Flash Fiction February 13: New

I’m a scientist. Just so you know where I was starting from. I’m also a little bit anxious. And, by ‘a little bit’, I mean a lot. But it’s not that strange for a bride to be anxious leading up to her wedding day, right? Yes, what I did about it might be construed as strange.

You know how a bride is supposed to have ‘something old, something new, something burrowed, and something blue’ for luck. Well, I wanted to be as lucky as I could be. So, I went to my friends for help.

Jackie is a sociologist. She studies society’s relationship with things. I knew she was my first stop. I explained my situation to her and she gave me a simple pink handkerchief with stitched flowers. Why a handkerchief? It was involved in a longitudinal study of lending and burrowing. She said it was the item that travelled the most. I asked how much. She pulled up one of her datasheets to make sure and said, ‘16,522 times’.

Next, I went to Stuart. He’s a material scientist and an amateur artist. I enquired as to the bluest thing he has. He said he’ll get back to me. He called me about a week later and said he experimented with sapphire dust, lapis lazuli, cordierite, kyanite, and azurite and managed to produce an artificial gem he now calls Deepest Blue and that I’m welcome to the first prototype.

My friend Jen is an archeological anthropologist. She also works for her uni’s museum. I didn’t know anyone from the geology department so I went to her. She knew what I wanted before I even opened my mouth. She said she could get in a lot of trouble. I promised I’ll give it right back after the ceremony and keep it in whatever way she said. It took me promising her a favor from my field before she relented and gave me a Denisovan finger bone. I asked how much. She said about 250 thousand years, give or take 10 or 15 thousand.

I was in charge of the ‘Something New’ Department. You see, I’m a high-energy practical physicist. I experiment with various particles travelling at near lightspeed. And we’ve finally got enough theory together to try and make our own artificial wormhole. And the fun thing about wormholes is that they allow you to create a close time-like curve, the only known way to actually time-travel without breaking causality. Of course, they are not very stable and you are limited in what you can transfer. We fired that baby up three days before the wedding and it was stable for 0.78 milliseconds. But, that was enough to get a short radio burst. When we deciphered it, this is what we got, this little, low-res image of you, twelve weeks along, not even born yet, a picture that was not taken yet and won’t be taken for another three months. Of course, I had to make sure to do the experiment again at that time and send the image back otherwise the universe might have blown up or something, no biggy.

And that’s the story of how I won marriage.

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