Not a good day.

I stumbled upon Molly’s communication while I was taking a break from working on Lindbergh’s engine. (If that thing was going to fly, it needed attention. Parts from here… parts from there.)

I returned to the basement just as he was jumping through the only door that wasn’t smashed.

Molly asked me once why I had built three doors in the wall. Honestly, I always intended on destroying the first two doors when the third was complete. The problem was that each door had a unique property and could reach areas the other two could not. Sometimes door number one was the only was to the 1930’s and number one was my only path to my childhood.

He smashed one and two. 

He glanced back at me and winked just before he vanished.

So cryptic.

Something I would do. Heck…he is me so why not? Why would I do that? I should know, right?

I picked up the frayed wires and busted bulbs and dropped them in an old milk box. Several of the meters were cracked and beyond repair. I just didn’t understand. Why would he… I do that? There must be a point. Otherwise, why the wink

Cryptic… I hate that about me.

Then it occurred to me. Lately, I had been going back and forth fixing things where I felt circumstances didn’t pan out the way I felt they should. Do-Overs. Even Time Travelers have not-so-fancy terms for the things we do. Plain and simple; Do-Over. And if the Do-Over didn’t work? A time traveler might go back and Do-Over the Do-Over.

I heard footsteps behind me. What now? 

“Uncle Buster,” she said, “You’re back.”

She limped over and gave me a hug. In the dim light I didn’t see her features too well. Why the limp? Had she hurt herself dancing at the recital I missed? She looked taller than I remember. Did I return to the right year?  

The active door sparkled for a moment. It did this before it went into automatic sleep-mode. The light from the main plasma coil cast red and green shadows on our bodies as she held me tight.

“I missed you, Uncle Buster.”

She stood back and fixed the wrinkled collar of my big coat and smiled.

Red light… Green light…. Red light… 

Her face was scarred and her left eye was covered with a pink, leather patch.

“Your eye,” I said. “Your face… What happened?”

She looked confused. “What do you mean?” She adjusted her patch. “Is it crooked?”

“Molly. I don’t remember this. Your limp. Your face. Your eye. What happened.”

“This happened three years ago… when we lost Mom and Dad…”

She stood back and I saw the metal leg and brace wrapped around her hip.

“We lost them?” My heart was racing.

“And… George.” she added. “Lost. Then Clifford… We never found out what happened to Clifford. Did you find him?”

I stood back against the busted door. I felt cold.

“Uncle Buster? Are you okay?”