Author : Clint Wilson, Staff Writer

Just because mankind has invented time travel doesn’t mean we can go traipsing along down through the ages all willy-nilly. Firstly, one may not, under any circumstances, completely materialize into any previous plane of existence at any time whatsoever. Paradox has been proven and if one chooses to reverse then it will be strictly as an observer and an undetected observer at that, spying from the fringe of existence and never any closer.

And due to phase fluctuation one must always traverse dressed in period correct attire in case of temporary accidental fade in; the technology is good but not perfect. I knew all too well the rules, and when it was finally my turn to use the machine, I came prepared in my Victorian era brown tweed suit and bowler hat.

I sat inside the chamber and as the batteries charged up to wormhole penetration strength I rested my hands upon my umbrella walking stick and readied myself for my fantastic journey.

With a flash my surroundings disappeared and I found myself sitting on a bench in the second story of a Victorian mansion. I turned and looked out the multi-paned window to a beautiful garden below, where a horse and carriage were just pulling up to the grand entranceway.

I heard a noise behind me and spun my head quickly to see a well-dressed family appear at the top of the stairs. Even though I knew that I was invisible to their eyes my every nerve froze as I listened to them chat in their mundane and pompous fashion. So and so was rumored to be engaged to such and such. How much money did they have? Were they of proper breeding? I continued to remain motionless while the group came up to the large window and looked out… through me!

Suddenly a voice called from down the stairs and the father grinned and shouted back, “Coming right along Simpson, you don’t have to invite me for a drink twice.” Then they all turned to go.

I found them all so intriguing with their stiff clothes and their plastered down hair. And as they made their way off I stood up from the bench to get a last glimpse of these wonderful historic creatures, long since dead yet so vibrant there before my eyes. And as I did, the young son of the family, a boy of maybe ten or twelve years, turned in his wide brimmed hat and his smartly tied neck ribbon… and he saw me.

For an instant his eyes locked with mine and I knew I had phased in; and just as quickly the super computer back home adjusted my temporal position and I disappeared from the boy’s sight. But in the split second before I blinked out of existence I heard the lad say, “Look mother, a ghost!”

It wasn’t a result they were happy with back home, but still an acceptable cover to avoid paradox nevertheless, one that worked over and over again while they worked out the bugs of the great machine.

I returned back through the wormhole more excited than ever, already planning my next visit should I get the chance, utterly thankful and completely in awe of the brilliant minds of my time.


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