Enjoy an exclusive guest post from DJ Tyrer author of “Out of Time” and “Time is Relative,” featured in our ON TIME anthology.
Lee looked down at the body at his feet; a trail of smoke coiled lazily from the barrel of the pistol that hung limply in his right hand.
He felt oddly detached.
Then, he smiled. He’d done it. He’d really done it – and, nobody and nothing had stopped him. It had been easy. Utterly straightforward.
Still, best not to get cocky. Someone, a neighbour, a passer-by, had surely heard the sound.
He couldn’t be here when they came.
He turned and stepped through the glowing rectangle that hung in the air of the hallway like some strange geometric ghost.
Lee was back in his laboratory.
Everything was as he’d left it.
A flick of a switch killed the power to the machine and the glow faded, leaving just an empty steel door-frame at the centre of the room.
Slowly, he looked down at himself. Then, he crossed to a full-length mirror that hung, incongruously, amongst the scientific apparatus, and considered his reflection.
He looked the same as when he went through the doorway. Looked solid. Firm.
A squeeze of his arm confirmed the fact.
He remembered everything clearly. His memories hadn’t changed. A quick check of the internet showed no changes to recent history. He entered his own name into Google: He still existed. He checked his grandfather: Yes, shot dead, no suspects. Time had changed.
Slowly, a little nervously, he stepped away from his laptop and waited, like a guilty sinner wondering if God would strike him dead.
Lee had gotten away with it… He’d killed his own grandfather, and he still existed, hadn’t been struck by the lash of paradox. Success!
Only… The doubts began to seep in. Had history flowed around his grandfather’s death to pass on with the most minor of changes?
Fingers moving frantically across the keyboard, he called up his father’s birth certificate: The section for the father’s name was blank.
He smacked his hands down on the worktop.
Had history somehow contrived to keep his father’s birth despite his grandfather’s death a year prior to the conception? Had time altered reality to allow a miraculous birth so that nothing else need change?
Or, had his grandfather not been his grandfather at all? Had he killed the wrong man?
This experiment was turning out to be less straightforward than it first had seemed. He would have to think it through some more.
Still, he looked over at his invention and smiled, at least the time-door had functioned perfectly.
DJ Tyrer is the person behind Atlantean Publishing and has been widely published in anthologies and magazines around the world, such as Amok! and Stomping Grounds (both April Moon Books), Altered States II (Indie Authors Press), Altered Europa (Martinus Publishing), and Destroy All Robots (Dynatox Ministries), and issues of The New Accelerator, Planet Scumm, Broadswords and Blasters, and Awesome Tales, and in addition, has a novella available in paperback and on the Kindle, The Yellow House (Dunhams Manor) and a comic horror e-novelette, A Trip to the Middle of the World, available from Alban Lake through Infinite Realms Bookstore.