Author : Clint Wilson, Staff Writer

Throughout the universe there are many creatures that eat other creatures. Few however match the intelligence and hunting prowess of the time goblin.

His species is incredibly rare, a solitary armless biped said to have originated from an ancient world orbiting Omnus VIII. Of his kind he is the only one still known to exist.

The time goblin is a self-regenerating super being with no set expiry date. As long as he keeps himself fed and avoids major bodily trauma, he is immortal. His kind has known of time travel since before ninety-five percent of all time traveling species in the known galaxy. And he has a particular taste, an affinity one might say, for time travelers.

He is a fierce creature to be reckoned with. He has felled and devoured giant insects in the Cygnus cluster, just as he once ate saber-toothed tiger on the plains of Earth. But his hunger these days cannot be sated so easily. Now he sits hunched over a wormhole fluctuation monitor, waiting for the ultimate prize.

Time travel by wormhole involves the breakdown and rebuilding process of moving living creatures through wrinkles in the continuum. In short, when one skips through time or space at these intervals, one comes out on the other side a whole new being. And that is what the time goblin finds so delectable.

It would seem that the breaking down of one’s living flesh into particles and reassembling them is an ultimate cleansing to the time goblin. He finds the meat of the recently transported being, whether they be Centurion beast or Epsilon high priest, irresistibly delicious.

Which brings us to Dr. James Nesmith. Not only is the good doctor the first to discover time travel for the human race; he is also the first to test its boundaries, and ultimately the last in a great long era of humankind to do so. It will be centuries before the next human scientist makes the same correct calculations.

Meanwhile in Dr. Nesmith’s lab, he keys in the final command code. He looks into the camera he has set up earlier that week and says to the empty room, “If this works I shall be sitting on the edge of a primordial sea some three and a half billion years ago in just another moment.”

The time goblin’s monitor flashes its green glow and an alarm sounds. Sol III? Now this was interesting. He didn’t think they had it in them yet. Oh well, dinner will be served earlier than expected. He sets his own coordinates, and is there fifteen minutes early.

Dr. Nesmith hangs onto the arms of the chair as the glass-walled pod shudders and then with a bright flash, the lab outside disappears. Suddenly he and the pod around him sit on a stony barren plain. In the distance steam billows as hot sea waves crash against a rocky coast. He dons his oxygen mask and opens the door.

His heart stops as from behind and above him he hears a thud, as if something wet and heavy has landed on the roof of the pod, and before he can turn around a slashing set of talons tear through his shoulder and neck like raw hamburger. And as he fades from life he hears a deep gruff voice say in perfect English, “Freshly traveled flesh is the sweetest by far. I thank you for the wonderful meal you are about to provide. Praise the balance of the universe.” And with that the time goblin pounces on him and begins to feed.


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


%d bloggers like this: