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Quantum Leaf

A Stoner in Time

By Kenny PennPublished 5 months ago 8 min read
Top Story - December 2023

Maynard has jumped into a dude’s body this time. He knows immediately, perhaps because Maynard himself is a dude, but more likely it's because he’s woken up with morning wood.

He sits up in bed with a groan, a dozen kinks complaining in his back. Evidently this time period doesn’t have comfortable beds. Lame. Either that, or he’s poor today. Man, don’t let it be that, he thinks. A lack of funds makes it difficult to score weed, and he’s already going on day 4 without a single hit. Super lame.

His gut says he’s traveled backward, though he can’t say why. The only real clue is a half-used unlit candle atop a crude nightstand next to the bed.

A middle-aged woman steps inside the room. Pretty, in a motherly sort of way, wearing a white linen coif. Definitely backward then.

“Joseph. That Osborne fellow is here to see you.”

Right. The name’s Joseph today. “Ok, cool, man. Just need to use the bathroom first.”

She stares, eyebrows lifted like he’s spoken a foreign language. “Why do you call me a man, Joseph? And what is a bathroom?”

Maynard bites back a curse. “Um, sorry ma- uh, ma’am, the loo?” Her expression remains unchanged. “John?” Nothing, dammit! “Privy?” That does the trick, but she’s clearly still confused.

“Is there something ailing you husband? Has a fever come upon you? What’s wrong with the chamber pot?”

Maynard’s eyes flick to the small pot he’s missed under the window. Aw, dude, gross! “No, sorry. Shaking off strange dreams, that’s all.” I really need to get high, man. “I’ll be, uh, quick. Tell the Osborne dude to wait for me.”

“Dude?” She shakes her head. “Alright, dear. Lord knows it’s the time for strange dreams, with all this evil running amok.” She gives his arm a reassuring squeeze. “I’ll keep the man company while you see to your routines.”

Once she’s gone, he heaves a heavy sigh. Could have gone worse, he thinks, making his way to the chamber pot. Now, how do I keep this thing from splashing me?


Osborne is narrow faced, pale, and clean shaven. He’s dressed formally in a long white shirt, a snug brown jacket, and tight fitting brown pants. Like, really tight. Cutting off the circulation to your balls tight. The fashion here is so lame. Maynard’s own sack feels like it's been strapped to his asscheeks.

“Herrick.” Osborne says, nodding gravely. “Glad you’re up and about. Have you come to a decision then?”

Maynard’s wife-for-the-day hands him a plate of eggs and slightly burnt toast, plain. Dude, no jam? Or at least a little butter? Weak, man! Of course, he’s got no clue what this guy’s talking about. Motioning for him to sit at the table, he says, “Sorry, du- uh, sorry. Decision about what?”

Osborne grimaces. “Are you serious, Herrick? This is no joking matter. Sarah is dead! My wife died in a cell, untried! She’s gone to the grave because of that lying witch! You examined her, you know Sarah was innocent!”

“It’s true, Joseph,” Mrs. Herrick says, “Bridget has accused nearly every woman in town of being a witch, and no good has come from it. Sarah deserves justice.”

Maynard nods as though understanding. In a way, he does. It’s always something like this. Before he jumps to another body, someone will need protection, validation, or maybe love. And sometimes people need simple justice, like Osborne.

“Calm your jets, man, I’m willing to help.” Maynard says. The dude’s eyebrows draw down and he shares a dubious glance with the wife. Oh yeah, no jets here, man, gotta be more careful. “Um, what can I do?”

“Do?” Osborne throws his hands in the air. “Avenge my wife, Herrick! What’s wrong with you? Tell them what I saw, give them the evidence they need!”

“Ok, but like, why can’t you do it, man?”

“Are you daft, Herrick?” The man’s face is borderline purple. Hopefully, the poor guy isn’t about to have an aneurysm. “It must come from you! Otherwise, it looks like a lie from an aggrieved husband!”

Maynard motions at the widower to calm down. “Alright, man, be cool. Just wanted to be clear on what I’m supposed to say.”

Osborne calms visibly but shakes his head. “The words upon your tongue are strange, Herrick, but it matters not. You need only to give testimony that you witnessed Bridget working with a strange devil plant and give them the dried herb I found.”

Now he understands, mostly. This Joseph fellow is being asked to lie in court. No biggie, apparently the woman was a total drag, right? But there’s another problem. Meeting Osborne’s eyes, he says, “I’m, uh, not sure where the plant is.”

“I’m not sure it is a plant,” Osborne replies, “at least, not one I’ve seen. I found the lot hanging upside down beneath the house. Smell led me to them, a pungent scent like the breath of Satan. You said to keep them in the kerchief.” He nods to a faded white cloth folded on the table.

