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The Fate Machine
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The Fate Machine
This is a story about a desperate man who finds a way to take control of his own fate. Or does he?
This is an unfinished story that I am having trouble with and would appreciate any ideas or comments as to where it could go.
Darcy K Metz
AUTHOR'S E-MAIL ADDRESS
|AUTHOR'S OTHER TITLES (13)
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A Quarrel In The Forest (Short Stories) An argument between a cedar tree and a stone resolves itself after much time. [161 words]
I Was Treeplanting One Day (Short Stories) This may not resemble the mind of any real treeplanters out there, so take no offense if you are one. I have been one, and this is just a snapshot of what I may have been thinking on any given day out... [1,957 words] [Mind]
Some Mirrors Never Lie (Short Stories) - [2,406 words]
The Big Bang (Short Stories) A short short about a man who meets himself. [196 words]
The Cold, Bitter Taste Of Gin (Short Stories) A man in his mid thirties is watching the sunset one summer evening at his lakeside cabin. As he sits, taking everything in, his senses trigger memories from his past which he realizes still haunt him... [3,123 words] [Mind]
The Smelter Worker (Novels) A strange guy who nobody knows about joind their crew at an aluminum smelter in a small town called Kitimat, in th northcoast of British Columbia. Who is this guy and where does he come from? [4,214 words]
The Trouble With Carla (Short Stories) This story follows a previous one, "The Winds of Change." This story is more of a horror and may not be for those who dislike blood and gore. [4,905 words] [Horror]
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...And Everything Goes Black (Short Stories) A nightmarish story about a young man, two taxi drivers, and one unforgettable woman. The story is meant to leave the reader wondering what exactly is going on here? [2,517 words] [Mystical]
The Fate Machine
Darcy K Metz
fate: noun, 1 a power thought to control all events and impossible to resist. 2 a person’s destiny. 3 (the Fates) (Gk. Myth.) the three goddesses who presided over people’s lives and deaths.*
*from The Oxford Paperback Dictionary, Fourth Edition. Oxford University Press. 1994.
Dr. Nathan MacIntyre was a brilliant physicist whose area of expertise was quantum mechanics. As a child, he was considered gifted and excelled in all of his subjects. At age 15 he enrolled into a top Ivy league university in which he completed a double major in physics and mathematics. At age 19 he began work on his Ph.D. in particle physics and was granted his doctorate at the tender age of 22. He immediately took a job at the university heading up research into the fabled string theory. The joke going around amongst his colleagues at the university was that he would likely win a Nobel Prize by his thirtieth birthday. At the age of twenty-six, he was to find out that this would never happen.
At first he was coming down with constant colds and was suffering from fatigue all of the time. To be sure, Dr. MacIntyre always did overwork himself and never ate well or exercised and he was addicted to sleeping pills to help him sleep. The day he was hospitalized they found that he suffered a terrible bout of pneumonia, but that was not the worst of it. One of the battery of tests that was done on him found that he was suffering advanced stages AIDS. It was learned that he was given a transfusion in the early 1980’s when he was almost killed in a car crash that also took his mother’s life. The fact that he survived the crash and his mother didn’t, his father told him it was fate. That’s the only advice his father had ever given him: when something went wrong it was fate, when something was good, that too was fate. After his eight months of convalescence, Dr. MacIntyre was put on an experimental drug program that had the hopes of extending his life, and if fate allowed, might even make him better.
Then came the dreams. Maybe it was a side effect of the pharmaceuticals. Maybe it was the stress and deep depression he was suffering. Maybe it was the sleeping pills he didn’t tell his doctors about reacting with the pharmaceuticals. Maybe like his father had told him on the phone the night before, “It’s fate son. Ain’t nothin’ you can do ‘bout it. Just maybe you gotta except it.” Or maybe it was the synergistic reactions of all of these things. The dreams told him he could stop his own fate, that he would then get cured and then he would get healthy and then he could have anything he wanted. Before his illness, Dr. MacIntyre would have dismissed the dreams as just dreams, but now in his current state of mind he was convinced of the reality and truth to his dreams. So he began building his machine.
