Once again we’re doing a “Writing Prompt” short-short from Writer’s Digest, has a bit more meat to it. The prompt goes as follows:
A knock at the door catches you off-guard. Upon answering it, you’re greeted by a man who says he’s from the future—and he can prove it. More important, he says he has information that will save your life.
Word limit is 750 words, which I hit according to OpenOffice. WordPress sez I was shy, so I added a few wordies just on the oft chance. If I’m over, you won’t dock me for it, will you?
Without further ado, here is Thanks, Future Man!
He didn’t look like a Future Man.
Not that I’d met one before, of course. For all I knew then, he was 100% legit. But one would have thought that if you were entering some past era, you’d dress to blend in, and not as if you were a member of the Insane Clown Posse.
“I was misinformed,” he said. “Wikipedia Galactica must’ve been vandalized by the Grays. They do it all the time for kicks.”
Future Man or not, I took no chances. The chain was still on my front door and my taser was being held behind my back. One false move and this bozo would receive some sweet sweet electrical justice. He might anyways; three am is a hell of a time to go pounding on somebody’s front door.
“Please believe me! I’m from… the Future! Your life’s in danger!”
“Look,” I said “I’ve had a miserable day at work. I just wanted to go back to bed and…”
“I can prove it!” Future Man held up his arm, revealing the largest, most complicated wristwatch I had ever seen in my life. “Watch as I use the ChronoWayBack to step into… the Future.”
His fingers danced over the watch. The moment he stopped there was a loud pop and he vanished as if he’d never been. For three minutes there was nothing outside my house save the street and the neighborhood.
Then with another pop Future Man was back, now wearing an outfit George Jetson would envy. Even his hair color had change from bright red to brighter orange. “Sorry about the delay. The makeup was getting to me.”
He grinned. “Convinced, are we?”
“Now that’s out of the way, your life is in danger.”
“That’s hard to believe. Who’d want to kill me?”
“In sixty years, you’re going to be a celebrity.”
A spoiler I could use. “For my writing?”
Future Man shifted on his feet, looking embarrassed. “Um, and a rival wants to take you out for the honor and has sent back Space Ninja Pirate Robots to kill you before you can near his, uh, status.”
“To prevent me writing my novel, right?”
“Um, no.” He sighed. “See, you’re destined to be Time’s Virgin Champion. Ninety five years without a woman even breathing hard.”
“It’s a big honor,” Future Man said, but his eyes told another story.
“Well this ‘rival’ shouldn’t have bothered. No doubt you just killed me with whatever germs you got on you.”
“Not to worry.” He raised his wrist. “This keeps me immune and sterilized against every possible negativity. Even poisons.”
“That’s it? Sounds pretty limited, if you ask me.”
Future Man swelled up with wounded pride. “That’s not all, of course. With this on my wrist it allows me to speak and understand all languages, gives me access to Wikipedia Galactica, protects from the vacuum of space, and butters the toast.”
“Impressive.” I said. “Most impressive.”
“But beside the point. You’re in great peril. We must discuss…”
I smiled at him. “No need for discussion. With the ChronoWayBack, what can harm me? I’ll just travel through time and avoid all that danger.”
He shook his head sadly. “Nice suggestion, but even if it could take more that one traveler, leaving your present might wreck your future status. And we can’t have that now can… What are you doing with that taser?”
“What do you think?”
I tased him.
Within moments I had Future Man safe inside a closet and the ChronoWayBack on my wrist.
See, like I said, it was a long, miserable day, part of a depressing series of long, miserable days. And while I was normally the nicest of men, finding about my “future” did nothing for me. That there were people out there dedicated to making sure I never get laid was the Buick that broke the camel’s back.
With the Wikipedia Galactica I’ve found the time/space location of gents like Don Juan and Casanova. With a few months in their tutelage, I’m sure I’ll be able to overcome my troubled love life. Then it’s up and down the time line for me, seducing as many beautiful women as would let me as often as I could.
Time’s Virgin Champion indeed. I’m going to be Time’s Greatest Lover or die trying. And write a killer novel from the experience.
Thanks, Future Man! You’ll get such a nice dedication.