Invention & Discovery
“Look,” I said, “I get what you’re saying. Some of it, anyway. I don’t believe it, but I get it. What I don’t get is that!” I pointed the end of the plastic trumpet at the mass of pipes and wires humming in the corner of the Prof’s lab. “Are you really trying to tell me that thing is a time machine?”
Aesthetically speaking, Svetlana was imperfect due to a sudden defect in the molding machine. Her lower lip was missing, or not actually missing, it just seemed stuck to the inside of her upper lip, which stretched towards her chin like a long tongue. But otherwise she was a perfectly functional model and, considering their concerns with costs, the Quality Control had been lenient year after year, allowing her to give birth instead of discarding her to the bin. So now, there she was-- Svetlana Guremonski, a birth model, plugged in to a monitor and staring at the ceiling with her liquid and expressive eyes.
I don’t recall whose idea it was—most likely Mrs Brook’s since she’s in charge of parcels—but a few years ago we started a Secret Santa at the post office in our small town. Nothing remarkable about that, you might say, and certainly to begin with it was the usual exchange of scarves for fountain pens, vases for mid-price watches, Argyle socks for hardback books. Until last year that is; last year I came home with an Invisibility Waistcoat.