenant pondered this. ‘What you say makes sense, but how can I be sure?  I barely know what is going on as it is.’

Mandible smiled. ‘Didn’t get much information from Valeria, did you?’

‘I’ll say I didn’t!  I pretty much got shanghaied here!’

‘Well, look, let’s get out of here and talk someplace. I’ll give you my take on things, and you can decide what to do then.’

But before Lt. Jones could reply, there appeared, coming up from the ground, a strange greenish mist. It grew and grew until it approximated the shape of a humanoid. All at once it coalesced into the inimitable shape of Valeria!


Now what?  Is The Windy City to be turned into a desert, or will that possible future be averted?  And what of Valeria?  Whose side is she on?  Stay tuned and we hope you enjoyed this special Wednesday edition of ATM; y_r friendly blogger is taking some sun the next couple of days but never fear!  We'll continue the adventure next week!

Written by Ian Kern — September 06, 2017

Specializing in Mystery Fiction and all its subgenres, including Detective, Crime, Hardboiled, Thrillers, Espionage, and Suspense.

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