The following two short-shorts are a part of something, but I can’t tell you what.

Contraptions: Time Machine

The time machine emits a flawless, continuous flow of time. In all the history of the universe, the flow was interrupted only twice. One of those times was what those poor scientists call “The Big Bang”, assuming, mistakenly, that it was the beginning of our universe, which is in fact quite older than that. The other time occurred just… now.

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Contraptions: Fear Machine

Fear is contraction, the shrinking of hope, the sucking of light and life and joy and everything that is good, and everything that is bad but may one day give rise to some good.
Fear is emitted by fear machines, spread all over the universe by some unknown and long-gone culture, or maybe they’re just a natural phenomenon – that is, assuming that there is such a thing as “natural” in this obviously-artificial universe of ours. And just like it happens with electrons, emitting fear particles means that everything positive is sucked in.
Your scientists have already discovered some of the fear machines but, naturally, they could watch them only from a great, great distance. They see only the plain physicality, never guessing the machines’ true function. They gave those machines a proper name, though. They call them Black Holes.

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No, I really can’t tell. One day you’ll know.