1. Gannon
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    Gannon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Winner Catchlight Short Story Contest (52): Time Travel

    Discussion in 'Bi-Weekly Short Story Contest Archives' started by Gannon, Oct 12, 2009.

    Catchlight - The Seventh Wave

    He had found me on the beach one day. I was lost, alone and bruised. My mind was on other things, like counting the waves. I was hoping that the seventh, the biggest, would carry me away. It might as well, I was all alone and no one would notice that I was gone. All I had left was me.

    “Would you like to borrow my umbrella?” He asked. I looked up, trying to make out his face, lost in a halo of sunshine.

    “Why? It’s not raining?”

    “No, it’s not. It was a line. I suck at lines.” He raised his hand to shade his face from the glare of the sun.

    “You could just try saying Hello.”

    “Ok, hello. I’m Daniel, idiot but all round nice guy, mostly.”

    “Hi, I’m Kelly, no idea whether I’m nice or not anymore.”

    He sat with me then, on the beach with its disappointing surf and made me laugh. I learned quickly that with him, there was nothing to fear. He was warmer than the sunshine, brighter than the moon and more constant than the tide.

    #

    We sat on my sofa while a movie played unnoticed on the television. His finger stroked along my brow, gently shifting the hair from my face.

    “I can’t see your eyes.” He said.

    “You’re not missing much, they’re just eyes."

    “Oh how wrong you are. They’re a time machine. In those eyes, I see our future.”

    “Ah really, so what do you see?” I nibbled my lower lip as a smile teased at the corners of my mouth.

    “I see you, standing on the beach in a white dress, waiting for me. I see you again after a few years have passed. Your hair is longer. You’re holding a tiny baby in your arms and smiling. The baby has your nose.” His finger traced its way down my cheek and drifted to my lips.

    “Does the baby have your hair?”

    “Mm hm. It has my hair with your eyes and nose. It’s the most beautiful baby in the entire world.” He nibbled along my jaw line, his hands lost in my hair.

    “I like time travel; does it have a happy ever after?” I asked.

    “It does, it has a very happy ever after. I promise”

    #


    Daniel had apologized to me the day his doctor told us he would die. He was sorry for the promise that he couldn’t keep. But he didn’t fail, it was all me. He had saved me, been my family and been my life. When his turn came, when he needed a hero, I was helpless. Useless.

    #

    “I’m sorry I couldn’t save you.” I whisper into his ear, my lips grazing the light stubble that decorates his cheek.

    “I’m sorry I couldn’t stay.” His voice is strong today, his eyes still bright as he looks up into mine.

    “I see a time machine in your eyes,” I say.

    A smile creases his cheeks, torturing his dry lips. “What do you see?”

    “It’s beautiful. I see perfection, the most wonderful life in all the world."

    “You do?”

    “I do. I see me standing on a beach in a white dress with a minister. I'm holding a handful of roses, I'm waiting for you and I'm smiling. I see you standing in the door of a hospital room while I hold our little baby in my arms and we name her Katie. I see a little house with flowers in the garden and you sitting beside me under a big shady tree. I see all the things that we have had in these few years.”

    “I like time travel. Does it have a happy ever after?” he asks. His lip quivers just a little and a tear rests at the corner of his eye.

    “No, not this time, but it had the most beautiful of beginnings.”

    But I am wrong.

    #

    It is over and I sit on the beach, watching the surf and counting the waves. In a flurry of sand she stands before me, hand shielding her eyes from the bright sun.

    “What are you doing Mama?” she asks.

    “I’m just wishing that I had an umbrella,” I say.

    Katie sits in my lap and looks up at me. “It’s not even raining you know.”

    “I know sweetie. Look at the waves, aren’t they pretty?”

    She doesn’t look at the waves; she keeps looking up at me. Her eyes are golden, like the sand, like her fathers. And I see it, our future. It’s there, swimming in the eyes of our child.

    I found it Daniel. Our bright future, our happy ever after.
     
  2. ThadOcho
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    ThadOcho Member

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    Congrats, Catchlight!
     
  3. losthawken
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    losthawken Author J. Aurel Guay Role Play Moderator Contributor

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    Great job Catchlight, I knew I was done as soon as I read your story :) Glad I didn't read it BEFORE I posted mine! Well done!
     
  4. Catchlight
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    Catchlight Member

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    Thanks so much guys! I loved writing that story, it's a big favorite of mine :)

    I was a bit worried since it was about as far from sci-fi as you can get and I liked some of the other stories very much.

    Thanks so much, everyone who voted for me!
     
  5. ranke
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    ranke New Member

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    i'm new and wasn't in time to vote, but if everyone's was a good as yours, it'd have been tough to call. that was fantastic.
     
  6. Catchlight
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    Catchlight Member

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    Thank you Ranke, that's so nice of you to say :)
     
  7. Rawne
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    Rawne Member

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    I love this.
     
  8. Never Master
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    Never Master Member

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    That is simply the best short story (and for an online contest nonetheless!) that I have read in ages.

    Somehow, despite the petiteness of this story, you managed to keep me interested, make me smile, and pull at my heartstrings before I realized that you had gained complete control of me. Splendid!

    I have not read the other entries (I joined today :p) but in consolation to those who did not win this contest, don't fret. This was a brilliant interpretation of the posted theme and it was executed flawlessly.

    Major Kudos!
     
  9. Gigi_GNR
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    Gigi_GNR Guys, come on. WAFFLE-O. Contributor

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    My exact thoughts. Beeeeaaauutiful story!!!! I loved it, a lot. :)
     
  10. Catchlight
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    Catchlight Member

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    Oh my goodness guys, thank you! I'm blushing seriously here now and I do not blush lightly (actually I blush crimson). I'm just so pleased that people liked it!
     
  11. Never Master
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    Never Master Member

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    You are being far too modest!

    But your welcome. :p
     
  12. Catchlight
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    Catchlight Member

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    hehe, it's unlike me to be modest really, so I'll just take the compliment without the blush then hehe :)
     
  13. blahblahchoi
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    blahblahchoi New Member

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    man, good read, great story.

    Love the transitions between time... well done. Didn't confuse, or frustrate.

    Great job on using the eyes as a "time machine"... good ending too
     
  14. Catchlight
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    Catchlight Member

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    Thank you :D I've never tried switching tense before within a piece so I was a bit worried it'd go wrong. Present tense is hard enough all on its own!
     

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