If you’ve been following along, and I hope you have, our protagonist, Merle, has just explained how babies are made to an eight-year-old girl who appears to have the ability to turn bcd time. Merle’s unfortunate power has left his girlfriend in pieces. Literally. All over his car. Now he needs to reset the last couple of hours of his life, and his friend, Lucia, is just explaining the difficulties with repeated time-travel. Enjoy:
“I will do it once, but that’s it. More than once, and there are,” she paused searching for a word, “strange consequences.”
“How do you know? Your parents could be talking bullshit.” He clapped a hand to his mouth. “Sorry,” his muffled voice said. It didn’t occur to him that he had already told this eight-year-old how babies are made, not to mention the description – albeit brief – of his lady friend’s demise. Teaching her a bad word was low down on that list, but he apologised anyway. “Sorry Lu,” he repeated, “don’t say that in front of your dad. He’ll have my backside. I don’t think he likes me anyway, and all I need now is for him to find out I’ve been using bad language around you.”
“I think my dad thinks I can take care of myself. Why else would he have allowed me out with you tonight?”
Merle thought about this for a while, before slowly nodding.
“True, true. But that doesn’t alter the fact that your parents might’ve lied to you.”
“No, Merle, they didn’t.”
“How can you be sure?” Merle looked at his watch again, and began his restless twitching again, throwing a glance in the direction of his car every few seconds.
“I tried it.” She stared at Merle for a moment before continuing. “Well, we tried it. Me, my mum, and my dad.”
“And?” Merle was practically hopping on the spot now. He knew an hour would be hard, but he also knew an hour and a quarter would be harder still. He could have just trusted Lu and had it done by now, but he’d already proved his thinking wasn’t that clear at the moment.
“Well, we wanted to see what I could do; if I could redo a moment over and over.” She made a face as she talked, as if she had smelled something bad. “Let’s just say the dog didn’t tolerate it very well.”
Merle frowned and scratched his cheek.
“You don’t have a dog.”
“Not that you remember, anyway. His name was Whisky. He was a Yorkshire terrier. I loved him.”
“Really?” It was Merle’s turn to make a face now, and he half turned away in imagined pain for a dog that he never knew. “Ok, just once then, but please make it a good one.” He once more held out his hand to Lu.
“Just wait. It’ll take me a few minutes to get prepared.” Lu began taking in huge lungful’s of air. Occasionally she would burp, but mostly she kept sucking in air. After perhaps five minutes, she held her hand out to Merle who took it gladly. He looked at his watch: one hour and twenty minutes had passed since Hayley, well, passed, was what it told him. Lu tightened her grip on his hand for a moment and squeezed her eyes shut. Merle followed suite and screwed his own eyes tightly shut. There was a moment of silence, and Merle held his breath and waited for what he hoped would be a second chance.
Lu let out a long fart. Not especially loud, but it turned Merle’s nose up.
He felt Lu let go of his hand, and he opened his eyes.
“Merle? Earth to Merle?” The voice to his left was soft, too soft to be Lu. He turned to look at the girl sitting opposite him. Her blonde curls cascaded over her shoulders and down her chest as she arched her back. She batted her eyelashes as she spoke. “You still with me champ? I kinda lost you there for a minute.”
Merle looked out of the front window. He was in his car. A quick glance around told him he was in the woods. He took a deep breath and blew it out slowly; he never got used to this part of Lu’s party piece. He looked back to the girl sitting alongside him.
“Still me, hun.”
An interesting take on the idea of time-travel, wouldn’t you agree? Next week in Part 7, Merle is back in time, but will he be able to avert disaster this time round?
Just out of interest, are you aware of any books / stories, where time-travel is instigated by farting?