Maynard takes the handkerchief and unfolds it. When he sees what’s inside, he has to fight to keep himself from laughing like a lunatic. Bits of green and brown buds, dotted with red, orange, and gray hairs, are tucked neatly in the handkerchief’s center. The aroma is heavenly.

He now holds at least three joints worth of partially cured marijuana.


“Husband, why do you look at it so?”

Maynard fights the urge to jerk the handkerchief away from Mrs. Herrick as she leans in close. Play your cards right, man, and you could be smoking 17th century weed! How cool is that? He pats his ‘wife’ awkwardly on the hand as he pulls the cloth away. “Careful, uh, dear. Mr. Osborne thinks this is evil stuff.”

Gently, he wraps the green treasures back inside the handkerchief and tucks it away in his pocket. It’s taking all his will not to dance around the room. His hands tremble. Hopefully, the Misses and Osborne take it as suppressed fear.

A sudden thought worms its way into his consciousness, dampening his mood. Dude, how the hell am I gonna smoke this? Standing, he nods to the door. “If I’m to testify, we should go.”

The air outside is chilly but not unbearably so. Knobs of grass have pushed their way up through softened ground, and there are green stems of flowers coating the landscape. In the nearby trees, a bird scolds them as they walk by. The scent of burning firewood permeates the air.

Maynard still hasn’t figured out a solution by the time they arrive at the town courthouse. Inside, a judge wearing a ridiculous white wig sits at a raised platform in the back of the room. Centered in front of the judge is a small table where a bored looking wealthy woman sits twirling a loose strand of blond hair around her fingers. She scrutinizes him condescendingly, notices him watching and sneers. What a bitch.

The judge clears his throat as Maynard takes a seat with the crowd in front. “How nice of you to join us, Constable Herrick. Now that you’re finally here, we may proceed.” Maynard doesn’t know how to respond to this, so he doesn’t. The judge shakes his head and continues. “Young Ms. Bishop has been accused of perjury and committing the foul crime of witchcraft. We’ve heard testimony from —”

The judge’s voice fades away as Maynard catches a glimpse of what he needs: One of the men sitting to his left is trailing smoke from a long wooden pipe clenched between his teeth. If ever there was a sign from a benevolent god, this is it.


“Your honor,” Maynard says, standing, “I have something to add.” Do people say, ‘Your honor’ in the 17th century? The judge doesn’t appear angry or offended, so Maynard continues. “I have, like, important evidence and stuff.”

A murmur stirs in the room, but the judge bangs his gavel. “Quiet! What evidence have you for this court, Constable?”

The blonde glares at him through narrowed eyes, but Maynard pays her little mind. “I saw Ms. Bishop two weeks ago, burning foul herbs and inhaling the fumes. She coughed most profusely, and afterward spoke in a strange language!”

The blonde goes red in the face and shouts, “That is a lie!”

“Silence!” The judge scolds, turning a glare on Maynard. “And why, Constable, have you not come forward with this testimony before?”

“I had no evidence, man! So, I, like, prayed and everything, and last night the Lord told me to search her home, where I found strange plants growing. When I picked them, the stems shriveled and vanished in foul puffs of dark gray smoke, though the parts I had picked remained.”

The judge seems shocked. Everyone does, but none more so than the blonde, whose face turns ghostly pale. The judge motions Maynard forward. “Have you evidence of this foul herb, Constable?”

This is the tricky part. Maynard hands the handkerchief to the judge, worried he’ll never get it back. He needs the woman to ask the right question.

She’s too frightened to speak, but thankfully, the judge asks instead. “This herb has an offensive stench, but how do we know this plant is evil?”

Maynard nods gravely. “Good point, your honor. Perhaps we should set some of it alight and make her inhale it again!”

“I certainly will not!” Ms. Bishop exclaims. Maynard fights to keep the grin off his face. She knows what it is, though, he can tell by the way she’s averting her eyes.

The judge says, “She’s right, Constable, that would be unconstitutional.”

Dude, this whole trial is unconstitutional. “I understand, your honor. If only there was a way . . .” He trails off, pretending to look around. Then he points to the dude smoking the pipe. “Hey, man! Can I borrow that, please?”

Shocked at finding himself the center of attention, the dude stutters a reply and hands over the pipe. Maynard empties the bowl against his palm and addresses the judge.

“Your honor, I know the Lord is with me, so I am unafraid.” He stifles another giggle. “If you let me, I will demonstrate this plant’s effect using my own body.”

