C. Meton


You Can Bet Your Shirt on It


Two’s day.

Well, I wasn’t going to write this down, but it seems so bizarre that I feel I have to. So, I guess this is kind of like a diary or something. Well, anyhow, I think my dad came from the future. Least that’s what my mom told me. I never knew my dad, ya see. Nope. He was long gone before I was old enough to remember anything. Guess I was kind of little or something.

Well, anyhow, my mom said that my dad showed up one day in a flash of light out behind the shed and there was some kind of a shiny thing or something. I don’t remember much ’cause I was so little, ya know.

Anyhow, she said that he was bleeding from his arm and he wore clothes made out of some kind of fabric that didn’t wrinkle easy and he smelled funny — like a hospital, kind of — and that the shiny thing just sat there with a hole in it that Dad had crawled out of.

It was really cold and had frost stuck to it, but it was steaming at the same time and the frost melted quick and ran down the sides like it was sitting in the rain or something, but it wasn’t sitting in the rain ’cause it was a sunny day.

Well, anyhow, Dad asked Mom where he was and she said he was here and Dad got all confused and then the shiny thing disappeared and Dad was here to stay ’cause he didn’t know where he came from or how to get back.

I told the kids down at the school yard about it when Mom told me, but they all said I was nuts or something and then they wouldn’t play with me any more. Well, now I’m older and I know better. I think Dad really did come from the future. That’s where he got them fancy clothes and why he smelled different and stuff. And I got me another reason for believing it too, and so’s I figured I better write this all down before I test my idea.

Well, anyhow, I found me one of them shiny things myself the other day. It’s down in the woods in a gully all covered up with logs and leaves and stuff and partly in the mud and I reckon it’s the same kind of shiny thing that Dad showed up in down behind the shed a few years back before I was born.

So I’m gonna pry the cover off’n it and climb inside and see for myself what it is and decide if it is what I think it is. Gonna do it this afternoon right after I finish sloppin’ the hogs and get the slop bucket put away.

Wen’s day.

Dear Diary, or whatever. Well, that sure sounds stupid. I ain’t no woman so’s I don’t figure this can be a diary. Must be a journal. Well, anyhow, I didn’t get to try out my idea last night on account of it rained and I had to wrestle that stupid sheep to get him into the shed out of the rain or he’d get sick and die and I’d be up a creek without a paddle for meat this winter other than just that salt pork we usually put up.

With Mom gone to the city for the rest of the summer it leaves me to take care of everything for myself. But today’s my birthday and I’m ate teen so I figure it’s as good a day as any to try out that shiny thing and see if it is whatever that thing was that my dad showed up in. So as soon as I finish writing this I’m going down there and check that thing out. Gonna wear that new Polly Esther shirt Mom brought me from town last month too. Seein’ it’s a special occasion and all.

Still Wen’s day.

OK, so here I am in this thing. I took a crow bar from the shed and started to prying in a little gap where I thought it might be a door or something and it just opened all by it’s self. I was so surprised when it opened that I fell over backward and tumbled down the gully and got all muddy. Got a big cut on my left arm too, but it ain’t deep so it ought’n to heal OK.

I climbed back up to the thing and the door was still open so I looked in. There was a kind of a seat that looked like it was shaped specially to fit a man so I climbed in to try it out. Soon’s I did and I slid into the seat the door shut and I couldn’t figure out how to open it.

Then some kind of spray hit me and I thought the whole thing must have fallen down the gully all the way to the stream at the bottom and water was gettin’ in somehow. I know the stream is a few feet deep right at this point and I thought I was going to drown, but then I smelled something strange. The water didn’t smell sweet like the water in the stream, but instead it had a smell that reminded me of the veterinarian’s office where we got our sheep medicine.

The spray only lasted for a short time, and then all the mud was off me. I looked at my little book that I was writing in and it wasn’t even wet! So, anyhow, I wrote this down too.

Now I’m trying to figure out how to get out of this thing but there ain’t no door handles or nothing and I’m starting to wonder if there’s enough air in here and if there ain’t then nobody is going to find me until Mom comes home this Fall and she might not even find me because she doesn’t know to look in the gully for a shiny thing half buried in the mud under leaves and logs and such. So I guess this might be my farewell note to whoever finds it.

Thirst day.

Well, anyhow, I survived that. There was air and light and everything inside that thing even though it didn’t have any windows or vents that I could see. There were some dark and light areas on a dashboard kind of thing in front of me and they kind of looked like they could be buttons except that they were smooth with the rest of the surface.

I thought it wouldn’t hurt to touch one of them so I pressed it like it was a button and the light changed from white to red and next thing I knew I was out behind the shed except that the shed looked a lot newer and there weren’t no pigs or sheep or nothing and the door was open again.

Since the door was open, I climbed out as quick as I could and then the prettiest girl I ever did see came walking around the shed and looked at me and made a short, little scream, but then gathered her wits and just asked me who I was. I told her and then she asked me about the shiny thing and I said I didn’t know what it was but that I had climbed in and then I was here and I climbed back out. The shiny thing had frost all over it like it might of been sitting in a frozen field all winter, but the grass was green and the air was warm and this definitely wasn’t winter.

Well, anyhow, that girl sure was pretty, and she reminded me of Mom except that she was a lot younger. We started to talking a little and then the shiny thing just up and disappeared and I didn’t know where I was and I asked the girl and she just said that I was here, wherever here was. But I think her here was the same as my here because of the shed seemed like it was the same shed and all. But something was really different and I just couldn’t put my finger on it.

Mom day.

Well, anyhow, that was all about a year ago. Mary Jo’s folks up and died of the fever and that just left me and Mary Jo and so now we’re taking care of the place and she’s gettin’ big in the belly. She says it’s going to be a baby. I figured such, but it’s not that I know much about such things, being’s my mom never talked to me about that kind of stuff and all. Mary Jo and me figured it out our own selves, though good enough.

Well, anyhow, I stayed with her since I arrived here and she showed me the way to town and we took some of her dad’s money out’n the jar and bought a lamb and a few piglets that were just weaned and that about cleaned us out. We already had some chickens and her dad had some gardening tools so we got a vegetable garden going and we grew some food. We gave table scraps to the pigs and they’re growing good, so we should be OK for food. Winter’s coming and it’s good we got the harvest in. I can butcher one of the pigs and salt it down too when we need it.

Toes day.

Well, I just found this old book in Mom’s stuff and it kind of backs up what she told me about Dad. He died that first winter of knew moan ya and he’s buried out behind the shed. Mom said that he used to go out there a lot to see if the shiny thing he came in ever returned, but it never did.

I think Dad came from the future or something. Mom told me so and that’s good enough for me, ’specially since I found this here booklet that backs it all up. I don’t care that the kids down at the school yard think I’m nuts cause I found me one of them shiny things down in the gully and I’m goin’ to check it out soon’s I’m done with my chores. It ain’t every day I test an idea, so I’m gonna wear my new shirt Mom got me just before she left for the summer.


Copyright 2006 by Bewildering Stories
on behalf of C. Meton




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