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Flashfiction- Ill Timed
November 18th, 2014 by Coral

This is the flash fiction piece that I wrote for Helicon West and performed last week. It’s a science fiction story, this particular scene is taken from the plot of a television series I am working on writing.

Humans have a terrible habit of ignoring things they don’t like. Even when things should be left as they are, we humans can’t resist. I was no different. I thought I was smarter than the natural order of things.

It started- well, that’s complicated. See, time has become difficult ever since our small group of Quantum Physics students discovered how to travel through it.

For this, we’ll say it started on that first Tuesday in October, when we went back to that day. I didn’t know we had come out on that day. Not at first.

As we headed for city hall, I glanced around, a sense of deja vu tingling down my spine. Reaching the corner, I stopped dead. The street signs indicated we were on that street; Marigold Lane.

As the others ascended the marble steps, I quietly separated and made my way along the street. I looked towards the bookstore and saw that I was right. I knew this town, I knew this street. I knew this day. The old, beige station wagon was parked on the curb.

As I watched, two people emerged from the store. A woman, laden with books, and a twelve year old boy.

I stared at the woman. She had blond hair that was the same shade as my natural coloring. Her smile was the same one that I cherish in my oldest memories. The boy, Louis, was easy going and carefree; I could see it in his stance even across the street. I pictured his crooked smile, the one that had always comforted me, and his eyes that had always promised adventure.

My throat constricted as I watched, memories threatening to overwhelm me. A block down, I could see the bus. Closer, I saw the bus stop.

I began to run. If I could make it to the bus stop, I could delay it. In that moment, I saw a different life. A life where my mother and brother still breathed. In that brief instant, it was clear. The life I could have had. Where the raven of my hair did not reflect empty rebellion, where I didn’t have these faint scars of lonely anger crossing my wrists. Another life where I still spoke to my father.

What would my mother and older brother think if they could see me now?  Would they see me as everyone else does, if they met me? A collection of mistakes for all the world to see. They would see how far I fell, for I can never erase that, not even after dragging myself out of the pit.

I could have been a better person, if I could stop them from dying when I was seven years old.

Suddenly, I was pulled to a stop.

“What are you doing?” I turned to face Robert’s question. He had followed me from City Hall.

“None of your business.” I snapped at him, jerking my arm away. I knew he would try to stop me if I told him.

But how could I not try?

Glancing back, I could see the bus was almost there. I had only seconds left before my chance was gone.

“You’re trying to change something.” Robert accused. “You can’t change the past, Thilda, we all agreed!”

“This is different!” I shouted and shoved him away.  He stumbled off the curb and into the street. The world slowed as everything happened at once.

A horn blared.

The bus swerved.

The old, beige station wagon crumpled between the bus and the truck behind it.

I felt the crushing force of the truck forcing the car in around me, just as though I were there with them. I saw the last look of fear, of panic, in the eyes of my mother. In the eyes of my brother. Before everything ended for them, forever.

I might have cried. I might have screamed.

I don’t remember. The world went black as reality hit me. I hadn’t saved them.  I hadn’t changed the past.

I had created it, and I can never take that back.


2 Responses  
  • auntjojo writes:
    November 19th, 20148:40 amat

    Awesome!!! You are a fabulous writer. Keep up the good work.

  • Read writes:
    November 18th, 20146:15 pmat

    I enjoyed this! You are a very talented writer !


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