Tag Archives: dinosaur

Quantum Parking: the conclusion (where things get even worse)

This is the second part of a story about time travel, valet parking, and an inexorable personality known as Bruno Brax. Part 1 is here.

Cosmic Orb Weaver

Terrible, horrible life experience

“At least I’ve never killed anyone,” I said to myself as Bruno’s phone number rang. I wanted to say it now while it was still true. I had just sent a man ahead into the far future, asleep in the back of a Hummer.

Bruno picked up at last. “Hello?”

“Hello, Bruno? Hello?”


“Bruno, it’s Jimmy!” I shouted. “I’ve got a problem. Where are you anyway?” I had to repeat the question.

“Have you heard of a cock fight? Well, that’s not what this is.” In the background, I heard seals barking.

“You’re fighting seals?”

“They’re not fighting each other. What’s up?”

I explained the situation. “Yeah, that happened once before to a Chihuahua. It was fine. Pretty incontinent afterwards, but otherwise fine.”

“What do I do?”

“Bring the car back, of course.” Click. Bruno had a real gift for brevity.

I selected the Hummer in the computer and pushed the red button. It appeared as smoothly as it had disappeared and I opened the back door, afraid of what I might find.

The car was empty. I even checked under the seats. Nothing.

Just as I was starting to feel a hurricane of panic sweat start to build, Bruno strode in.

“The fight’s over?” I asked, as sarcastically as I could.

He nodded. “The robot won. Nothing?”


He went to the control booth and started typing things in. “You know, this is what I’m paying you for.”

“You’re not actually paying me anything,” I said.

Bruno pushed a button decisively, then nodded. “Okay, it’s set. The computer will scan for life in the area and automatically bring it back. Should get him back soon.” He typed in some numbers and hit the green button. The Hummer disappeared again.

“Where did you send that?”

“The future, of course. You can’t have the car here if something else comes back. Very messy. Very messy, indeed. Well, I’m off.”

“Wait! So this will bring back any life that comes into that area? What if it’s not him? What if it’s a dinosaur?”

“There aren’t any dinosaurs in the future,” Bruno called back, already on the street. “Probably. If there is though, catch it alive. I’ll pay good money.”

Another car honked its horn outside. My sociology dissertation, which had looked like a hopeless quicksand pit a few hours ago, was now looking like a quicksand pit with a silver lining and a great place to drown myself.

At that moment, there was a pop and a large rat appeared on the receiving pad, standing on its hind legs and waving a pistol. I ducked behind the control panel just as a shot rang out and the control panel exploded in sparks. By the time I gathered up the shattered pieces of my courage and crammed them back into my psyche, the rat was gone.

I called Bruno.

“You know, I don’t even know why I hired you,” he said, his voice almost drowned out by what sounded like metallic whale songs.

“You didn’t! You press-ganged me.”

He sighed. “I thought you’d be more grateful, considering. Look, I’m busy now but just push the black button, call in a gas leak, and go home.”

“Isn’t that illegal?”

He chuckled. “Ah, you’re cute.” There was an explosion in the background of the phone and a loud roar. “Oops, things just got interesting here. Gotta go.”

I tried to push the black button, but it had melted in the explosion from the gunshot. The other buttons didn’t work either.

Suddenly, what looked like a cross between a python, a millipede, and a Tickle-me-Elmo appeared on the receiving pad. At this point, calling in a gas leak was like turning down your thermostat in a forest fire. However, before I could react, a car also popped into existence on the pad, combining most interestingly with the abomination that had just appeared before it. The results looked like Jackson Pollock trying to cook a whale liver with a pile driver.

This last nightmare-inducing episode was enough to throw me out of the gravity well that was Bruno Brax’s hypnotic personality. I went home, threw the sociology dissertation in the garbage, then thought better of it and put it in the fridge instead. Then I started to drink and write fiction. None of it made sense, so I assumed I was on the right track, art imitating life and all.

By the end of the day, the restaurant district was cordoned off and sealed. The official story was a gas leak, but I knew better. There were also reports of a gun-wielding rat riding a small dinosaur.

Two weeks after my short-lived valet job, the phone rang and I answered it without thinking.

It was Bruno.

“Hey Jimmy. I found you a job. You’ll need your own harpoon though.”


It was me this time.

Ether Generator - Inverted

Quantum Parking

I always thought it was impossible to destroy the fabric of the universe while working at a parking garage. It was one of those comforting truths that I clung to when times got hard, one of those sentences you stick ‘at least’ on the front of, like: “at least rats can’t wield guns” or “at least I’ll never be eaten by a dinosaur.” Finding out these things are wrong is what I think is called life experience.

Cosmic Orb Weaver

Terrible, horrible life experience

Bruno Brax was a friend of mine, in the same way a black hole and a passing star are friends. He had a sly, Tom Sawyer-esque way of making you think he was doing you a favor when it was really the other way around. I’m still not sure what he did for a living, but if I had to guess, it was to be friends with people like me.

“Hey Jimmy,” Bruno said, calling me up one day while I was puzzling over my doctoral dissertation. “I found you a job.”

“I’m not looking for a job.”

“Not anymore. Cuz I found you one. It’s a valet job at La Fesse D’or. It’s a swanky place. The guy who worked there before made like, eight bills a night.”

“8000 dollars a night?” I asked, skeptical.

“Not eight grand, idiot, 800. What, that’s not enough?”

“How do you make that much parking cars?”

“Tips, of course. It’s high class. Anyway, I’m always happy to help. I’ll text you the address. See you in an hour.” He hung up.

I went to meet him. I was stuck on my dissertation anyway.

