She Went Back In Time

She Went Back In Time

Since this story is first person, obviously I didn’t die. Sorry to disappoint anyone who hoped I wasn’t going to make it in the end. But my girlfriend didn’t make it. Julie. She was hit by a car, some careless ass hit her in the ass, knocking her to the ground and killing her. God. Damn. It.

I couldn’t cry. Not because I’m a goth, no. I have feelings and I do cry like any person, just not when it’s too painful to come out. Our friend, Rose, also came to the funeral (small venue, small circle of friends/family), and she was bawling her eyes out. I wish I could have cried like that for my love, but I couldn’t. I just…

After the service, I walked down Main and Third, hoping for a bagel. Instead, in a brilliant flash of light equal to that of the big bang or creation (depending on your tastes), I got an asshole.

He was dressed in what I could only describe as a “Seventies Suit.” His hair matched the era and he had a pompous swagger to him. Guys like him are the reason I hate men.

“Brian Gary, 70’s renaissance man. Time traveler.” He handed me his card.

I lowered my eyes. “Uh-huh.” He was just laughing at me.

He then literally laughed at me. “Aria, right? What a name. And those clothes! What are you, a mistress of the times? Whip whip whip!” Yeah. Men suck.

“How did you know my name? And I’m goth.”

“Well, your future self asked me to help you out. Normally I don’t change history, but for a… lady? I’ll do it.”

“My future self.”

“Yes! She asked me to save Julia.”

“JULIE.”

“Yes. Sweet, blonde Julie in the black satin gown, gone by a bumper car.”

“She got hit by a car!” Was this asshat for real?

“Look, do you want my help or not?”

I threw some F’s at him and told him to stick his time travel where it doesn’t shine. He pulled out a black ring. My black ring.

“Let me see that!” My dad’s inscription was still there: “Aria–to my favorite song, with love, your father.”

“Your future self paid me to help you get Julie back and gave me that because she knew you wouldn’t believe me. Frankly, who would?”

I clutched the ring. “What’s your deal, Brian Gary?” I made a point to remember people’s names.

“Nothin’ much, lady. I got caught in a bicentennial explosion of red, white and blue, which gave me time powers. I love this age. Right after the worst stuff, right before the end of the world. Sweet spot.”

I was going to mention the president as “worst stuff” still existing, but he must have known more than I did on the matter. For once, I saved it for later.

“Fine. I would love to save my love. How do we do this?”

He looked confused. “Oh. Are you coming with me? I was under the impression I should stick my time travel up my butt.”

I clenched my teeth at the remarkable jackass. “Yes. I’m going with you.”

He stuck out a hand. “Shall we?”

He paused. “Come on, Aria. Time to go.”

He frowned. “Are we going or not?”

“I don’t touch men,” I said. “Well, my father, if he were alive.”

He clenched his teeth back at me. “Okay. Then get on all fours.”

“What?” Did he think I was that kind of woman?

“I’m going to lay on your back. You don’t want to touch men, fine. But we need to go back a week like, right now.”

“Wha–a week? Why not a few days ago, when she got hit?”

He sighed. “Look. This isn’t Quantum Leap, okay? You don’t directly change events. You go back a week. You convince Julie to come to your house later that week instead of crossing Birch St. and getting hit.”

That… made sense, actually. “Okay.”

“Also, you’ll replace yourself from a week ago and will have to live over everything, including your… flow.” Brian Gary made a face.

“My period? Little punishment for saving Julie.”

“Time periods, yes! Anyway, I won’t be affected since I’m the ‘time machine,’ so to speak.”

“Got it. Climb on my back, Brian Gary.”

He jumped like an assface onto my back, digging his elbow into me. A flash of colorless light erupted around us and…

A giant clock and blue translucent tubes appeared from nowhere. We flew into the clock with gusto and ended up as smoking heaps in the alley.

Good God, where were we? Right. A week ago.

“I forgot to mention, as a passenger, you’ll be disoriented. You’re pretty cute for a week ago. Before the Neeeeeer! Errrrrrr! CRASH! Dead girlfriend. Occurred.” I wanted to hit him. But I still needed his help getting up.

He picked me up by the armpits and I hit him in the stomach. “I can take it from here, thanks. Oh,” I fished out my future self’s ring from Daddy. “Make sure I get this back. Ta.”

