Elmo's Sojourn

by Walt Trizna

Elmo, a retired scientist, travels through a wormhole to the planet Roth where he helps combat an alien invasion which is menacing the planet.


Cellar Science

“I have a problem! I have a big problem!” Elmo shouted from his cellar laboratory.

Mildred shook her head wiped her hands on her apron and headed for the basement door. After fifty years of marriage, Elmo never ceased to amaze her at the trouble he could get into. Mildred fell in love with him so long ago. He was unpredictable, a dreamer, while at the same time a practical and strong man.

“Could he garden like other men his age? Oh no, he has to do physics experiments,” Mildred muttered as she walked down the cellar stairs.

* * * *

They had moved into this rural house in Upstate New York ten years ago, right after Elmo had retired from his job at Los Alamo Laboratory. He was a physicist at the laboratory, part of a think-tank that planned experiments. But Elmo enjoyed the lab work too. He had accumulated a host of ideas and discarded equipment.

Mildred gazed out the window of her country home. Nearby, tall electrical towers obstructed some of the bucolic scenery, but Mildred liked the house just fine. Elmo brought along the junk he had accumulated over the years, mostly discarded apparatus from failed experiments, equipment useless to everyone except Elmo. The items included large magnets and four six foot tall Tesla coils, specialized high voltage transformers three feet in diameter and wrapped with miles of thin copper wire. They resembled giant candles, coming to a point with electrical connections at the apex. Elmo had transported all this equipment into the basement and fiddled with it for years. He then had a large Plexiglas chamber built, which set them back a bundle. He stood the Tesla coils in each corner, and then mounted the magnets in the floor.

The next step in the construction of Elmo’s experiment Mildred found most undesirable. Elmo told Mildred, “I’ll need a great deal of power for my research. Soon I’ll need your help making the electrical connections for the project I’ve been working on.”

A few days ago a truck had delivered a huge spool of heavy insulated wire, another great expense, and now Mildred was getting a bad feeling. Once it was dark, Elmo emerged from the basement wearing rubber boots and heavy rubber gloves. “Get your coat, Mildred, we’re going out.” The spool of wire was in the bed of Elmo’s pickup. They drove to the base of the nearest electrical tower and parked.

“What are you going to do, Elmo?” Mildred asked in a voice full of apprehension and a touch of impatience.

“I’m going to climb the tower and connect this wire which you’re going to feed out,” he replied. Mildred shook her head and wished Elmo would act his age.

After Elmo accomplished that illegal task, he spent most of his time in the basement tinkering with his invention. He called it his Time—Space Chamber, and when Mildred asked just what he was doing Elmo explained, “I’ve always thought that if I could create an electrical field, then move those electrons in a magnetic field to approach the speed of light, I could create a wormhole to a distant time and place. I could aim the wormhole and transport matter. The secret is the size of the magnetic field. It must be small, not like the giant cyclotrons they construct in the desert.

All Mildred could say was, “If it makes you happy dear.” It kept Elmo out of her hair for years.

Walt Trizna - "New Moon Rising"


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