Second Coming Of Genie

Average: 3 (10 votes)
Your rating: None

Doctor Wilson’s machine…how I believed in the impossible.
I’d first heard about his machine in the newspapers…a three-dimensional technology able to print a person from the past and provide a second chance to resolve regrets. For thirteen years I’d lived in regret of leaving my wife, so I’d booked an appointment hoping to resolve the pain.
When I arrived, we talked a few minutes and then the Doctor said, “Where’s the DNA?”
“Right here,” I said setting a photo and locket of her hair down. “You said you can cure me.”
“Yes…yes…I’ve had plenty of cases like this,” said the Doctor rising from the desk. “Now follow me.”
So I followed him into another room circled by mirrors. In the corner was a spider-shaped apparatus with a silver tray beneath. The Doctor pointed to a red button. “After the glow clears you’ll see the impossible come to life.”
After the Doctor left, I saw the round tray and set my wedding picture there with her locket of hair, and then a golden halo hovered over the plate and a humming sound rang out. Within seconds an oval white light appeared nearby and hardened, as if an egg shell was taking form, and it very well could be a place where something new was born to be mine. An egg of my past reborn. And I saw her appear as she once was in her wedding gown, my vows yet to be broken, my bride to be again, her innocence bare beneath the white dress, breasts smooth as clouds, a burst of blue sky in her eyes, hair long and golden, uncurling a priceless warmth of sun. The woman once my wife stepped toward me, a billion secret thoughts shimmering in those eyes, hidden away invisible as countless stars.
“You’re so beautiful,” I said. “God, I’ve missed you.”
“What’s beauty to you?”
“Can’t you see Illana…I’m sober now and full of regret. That woman…it was a mistake. On the outside she was pretty, but quite a monster inside.”
“You and your obsession with beauty…leaving me for a younger woman. An image of perfection is all you want…it’s all you ever wanted. My beauty is nothing to me. It’s my insides I feel and cherish. It takes the emotions of a man to see beauty, not his eyes. Love and beauty are things no machine can create. You can’t force me to love you again.”
“All I wanted was a second chance.”
“By printing me? Second chances aren’t born by the will of others. What you want to see in me is only something you really want inside yourself. I’m only an object to you, a genie in a bottle.”
“Why this rant, Illana?”
“I studied philosophy and majored in Kant, remember? Or did you forget that too in your self-absorbed ways after the wedding.”
“I made a mistake.”
“Time will never change that. Not even this machine can. You should’ve known better than to run away with that woman. You always had to have the last word.”
“Can’t you forgive me?”
“Here’s to forgiving a man who thinks rain is blemish to a good day.” She said lifting her fingers to her cheeks, long nails drawing marks, red streaks of blood seeping down.   
“Stop that!” I yelled. “You’re hurting yourself…stop-please!”
“What am I to you, but a genie in a bottle?”
“I said stop!”
“At what point does my beauty turn ugly? You see, it’s what’s inside of me you don’t like…something causing me to do this.”
Suddenly the door opened and the doctor entered. I turned to face him. “You…you tricked me!”
“You fooled yourself. A person makes himself a fool, not anyone else.”
“Tricks…tricks…it’s all a bag of tricks!” I said turning to the apparatus clenching my fist wanting to destroy it…yes, how I needed to shatter the machine into tiny pieces-
But the doctor held me back. “She’s only an object to you, only a possession. It was only her beauty you wanted.”
I faced her. “So this is your last word?”
“Not exactly.” She said. “For some people there are second chances.”
Then she unfolded the picture under the apparatus – only my face showing, once innocent and kind. She hit the red switch before I could stop her and the white glow came and I saw my younger flesh take shape...his eyes were marvelous and calm, his body thin and lanky, and he took her hands as she brushed her lips hard into his…the doppelganger of my soul.
“Maybe this time you’ll control yourself,” she said leading my double out the door.
I watched them leave and turned to the Doctor, “You’re right…she never was what I wanted. It was only her beauty…a trophy of the machine. What was inside of her never really crossed my mind.”
 “Ah yes, the insides and outsides to a person are two different things.” Doctor Wilson said. “You’re cured now.”
I slid the payment over and stepped outside his office. The sky was blue and the sun was high. A few rain clouds were rolling in, but I didn’t care, for I no longer saw them as a blemish to the day. I was a new man now, different on the inside than the person I once was…and through the machine I’d learned that.
When the train finally came, I boarded and watched all those beautiful raindrops hit the glass. The woman who sat next to me on the train was pretty, but this time I didn’t want to think or mention that…no, instead I asked how her day was and how she was feeling. It was because of the machine that I knew something more beautiful was lurking inside. On the outside she was perfect, but now I was more interested in what was underneath.  
Doctor Wilson’s machine…
This was a new start for me and one full of second chances.

