Saturday, 20 January 2018

400: Relative Change

Post #100 of this blog was "Time for a Superheroine" (Oct 2013). Post #200 of this blog was "No Reason" (Aug 2015). My continued efforts to write short fiction continued in #246 "Suppression" and #261 "In The Dark", based on prompts from "Web Fiction Guide". Post #300 of this blog was "A Bunny's Tale" (Jan 2017). Now here we are at Post #400 exactly one year later. These milestones creep up fast when you make weekly entries; I almost missed it.

The following is a short story I submitted to a publication last June. It did not win, but we might as well get it off the hard drive. It's definitely short - it needed to be 628 words, max. (6-28, June 28). We're back to time travel here. Enjoy!

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RELATIVE CHANGE

Lilium was used to hearing her younger brother talk to himself on occasion. The walls of their house were thin. But something about this time felt different. It took a moment before she realized that Luke’s voice was overlapping with itself.

Lilium sighed. She couldn’t very well grow up to be a member of the Chrono Patrol one day if she ignored an unauthorized temporal incursion inside her own house, could she?

She raked her fingers back through her frizzy hair, adjusted the straps of her green dress and stalked out of her own room, throwing open the door of Luke’s bedroom without so much as a knock.

Her fifteen year old brother, sitting on the bed, turned to look at her with wide eyes. So did the early twenty something version of her brother standing in the middle of the room. Yeah, had to be an older version of him, only Luke would wear such a tacky Hawaiian shirt.

“You’re both audible and visible to your prior self?” Lilium shrieked. “Are you trying to get one or both of yourselves arrested?”

“Bus-ted,” YoungLuke muttered. He shook his head. “But I’m glad you’re here, Lily. You know how I’m buying a new watch tomorrow?”

Lilium peered at her brother(s). “Yeah.”

OlderLuke broke in. “I keep telling myself that I’m here to change that event. But I’m so stubborn! Luke, why won’t you listen to me?”

Lilium put her hands on her hips. “Both of you, stop. Future Luke, have you even studied temporal theory? Did you run the quantum scenarios here?”

OlderLuke nodded. “Of course I did. That’s how I pinpointed this event.”

“And then did you run the scenarios on everyone else?” Lilium challenged. “I mean this is, what, a six year entanglement, minimum? What happens to me? To the person who sells you the watch on commission? To the lady who asks you for the time three years from now? To YOU, a week in the future?”

“Oh, uhh..."

“THINK, Luke.” She stepped forwards and flicked her fingers at OlderLuke’s forehead. Of course, her fingers passed right through the hologram, but it was more about making the point. “Rule one. History must be free to make its own decisions. If we made mistakes, well, that’s how we learn, how we grow. Change can be good, change can be bad... change cannot be taken lightly. That’s why we enter the past only to observe.”

OlderLuke glared back. “Times change too. As do regulations.”

Lilium felt a chill run up her back. Only then did she wonder why she hadn’t stopped Luke from doing this in their future. Was she even there? Was she in on it? Or was this some sort of test, by a future superior, to see if she was Patrol material? There was no way to know.

Still, she wasn’t about to change her own beliefs. It didn’t matter that this version of Luke was now older than her.

She shook her head. “Luke, you know how much your past self wants to buy that watch. Even if you could change that event, and benefit from it, you don’t truly know what that will do to the timeline around you. Do you?”

OlderLuke stared at her. Then he slumped, shaking his head. “No. You’re right.” He gave her a sad smile. “Thank you, Lily. As usual, you’re the only one able to change my mind.”

Moments later, he had faded from view. Lilium let out a sigh of relief.

“Lily!” her brother gasped. “What are you doing in my room? What... what’s been going on for the last ten minutes?”

Lilium blinked. “I’m not sure. But I wouldn’t worry about it,” she said, turning to leave. “I don’t think anything’s changed.”



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  What do you think, was I able to capture enough in such a short word count? Is there anything I should be working on with my writing?

  Note that I've also been contributing columns to the Time Travel Nexus about the "Back to the Future" comic book series, if you want to read more. I also went though some of my favourite time travel TV shows as an Author Aside on my serial site. Virga Mysteries will begin there tomorrow.

  Thanks for your interest!

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