A Small Hole in Time

Contributor: DJ Barber

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It was a bleak and somber trek back to the old farm. Brisson Hanoran took the Old Swamp Road as far as Kilkenny's Mill. The troubles had begun right there. A small ripple in the courses of time--a singularity, they said.
Brisson had no talent in the art of mathematics--left even simple cyphers like making change at market, figuring bushels to pounds, and such as that, to his younger brother, Paddy, who had no mind for the mundane world that comforted Brisson; just dreams and wonders and mathematics--physics, his favorite.
This fold in the time-space--or was it space-time? See, that was Brisson's problem. This ripple, er, singularity--was what Paddy called it. Well, this thing! It just came one day--was there like a speck of mold on the bathtub tile. But its presence was just like that speck on the clean, white tiles: small, but blatantly obvious.
Brisson had looked away--didn't want to know such a thing could be. But Paddy! Couldn't leave well enough alone, now could he? Said it was an impossibility! And that's when all the troubles commenced. The small thing seemed to beckon Paddy--drawing him into its mystery.
The waterwheel turned, churning the mill run waters. The sound of the water was splashy and gay this fair summer's morn. And just by the edge of the flowing waters, the small, black speck sat about knee-high above the shaggy turf; like some suspended gnat. But this was no gnat! Paddy flicked a small piece of straw and the speck sucked it right in; seemed to become almost conical for a split second; like some tiny tornado and stretched nearly touching the ground.
Paddy could not have been more fascinated. He flicked another fragment of straw, then another. He dared to pick up a pebble from beside the waters and tossed it haphazardly about four inches wide of the mark. But it too was sucked in around a fanciful arc. The speck's field of influence only seemed to span some ten to twelve inches, but it devoured ever larger and larger bits of debris tossed its way by Paddy.
Brisson could watch no more. It was some fell and evil trickery by all he could see. Singularity! Bunk and Hooey! But Paddy remained behind--mesmerized. Brisson trudged off for home and hearth. It was some hours later that one of the boys from the village came running through the garden gate; all out of breath and goggle-eyed in fear. Brisson didn't wait for the boy to catch his breath; for he knew as sure as pollywogs turn to frogs, Paddy was gone. That speck of total blackness sat there by the water's edge, a bit fatter than Brisson recalled, trailing a small pointed tail that dangled now above the ground. Brisson picked up chunks of brick from the ruins of the old bridge that had once spanned the mill run and slammed one forcefully onto the speck. But the speck, er, Singularity, swallowed it up just as easily as it had that first bit of straw Paddy had cast its way. Fire and Hell! But wait. Brisson dropped the second and larger brick, turned up a palm in thought and wandered away towards the village; for the speck had just winked out of existence.

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