Monday, January 9, 2017

In Absentia 1 (Short Fiction)

Eliza's eyes were blue.  So blue I always saw the ocean in them.  Always.

We just laid there in that field.  The sky above us.  A pile of books between us.  Charcoal caked Eliza's face.  Bright, yellow sunlight made her hair glow.  Concentration scrunched up her face.

A fierce creativity that made me love her all the more.

"Eliza?"

"Hmm?"  She didn't look up from her charcoal drawing, focused on it.

"Eliza, I feel cold.  If the sun shining and I feel so cold?"

She didn't look up at me.  I saw her drawing then.  I shivered.  So cold.  The charcoal blurred away as my eyes opened.

"A dream?"  I slurred.  I fought back the tears.  A dream.  My stomach growled, my face felt like it burned from the salt in the tears that came.

Bright light hurt my eyes from outside the console window.  Bright sunlight reflected off the snow around me.  I had survived the crash.  The machine had become my shelter in this barren era.

"Of course it was a dream,"  I told myself.  "Eliza won't be alive for another ten thousand years.  Use your brain, Chrononaut."

My voice sounded raspy.  I gazed out at the cold glacier around me.  The last ice age.  A time so far away from mine that crashing here damned me.  I couldn't fix my machine.

Instead, my hungry dreams had conjured up Eliza again.  Her scent.  Her magnificent skill with art.  Eyes so blue they always reminded me of the ocean.

Why did I do this to myself?  I had wanted to find something.  I wanted to prove so much.  To go back.  To see humanity in its element.  To show we humans weren't savages, that we've always had some nobility to us.

My grand plans of going back in secret.  To use cunning and tech to spy on key moments in history.  To finally garner definite truth of so many things.

But that had been days ago.  Falling through time.  To crash here, so long ago.  The present.  I shivered in the cold wreck atop the icy glacier.

I drifted off.  I curled up in the cold.  The ruins of the time machine had served as a decent shelter.  But I had been so low on food.  Low enough I fell back into a nap.

Whack!

The noise startled me into waking.  Something had hit my shelter.  My time machine.  Even ruined, it still was mine.  My life work.  The last thing that connected me with Eliza.

WHACK!

This time it came even louder.  I stood up, moving to the door of the small pod.  Metal clanged as something kept hitting it.

I opened the door, readying myself to scare off whatever animal had decided to assault my shelter.  What I saw next, gave me pause.