Time and Again

I was asleep when it happened. A loud thunderclap shook the apartment building. I jumped from bed to look out the window only to find that there wasn’t a cloud in sight. Could it have been an explosion? There was no smoke in the vicinity, except for a small puff rising from a nearby park. I guessed someone had launched the first firework of the season. We were, afterall, very close to the holidays. As I walked back to my room, someone unlocked the front door and was moving the doorknob. Somehow this person had the key. The scene resembled one of those horror movies, with the lights flickering and some unknown assailant opening the door. A few switches flicked on. The lights blinded me for a second. Shortly after I noticed a figure in front of me. His body was covered in mechanical devices in what appeared to be a random pattern. When I finally saw who it was, I was shocked. Even the world around me twisted and churned. This person was tearing at the very fabric of space. Then, as he approached, said, “This is all that I can do now. The future is bleak, but I will give you a head start”. Years of suffering were reflected in his face, or, my face? My mind felt like it was fracturing. The paradox of the existence of this person in this specific space and time was altering everything around me. Before I could ask anything this visage of my future self began to disappear into a cloud of glowing dust. These little lights flew towards me and merged with my body. His memories became my own. I bore witness to the horrors I would face in a few years. Then, after the dust had fully dissipated, the mechanical parts reorganized and settled on my arms. Like a pair of old gauntlets from medieval times. Except this technology was far beyond anything I could dream of. They constantly monitored my health and, to my surprise, space-time stability. Curious about this, I managed to navigate its interface to learn more. As I investigated further I learned that this was just one of thousands of attempts to change the future. My future. Through these devices I learned that the now unwritten history was one of many branches in time. All of them greatly affected by my existence. Upon further navigation I discovered what these mergers had been attempting, full space-time stability. The number floating above the holographic display was one hundred percent. What this meant for my future was anyone’s guess. Many of the memories that I could recall from previous attempts had been sealed away in my subconscious. Perhaps for good measure. Memories of suffering, pain or loss would likely drive me insane. The gauntlets faded from view. I turned off the lights, closed the door and went back to sleep. As I lay in bed a feeling of calm washed over me. It was as if I had been waiting for this moment for years. The future may still hold many difficulties, but clearly I had the motivation to persevere, time and again.


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