Chapter 14 – Split screen teddy vision
The images from the plasma screen illuminated the room, like moon light shining through water (well kind of, if moon light could flash like a disco strobe light). The Professor strained his eyes to see the flashing images better. Time drained away in front of his eyes and before he realised it, the images on the screen spanned all the way back to the previous turn of the century. The streets were full of straw fuelled horses pulling carts instead of all the hydrogen powered cars, in line on the busy roads. The images on the screen finally focused in on a new and clean looking teddy bear sitting in a small toy shop window.
As the professor glimpsed this, he sat up straight in his chair and slowed the images down to a speed at which a full day would pass in handful of minutes. The little teddy sat stock still in the window waiting for someone to come along and adopt him. The sad thing was that with time flowing backwards it would be an impossible dream, slipping ever further away into the darkness of the mire as each passing second flowed in reverse and away from his goal.
After noticing the teddy, hadn’t moved from a toy shop window for a few minute long days, the Professor saw an old man flash through the shop and unplaced the bear out of the window sill. The video stream slowed down to a natural pace, ‘only still flowing backwards’. The old toy maker appeared on the screen, sat at a work table in a back room. The stuffed toy had been carefully placed onto a pedestal in front of him. The Professor attempted to crack a joke to his returning Assistant “it’s about to be an un-stuffed toy”, giving a little chuckle, as he awaits a response.
Five quiet seconds of silence passed, “oh forget it” he grumbled to himself, and said under his breath “kids these days wouldn’t know funny if it hit them in the face with a, ‘WOW’ did you see that”. He looked utterly glob smackingly amazed, as he watched in the screen divide into two.
On the first screen, the teddy bears stuffing being unstuffed and packet back into a box full of stuffing. And on the second screen was its fluffy fur, being slowly un-sawn and taken apart piece by piece on the work bench. As the teddy bear’s fluffy skin lay unstitched on the bench, there was still only two video image on the one screen. But as the old toy maker walked backwards away from the work top, it happened again and a third separate picture flashed up. In the middle of the new video stream was the old man’s liver spotted hand un-picking up two sparkly black beads, from a draw full of similar looking beads.
The Professors eyes widened and his jaw dropped (more than they physically should have been able too), showing off his coffee stained teeth as he watched the screen intently. He said loudly “hullabaloo”, with drool hanging from his lips, “sorry, sir I didn’t catch that” his Assistant asked, in a slightly worried way, hoping to avoid being shouted at. Moving his jaw back into place the Professor tried to speak again and said “I said”, still with a slight slur, “what the hell is going on “. “Cough, cough, ‘CRACK’”, the lab assistant cleared his throat and clicked his knuckles then said “may I take a stab in the dark to explain it”. The Professor couldn’t believe his ears and said “Be my guest”. His Assistant straightened himself up and said “I think the reason for the video stream splitting into individual images, happens when large parts of the toy are separated. This is due to the experiment being performed on the teddy bear at the