“I’m taking an observer role. Wouldn’t want you to make any events heavily altered.”

“Like saving someone from death?” I didn’t get him at all.

Brian Gary glowered. “Just trust me.”

I remembered Julie would often go to the doughnut shop on Tuesdays, so we went there. I saw a dead pigeon on the way and Brian Gary asked, “You want to save that one too, sweetheart?”

“How did my future self hear about you?”

He shrugged. “Time loop. You remembered meeting me, she sought me out via Yahoo email. Only email worth a damn in the future. Anyhoo, it was the first time I met her, so don’t think I’m doing this as a friend. I cost lots of money.”

I was going to kid him that “Yeah he does,” but he really was helping me out here. I loved Julie, from the time we met dancing under an overpass to her pale skinned body laying in that black coffin.

As I walked to the shop, I remembered Rose introducing us. She looked worried about something, I don’t know what. Julie kissed me on the mouth and said, “I think hellos should be as personal as possible.”

“Well,” I said, “now you’re just getting personal. But how would you like–”

“ROSE?!”

There in the doughnut shop were Rose and Julie, kissing at their table. Not to get all school girl, but a kiss to me is more than a hello. They were discreetly frenching, which made matters much more than personal.

I stormed the shop. “Rose, you, and, and, and Julie?”

Julie just pouted. “Oh, so it’s over now.”

Rose held up a hand to her. “Not so. I’m done pretending. Julie, I love you. I don’t want to use Aria to hide who I am anymore. I’m telling my family what I am. Who I am.”

“Using me?” I finally cried. “Using me for what?”

Julie squinted. “I was only with you to cover up that I was with Rose. Her family’s strictly religious and wouldn’t accept this if they knew. So we used you to cover up our love.”

“That makes no sense,” said the doughnut shop owner. “Also, please do this elsewhere.”

We all left and fought for an hour. It ended like so:

“Fine. It’s over. But Julie, promise me in a week you won’t cross Birch St.”

“No. I go home that way. Why should I listen to you?”

“Please. Please, Julie. If you’ve ever loved me, even a little, you’ll go down another street that day.”

She looked at Rose with worry. “I trust you. But just that day.”

They left, leaving me to cry with Brian Gary awkwardly standing around.

“Gosh,” he muttered. “Integrity move, Aria. Even after finding all that out, you saved her.”

I just sobbed, snot running down my face.

“Don’t ruin it,” he said, handing me a plaid handkerchief.

“Ah zdill lubb her,” I said, blowing my nose.

“Of course, whatever that means.”

“I said, I still love her.”

“It will take time, as I’ve surely seen throughout history. You’ll never forget her, as your future self has proven, but you’ll move on.”

I paused my sobs. “You knew. The whole time, you knew.”

He stretched pompously. “Of course! The future you had to tell me everything to save her friend. I didn’t want a time paradox or time’s fabric to shred. She only did it to preserve history. What, like I really care about some dyke’s lost love?”

He’s from the 70’s, he’s from the 70’s, he’s from the…

I kicked him in the balls with my pointed boots.

He collapsed to the ground. “She… didn’t tell me… you’d do that…”

“Smart woman,” I spat. I left him there.

I met someone that Thursday, since I wasn’t with Julie at the time. Larry. Another goth, but a male. Yes, it turns out I was bisexual the whole time. You learn something new about yourself every day. Oh, and he’s bi, too.

Our wedding was bleak and gorgeous. Julie, Rose and I buried the hatchet that day. I made them my bridesmaids and we got along just fine since then. I’m glad I reached out to Brian Gary, even if he was a smug assfart.

In a small apartment with a baby and another on the way, I recalled Brian Gary. I took off my father’s ring, pulled out his card and gave him a message. He was right about Yahoo.

We arranged to meet up at my house to go through the details. He was not kind about the living arrangements.

When we finished talking, he said it would cost 30 thousand. And he was right about not being cheap. I think he lowered the price because he felt sorry for me.

“One more thing,” he said with a chuckle. “Do you ever attack me? I don’t want to, heh, get kicked in the family jewels or anything.”

I recalled his dyke comment to me. I smiled innocently. “Nope.”

