Good old Chuck has done it again. Here are the rules for this one: You have 1000 words in which to write a story where “time travel” is a prominent feature.
And here’s my attempt, coming in at a neat 436 words. A bit more light-hearted than last weeks, which I think people will appreciate.
Pair of Ducks
“Time travel’s not possible, mate. It’s a – a – wassit. Pair of Ducks”
“Paradox,” said Seth.
Chris ignored him and drained the rest of his pint.
“I mean, I read an article about it once,” said Chris, raising his voice to be heard over the noise of the pub. “Said that if time travel were possible we’d already have evidence of it, right? Dead time travellers and the like. So, no dead time travellers means no time travel.”
Seth thought he should at least make the attempt. “Well, maybe, but not if the travellers have a way of ensuring their jaunts won’t be discovered, an emergency field or –“
Chris slammed his hands down onto the sticky table, making Seth jump.
”Listen to me, mate,” he said, leaning across until he was not far from Seths face. His breath stank of beer and stale cigarettes. “Weren’t you fucking listening? It’s not possible.”
He leaned back again, and folded his arms. Seth got the feeling that people always dropped the argument after that little display.
And perhaps it wasn’t worth it after all.
“Maybe you’re right,” said Seth. “It’s just nice to dream sometimes.”
“No point dreaming about something that’s never gonna happen.” Chris shook his head. “It’s been Time Travel all over the place lately. I can’t seem to go five minutes without someone wanting to talk about it. Tell you what, the world would be a right better place if people just concentrated on what’s real, not on some airy-fairy fantasies.”
“Perhaps.” And if your ancestors had thought of it that way, you’d probably be dead of cholera by now, Seth thought.
He left the pub, and walked past all the drunks. A group of giggling blondes on sky-high heels screeched at him and he gave them a wave before nipping down an alley. He had some business to attend to that required privacy.
In a deserted, over-grown bit of concrete, he dropped into a crouch. And with just a press of the right bits of his boots in sequence, he was stepping back home.
He arrived with a rushing sensation in his ears, to find his boss smiling at him.
“You went to visit Chris, didn’t you. Everyone visits Chris in their first week.”
“Yeah,” said Seth, walking into the bright, shining future of it all. “I just can’t believe he was her grandfather, you know? How did the mind that made all this possible come from that?”
“We may never know.”
“Mind you, I found out about our logo.”
The boss laughed, and they both glanced up at the logo of TimeSteppers – Two ducks, in silhouette.