About the Author: 
Joseph A. Pasquale lives in Hollywood, California. He is the author of over 12 novels spanning various genres. His work explores the various struggles inherent in the human spirit and psychological state of mankind.

Newsletter Signup

Submit your email address so we can send you occasional competition updates and tell you who wins!

Quantum Theories

R is for ... Radioactivity

The atoms of a radioactive substance break apart, emitting particles. It is impossible to predict when the next particle will be emitted as it happens at random. All we can do is give the probability that any particular atom will have decayed by a given time.

I is for ... Information

Many researchers working in quantum theory believe that information is the most fundamental building block of reality.

L is for ... Light

We used to believe light was a wave, then we discovered it had the properties of a particle that we call a photon. Now we know it, like all elementary quantum objects, is both a wave and a particle!

V is for ... Virtual particles

Quantum theory’s uncertainty principle says that since not even empty space can have zero energy, the universe is fizzing with particle-antiparticle pairs that pop in and out of existence. These “virtual” particles are the source of Hawking radiation.

T is for ... Teleportation

Quantum tricks allow a particle to be transported from one location to another without passing through the intervening space – or that’s how it appears. The reality is that the process is more like faxing, where the information held by one particle is written onto a distant particle.

S is for ... Schrödinger Equation

This is the central equation of quantum theory, and describes how any quantum system will behave, and how its observable qualities are likely to manifest in an experiment.

Y is for ... Young's Double Slit Experiment

In 1801, Thomas Young proved light was a wave, and overthrew Newton’s idea that light was a “corpuscle”.

P is for ... Planck's Constant

This is one of the universal constants of nature, and relates the energy of a single quantum of radiation to its frequency. It is central to quantum theory and appears in many important formulae, including the Schrödinger Equation.

J is for ... Josephson Junction

This is a narrow constriction in a ring of superconductor. Current can only move around the ring because of quantum laws; the apparatus provides a neat way to investigate the properties of quantum mechanics.

C is for ... Cryptography

People have been hiding information in messages for millennia, but the quantum world provides a whole new way to do it.

S is for ... Schrödinger’s Cat

A hypothetical experiment in which a cat kept in a closed box can be alive and dead at the same time – as long as nobody lifts the lid to take a look.

D is for ... Decoherence

Unless it is carefully isolated, a quantum system will “leak” information into its surroundings. This can destroy delicate states such as superposition and entanglement.

M is for ... Multiverse

Our most successful theories of cosmology suggest that our universe is one of many universes that bubble off from one another. It’s not clear whether it will ever be possible to detect these other universes.

C is for ... Computing

The rules of the quantum world mean that we can process information much faster than is possible using the computers we use now.

W is for ... Wave-particle duality

It is possible to describe an atom, an electron, or a photon as either a wave or a particle. In reality, they are both: a wave and a particle.

W is for ... Wavefunction

The mathematics of quantum theory associates each quantum object with a wavefunction that appears in the Schrödinger equation and gives the probability of finding it in any given state.

R is for ... Reality

Since the predictions of quantum theory have been right in every experiment ever done, many researchers think it is the best guide we have to the nature of reality. Unfortunately, that still leaves room for plenty of ideas about what reality really is!

T is for ... Tunnelling

This happens when quantum objects “borrow” energy in order to bypass an obstacle such as a gap in an electrical circuit. It is possible thanks to the uncertainty principle, and enables quantum particles to do things other particles can’t.

P is for ... Probability

Quantum mechanics is a probabilistic theory: it does not give definite answers, but only the probability that an experiment will come up with a particular answer. This was the source of Einstein’s objection that God “does not play dice” with the universe.

B is for ... Bose-Einstein Condensate (BEC)

At extremely low temperatures, quantum rules mean that atoms can come together and behave as if they are one giant super-atom.