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The Beautiful Monster

 

 

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Most stories happen once upon a time. This story takes place twice upon a time, since the first time ended badly, so time travel was used to fix it.

Twice upon a time, there was a sad monster who was very beautiful. His name was Thomo Wellby, and nobody wanted to rescue him from the fluorescent pink and green tower he was kept in. The totally wicked wizard surfer, Longrus, had kept him there for at least seventeen years.

Thomo longed for the day his savior would come, but he had no idea when that could be. A duck once came into his room, but it only quacked loudly and gave him a feather.

Meanwhile, in the center of the Reunion Kingdom, a knight found a Monster In Distress ad on the town billboard. The ad was for one Thomo Wellby. Fortunately, the knight often found herself turned on by beautiful monsters. So she set forth to save Mr. Thomo Wellby from his captivity and maybe get a little something-something for her trouble.

While carelessly examining her provisions, she came upon a bridge guarded by a bearded demon. However, the demon was either apathetic or distracted, and let the knight cross unharmed. The knight shrugged and went on her way.

The outskirts of the Reunion Kingdom was known hither and yonder for its bizarre perils that usually increased in intensity. Typical as it was, the knight knew that the next obstacle was not quite as easy.

A giant cauldron prevented further access to the road, so the knight attempted going around it. The cauldron, stubborn as most kitchenware, cobbled just enough to confound her. Hopelessness loomed overhead. She tried reasoning with it.

“O lovely cauldron!” Flattery usually won them over to her side. “Why do you cease progress? Hath some wretched Wiccan enchanted you to passive-aggressively get over a poor date?”

The cauldron screamed. “YOU’RE BLACK!”

This was half true. She herself was born in the East, a light-skinned people as they go. But her armor, naturally dark, had suffered many scrapes and bruises that made the metal appear black.

“Cauldron, why must we argue? I wish you no harm.”

“YOU’RE BLACK!”

“Pot, you test my patience. Is the color of my armor the cause of this? If I remove my armor, will you let me pass?”

“YOU’RE BLACK!”

“You tested my patience and hacked it from my core! Pot, you yourself are, in the plainest of terms, black!”

The pot examined its own flesh.

I was black the whole time… Is my bias borne from shame? The pot got too existential to be semi-motionless and walked away on its stubby little penguin feet. The knight ventured forth.

For about seventeen weeks, the knight traveled unhindered, despite the occasional jester throwing pies at her. She didn’t care for this practice at all, even though the pies were her favorite flavor: Spam. When she was about to assault the jesters, the King of Jesters approached her.

“HARK!” he bellowed, “Thou mayst only pass if thou canst solve the riddle!”

“Proceed,” the knight neutrally responded.

“What,” asked the King of Jesters, “is the reason my people have been throwing pies at you?”

The knight sincerely considered the riddle for a moment, then flicked the King of Jesters on the forehead, which lead to a pratfall into a pile of mud.

“I know not, but I believe you likely instructed them to.” With that, she went on her way.

The King of Jesters was subsequently mauled to death by a napping muddy jaguar. He was reincarnated as a chipmunk.

Another month passed by, and the knight was beginning to get hungry. She found a nest with eggs in it, opting to cook up a delicious scrambled egg souffle.

An angry bard approached her. “FORSOOTH! FORSOOTH! THOSE WERE MY EGGS, THOU HARLOT!” The bard’s blind rage intensified until his face turned blood red.

“Hold your wrath, sir,” asked the knight. “Were these your offspring or nourishment?”

The angry bard took a moment to respond with the greatest use of language possible. After fifteen moments, he exclaimed the following: “YES.”

“Were they both?”

The angry bard took a magic wand from his pocket and gave it to her. “That will show thee, thou hopefully promiscuous wench!”

He glared at the knight and waited for her to become uncomfortable. She chewed on a mint leaf. Late for his shift at Grill Jester, the angry bard walked away.

Curiously examining the gift, the knight lazily shook the wand. Nothing happened. She threw it away in the nearest recycling bin. The wand, combined with nineteen other wands in the bin, began to glow. After a few moments of the recycling bin stretching, wobbling, crumpling, and praying, it ceased. The recycling bin turned into an enormous lamb.

