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Trial Marriage

Trial Marriage


Mario V. Farina

Copyright 2016 Mario V. Farina

Shakespir Edition

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Mario V. Farina

Email: [email protected]

“What on earth have you been doing in the basement, Tom,” asked Margie?

“I’ve been inventing a time machine,” smiled Reverend Thomas Madison!

“You’ve been inventing what!”

“You’ve heard of time machines. They can take you into the future!”

“I’ve never heard of such rubbish, Tom. You’re a minister! At least, I thought you were! What’s gotten into you?”

“I know I’ve been sort of mysterious in the workshop lately, Margie. I dreamed up a new idea to help newlyweds with their wedding plans. I’d like to try it with Jerry Phillips and Annette Allen.”

“Tom, you’re all thumbs! What do you know about building things? Or time machines? You’re joking!”

“You’re right about being all thumbs, Margie. All I know about working in the shop is a course I had in high school. I can barely nail two pieces of wood together. What I made doesn’t look elegant, but it might pass as an electronic device. It’s a sort of cabinet. There is on/off switch on it, some lights that blink. I’ll bring it up after I’ve sanded it and varnished it. It’s a dummy. It actually doesn’t do anything. But I call it my Marriage Forecaster.”

“I swear, you’ve lost your mind! If anybody found out what you’ve just told me, your parishioners would run you out of town on a rail!”

“Well it’s just an idea. It won’t hurt if I try it. That nice couple has announced their engagement. And they’re planning to be married next month. As part of the preparations, I’m going to ask them if they’ll take a test concerning the future. If they say yes, I’ll use my Marriage Forecaster to predict what their marriage will be like in three months.”

“I’ve never heard of anything is idiotic as that,” exclaimed Margie. “You told me this thing doesn’t do anything. What are you going to do, hypnotize them into thinking it is actually doing something?”

“No, I was just going to tell them that the machine will give them an idea of how they will feel about each other in three months after they’ve been married. The test is intended to have them change their minds if what they see is unpleasant. In a sense, their marriage will be a sort of trial marriage! If they see a bad outcome, they will resolve to do better or decide not to get married.”

“This story is getting nuttier by the minute. How will this thingamabob tell them anything meaningful if it doesn’t do anything?”

“I’m going to have a movie made with professional actors who will simulate a marriage after three months. The movie will not be clear because, I will tell the couple, the technology is not perfected enough to give clear pictures.”

“And, you’re going to show them a terrible outcome after three months?”

“Yes, that’s the plan!”

“What on earth for? Why would you want to discourage them that way?”

“Well, as you know, marriages tend to become humdrum after the initial honeymoon. My plan would be to show that unless they keep up the same feelings that they have at the beginning, their marriage will go downhill and that they’ll need to work hard at keeping it going well.”

“I’m against it! I think this idea of yours will do more harm than good. It could actually get them to cancel their wedding. I don’t want any part of it.”

“I know a lot of my ideas have been failures up to this point,” replied the minister. “But I feel very strongly about this one. If it fails, I’ll give up the idea. But if it succeeds, think what a wonderful boon it would be for ministers.”

“Normal ministers; ministers without numbness in their brains will have nothing of it. My vote is no,” insisted his wife. “And that will be my last word!”

Despite Margie’s disappointing stance, Reverend Madison continue to work on his contrivance. Within a few days, he had completed the invention. He sanded it, and finished it to a bright sheen. Much against the wishes of his wife, he lugged it up the stairs and gave it a prominent place in the living room. He plugged it into a nearby outlet despite the fact that all it did electrically was to turn on some red and green blinking lights.

He contacted professional actors who provided a scene of utter devastation in a living room. They had worked behind a screen so that their images were indistinct. Their output was in the form of a flash drive to be plugged into the USB Port a computer.

The Reverend made a date with Jerry and Annette to make arrangements for the wedding ceremony. This was to be three days before the actual wedding.

Jerry and Annette arrived at the home of the minister at the appointed time. Mrs. Madison was nowhere to be seen. Reverend Madison explained her absence by saying his wife had been away for several weeks visiting her sister in Wisconsin who was ill. She would be returning soon. The explanation was accepted by the couple.

The two sat in a loveseat in the living room. The minister was in a nearby sofa.

“Jerry and Annette, do you see that cabinet near where you are sitting?” Puzzled, they nodded their heads yes.

