Author : Huw Langridge

It started as a series of headaches, but on my fourteenth birthday they made contact. Calling me by my first name. Talking inside my head. We talked for years.

“The tremors are getting more frequent Daniel,” they eventually said to me. “The freak weather patterns more extreme. Snow, storms, tsunamis, earthquakes.”

“I’ve seen the news,” I said into the lonely confines of my car; my journey along the thin Snowdonian mountain road becoming more treacherous with the horizontal rain and gusting wind.

“We don’t have any solutions.”

“Surely it makes sense to warn those in power.” Rounding the side of a steep hill, the mountain road teetering on the precipice of a deep valley to the left, I drew up behind slow moving traffic. Red lights in the hard rain.

“They may not believe you,” the voice continued.

“Are there others who can verify what I tell them?” I said, inching slowly forward round a high crested bend that traversed an elevated promontory.

“We have attempted to contact others in your timeline. Others who were born during that special Autumn hour. When the clocks go back. Children out of time. But they are not as receptive. Perhaps there is a gene.”

“Should I tell the government?”

“They are unlikely to believe you are communicating with me.”

“Then I fail to see how I can help you.” Ahead, men in fluorescent gear waving. Hard to see in the driving rain, which is getting stronger and fiercer as the minutes pass.

“It’s not just us you are helping. It is your timeline. Go to the scientists. The environmentalists. They’ll believe you.”

“How did you develop this technology? This method of contact?” I switch up the speed of my windscreen wipers to keep the view ahead clear, and turn up the heater, rubbing my hands together.

“Bio-quantum resonance. It’s a development that doesn’t exist on your timeline. But you have things that we don’t. We haven’t made it into orbit, hence our further investigation into all things micro.”

“And what if we can’t fix this… this collapse?”

“We don’t know. We are mapping the multiverse, and for some reason there is strength in certain timelines, so we have them listed and marked for contact. Yours, and some others, are a spine. A backbone. Collapse of the spine, in any organism, can be catastrophic for the whole.”

Others are getting out of their cars ahead. Looking down into the steep valley below. More men in fluorescent gear, pointing. Walking towards my car.

I open the door, holding tight so the wind doesn’t steal it from my hand. Pulling the hood up on my rain jacket, I walk to them.

“A tremor,” one yells above the howling gale. “The road ahead has fallen into the valley.”

I look down and see the tumbled pile of cars, trapped beneath an upturned lorry, lights winking, wheels high. A helpless turtle.

“We’re closing the road, you’ll have to turn round.”

A thundering further up the hill. Another tremor. Stones pelt down to us, bouncing on the tarmac. I run back to the car. The rumble increases.

I twist the key in the ignition.

“Warn whoever you can,” says the voice, and I swing the car to the side of the road to execute a turn.

The road cracks. The car jolts, the back dipping. I start to accelerate, but the road beneath me gives way, and I’m rolling back, tumbling down the hill, into a flip, with just enough time to say, or at least think. “Try my son. He shares my birthday. Tell him I love him.”

Discuss the Future: The 365 Tomorrows Forums
The 365 Tomorrows Free Podcast: Voices of Tomorrow
This is your future: Submit your stories to 365 Tomorrows