The Ears of Time

June 16, 2013
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“Would you like a peanut butter fluff sandwich?” the mother, Helen, signed.

The eight-year-old girl, who went by the name Jamie, sighed and signed back, “I’m fine. Thanks.”

The mother smiled, and continued making lunch for her husband.

Dr. Turk Frederick, a prestigious scientist, used to research time travelling extensively; until his wife gave birth to Jamie. The doctors declared Jamie deaf; and since then, he devoted the rest of his life to figuring out a cure for his daughter. The task, in his wife’s opinion, devoured family lunch time every day.

“Honey,” Helen exclaimed as she walked into the basement. “Honey, I know you’re hungry, so I brought you a peanut butter fluff sandwich.”

Dr. Fredrick wheeled out from under his technological gizmo, kissed his wife, and said with a smile, “Thanks love, but you know that I can’t eat right now. I am almost eighty-nine point two percent sure I am close to finding a cure for our daughter.”

Helen stared at him and diverted her gaze. Her husband was nowhere near to finding a cure for Jamie. He had said this line every day for the past eight years. She sighed and managed to spit out the words, “that’s great honey.” After watching her husband for a few moments, she headed upstairs to the kitchen.

“Why won’t this work?” wailed Dr. Frederick. “I don’t understand. This keeps happening. The pH levels are stagnant to the point of standstill.” He grumbled, and wiped the beads of sweat off his face.

“Cet sandwich est beau,” (That sandwich looks mighty handsome) he thought, as he eyed the snack on the florally decorated plate.

He bit out of the sandwich, smacked his lips, and headed upstairs.

8:30 AM. The sun has just risen, and the rays are peering through the thick, silk curtains of a florally-decorated room.

Jamie stumbled out of bed, and stared out her window. She did this every day. She attempted to hear the birds chirping in her head. She closed her eyes and tried to imagine their sweet music piercing through her eardrums. Jamie sighed, and headed downstairs.

Downstairs, she found no one had awoken. Her eyes scanned the room and eventually fell upon the opened basement door. Walking towards it, she looked from left to right multiple times. It almost seemed as if the staircase was a path of some sort.

The basement was caliginous.

Jamie flipped the light switch.

The light illuminated the orange desk lamp and the lab bench. She looked around curiously, touching everything in sight. She made her way around the basement until her feet fell before the grey, covered box. Jamie looked once again, left then right, then left again. She uncovered the box. If appeared to be some sort of time machine. However, it seemed like the machine was turned off. Jamie looked around for the plug.

She found it.

She plugged it in. The machine sprung to life. She felt the vibrations of the sounds it made. The colors were so bright. Yellow. Green. Pink. Yellow again. Jamie began to jump up and down with excitement.

The machine honked, skipped, and finally stopped. On the small screen, to the side of the machine, appeared the number: 1994. Next to the screen, she saw a small knob that could alter the number. The knob, once pushed, could open up the door of the time machine.


She pushed it, and stepped inside. The door closed, and off she went into the future.

2025. Jamie walked out of the machine. All of sudden, her ears began to pick up the trickling of water. She turned around. The noise was clear. It was water. She felt her ears, and realized quickly that she could hear!

“I can hear? I can hear! I can hear! My ears work! My daddy found the cure for deafness. I can hear.” She exclaimed, then screamed, and then howled.

Jamie was so caught up in the moment that she failed to acknowledge her surroundings. The year 2025 was nothing like she expected. Everything had returned back to colonial times. People used horses and oxen for means of transportation. Nature seemed to be well taken care of. Coal powered factories were demolished and turned into farming tools. No man, woman, or child wore fancy shoes or clothing. Everything was backwards.

Jamie looked around. Shocked. Where was her family? Why was everything in the colonial age? She thought that as time progressed France would become more technologized. “What happened?” she asked aloud. A man heard her, and replied to her in French. “Mademoiselle, ne savez pas vous? Les ordinateurs, les portables, les télés… ils ne sont plus. Le gouvernment a renversé en deux mille quatorze. Le euro est mort parce que la banque est très mauvaise. Alors, les personnes a voulu recommencer le system.” (Lady, don’t you know? The computers, phones, and televisions… they’re all gone. The government was overthrown in 2014, and the euro died because the bank was terrible. So, the people wanted to restart the system)

Jamie looked at the man horrified. She didn’t understand why the people would overthrow the government, let alone allow the Euro to die. She didn’t want to live in this time; she didn’t want to live in a time that regressed instead of progressed. “Merci monsieur,” she said when she realized the man was still standing in front of her. Jamie looked around and sighed. Does she go back to a more technological time with her family, and continue to remain deaf? Or does she remain in an age that prefers the simpler things in life?

She looked at the time machine, and climbed inside.

2025. 2000. 1994.

Jamie stumbled out of the time machine. It was still morning. She walked up the stairs, and into her room. She grabbed her suitcase and her favorite watch. After packing, she headed to the kitchen. In there, she ripped a Post-It note and began writing. Suddenly, her pen began to leak. Jamie groaned, and crumpled up the piece of paper. However when she did so, she heard something ruffling, crunching, and scratching. She screamed. Her parents rushed down to the kitchen. They signed, “What’s wrong?” She looked at them, smiled, and uttered the words:

“Je peux entendre.” (I can hear)

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