Global Haiku Tradition • A SciFiKu Novel • Spring 2006

The Future History of Time Travel:
The Chronicles of Dr. Barnacle and Staff

Chapters I-V (Because that’s all there far as I know)

Ryne Inman

I: Wherein the Time Machine is Completed and Tested

Dr. Barnacle’s lab5
machines whirring
shadows of mad science

Flickers of light,
welding the arch
of the time machine

“Dr. DeYawng,
Prepare the test vermin now!
We must make this work!”

snakes, bugs, mammals
all lab rats

Spinely, centipedish
with a billowy mustache-
Dr. Duff DeYawng

Jim West
college intern
out of his element

Jon East
college intern clone
two for the price of one

switch thrown
lightning and wind
circling energy

Dr. Barnacle’s laughter
in the silence
the subjects gone

II: Wherein the Subjects are Collected

“Collection time, boys.
Bring me the things on that list,
and you’ll get raises.”

Jim and Jon
and DeYawng
goalless time travelers.

Waiting for returners,
Barnacle attaches
to Solitaire

“Did you get the job done, Jon?”
“Charles Manson, boss?”

Swinging in the moonlight
the caged bird
sings Helter Skelter

Wide open iris—
crashing time
awakens the lab.

“You have the samples?”
“Dinosaurs and cave women.”
“One more and I’m set.”

Third shockwave
West returns from the future
with an astronaut.

“The final sample”
Barnacle retreats to his lab
“Good Work. Get my tools.”
(And seals the door.)

III: Wherein the Assistants Await Barnacle’s Resurgence

but the pecking of a penny
on the metal tabletop.

Three notes or less
West thinks
he can name that tune

ears against the metal door
Barnacle’s mumbling
echoes through the great iron:

“Graft it here, weld there,
improving nature’s failure.”
And the whining of a saw.

Eyeing the time wonkesphere
West and East simultaneously decide
“Let’s go save Lincoln!”

“Four score and seven...”
Now it never happened.
No one really noticed.

Barnacle emerges,
Lab techs frozen in fear.

Lincoln and Barnacle
in machinery steam
the door closes again

hours and days
but not quite a week
just the pounding of machines...and laughter

hissing hydraulics of the door

IV: Wherein the Preparations for the Unveiling are Made and Barnacle Boasts

“I’ve got a surprise”
Barnacle boasts of his work,
and tosses his scarf over his shoulder.

hanging paper people
holding hands

West and East
opposite invitations

Idle arguments
while decorating
“Jurassic Park sucked!”

Barnacle clapping
snobbishly as
Deyawng falls off the ladder

Steel doors
concealing dark secrets
luring interns

Decorations on the walls
and champagne on ice
a gala for four

V: The Revelation of Dr. Barnacle’s Secret Work (Without Ramifications)

“DeYawng and interns,”
Barnacle, master showman presents
in a top hat and red coat

10 minutes of speech
self-indulgence and the urge
to use the time machine...

“Raptors, astronauts,”
The culmination nears
“and brains of the worst.”

In front of the great iron
the ringleader
stamps his foot

“My best creation,
from every era of time...”
(Pauses well placed.)

Jon West eagerly
waits for the news
of the cavewomen.

Jon East stares

DeYawng curling
his bushy mustache
with a comb.

The massive door opens,
steam pours out
shrill cries of cruelty.

Evil spirits of mist
creeping, suttering
and shooting lasers.

Mania and laughter
Fear and curiosity
Barnacle’s achievement.

“Finally it lives,
my perfect killing machine!
Someone call George Bush.”

Lincoln clones
riding on the backs
of mass destruction.

Laughter and clapping
as Barnacle controls
his army.

“Dinosaurs are cool,
with lasers stuck on their backs.”
“Pschewww, pschewww, ROOOOOAAAARRR!!”

• • •

© 2006, Randy Brooks • Millikin University • last updated: May 10, 2006
All rights returned to authors upon publication.