The Lab: The Alarum Goes Off

On one side of the room, amid the clutter of discarded pieces of metal and wood and glass and paper, stood a large, handsome cabinet, crafted from fine lignea. The cabinet’s single door opened and a young woman stepped into the room.

Shyly, she said, “Where have they all gone?”

Spamblodgett looked up from the notebook in which he was designing a new invention for the burning of toast. “Who are you?” he squeaked, it having been some time since he last used his voice.

“Lally. From housekeeping?”

Spamblodgett harrumphed to himself, chucked a bezoar at his nearest compatriot, raising a small cloud of dust and awakening him. “Renderblat! You’re the youngest: see to the door. They’re on their way.”

Renderblat stood, tottered to the door, shot the bolts and set the bar. As the timeline changed over, Lally was shocked to find herself dissipating. Moments later, the door knob rattled. A gaggle of women could be heard in the hallway.

There was a loud bang at the door, and an announcement: “Housekeeping!”

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