The clock reads 4:15.

He moves the cursor. Clicks the game tab, statistics, and then reset. Just like that the slate is clean. All the wins, all the loses; simply wiped away.

Time travel.

"It isn't time travel."

He clenches thick fingers, rough rubbery skin squeaking against the plastic.

"It isn't-"

"Shut up."

His eyes are fixed to the screen, to that sublime expanse of green. When he returns home from work each day he sits and he plays solitaire. For hours upon hours. He'd thought himself pretty good, until he found the statistics tab. Until the machine told him it'd been tracking his efforts. It had a log. Thousands of games played, a couple of hundred won. He translates these into time spent and his head reels, his hands shake.

At 4:15, he wipes them away. There's no record, no evidence, no-

"It isn't time travel."

She says again and he begins to shuffle cards across the screen. Jacks and Tens together, a solitary King awaiting suitable Queen.

He's got different rules than the machine does, and he's flesh and blood; he must know better. Kings always go with their proper Jacks. Always. There is a bond between fathers and sons he can't bear to break.

Queens are whores. Queens go wherever there's a space to move into. Sometimes they take the Jacks with them, leaving the Kings to sit powerless. They clutch their swords behind the glass, stare at him with imploring eyes.

Fix it.

But he can't fix it. His losing streak is too high already. He's incapable.

The clock reads 4:15.

He moves the cursor. Clicks the game tab, statistics, and then reset. The mournful King is gone, unfaithful Queens and Jacks who'd know better if they could be reached are swept away.

The slate is clean, he can start over.

When the alarm sounds somewhere in the house, some place he cannot see, he leaves his chair. He showers, shaves, puts on his suit. He has bills to pay. No electricity means no computer. No computer means not solitaire. No solitaire means no time travel.

No way to right his wrongs.

"It isn't time travel."

Hisses the bag at the door. He steps around it. The bag rustles, the Queen's face pressed against the plastic.

"You're still pretty."

He says. Time travel. Starting again.

"It isn't time travel."

She repeats, white lidless eyes staring. Without another word, he shuts the door and goes to work.

The clock reads 4:15.