La Fesse D’or stuck up like a crystal needle in the middle of the restaurant district, poised to lance the boil of the heavens. It was so narrow that there was only one table per floor but the restaurant went up thirty stories into the air, like a space-age middle finger to anyone who couldn’t afford to eat there, which was pretty much everyone. I drove but had to park four blocks away. Bruno was waiting outside, looking impatient.

“You’re late. I wanted to train you but your shift starts in fifteen minutes, so there’s not much time.”


“Come on, I even got your size uniform. Hurry up and change.”

There is a certain point, just like with black holes, when you pass the event horizon and struggling becomes pointless. Bruno had this weird gravity about him that sucked you in and compelled you see his point of view. And his point of view was invariably that you should do what he said.

“Okay, so this is all there is to it,” he said once I had changed into a uniform two sizes too small and was standing out front with him. “The customer drives up and gives you the keys. Then you drive it around the corner and onto the receiving pad. Then you go into the control booth and push the green button and the car disappears. Simple as that.”

“Where does it go?”

“It goes forward in time,” Bruno said, as if this was obvious. “A guy I know set it up since the owner’s a friend of mine.”

“You send them forward in time,” I repeated. I thought the collar might be cutting off my oxygen.

“To the year 5400, I think. Trust me, it was cheaper to do it this way than rent parking space in this neighborhood. Now, it’s important to send the cars at least four hours apart, or they might appear on top of one another. That’s bad. The world is a blasted wasteland at that time, so there’s no problem with future people messing with the cars. To get them back, select them on the list in the computer and hit the red button. Got it?”

I don’t absorb new information well so for the next quarter hour, my brain was curled up in the fetal position in the corner of my skull. Bruno took my frozen expression as a good sign and left me with a hearty “Good Luck!” and a slap on the back. “Oh, by the way,” he said, poking his head back in the door. “Never let the customers know about this, okay? For all they know it’s a normal parking garage. Got it?”

I got it eventually and after the shock wore off, I started to get excited. An hour before, I had been mired in an ill-conceived sociology dissertation and now I was sending cars forward in time. I went into the control booth.

There was dried blood on the floor. I called Bruno.

“Oh, that’s from the last guy, Charley. He fell asleep and spun the dial to send the car back into the distant past. A small dinosaur came back with the car and bit his leg off. He died.”

“The dinosaur or Charley?”

“Charley. I don’t know what happened to the dinosaur. Listen, you’re not allowed to bring a gun to work, but it might be a good idea to bring a large knife when you come tomorrow.”

“Tomorrow?” Bruno had already hung up.

Someone honked outside and from just the tone and duration, I could tell he was a jerk. It turned out to be a she, a very well-dressed she in a Hummer. She dropped the keys into my hand and walked off without a word. A moment later, the Hummer was on the receiving pad. I wiped the sweat off my palm and pressed the green button.

Bruno wasn’t kidding. The Hummer just popped out of existence, no flaming tire tracks or anything.

Just then, the phone rang and I picked it up. “Hey, buddy, there’s a woman here who says you just parked her Hummer. She said her brother is asleep in the back seat, so just tell him to come in when he wakes up.”



Crap crap crap.


I had to call Bruno.

Ether Generator - InvertedTo be continued tomorrow…

Tao Talk

Taotalk is a forum for the discussion of both the academic and pragmatic aspects of dao and Daoism, with participants expressing themselves on Daoist writings and pragmatics from their unique perspectives. It serves as a community for Daoists, and those interested in Daoism, to gather and talk dao.

H J Musk

Taking on the world one story at a time ...

CG Express

Writing, Musing, Sharing

Bridgette Tales

Everybody has a story. Here's a little of mine.

Dirty Sci-Fi Buddha

Musings and books from a grunty overthinker

Rolling Boxcars

Where Gaming Comes at you like a Freight Train

Lady Jabberwocky

Write with Heart

Fatima Fakier

| Self-actualisation | Achieve your potential

The Pinay Ajumma

just sharing

The Green-Walled Treehouse

Explore . Imagine . Create

One Minute Office Magic

Learning new Microsoft Office tricks in "just a minute"


Just grin and bear it awhile

Linda's Bible Study

Come study God's Word with me!

Haden Clark

Better conversations toward a better tomorrow.

Citizen Tom

Welcome to Conservative commentary and Christian prayers from Mount Vernon, Ohio.

The Green-Walled Chapel

Writings on Faith, Religion and Philosophy

To Be A Magician

A fiction blog of funny and dark stories

My music canvas

you + me + music

Eve In Korea

My Adventures As An ESL Teacher In South Korea

Luna's Writing Journal

A Place for my Fiction

Upper Iowa University

Center for International Education

Here's To Being Human

Living life as a human


Book Reviewer and Blogger


kitten loves the world

Strolling South America

10 countries, 675 days, 38,540km

It's All in Finding the Right Words

The Eternal Search to Find One's Self: Flash Fiction and Beyond

Reflections Of Life's Journey

Lessons, Joys, Blessings, Friendships, Heartaches, Hardships , Special Moments

A Writer's Path

Sharing writing tips, information, and advice.

Chris Green Stories

The Best Short Stories on the Internet

Finding Myself Through Writing

Writing Habits of Elle Knowles - Author


Inspiring mental health through creative arts and friendly interactions. (Award free blog)


Straight up with a twist– Because life is too short to be subtle!

Unmapped Country within Us

Emily Livingstone, Author

Silkpurseproductions's Blog

The art of making a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

BJ Writes

My online repository for works in progress


she is confidence in shadows.

Musings on Life & Experience

Poetry, Fiction, & Non-Fiction Writings

Outside The Lines

Fun readings about Color, Art and Segmation!


a Photo Blog, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to dear dirty New York

%d bloggers like this: