A shaded balcony
Chlorine wafting from the pool like a Siren's song
Scrape of colorful chalk, tattooing concrete
Flowers in bloom
Red petals dancing in summer's light
Cyclist meandering by
Wheels cracking and spokes creaking
Wind in grass
Dried morning trimmings blanketing the walkway
The year is 3020 and time travel is an execution method.
A few years back, it was a hopeful science experiment. “Humanity’s next great breakthrough,” said World Union’s propagandists. It earned them a few willing volunteers. A couple hundred if I remember right, but after humanity’s next great breakthrough turned its volunteers into charred corpses, WU couldn’t find a soul patriotic enough to step into a pod.
So these bastards used it to kill “criminals” or, better said, revolutionaries like me.
I wish I kept quiet. If I hadn’t written those papers. If I’d just stayed an obedient citizen…
My feet felt heavy as my handlers led me to my pod. My heart beat rattled my body and I couldn’t find the strength to walk anymore. Hands yanked me from the ground and tossed me into my pod. They strapped my arms to my seat and, when I was secured, pressed a button that lowered the pod’s door. It made a hiss as it sealed me in.
A priest stood outside and prayed for me, but I couldn’t hear him. Not over my loud breathing. Not over my heartbeat, now thundering in my ears.
The machine whirled to life when he disappeared from view. I felt it attack my body first, pulling me apart atom by atom, then it went for my mind and crushed it.
The year is 1985; I live in London with my wife, and I’m the first human to survive a time jump.
I want to be alone… with someone who wants to be alone.
We rented a motel room in a city far away from our respective lives. The moment we entered, we killed our phones then sequestered them in the old drawer – charging be damned – officially going off grid.
Two chocolates and a courtesy “Hope You Enjoy Your Stay” note sat in the center of the bed. We pushed them onto the floor and stowed away under the cold covers, embracing each other for warmth and, at some primal level, a need to belong.
But when our embrace didn’t scare away the loneliness that festered within us, we resorted to kissing it away.
Our respective decomposing worlds faded into a fog, leaving us alone.
Under satin sheets Your soft snoring in my ears Sheltered in your warmth
Every bit of me Wants to believe we Are real, that in Our silences, a chord, Silvery, binds us together. Unseen but felt, reminding Us that we are Kindred souls in love Fated to be by God or whatever force That put us here.
Every bit of me Wants to believe this. But the wounds from Past chords prevent me. Chords I believed were Like ours—precious loves— Until brutishly snatched away Like ripping an embedded Hangnail from a finger.
There was nothing like it. Their first kiss. The way they’d fallen in love. The loneliness that existed before and the salvation he brought. She could see a life with him: a house, a little dog, and maybe a child.
She dragged her knife against rigid metal, grating its edge to a sharp point. Well, she thought, turning to her victim subdued in the kitchen chair. His new girlfriend is welcomed to my leftovers.