The End of the Affair

December 7, 1942 was frigid and the forecasters predicted temperatures below freezing for the foreseeable future. Snow flurries whipped by the wind iced the eastern sides of New York’s imposing skyscrapers. The cascading façade of the Hotel New Yorker was like a waterfall frozen in time. Thirty-three floors up however, the window to room 3327 was wide open and icicles hung from the eaves.

Inside, shivering in slippers and a bathrobe, a gray-haired old man sat eating a bowl of carrots. No lights were lit in the suite; his eyes had become too sensitive to it. All around him though could be made out the shapes and shadows of undecipherable contraptions; globes and boxes, pierced by wires and rods. Boxes were scattered and stacked in precarious little towers, spilling over with papers and books.

At the sound of the flapping of wings, he rose from his chair and drew open the bottom of the ice-stiffened curtains. A white pigeon poked its way inside.

“My love,” the old man said, “It’s so cold... where have you been?”

A cold sweat formed on his brow when he understood the message he heard in his mind.

“No! Please...” he began to argue, but the pigeon opened its wings and craned its neck forward towards him. Two powerful beams of white light blazed out from the bird’s tiny black eyes and dazzled him to the point that he had to turn away.

“Is that it?!” he yelled.

The light disappeared and he turned back to see the pigeon open its charcoal-tipped wings and fly back out the window.

He never saw her alive again. This was how he knew his work was over.

A month later, the inventor of Alternating Current, Nikola Tesla, died, penniless and alone, the work on his Death Ray uncompleted.

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