H is for ... Hidden Variables

One school of thought says that the strangeness of quantum theory can be put down to a lack of information; if we could find the “hidden variables” the mysteries would all go away.

Z is for ... Zero-point energy

Even at absolute zero, the lowest temperature possible, nothing has zero energy. In these conditions, particles and fields are in their lowest energy state, with an energy proportional to Planck’s constant.

M is for ... Many Worlds Theory

Some researchers think the best way to explain the strange characteristics of the quantum world is to allow that each quantum event creates a new universe.

K is for ... Kaon

These are particles that carry a quantum property called strangeness. Some fundamental particles have the property known as charm!

D is for ... Dice

Albert Einstein decided quantum theory couldn’t be right because its reliance on probability means everything is a result of chance. “God doesn’t play dice with the world,” he said.

O is for ... Objective reality

Niels Bohr, one of the founding fathers of quantum physics, said there is no such thing as objective reality. All we can talk about, he said, is the results of measurements we make.

B is for ... Bell's Theorem

In 1964, John Bell came up with a way of testing whether quantum theory was a true reflection of reality. In 1982, the results came in – and the world has never been the same since!

S is for ... Superposition

Quantum objects can exist in two or more states at once: an electron in superposition, for example, can simultaneously move clockwise and anticlockwise around a ring-shaped conductor.

G is for ... Gluon

These elementary particles hold together the quarks that lie at the heart of matter.

U is for ... Universe

To many researchers, the universe behaves like a gigantic quantum computer that is busy processing all the information it contains.

Q is for ... Qubit

One quantum bit of information is known as a qubit (pronounced Q-bit). The ability of quantum particles to exist in many different states at once means a single quantum object can represent multiple qubits at once, opening up the possibility of extremely fast information processing.

H is for ... Hawking Radiation

In 1975, Stephen Hawking showed that the principles of quantum mechanics would mean that a black hole emits a slow stream of particles and would eventually evaporate.

G is for ... Gravity

Our best theory of gravity no longer belongs to Isaac Newton. It’s Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity. There’s just one problem: it is incompatible with quantum theory. The effort to tie the two together provides the greatest challenge to physics in the 21st century.

U is for ... Uncertainty Principle

One of the most famous ideas in science, this declares that it is impossible to know all the physical attributes of a quantum particle or system simultaneously.

X is for ... X-ray

In 1923 Arthur Compton shone X-rays onto a block of graphite and found that they bounced off with their energy reduced exactly as would be expected if they were composed of particles colliding with electrons in the graphite. This was the first indication of radiation’s particle-like nature.

F is for ... Free Will

Ideas at the heart of quantum theory, to do with randomness and the character of the molecules that make up the physical matter of our brains, lead some researchers to suggest humans can’t have free will.

I is for ... Interferometer

Some of the strangest characteristics of quantum theory can be demonstrated by firing a photon into an interferometer: the device’s output is a pattern that can only be explained by the photon passing simultaneously through two widely-separated slits.

Q is for ... Quantum biology

A new and growing field that explores whether many biological processes depend on uniquely quantum processes to work. Under particular scrutiny at the moment are photosynthesis, smell and the navigation of migratory birds.

N is for ... Nonlocality

When two quantum particles are entangled, it can also be said they are “nonlocal”: their physical proximity does not affect the way their quantum states are linked.

R is for ... Randomness

Unpredictability lies at the heart of quantum mechanics. It bothered Einstein, but it also bothers the Dalai Lama.

E is for ... Entanglement

When two quantum objects interact, the information they contain becomes shared. This can result in a kind of link between them, where an action performed on one will affect the outcome of an action performed on the other. This “entanglement” applies even if the two particles are half a universe apart.

A is for ... Atom

This is the basic building block of matter that creates the world of chemical elements – although it is made up of more fundamental particles.

L is for ... Large Hadron Collider (LHC)

At CERN in Geneva, Switzerland, this machine is smashing apart particles in order to discover their constituent parts and the quantum laws that govern their behaviour.

A is for ... Alice and Bob

In quantum experiments, these are the names traditionally given to the people transmitting and receiving information. In quantum cryptography, an eavesdropper called Eve tries to intercept the information.

A is for ... Act of observation

Some people believe this changes everything in the quantum world, even bringing things into existence.