Forget Me Not

[This is a quickie before I post the next installment to the Futile Life]

Melanie’s excitement consumed her. She had done it. She was the first in the history of humanity to have invented a time machine.

It was ironic that she was excited about the future because it was only the push of a button away. She was going to be famous. This was just brilliant.

She had to test it first. Make sure it worked so she could give a demonstration. Don’t want any embarrassing failures on her rise to stardom. No problem. What year to go to? She didn’t want to take too many risks. She was very risk averse. After all, Melanie didn’t want to go too far ahead. What dangers would she face? Maybe there wouldn’t be an inhabitable earth to go to.

She decided. Just fifty years ahead. That would be great.

Forget the past! She knew what was there and, frankly, she didn’t want to dig it all up yet. She wanted to see what was in the future.

****

Forget about HG Wells. Melanie’s time machine was tiny. It was a simple plug placed in her ear and covered by her long, straight, brown hair.

“Here we go!” she squealed excitedly. She had set the machine to transport her fifty years into the future. The “red” button was slightly exposed at the entrance to her ear canal. Countdown please…

Five… four.. three.. two… one…

“Blast off!” she shouted at no one in particular in the living room of her empty one bedroom apartment. She pressed the “red” button.

Swwwoooooosh.

****

Her apartment was gone. She found herself on the kerb at the side of a road. It was amazingly quiet. Tall, completely transparent buildings surrounded the road she was facing. She could see people inside them, going about their business.

There was an exact replica of the kerb she was standing on at the other side of the road. Strangely there was no traffic. Just a very intense breeze. Nothing like she had imagined in a busy metropolis.

Suddenly, in the distance, she spotted crowds of people crossing the road, but they were all crossing at exactly the same place. It was weird. Why weren’t people crossing the road at random like they always do?

Also, they were crossing on a bridge that stretched over the road, several metres above the surface. It didn’t make sense. There were no cars in sight. No flying cars either.

Melanie decided to investigate. She would cross the road and see the bridge from the other side. Maybe she was missing something on the side of the road that she was on.

She took a step into the road, almost pushed back by the heavy wind, and…

****

…she was hit at such a velocity that her body and the time machine in her ear were pummelled to splinters.

The strangest thing was reported in the news that day, fifty years into Melanie’s future. The report was that a woman had committed suicide by walking into the high velocity traffic. It was a suicide because no one could possibly have done that by accident.

Everyone knew that the traffic was powered by fusion which was completely silent. In the same way thay knew that the traffic travelled at a very high velocity on that road such that it was invisible to the naked eye.

****

There are no time machines in the future and no one will ever know about Melanie and her time machine. She wasn’t going to be famous after all.

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8 thoughts on “Forget Me Not

  1. Hi,

    We would like to run this story as a mid-week flash fiction podcast — it would have the distinction of being the first — we are starting out podcasting more youthful science fiction and fantasy i.e. kind of PG 13 as our podcasters are 13 and under.

    However, while your story would be introduced by a young person, the story will be read in a semi-pro studio by semi-pro voice talent.

    We don’t mind what you do with our podcast if you like, as long as you give credit.

    We aren’t paying for flash fiction (indeed we are only paying 25 dollars for a half hour to an hour story). But we will send you some swag — t-shirts mainly.

    We are partnered with a group of cartoonists and illustrators, and if your story catches someone eye (I’d say 50% chance.) It will be illustrated – then you’d get some postcards or other physical pic of your story.

    We may be interested in some of your other short pieces,

    Thanks,

    Patty Kim

  2. Patty, that sounds very exciting. Thank you for taking so much interest in the story. You have my permission to do the podcast on the basis that I retain copyright in the story but I will license it to you on a non-exclusive basis, for zero payment, for the purpose of making the podcast.

    Thanks again. This is indeed exciting.

  3. That’s great.

    There are a couple of editorial fixes we would like to make – the biggest being to remove saying that it is ironic. I understand that you mean that the future is just a button push away. And then there is one other mistake – someone else mentioned it.

    Can I have an email to contact you privately? Also we may have an illustrator contact you? There are two associate editors and one wanted to really edit this story and the other just had the two problems — do you want a professional edit or a minimal edit?

    Let us know at clonepod at gmail.com.

    If you would care to submit any other stories to us, please do so at clonepodsubmissions at gmail.com

    Thanks : )

    Patty

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