Twice in one month, right? Well, it’s Christmas. Season of giving et al.
Just wanted to upload a short, short story (that’s not a typo) I entered into a competition some years ago. It got longlisted. But it didn’t make the shortlist. When you read it, you’ll probably see why. LOL.
The story is along my genre – science fiction.
I checked my timepiece, making sure for the hundredth time that I’d configured it properly.
Then I leapt off the balcony of my apartment, 30 stories up. A one-way, express ride to the bottom.
I felt giddiness tear through my body. I was falling, flying, free at last.
I’d read so much about this moment, the fear that grips the heart just before taking the leap, the helplessness as your body darts through the air like an eel in the savanna, your body rumbling in exhilaration as you race to your own death.
Maybe it’s the perverse rush of adrenaline, but every book I’d read about this was right. As you fall, everything becomes clear. You think straight. Your memory works right.
And I was gaining speed.
Thoughts ran through my mind like a train trying to make up for lost time.
I thought of my wife and the first time I saw her, smiling her disarming smile.
She was singing at the karaoke bar with her friends, so full of life, and showing off the longest, firmest legs I’d ever seen.
I remembered how anxious I was when I approached and offered to buy her and her friends a drink. I probably had more adrenaline coursing through my blood stream that day than right now as I fall to my death.
I remembered our first hug, first kiss, the first time I knew I loved her, and the first time I told her; the way she feigned shock and said nothing. I remember my glee when I found the “I love you too” note she’d slipped into my pocket later that night.
I remembered watching her walk down the aisle towards me, firm short steps, her smile still as captivating as ever. She was my soulmate. Everything about her screamed it.
I was shooting through the air now, and the train wasn’t letting up.
The memories came in flashes now.
I saw us having our first fight. I saw the fights get worse.
I saw the first time I hit her; also saw the first time I hit too hard. I felt the shame that coursed through me when she returned home from the hospital, limping.
It’s my fault she’ll never run again. I’m the villain in her fairytale.
In a few minutes, I’ll hit the ground and make a mess, my brains will probably make the front page of the PM news.
Every brochure on timejumping you’ll ever read never tells you what the final seconds of your life will be like.
My account is probably the first on record. So you’re lucky to be reading this.
Just before hitting the ground, I felt myself ripped into what felt like a thousand tiny parts. Then all of a sudden, I was watching my body fall, like I had walked out of my own body. For a moment, I was in two places. And then none.
The next thing I knew, I was on a bed, couldn’t move. And I was also naked – I could feel a draught all over my nether-regions.
I could also hear voices.
Cool, so I didn’t have to be embarrassed. Not like I wasn’t comfortable naked. I had reasons to be confident. But let’s not get into that.
“What time is on his timepiece?”
“February 25, 2010.”
“Client is ready. Prepare to reload him into time stream.”
The next thing I felt before everything went black was the feeling of being churned and then spread thin.
25 Febraury, 2010.
Lara was celebrating, having the time of her life. Her ten months of training had finally paid off – a slot on the track team and a shot at the gold at the Commonwealth Games in April. She was rocking out with her friends on the karaoke stage, singing her heart out.
They belted out song after song till the customers in the bar started giving them the stink eye.
Finally, the girls made their way to their table. Food and wine covered the table but they hadn’t ordered anything. Lara gave the waiter a puzzled look.
“Courtesy of the Oga at the bar,” he said pointing.
A handsome young man sat at the bar, smiling. Then he raised his glass and mouthed “cheers”.
Lara and her friends mirrored him, raising their glasses as well.
Lara looked at the table again. It was filled with all her favorites. Even the wine. Especially the wine.
She looked at the man again. He smiled at her. Then he got up and walked away, not looking back.
“Who’s that guy?”
“I don’t know. But I have this weird feeling I’m supposed to.”