Charles Pendelton
      © 2008 Marty Langdon
Chapter 23

                         The wonderful workings of a time machine

Pete suggested we all take a walk to the Eltingville train station. Since neither of us could
come up with a better idea, we complied. Ten minutes later, we arrived at Joe’s Optimo cigar
shop adjacent to the train station where we entered. John looks at the cigars but buys
Pete looks at the Tiparillos and winds up buying a pack of Tijuana Smalls.

Whilst I,
not wanting to get lost in the shuffle, request a pack of Muriel Coronas.

Joe was a cigar-chomping Brooklyn native who always had a cigar in his mouth.
No one
understood him when he spoke that unintelligible jargon, but we respected him, nonetheless.

Upon exiting the cigar store, which was partly a convenience store, I paused under the
overhanging sign to light my cigar. After sparking it five times, my cricket lighter would
emit its final flame. So small was this delicate bead of light that it almost seemed to be
levitating above the lighter itself. Knowing it was about to disappear, I began puffing in
in and out while continuing to release the gas. One usually puffs that way when using
a match to light a stogie. The flame flares out like a torch.

As we ascended the steps leading up to the Eltingville train station, it didn't take long for us
to grow restless.
As I stood over the yellow line, looking down at the tracks, I felt like a gerbil
the wheel. My heart was speeding, and it seemed as though I were running on only one
of blood. Enervated and weak would be the best way to describe it. I felt the life being
sucked out of me by an unknown force, and in its place, the very principle of agitation.

I was confused beyond reason, as the world which had forever spun
in one direction had now suddenly decided to come to a grinding halt.

Like a bus ready to overheat, I removed my thin flannel shirt. I then thought about what
I had done before removing my T-shirt as well. John could not fathom me walking around
chested and began to act very embarrassed and ashamed. He then started to walk in
the opposite direction before stopping; like a little boy who suddenly realized he has been
following a stranger. Sheepishly he made his way back but refused to make eye contact.

Peter, who was acting very truculent, kept to himself,
and it was quite apparent that he was living in malice.

As would the animals of the forest when provoked, so did Peter
appear to become increasingly territorial. And if that
were true,
I thought, it could certainly prove to be a danger to us all.

As I gazed at the metal sign,
I saw the word, Eltingville.
I never thought about it before, but it was now becoming

What did it mean, that strange name?

I know it was foolish to dwell on, but
I couldn't help wonder. It was only then, did I suggest
that we walk the tracks. Since we were all feeling a bit adventurous, Pete decided it wasn't
such a bad idea.
We then hopped down from the old wooden platform and began
our descent
into oblivion. I tried to imagine what we must look like to the ghosts and
apparitions now
watching us from the station as we faded away into the distance.

                                                                               Pg 111

There was always something watching someone it appeared
(from my mind's eye)
as if from a ubiquitous window in time,
and I found that to be exhilarating.

Looking back, my eyes took a second to focus, s
to a cheap camera that was always on and ready.

                                                     Hamilton Streetcar - Invisible people

How wonderful it felt to be in motion,
to be moving unrestrained.
So free are we now to travel,
to go about our way without restrictions,

to follow our own instinct and senses
without rules and regulations posted everywhere,
you where you can and cannot go,
telling us what we can and cannot do.

With each step I took, I began to feel as though we were
walking in a dream, and the further we got, the more
the whole night seemed. It appeared as though
Captain Jack had given us our own private island.

In the distance, I could see the Hawaiian restaurant coming into view. There were many lights
fashioned to shine upon that faded brown metal sign, which bore the name of the remarkable

establishment. As we passed by, I could clearly see the white vinyl letters that have curled up
around the edges, giving it a more pronounced look. Thus, creating a sharper appearance.

So intrigued was I by the withering of the years that I found myself entranced in its hypnotic
presence. I was completely baffled at how it now looked more Polynesian and exotic than
it ever did before. All because of an error in manufacturing that caused the material
shrivel over time. As we gradually came closer, I realized these permanent white stick-on

letters actually had more of an authentic look to them as they got older, almost like a new
form of Asian lettering. It seemed as if they were now ‘fully accentuated’ by the whole
aspect of the South Pacific Sea and a foreign culture we've come to adopt and to love.

Below the overpass, calcium carbonate deposits from rainwater, combined with an
accumulation of sprayed rock salt, form small, brittle stalactites on its discolored
underbelly. It is a buildup over time, from when water and salt become trapped within
the pores of the old concrete. Gradually, it finds its way out by trickling downward.

In winter, the exterior wall resembles a glistening waterfall of white, like frozen milk.

One that is smooth to the touch as polished glass, while in summer, parts of the
exterior surface appear to be caked and crumbling, as if it has already begun its
transformation into rock salt. In certain areas of Brooklyn, you will find there are
literally piles of accumulated concrete powder decorating the appearance of old
structures and exposing the rusted steel used to secure the entire railway's facade.

As we exited the overpass and moved on, I saw an old, barbed wire fence to my left.

Covered in rust and decaying, it stood there like a monument from another time, whose
only purpose now, I thought, was to just exist until the sentinels of time whisk it away.

Toward the middle, it bowed like a swag valance,
for a tree had grown through it.

