Waste Management

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Science Fiction
A small time inventor does not realize the consequences of his actions.

Submitted: July 17, 2017

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Submitted: July 17, 2017

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Waste Management

Horatio Fleggbotom sat at a small table, in the far corner of the exhibition hall. The Inventors Convention, an enormous success brought thousands of people from industry to the town. The massive crowd of consumers rambled past the elaborate displays of consumer electronic gadgets.

Horatio could not afford any complicated display devices nor could he afford any floor space bigger than his card table and chair. Therefore, Horatio sat in the corner hoping someone would meander by and ask for a demonstration. Horatio sat quietly on his chair, his small contraption sat in the middle of the small table on a white linen tablecloth. Next to it, lay a small pile of blank sheets of paper. Strangers past giving a short glance to the device and moved on. Horatio was a timid sort, so he did not call out to the passing throng to come over to see his invention.

Hours went past. Finally, a young man, perhaps in his late 20's, stopped and examined the structure sitting quietly in front of Horatio. "What does it do?" He asked. Horatio smiled and said, "It's a wastebasket!" The structure had four rods in a square, each a foot high. The rods held a plate to which was attached 15 small laser pointers, and 15 small mirrors each angled slightly, and all of it formed a circle about 6 inches across. There was some other wiring traveling here and there, and two 'AA' batteries.

The young spectator revealed that it could not be a wastebasket, and there is nothing underneath to hold the trash. "Not necessary," Horatio exclaimed. "Watch," Horatio said and pressed a small red button on the device. The lasers lit up, and bounced off each of the mirrors, forming a swirling mass of red light. Horatio then took a blank piece of paper and balled it up. Next, while watching the young man's face, dropped the paper ball into the light. The paper fell normally through the top of the red glow; however, nothing came out the bottom. Horatio was delighted to see the look of surprise on the young man's face. "Where did it go?" The young man asked as he reached below the light, to see if there were any hidden mirrors. Finding none, his mouth hung open, speechless. "Well, you see I haven't figured out where things go, but it doesn't seem to be anywhere close by." Just then, the young man's face brightened. "I have a friend in waste management who might want to see this, I'll be right back." The young man whispered and hurried out into the crowd.

***

Plaven Discus sat back and sipped his Rose Bectal, on the porch overlooking a silver lake. The three moons of Beepus had just recently set and now glowing red sunlight reflected off the silver waves. His gaze went to the floor where he saw the rolled up ball of paparus laying on the carpet. Spreading it open, he found no gliffs on either side. He would chastise his living partner for wasting paprus and leaving it lying around for someone else to pick up.


© Copyright 2017 J. J. Smiley. All rights reserved.

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