There had been an old Star Trek episode once, where the world was about to end in destruction and people could select (by the aid of a time-machine) a place to go in the past where they would survive – albeit, among strangers, and among people who did things differently – well, the past was like that.
And that, my friends, just about sums up where we are at the moment. In the first half of the twenty-first century technology had accelerated away into places never dreamed of. Computers were now biological, space travel had been available to many. Some preferred to stay behind on Earth – since it was all they knew or ever wanted to know.
My family was one of those who selected to stay – ‘cave-huggers’ they were called by those who saw themselves as more far-reaching.
I had never married and never had kids, and therefore my immediate family was all I had. Slowly but surely, each of them died off, leaving me more and more to fend for myself.
When this little planet, this little spaceship – that we were walking on, and which took us around the Sun every year – had started to fail, then we knew we were in trouble.
By the time the planet began to break-up, it was all too late to do anything about it – too late to leave, even.
The conclusive discovery of dark matter in that spring of 2019 had changed the whole scientific outlook. A million things were now possible, and time-travel (within a limited physical area) was also possible. There had been failures – sheep which had been sent into the past had returned in woeful conditions; most of them dead, and many of them mutilated.
Andy Forest was the first man to ever attempt a trip back in time – admittedly it was only as far as the day before and then he was to return. Which he did, remarkably intact. Although there was one flaw, Andy had been told to leave a note in a specific area writing down the date and time of when he was there. Andy did so and returned to us successfully, but the note never showed up. Doctor Phillius, our main man on the project, suggested that perhaps the past was in another dimension and that, the next day wasn’t just the ‘same place, a little later’ – one wag suggested that perhaps a cleaner had found the paper and got rid of it.
Perhaps when you went into the past, you disrupted the universe and caused a slip into a parallel one. The fact that you could come back to the future was because that was where you and your particles belonged. Anyway, I know I’m losing you here so I’ll stop with all the conjecture. Suffice to say that there wasn’t going to be a future to come back to shortly and that we all needed to decide pretty sharpish where we wanted to go.
Some went in pairs, some went in large groups. Me? I went on my own because I knew where I was going to travel back to – was going to be pretty personal.
That night I went through the process of getting all my jabs and medications that would at least give me a head start for where I was going.
The contraption could send me back in time but no more than one mile from where I was presently situated. I knew that there was a little area up by some water above the town that was never built upon, and would be safe to materialize.
That night they sent me back to a place in history where I believed I would be safe.
I awoke on the hill with a beautiful rising sun and I knew where I had to be by three o’clock.
When I got to the hall, there was a small crowd waiting to go in – I have to say it was strange seeing them in colour instead of the black and white Polaroid photos.
As I stood across the street, I saw the black car drive up to the hall and there they were, standing at the door and getting covered in confetti: my parents, newly married – I had come back to the sixties and I knew I was going to be happy here – even having the fun of watching myself arrive on the planet, one day very soon.
bobby stevenson 2017
photo: My parents on their wedding day 🙂