As that tree continues to grow, it has no other choice than to devour whatever is
in its
way until nothing remains. One day, I am sure that part of the fence is going
to be
either gone or dangling many feet in the air, like an old kite string. Further
the superannuated fence just seemed to stop, leaving its bare, rusting
threads to dance like fibrils in the wind. Soon, neither us nor they shall remain.

It didn't take long, before we approached the Annadale station.

It was around this time that I felt it grow stronger still. Looking up,
I noticed a large banner had been draped across the trestle
that read:
“Welcome to Annadale Junction,” and I was elated.

                                                                               Pg 112

John noticed it too and asked happily, “what's a junction?” I explained to him that a
hundred years ago, there were no train stations. In those days, a train stop was called
a junction. And now, I think we might very well be back in time. Of course, Peter was
not within earshot to spoil it for me, because again, I was making it up as I went along.

A chance I could infuse my ideas into the mind of another participant on the journey. 

If you looked at the situation as I did in the present tense, you would then
have to
ask yourself a simple question. Who in their right mind would ingest
a psychoactive substance and then go outside to try
and act normal?

           ((((((((((((((((Isn't that what coffee is for? ))))))))))))))))

John marveled at the thought of it and was filled with glee. Forthwith, he was
overcome by insurmountable little bursts of adrenaline. The kind we so often
felt as children on an excitable day. It wasn't too long after when my mind
began to prefabricate wild yarns, and in my head, I imagined we had passed
through an invisible doorway, a doorway leading back instead of forward. 

The 1980's had miraculously vanished, and I was walking down the tracks before my
parents were born. It was an incredible feeling, kind of like being in a dream where
you are living somewhere else. You know every room in that house; until you wake up.

I could almost envision horse-drawn carriages awaiting me
on the other side of the tracks, t
he taste of fresh water from
a hand drawn well, and the scent of honeysuckles from

As the wheels inside my head began to spin faster, my senses were more attuned
to creating
the next scene. In my mind, I saw the sun standing still in the midday
hour where women in
fancy dress were walking nonchalantly. They who gently twirl their parasols behind
them are,
in fact, sporting their femininity. I can now hear them whisper very excitedly to
one another
while vying through the corner of their eyes for perspective grooms. Never
at any time were
these damsels grandiloquent in nature, but rather quiet and shy.

The modern contrivances of the day had dissolved, as did the sun, and all that remained
were the dying embers of time extracted from a shadowy canvas which lined the sky.
That immense glory forever fulfilling the pages of hope from a book I never thought
would be written in my lifetime. One that lay in a dark corner of my mind, long discarded.

At last, the annals of truth will be revealed,and the days of my life shall be recounted.

Euphoria was coursing through my veins like an analgesic, and I was now
oblivious to
everything except that which resides in my own macrocosm.

Although it was only a state
of mind, our imagination was taking us to new heights.
Weird things were beginning to
happen in my brain, and I honestly felt I had somehow
breached the threshold in making
the transition from 1982 to 1882. As we proceeded
on down the tracks, following two
shimmering rails of lighted steel, we truly felt like
the lords of all creation.

But this was just not meant to be, for up ahead in the distance,
we heard what was ultimately the end of my evening.

           The Twilights - Stop the world for a day                    

                                                                               Pg 113

Reviews for chapter 23

Joe Yasner - When very word begs to be written, you are no longer a writer but an artist! Congrats fella!

Ronnie Mack - Coffee is not a psychoactive substance

Charles Pendelton - According to National Geographic magazine,
and every other place I've looked,
caffeine is still the world's most
popular psychoactive drug
*Take a look for yourself and you'll see*      

Caffeine is officially the world's most popular psychoactive drug

((((((((((((((((((((P.S. - It is also a stimulant))))))))))))))))))))


                                                          This review was posted on Nov/15/22



                                       This review was posted on Dec/22/22

                                               iqrabashir871 's review
The Embryo Man and Other Tales of Woe: Chapter 23 - The wonderful workings of a time machine

                                              Reader's Report by Iqra




                                  This review was posted on Dec/31/22

                                  nehanegi1905 's review
The Embryo Man and Other Tales of Woe: Chapter 23 -
The wonderful workings of a time machine

                                    Reader's Report by nehanegi1905





                                          This review was posted on Jan/2/23

                                                          alits29's review

            The Embryo Man and Other Tales of Woe: Chapter 23 - Reader Report

                               Beta Reader's Report by Alitha Igloria (alits29)





                                       This review was posted on Jan/2/23

                                                   Hajranoor's review

The Embryo Man and Other Tales of Woe: Chapter 23 - The
wonderful workings of a time machine

                                            Reader's Report by Hajra



If any image on this site is considered to be offensive, it will be removed. If it has been copied without
proper consent, please contact me immediately and the image will either be removed, or credit shall be
given unto the person or persons responsible. Whether it be an artist, photographer, cartoonist., etc.

PG 111) Cigar box label for Fine Cigars -

PG 111) Digestion
by Henry Gunderson

PG 112) Double life by Jacek Yerka -

PG 112) The Sentinel by J
udson Huss

PG 113) Coffee
- If you're not shaking... -

PG 113) Doors of the night
by Vladimir Kush -