Mark of Achievement

It was a strange encounter by any stretch of the imagination. At least, that's how I remember it.

I'd taken Jen out for a meal. It was our forty-four day anniversary of being together, the sum of our ages or something else contrived like that. It seemed like a big deal at the time, which is why I'd forked out on a restaurant instead of going to our usual café.

We walked to her place afterwards, opened some wine and settled down with a movie. We were more interested in each other so we missed most of it. There’s not much more a gentleman has to say about the evening. We both fell asleep in each other’s arms on the settee.

I don’t know how long we slept, but it was dark when I woke with pins and needles in my leg. I expected Jen to be somewhere nearby, but I couldn’t feel her near me. I called to her, but there was no reply, only the sound of the extractor fan in the bathroom. I repositioned my tingling leg and drifted to sleep.

It could only have been a few moments later when I felt Jen rejoin me. I rolled over to spoon and put my hand on her thigh. My eyes opened quickly when my wrist was grabbed and yanked away.

“Don't do that again.” It was a gruff voice, not Jen’s.

I froze. A middle-aged man sat in front of my groin. He held a torch to his face, briefly, so that I could see it. It was covered by a dark, full-grown beard which looked eerie in the torchlight. I recoiled, scrambling to sit, but he pushed me hard with his hand and kept me lying down. He reached for a syringe from the floor, leaving the torch on my chest in the same way that a surgeon treats his patient as a table.

“Now it’s cracked,” he said, holding the syringe in the torch beam. “Doesn’t matter, it’s not leaking.”

A syringe! This wasn’t good. My stomach curled into a knot and my throat dried as I hyperventilated. I moved my arm behind my back, pushing against the settee cushions, struggling to get upright.

“I said don’t,” the stranger repeated. “I won’t repeat myself.” He pushed me down, easily.

"Where’s Jen?" I squeaked, breathlessly. Immediately I regretted asking; perhaps this intruder didn’t know that she was in the house and I’d just alerted him to another victim.

“Don’t worry about Granny Jen. It's because of you I’m here.”

Granny Jen?

My breath...

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Paul Sterlini
Jun 19 2020

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Comments:

Nice interpretation of time travel paradox

Tony Spencer
Jul 27 2020

Very interesting and fun to read!

Lily Larkin
Jun 19 2020