The knight decided to keep the lamb and name it Bisley. For two days, she and Bisley were inseparable, taking turns riding on each other’s backs. On the third day, tragedy struck. Despite the knight yelling loudly at her lamb to stay still while she took a pee break, Bisley ate some poison mushrooms and died. The knight mourned over Bisley’s corpse, while the angry bard appeared before the distraught adventurer.

“FORSOOTH! Now you know my suffering!” That’s what the angry bard would have said, if the knight hadn’t pushed him to the ground and stomped his head in. The angry bard was lucky to survive, but not quite as lucky to have been rescued by a bear that forced him to marry her.

Bisley’s death deeply affected the knight’s heart, and she felt as though she couldn’t move forward without her companion. She transmuted the sorrow she felt into purpose, and hoisted Bisley onto her shoulders, taking his rotting corpse with her.

An old crone jumped out at the knight, nearly startling her. The crone wiggly-waggled her finger and made a disapproving clicking noise. “FOOL! Do you not know that you can revive your grotesquely-large lamb for a piece of gold?”

The knight begged the crone to tell her more.

“I have an enchanted map that can lead you to a reviving well. Throw in your gold piece, and your wish will be granted. And you can have the map for seven and three shillings!”

The knight knew a scam when she heard one, and threw hay at the crone. The knight pressed onward.

Nearby in a fluorescent pink and green tower, Thomo Wellby was finding himself growing somewhat depressed. All he had in the world was a duck feather, which couldn’t even grant wishes, which he realized that it would have been odd if it could.

Thomo heard a grunting noise out his window. A woman carrying an enormous lamb was approaching the tower. Thomo was to be saved!

The knight knocked gently on the door. Longrus mellowly questioned the intruder. “Chuh! Who is is, bruh?”

“It is I, the beautiful monster’s savior!”

“Nuh-uh, bruh! That monster is, like, all mine, bruh!” Longrus accidentally opened up the drawbridge. “Whuh-uh, bruh!”

The knight stormed the tower, killing about thirty lingerie models. Finally, the knight found Thomo’s room.

“I’m here to save you, you beautiful monster!” With fiery loins and almost satisfactory passion, the knight picked up the beautiful monster and ran out of the poorly-painted tower. Longrus wasn’t willing to lose Thomo, specifically because having a monster around allowed him certain tax breaks. Longrus flapped his unusually long ears and…

POOF! The knight turned into a potato peel.

“Now, come back, Monster-Man. Like, we can’t end it like this, bruh.”

Thomo clutched his duck feather tightly, and a single tear orange fell from his eye. The tear burned up the feather, exploding into thirty thousand ghosts.

The thirty thousand ghosts spoke as one. “What is your wish?”

The furious vision of the ghosts horrified Thomo into making the wrong wish. “What… what choo…” He meant to say “What are you, exactly?” A small copper watch manifested before him anyway.

Longrus caught Thomo and locked him up in the tower again. Thomo banged his head against the wall for forty-seven years, wishing he had a chance to do it over again. Alas, for forty-seven years, that wish did not come true.

One snowy Wednesday, the battery on his watch died. So Longrus, losing his grasp on evil in his old age, gave him a new battery. The battery had magical properties, and would turn the machine it was placed inside into a terrible pun. So the watch became a time machine.

Thomo reset his watch, which flung him back to the moment when the duck feather started granting his wish. This time, Thomo would enunciate.

Thomo said, “I wish I had a way to save the knight and myself!”

The ghosts melted like fine butter, and covered themselves all over Bisley. The dead lamb rose.

“MAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!” said the enormous zombie lamb. With one swift movement and forty-seven non-swift movements, Bisley ate Longrus and used the power of love and casual indifference to restore the knight back to normal.

The knight seemed to be a tad peeved. “Mister Wellby, it seems you never needed my help at all! If only you knew of my mistrials!” The monster looked so forlorn and sexy to the knight that she was no longer in control of her desires. The knight longingly embraced Thomo.

Afterward a wonderful time for two lonely individuals, the knight with Thomo in her arms and Bisley as her steed rode off back to the Reunion Kingdom.

A group of monks turned Longrus’s tower into a discotheque, but the idea was centuries ahead of its time and only worthwhile for ten years in all of history.