Staring opened mouthed, the judge motions with the handkerchief. “You would do this?”

“The Lord is with me.” Maynard repeats, feeling giddy.

The judge nods and hands over the kerchief. Maynard drops one of the flowers into the pipe and walks back to its owner. His ribs hurt from holding gales of laughter at bay. “Do you have a match, sir?”

"Stop!" Ms. Bishop shouts, but too late. Maynard lights up, inhaling deeply. Not the best stuff, but it’ll do. Blessed smoke flows into his lungs, and he almost drops the pipe in a sudden fit of coughing.

It works like a charm. Once the judge sees Maynard’s eyes go bloodshot, he’s nearly convinced. Then Maynard starts laughing, and the blonde’s doom is sealed. He sees the judge’s reaction, sees how everyone around him is watching as if waiting for a demon to sprout from his nostrils, and the laughter won’t stop.

The blonde is convicted and hanged that very afternoon. Maynard doesn’t watch - too heavy man, total buzz kill. He wonders if the judge will let him smoke a bit more and is seized by another fit of the giggles, which the townspeople take as more proof of the evil within him.

All there’s left to do now is wait for the next jump. He wonders idly if it’ll be the one to finally take him home.

Man, what I wouldn’t do for a slice of Pepperoni Pizza, he thinks, but they don’t even have Twinkies here. So lame.


Thanks for reading! This story was originally submitted to a competition at I did pretty well, made it to the semis, but didn’t win. As always, any constructive feedback is welcome


About the Creator

Kenny Penn

Thanks for reading! I enjoy writing in various genres, my favorites being horror/thriller and dark/epic fantasies. I'll also occasionally drop a poem or two.

For a list of all my work, and to connect with me, go to

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Comments (20)

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  • Mike Singleton - Mikeydred15 days ago

    A thoroughly excellent fun story

  • L.C. Schäfer4 months ago

    The audacity 🤣

  • Phil Flannery5 months ago

    I had no trouble visualising all of that, from the piss pot to the garments of the time, to the courtroom. A fun read.

  • Jay Kantor5 months ago

    'k' ~ Puffing a 'Doobie' bachatcha ~ - HaPpy Holidays - 'j'

  • JBaz5 months ago

    I laughed I cried, I wondered why she had to die. That would have made for a great episode. Well done and congratulations

  • Dana Crandell5 months ago

    Well, that was an interesting twist on an old favorite! It would have been even more fun to watch!

  • Kalina Bethany5 months ago

    As a stoner who loves to indulge in mid-century fiction and history, this is wicked entertaining! I need that first tarot card, dude.

  • Leslie Writes5 months ago

    Great premise, well executed! 🤣 I miss Quantum Leap.

  • Kendall Defoe 5 months ago

    Y'know, I loved the show in the day, but I never thought that they could have achieved the same...jumps because of weed. Just wish more courts could be conducting their cases this way. Excellent TS! Like Scott Bakula meets Cheech and Chong... ;)

  • Excellent work. I love the clever humor and very original!!! I have subscribed!!!

  • Scott Christenson5 months ago

    I was laughing at seeing a stoner comedy here ! And then mentioning writing battle at the end I see the inspiration. I had done a few previous WB but missed the last one. Great take on the prompts!

  • Mackenzie Davis5 months ago

    DUDE this is so cool! Great storytelling, I saw every detail like it was a film, and was completely riveted. Got Big Lebowski vibes, man. 🙃 Congrats on Top Story!!! I would love another installment ;). No notes from me, except "misses" should be "missus" (as in "me and the Mrs.).

  • Tressa Rose5 months ago

    Back to say congrats!

  • Hahahahahaha this was epic! I have a question though. Why does Maynard wake up in a different body everyday? But lol, the way he hit two birds with one stone; smoking the weed and framing Bridget!

  • Tressa Rose5 months ago

    No criticism, this was a fun read. Although I remember there being a rule about the Miss/Ms. thing.... Miss is when referring to the younger female (up to around age 30), and Ms. being meant for females older. I don't know how exactly how 'young' this Bishop lady is though haha! Really liked reading this though!

  • D. J. Reddall5 months ago

    Clever premise, dude!

  • Test5 months ago

    Enjoyed this so much, hilarious " too heavy man, total buzz kill." as she gets hanged. Perfect! The subtitle and title are brilliant add ons also. Should have won the damn thing in my opinion!

  • Claire Guérin5 months ago

    Dude, I giggled all the way through! ;) Great characterization of the pothead! The only thing that "killed my buzz" was the fact that the woman got killed for doing exactly the same thing he wants to do.

  • Mother Combs5 months ago


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