Writing Prompts – No. 7

Back from the Future

A knock at the door catches you off guard. Upon answering it, you’re greeted by a man who says he’s from the future—and he can prove it. More important, he says he has information that will save your life.

I wake up startled at a loud banging on my front door. My dogs go crazy at the noise at only 2:30 in the morning. Who could be at my door right now? I’ve been here for a month and haven’t made any new friends yet. Even then, I don’t want friends who wake me up in the middle of night; unless it’s an emergency. They rapidly bang the door again and my heart jumps. I grab a plastic bat that I keep next to the bed and head down the hallway. I peek out of the curtains next to the door and my heart stops. It’s my ex. But something isn’t right. I put the bat down and open the door for him and he stares at me like he just escaped the loony bin.

“Garrett? What the hell are you doing here?” I ask.

“Emily! Listen to me. I don’t have a lot of time,” he says as he let himself in.

He slams the door and grabs my shoulders. “I’m from the future. 30 years, actually.”

My face lets out a grin and I laugh. Garrett has always been a tad eccentric, but this is just nuts.

“Please leave,” I say with a straight face.

“Wait. I’m serious! You’re in real danger, Em,” he cautions and gazes into my eyes.

“Yeah, I’m in danger from you, you psychopath.”

He searches around in his pockets and pulls out something very intriguing. It’s a photo of me and him, but I look different. Older. I wasn’t buying it.

“That’s called photoshop. Not impressed,” I say as I glance at it quickly.

“No, it’s not photoshop. That’s us in 20 years. In this city.” He paused and took a deep breath. “This was the last time I saw you… And it’s why I’m here. You need to leave this place. It’s going to end up killing you.”

“What are you talking about? How can a city kill me?”

“Bare with me, Em…” he starts. “The new job you have here ends up taking you to all kinds of places. Egypt, Japan, New York, Rome and where I live, Ireland. Long story short, we run into each other and get back together. After several happy years together, we settled here at your place. But while I was off doing and engineering job in Tuscany, you were here at your home base. And the largest earthquake on record happened and… it killed you, babe.”

I listen to his story and roll my eyes. “That’s crazy. You’re crazy.”

“Emily, stop. I’m not kidding.” He took out another photo and hesitated to give it to me. “I didn’t want to show you, but I was able to find this after the incident.”

He hands over the picture and it’s so real that my lungs forget how to breath. It’s extremely graphic, but I am able to see my face—and my body being crushed by this very house.

“You really are from the future…”

“That’s what I’m telling you. You need to leave this place. Now.”

“Yeah, sure. But–how did you time travel?” I ask.

“‘Cause I’m a genius.” He smiled.

I can tell he smiled for more than just one reason. Not only because he knew how to time travel, but because he may have just won me back. I pack up the unpacked boxes and I was gone the next day, with Garrett.

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An outgoing, introverted writer who likes to lie about being outgoing. Talking to your cat at all hours of the night does not count as outgoing; but it doesn't stop her. She is also just as comfortable being at the beach as she is standing in a pile of cactus. If you want to really impress this unique specimen, offer her a box of your best wine.

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