The Time Portal

by Norm De Plume

Roger was perplexed.  He asked the bartender for another Glenfiddich in the hope that it might help him get a grip on what John was telling him.

“Let me get this straight,” he tried.  “You have some kind of miniature time portal in the middle right hand drawer of the desk in your office.”

“Correct” said John.

“And every morning a note written on a small piece of paper comes flying out of it”.

“Correct” said John.

“A note you yourself will write to the yourself later on that evening.”

“Correct” said John.

“And what sort of things do these notes say?

“Oh, all kinds of stuff,” said John.  “Sometimes it’s just something funny I’m going to hear later on that day.  Sometimes it let’s me know about a situation I’ll have to face later on, like if I’m low on milk or something.  Most days it just says something positive to help me start the day off on the right foot.”

“I see,” said Roger.  “Does it ever have the name of, say, a stock you should buy?  Or a horse you should bet on?”

“No.”

“Ah.  And why not?”

“Not sure.  I’ve thought about it, but I think it would make me feel guilty.  Don’t you think it would be wrong?” said John.

“No,” Roger said.  “No, I don’t.”

“So, you think it would be okay to use my time portal to get rich?”

“Yes I do.”

“Even if it means I couldn’t, say, warn someone about something bad that’s going to happen? Like I said, I can only send one small note per day.”

“Jesus H. Christ, John! Don’t be such a sap.  Do you think someone else would warn you?  Hell, I wouldn’t even think twice.  I’d get rich.”  Roger was really starting to feel all that single malt.

“Thanks for the advice, old buddy.  I’ll do it.  Hey, this round’s on me.”

Later that night, John stopped by his office.  He slipped into his tiny time portal a piece of paper with detailed stock trading advice that would make him fabulously rich by this time today, once the John of this morning made the proper trades.  He crumpled up a small paper that said “Warn Roger about arsenic-laced scotch” and threw it in the trash.

THE END

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