I Hate Time Travelers

By: Lee J Isserow

1




It was August 25th 2010, exactly five years, eight months and three days since T-Day. That's what they were calling it now, although it had been through many derivations of name over the years and a multitude of branding overhauls in that time. At first it was referred to as 'The Happening', but that just brought back terrible memories of the M. Night Shyamalan movie that bored the hell out of millions of film patrons just a few years previous. 'The Event' didn't last long either, for not dissimilar reasons. 'T.S. Day' was the name of choice for a little while, but that too was laid to rest, as the conservative media weren't particularly comfortable with conjuring images of gender transition whenever they discussed the fundamental change in the human race that had occurred. Of course, a letter 'T' followed by a hyphen had been used by the trans and crossdressing community for some time, but by that point, nobody seemed to notice or mind. They were all too busy travelling through time and space to care.

All of them except Luke Denton and around a thousand other souls who'd been left behind whilst the rest of the human race were evolved against their will, by a force conspiracy theorists around the world had put down to anything from governmental to extra terrestrial tinkering.

Each of these non-travellers, or 'NTs' had a story, each of them as boring as the last. Luke's story was based solely on unfortunate timing. Had the boiler in his apartment not gone out, and the electricity not followed soon after, he would have never ventured down to the basement. If he had just looked out the window, rather than obsessing over the failing utilities, he would have seen the night sky glow a violet hue, street lamps flicker and die as clouds dissipated, followed by the stars blinking out of view one by one. When the purple faded from the stratosphere, it was replaced by darkness. A silent planet in the black. Once a hub of radio activity emanating into space, now a silent void.

Time passed. Nobody could say how long. Then, one by one the stars returned, winking back into existence. Normality resumed. But everyone who was above ground while the spectacle occurred was now far from normal. In the initial panic, terrified governments threw billions at scientists, trying in vain to restrict travelling - but it was nigh on impossible. However, after the initial months of mass migration, population numbers were not actually that dissimilar to how they were before T-Day. With borders being entirely irrelevant, nation states finally put their differences aside and declared the United Nations the centralized home of world government. Oppression and persecution swiftly ended, because those threatened with oppression and persecution could be anywhere else at the drop of a hat - and now that transport costs were entirely negated, feeding and watering the third world was a task anyone with some free time could do.

The world had become a utopia. Not that anyone would call it as such, seeing as they all still had to earn money. So despite living in a paradise where time had little meaning any longer, the denizens of the planet still grumbled.

Although few grumbled as much as Luke. He had, in the last half-decade, trawled the internet and watched hundreds of videos of the event, witnessing vicariously what he missed through handy-cam eyes. The others all seemed entirely disinterested in re-watching the marvel – mostly because they were the constantly back-and-forthing through their recent chronology.

At one point, desperate to be like the rest of the human race, he begged his roommate Kyle to take him back to T-Day, or at the very least travel back to and stop him from heading down to the basement (it's not like he managed to work out how to fix the electricity or boiler anyway). But the plan was to no avail. He had heard rumours and they turned out to be true; travellers could not go back to before they gained their ability, and even if it were possible, there were tangential factors at work that as a non-traveller he could barely attempt to try to wrap his head around.

However, that was years ago, when he still cared. Luke had long since given up the dream of being like everyone else, and resigned to the fact that he would never know what it was like to travel through time, other than in the normal (and distinctly boring) linear fashion.

At the present moment, unable to relocate in the blink of an eye as he deeply wished he could, Luke was sitting on the couch in his apartment while his roommate Kyle was standing with his hands at his zipper, offering to urinate on him.

“It'll totally work.” said Kyle.

“It won't.”

“You won't know 'til you try it.”

“Then I guess I'll never know.”

“Aren't you in the least bit curious?”

“Are we talking sexually or scientifically?”

“Scientifically.” said Kyle “for you..” he continued “and sexually for me!” he had a wicked grin on his face, as fingers twitched at his fly like a perverted gun-slinger ready to quick-draw his phallic weapon. “And probably sexually for you too.” he added.

“You know what?” said Luke. “I'm ok not being pissed on, and not discovering if it'll send me through time.”

Kyle withdrew his hand from his zipper, defeated, and dropped down next to him on the couch, bouncing on the fatigued, squeaking springs.

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