Schrödinger’s Suitcase

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My bride Annie and I were wandering the streets of Clontarf, a suburb of Dublin, when we found the suitcase. We had just been married the previous evening at Clontarf Castle. We'd decided to stay an extra day before flying to the Amalfi Coast for our honeymoon proper. So, anyway, we were poking around in old shops, trying to stay out of the rain.
"Nice." I held up the hardside case, thirty by twenty inches, a foot deep, covered in baby-smooth tan leather.
"Put it back, Will," she said. "It looks ancient."
"It looks sturdy," I said. "They knew how to make things in the old days. You know the zipper on my rollerboard is about to bust." I smiled. "Do you want to see my boxers all over the baggage carousel?"
She pretended to shudder. "No one would want to see that."
The grizzled proprietor appeared. "Lovely piece," he said. "We've had it since 1955."
"It's too old," Annie said.
"Sometimes an oldie is a goodie--like me." I opened it up and blew out a few stray pet hairs. "Nice." I glanced at the proprietor. "Er. Not horrible. Especially for such a decrepit piece."
We agreed on the price.
#
Back at our hotel, I dumped the contents of my rollerboard on the bed. Among the items were some 'authentic' Irish jewelry with dried shamrocks and flowers inside for my grandmother.
We'd also purchased a small stuffed animal, a Cheviot lamb, for our neighbor girl, Hannah. She'd been disappointed we were going to Ireland without her.
Annie helped me repack and we went to dinner.
When we got back to the room after a lot of wine, I stumbled over the new suitcase and then heard a strange noise. "Did you hear something?"
Annie collapsed on the bed. "I just heard you say, 'Did you hear something?'"
"No. Before that." I leaned over the case.
Ba-a-ah.
I reached for the latches and opened it.
Inside, a tiny lamb was chomping on some living flowers and shamrocks.
I was so surprised I fell backwards.
Ba-a-ah.
"What?" Annie leaned over the edge of the bed. "There's an itty-bitty sheep eating the stuff in your suitcase."
We couldn't make heads or tails of it. At some point, the wine kicked in and we fell asleep.
#
Our flight to Italy was scheduled to leave at lunchtime. When the alarm went off bright and early, we were both lying on the floor. Middle-aged men were not meant to sleep on the floor. Or drink lots of wine, apparently.
Annie squinted. "My head hurts. Why are we on the floor?" She glanced around. "I'd say we must have had some epic sex, but our clothes are still on... Wait. The little lamb!"
No sign of it. We stared at the closed suitcase. I reached over, and we both held our breath as I opened it.
Inside we saw my clothes, the jewelry for Grandma, and the stuffed lamb for Hannah. Everything looked completely normal.
Annie shook her head. "What the hell was in that wine?"
"I do not know."
#
We checked into the Naples hotel and arrived in our sunshine-laden room. I threw the doors to our balcony open and strode into the fresh air. Italy was just as glorious as we'd hoped. I stood on our balcony and stared out at the Mediterranean. I breathed in the scent of salty sea air.
Annie joined me. “This is amazing." She turned to me and we kissed in the sunlight.
And then we heard a soft strange noise from the room.
Ba-a-ah. It was coming from the direction of my suitcase.
We ran for my suitcase.
With shaking hands, I opened it up.
Inside the case, a tiny lamb was chomping on some plants. Not only did the lamb seem alive, the plants in grandma’s jewelry seemed alive.
"Could the wine have given us some kind of delayed psychedelic effect?" I asked.
Annie shook her head. "I don't see how."
I reached out and closed the case. Then I opened it again.
Everything was still, seemingly back to normal.
I closed and opened the case again.
The plants were alive again. The lamb baahed again.
We both stared at the lamb as it jumped out of the case and started cavorting about on the floor. It was adorable with its tiny but perfectly proportioned body.
Finally I said, "I don't understand. Do you think that old shop guy was a leprechaun or something?"
Annie broke out into peals of laughter. After she caught her breath, she said, "Seriously? A leprechaun?
"Something weird's going on." I shrugged.
"Maybe call the shop and see where they got it?"
We grabbed our phones.
"What?" the elderly proprietor asked.
"Hello," I said. "I bought a suitcase at your shop yesterday and I was wondering where you got it."
"All sales final," he said.
"There's something weird." I paused. "You're not a leprechaun, are you? There are only two possibilities: yes or no."
“Don't 'cha think I'm a bit tall for a leprechaun?" He sighed. "I'll check the records."
“Thanks.”
"Found it,” he said. “E. Schrödinger from the Institute for Advanced Studies. Definitely not a leprechaun." He snickered.
"He said it was from some guy named Schrödinger," I said to Annie.
"Maybe it belonged to Erwin Schrödinger. He was some kind of scientist."
"We should name this little lamb Erwin."
"A physicist," she said. "He's famous for a thought experiment. He put a cat in a box and said it was both alive and dead until he opened the box. You don't think he experimented on real cats in your suitcase, do you?"
"I don't know."
#
Suffice it to say we were very, very careful what we put in the suitcase after that.
Grandma loved her magical Irish jewelry.
And Hannah really loved Erwin, her tiny magical lamb.

About the Author: 
Lesley L. Smith has a Physics Ph.D. and an MFA. Her short fiction has appeared in Analog Science Fiction and Fact and Daily Science Fiction. She has also published several novels, including The Quantum Cop and Quantum Murder and is an active member of the Science Fiction/Fantasy Writers of America.