"It's a teleporter," Geoff said. "Anything I put on the first box will be dismantled into atoms, then transported to the other box and reassembled."
She looked at him. "And it will actually work this time?"
He frowned and scratched his ear. Then he picked up a notepad and flipped through it. He crossed out a line, scribbled something with a pen, then gently adjusted one of the coat-hangers.
"The maths works."
Cara stepped away from the table in case it didn't. Two pairs of dark goggles lay on top of the dishwasher. Geoff picked them up and handed a pair to her. She put them over her eyes and adjusted the elastic to hold them in place while he slid his onto his forehead.
A mouse squeaked in a cage by the sink. Geoff opened the wire door, reached in and lifted it out by its tail. It twisted in his grip and and squeaked as he carried it to the teleporter.
He lowered the mouse into the mass of coat-hangers, then slid the goggles down over his eyes. The mouse sniffed the coat-hangers and peered out through a gap between them, its whiskers twitching. Then it turned and picked up the cheese.
Geoff stepped to the microwave. It beeped as he pressed buttons on the front.
"Ready?" he said.
Cara nodded, then took another step back. The mouse looked at her. She was glad she wasn't where it was.
Geoff pressed another button on the microwave. It hummed and began to whine.
"Perhaps I should watch from outside," Cara said.
"It's perfectly safe," Geoff said.
He reached out and pressed the 'Start' button.
Sparks flew from the teleporter and smoke billowed into the air above it. Geoff pressed 'Stop' and the microwave's door clicked open. Cara coughed as the smoke filled the kitchen. It smelled like burnt rubber and...
She raised a hand to waft the smoke away from her face. The rear half of the mouse was still on the box where Geoff had put it. The front half was a blackened mass of skin, cheese, bone and... other things... on the other box.
"Poor thing," she said.
Geoff stuck a pen into the open end of the burned half-mouse and lifted it up to his face.