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Bar Scenes with Time and Entropy
by Laura Pearlman
Read by Alethea Kontis
Listen to the audio version
October 21, 2018
A time elemental and an entropy elemental walk into a bar, because apart from their inborn
ability to influence forces of nature, they're perfectly ordinary people who enjoy an adult beverage
every now and then. Time is a man, tall with dark brown skin and handsome features, wearing the
kind of classically-styled suit often described as "timeless." Entropy is fair-skinned with freckles
and hopelessly tangled hair, wearing a dress whose design resembles the pattern of water spots
thrown off by an Afghan hound shaking itself after a bath, only more colorful.
The bar is crowded; it's the first clear night after a week-long thunderstorm. He orders a
Scotch on the rocks, she orders a strawberry daiquiri. He raises an eyebrow.
She shrugs. "I just need something that's been through--"
A shot rings out. Time falls, bleeding but still conscious.
Entropy kneels by his side and grips his hand. "Go back," she says. "Don't think, just go
April 8, 2013
A time elemental and an entropy elemental walk into a bar. Separately, because they
haven't met each other yet. Entropy is celebrating her twenty-first birthday. She and her boyfriend
have been working on a project for their Stochastic Processes class, and they spend most of the
evening arguing about it. She likes arguing with Seth about these things. They both do. The
sparks that fly from these arguments ignite their most brilliant ideas and, if not actual passion, at
least something that approximates it.
On her way back from the bathroom, Entropy bumps into a handsome stranger. The rest
of the bar falls silent, frozen in time. For a moment she thinks it's love at first sight, like in the
"Nice trick," she says. "Time elemental?" She's never met one before.
He nods. "Entropy?"
"Your freckles. They're--"
She nods. "Brownian motion. Most people can't see it, it's so slow."
They exchange phone numbers. The flow of time returns to normal.
Later, the time elemental googles "Brownian motion," hoping it will explain the weird deja
vu he's been feeling all night. It doesn't.
April 14, 2013-April 3, 2016
A time elemental and an entropy elemental walk into a bar 127 times, sometimes with
friends, sometimes just the two of them, sometimes before dinner, sometimes after a movie or
concert or show. Three of those times are for wedding receptions, one of which is theirs.