For the next two years he worked day and night on his machine, building it in his own makeshift workshop in the basement. Luckily for Dr. MacIntyre fate allowed him to push the limits of his illness and the drugs did manage to prevent his condition from worsening. During this two year period Dr. MacIntyre saw no one, lost touch with all of his colleagues, he had no friends to begin with, and only left the house to get the materials he needed for his blessed machine. The further he got in his construction the more he also found the resources for introspection. It was the introspection that made him aware of the deep sadness he felt since that car crash that stole his mother from him at the age of seven. The day this dawned on him was the same day he finished his machine, but now all he could do was cry. For the first time since before that crash, Dr. MacIntyre became Nathan MacIntyre the sad, frightened little boy. Nathan hadn’t cried after the crash because he believed his stupid father and he felt at the time that there was no reason to be sad. Now he cried for the last twenty-two years of his life.
Nathan had learned from his father that emotions were the sign of a weak person and that since fate ruled, emotions were of no value. So from the age of seven Nathan had become not unlike an emotionless automaton, driven by the sheer genius that fate had given to him. All of his life since then he felt nothing for anyone and thought that this was some advanced human trait. Love he never experienced since his mother died. Now he was sorry he had ever treated those women who were keen on him so badly. Over the next few months, Nathan got to know for the first time who he really was, and what he got to know he absolutely despised. He concluded that he had nothing of real value in his life. No friends offered him support because he always treated people as inferior to himself so no one ever got close to him. This angered Nathan very much and he now knew what he had to do: change his fate and become a real human being again.
In his newfound flood of rage, Nathan moved uncoordinatedly down the steps into his basement workshop. There before him was his completed machine covered with a three month blanket of dust. Nathan approached the control panel on the work bench and with what force he could muster, exuded a paltry volume of air from his weak lungs, barely clearing the dust from the control panel. The control panel had a single button marked “activate”. Nathan pressed the single button and his machine became activated. It was all rather unimpressive, the reaction of his machine. It made barely an audible hum and vibrated only so slightly, but the space under what looked like a giant shower head went completely black. No light penetrated an area the size of a large oil drum. It was shaped like an oil drum too, this altered area of space-time. Nathan became Dr. MacIntyre for a moment as he observed this. Dr. MacIntyre found it rather unsurprising that nth dimensional space would lack any observable features in three dimensional space since the human eye only saw in three dimensions.
After a few moments the machine shut itself down after completing its one time only task. And the “drum” of higher dimensional space dissolved back into three dimensions. The results were just what he expected. In the space where the drum had been was a naked woman with a rather confused look to her face. And now Dr. Nathan MacIntyre knew what he had to do: he had to kill this woman.
------- story stops--------
|READER'S REVIEWS (3)
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"I can see where you are wanting to go with with this story, and I like it well enough. BUt, the thing is, when the story begins, you give the character no feeling whatsoever, until later, but by that time the people don't know how he HAD felt and basically don't care what happens to the man then. Maybe some flashbacks, and some remembered conversations with him and his father, would bring him emotion and realism. Maybe add a few boyhood tears, and the like. But I like this story, I do, and I hope I helped you out. I'll read it again if you want to re do it or something. Good job!" -- Kimberly De Liz.
"Hi Darcy - the story line is interesting, but you are simply telling us the story, not showing it (one of the writer's commandments!). Try using more conversation, more action, instead of just merely telling us what's going on - this may help the story move for you. " -- Jennifer Nobile Raymond, New York, NY.
"I agree completely with the previous reviewer (Jennifer). You are just giving us a chronicle of events, no description or characterization to speak of, and you are telling us everything, not showing us the story unfolding so that we can interpret it for ourselves. I suspect you have become too focused on plot, which is only one element of a story. Before we can become drawn-in to the plot we have to care about the person or people involved in that plot. This bit is missing. The central character is, to be honest, a bit of a cardboard cut-out. Those extra dimensions are exactly what he lacks!" -- David Gardiner, London, England.
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© 1999 Darcy K Metz
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