Tuesday, January 24, 2017

In Absentia 2 (short fiction)

A bit of time travel fic.  Part 1 can be read here.


In the cold of the glacier, I saw humans.  My own species.  But different.

I could call them cave people.  But that wasn't what I saw.  Not some pop culture trope.  Three people.  They looked human.  They were human.  They had to be.  My species, us.  Humanity from ten thousand years before I had left.

Homo Sapiens.  They wore clothing.  Bearded or long haired.  Scarred.

Each of them were small.  I towered over them.  By no small amount.  I felt like a giant compared to them.

Ten thousand years back, and ancestral members of my species looked like pygmies.  I had intended to use my time machine to find such things.  To observe humanity.  To prove my thesis, that we were never as horrible as we believed we were.

My shock at seeing them for the first time delayed the apparent danger.  I stood there staring at them.  I must've shocked them as well.

I stopped staring when they started pelting rocks at me.  At me.  The same rocks that they'd been hurling at my time machine.

One stone clipped my cheek.  I dropped out of my shock.  Frustration boiled over in me.  I hadn't eaten in days.  I was lost ten thousand years in the past.  My dreams of finding true history had crumbled.  I would never see Eliza again.

Now short cave people were attacking my only shelter.  My last means of survival.

I let out a scream.  I screamed so hard my throat hurt.  I screamed until tears ran down my cheeks.  I ran out at the shorter cave people.

Then there came a rumble.  The shorter cave people ran.  I ran.  Snow came.  Ice.  Thunder and a storm clouds seemed to fill my vision.  An avalanche.

Time passed.  I don't recall how long I had blacked out.  My skin had taken a blue tinge.  Shivering, I dug my way out of the snow.  My knuckles felt numb as I found sunlight.

Cold.  I climbed out of the snow and looked around me.

Arrayed around me were three short bodies.  The cave people from before.  All of them dead.  They all still clutched tight to the stones they had had been hurling at me and my time machine.

I looked behind me.  The time machine had disappeared.  Gone.  No more shelter.

I stood up, shivering.  I clutched tightly to myself and stumbled away.  Eliza's blue eyes were in the back of my mind.  The dream of her would make me move forward.

I thought of how I looked, my numb body lumbering away.  A blue skinned giant.  A mad memory of old mythology struck me.

"Call me Ymir." I chuckled.

I moved into the forests beyond the glacier.  Hungry.  Cold.  Perhaps more willing to be a monster than I had thought I could be before.