“This is a new invention that some people think is a time travel machine. It actually is not for that. What it actually does is analyze the forces that are in this room to forecast the future. If we were to forecast your marriage future, we could see it a week in advance, two weeks, or anything up to three months. The view at the end of three months would not be very distinct, but it would show a hint of what was happening.”

“What does that mean for us,” asked Jerry?

“If you’re willing, it’s purely optional, I’d like to have it forecast the status of your marriage for a future of your own choice. It could be for a week, or anything you wish up to three months. I assure you, this is optional. We will run the test only if you agree to it!”

Jerry smiled and gazed at Annette. “What do you think, honey?”

“Might be fun,” she responded. “I know what the test will show.”

“Yes I agree. With a love like ours, we’ll probably be enjoying an evening together sitting in a loveseat like this one, and kissing a lot. I think it would be OK to run the test, sir,” he said.

“How far into the future would you like to see, asked Reverend Madison?”

“I would like three months,” said Jerry. “What do you think, Annette?”

“Yes, I think three months would be good. Anything less might be considered simply a continuation of our honeymoon. A real test would be at the longest time possible.”

“Very good! Very good! Let me set it up,” exclaimed the reverend. “I’m going to give each of you a wooden stalk that is wirelessly connected to the machine. Hold it in your right hand. There is no electricity in the stalk. All it does is send your vibes to the machine. When I turn it on, it will begin showing a scene on the computer. This will be the two of you at a random point three months from now.”

The Reverend rose from his seat and sat at the computer. He turned it on, then activated the flash drive. The screen began to flicker. There were flashes of light, but no activity yet. He handed a stalk to each of his visitors. “No need to hold it tight,” he instructed. “Just lightly as if it were ordinary sticks of wood.”

“Do we have to do anything or say anything, sir” asked Jerry.

“No, the video will start by itself and probably last thirty seconds to a minute.”

At that moment an image began to appear on the screen. It wasn’t of a couple. It seemed to be of an middle-aged man. He was sprawled on the sofa that looked very much like the one that was in the living room that they were in. He was shirtless, and in skivvies. On the floor lay some bottles that apparently had held beer. There were newspapers scattered on the floor. The man was asleep and snoring loudly.

“That’s not us,” exclaimed Jerry. “That man, he looks a lot like you sir!”

“No, no,” cried out the Reverend. “The machine has malfunctioned. It needs drastic repair. It’s showing a scene that could never have happened! I’m going to turn it off. Let’s just forget about a marriage test tonight. Maybe another time!”

“Yes, I’m sure, that could not have been you,” said Jerry. “You are such a distinguished person, always impeccably dressed, and intellectually occupied.”

Time ran out, before the Reverend could turn off the machine. The video ended. Reverend Madison switched off the computer and the Marriage Forecaster.

Somehow, the business of the evening, was attended to, and the couple left the minister’s abode, in a happy mood, joyfully looking forward to their wedding a couple of days in the future. The minister, in a daze, sank into the softness of the sofa and put his head in his hands. He groaned in dismay.

The front door opened and Margie entered the room. “How did it go with the bridal couple, dear,” she asked?

“It was awful, “he muttered! “Instead of the video flash drive I had installed in the computer, there was another one there that showed me under humiliating circumstances. I don’t know how it could possibly have happened.”

“Oh, I think I know,” said Marjorie. “When I returned from the trip seeing my sister, I saw you on the couch doing some of the things you habitually do when I’m away. I thought it would be fun to take a video of it and show it to you later. I’m sorry, if it showed up at the wrong time.”

“No harm done,” said the Reverend. “They didn’t believe it was me, which was a blessing. I can see now what effect the real video might have had on them if they had seen it. I’m happy they didn’t! You were right all the time. This was a bad idea!”

“I’m happy too,” commented Marjorie. “Serves you right,” she said under her breath!

Trial Marriage

Reverend Thomas Madison had an idea of how to encourage newly-wed couples to keep working at their marriages to keep them alive and vibrant. He built a device he termed a Marriage Forecaster that purported to show the future of the marriage of Jerry Phillips and Annette Allen. His wife opposed. He faked a video that would show this. This story tells what happened when the video was played.

  • ISBN: 9781370963348
  • Author: Mario V. Farina
  • Published: 2016-12-13 07:50:08
  • Words: 1809
Trial Marriage Trial Marriage