Scene-of-the-week premiere: Throwing a guy through time
Welcome to the first of the scene-of-the-week series. Every week there’ll be a new scene, a glimpse of a potentially complete story. You get to vote which one you want to see as a full story in the comments below.
You can listen to this being read to you here:
Time Hucker went into trance using his special machine. His assistant Gerald, who he’d seen as a big, hairy boy a moment before, now appeared as a tiny ball of light. Time Hucker’s own body now looked luminescent, his arms glassy. He stood looking down as though from a high bridge. He took hold of the Gerald-light, held him in his hand as though weighing him, and looked down into the time streams. Gerald would take the streams seriously, once he was far enough in. Oh yes.
The trick was throwing him at just the right moment…
Each stream was a different color, flowed straight in its own direction, from horizon to horizon. They looked like a hundred thousand curving, translucent rivers, all stacked on top of each other. Their distinct colors—green, blue, orange, yellow—mixed with each other in ways that he still found amazing, though he wouldn’t admit it to Gerald.
Far, far below lay Gerald’s destination, the Earth timeline. Time Hucker watched, waited. Wait for it. Wait…
He imagined himself saying to Gerald, who was both his apprentice and nephew, ‘It is tricky to toss someone from one flow of time into another, Gerald. When I first started training, my teacher had me throw stones. From where I was, I threw a stone down into the faster time streams. It’s a bit like throwing a ball from a bridge, you see, and trying to get it to land on a particular square inch of grass. Tricky. Well, it’s actually more like that example, except gravity acts on the ball more and more, the closer it gets to the ground. Because you see, Gerald, time gets denser in the lower dimensions. Not like here.’
Savvy words, but then Gerald wouldn’t listen to such things, because Gerald was more interested in the pretty colors that the rivers of time made when they combined with each other. He liked to swim among them, diving and surfacing, seeing how the colors changed depending on where he was among the layers. Why, if Time Hucker would let him, Gerald would change the time streams, just for aesthetic effect!
If, however, Gerald were a good student, listening attentively, Time Hucker would have said, ‘When I threw them, the stones would appear somewhere in the timeline, very suddenly and moving very fast. Earth people would think them meteorites. Which they were, but from another time.’
Then Gerald would laugh at Time Hucker’s wit.
Time Hucker would smile and pat Gerald’s head affectionately. ‘But the problem, you see, is that people are much more unpredictable than stones. They can adjust their fall, like someone with a parachute, pulling at the corners to change direction. They can move left and right, even slow themselves down a little bit.’ His hands tightened on the Gerald-ball. ‘But they still had to move, very, very fast, Gerald. Like you will now.’
For Gerald was not an attentive student. No, Gerald had to be taught a lesson.
Ah! Wait for it…. wait…. hold…
With all his strength, time Hucker hurled Gerald down into the time streams.
This is the first week in the, Scene-a-week series. Each week, I’ll give you a scene from a story, maybe from the beginning and maybe from somewhere in the middle. These stories will not be fully written, just the scenes. You can vote for which ones you want to have made into a full story in the comments section. Sound like fun?