In the End
Massive white fluffy clouds hung in the air against the beautiful blue sky. There were no moons or asteroid belts to interrupt the endless expanse that was the Earth’s stratosphere. It was unlike anything he’d seen before. Pteradactyls swooped while Galimimuses ran through the valley below. Their bright plumes contrasting against the rust colored soil. He reminisced as he looked out towards the majestic burnt sienna mountains.
He’d spent the past eighteen years time traveling all over the Universe. During his early years, he worked as an apprentice on the first faster than light starship, the Obsidian. After three tours he was decommissioned but he remained hungry for adventure. He gave up his time stream to became a time traveler. His parents and sister would forget that he was ever born. His old mates from University would fill in the gaps with drunken stories of another immature manchild. He was sworn to never alter the future only able to travel forward in time with the choice of one leap back in time. Most time travelers use it as a redo. He decided he would wait for a special occasion. Over those 18 years he had been to new planets, conversed with aliens, and more adventures than most would have in one hundred lifetimes.
He looked out onto the vista and noticed the figure of a woman. Bipedal, small head, and the lack of tentacles were a dead give away. He thought about the time he thought he met a woman in a private room of the Vitixian Club. She had tentacles in all the wrong places. He shuddered. He walked a little closer for confirmation. She was petite about five foot two with the tall chrome hair of a Kerulean dancer circa 2568. As a cloud obscured sun he could see her semi-nude body covered in Kerulean swimwear. She was hot. Curious, he called out waving his hand, “Hey.”
Startled, she turned to wave back at him revealing that she was indeed a human. As he approached she let out a strained cheery smile reaching to shake his hand.
He awkwardly reached across his body to grab his left hand with her right.
He studied her appearance. She was young, maybe 24. She wore a weary look despite her cheery disposition. She was a time traveler like him. She seemed harmless.
Winnella broke the silence, “What brings you here?”
Vixta replied, “Oh this scene in time was recommended by”
Winnella interrupted as they said unison, “Tayvion Jones’ Guide to Intergalactic Time Travelling while Black”
Vixta was impressed he rarely met any other time travelers and very few were aware of Tayvion’s guide.
He chimed in, “Yup, it’s the first book to provide guidance on safe time periods to travel without those awkward glances.”
Winnella gave a genuine smile adding, “My dad said Tayvion was a pioneer back in the day. I mean before all the time travel regulations and restrictions. My dad gave me a signed copy of the book when I was 12. Since then, I’ve always wanted to be a time traveller.”
Vixta nodded in agreement. He realized that she was not only out his league she was also way too young for him. He cooly ran his fingers through his hair as piece of his necrotizing arm sloughed off.
Concerned, Winnella asked, “What’s the deal with that?”
He quickly constructed a lie, “I was observing the First Great Galpinian War and out of nowhere came a blast from a necrotizing lazer. Hit me right on the arm” patting the decaying arm for added effect.
“Fortunately, I had these coordinates preprogrammed in the event that.” He paused looking for pity hoping that she didn’t detect his lie. “That it would be my last jump.”
He wasn’t exactly sure when the necrotizing lazer was invented. Honestly, he was ashamed to tell her that he was shot by the mother of a brood of Balvidian larvae. He was tipsy after a night drinking a case of Axius Hendo with a Balvidian Senator. On his way back to his ship he saw a Balvidian mother with her larvae perfectly coiffed attop her hair. For some god-forsaken reason he decided he needed to press his dirty human fingers through them. To top it instead of saying, “How charming” in Balvidian, he accidentally translated, “How churlish.” A chase ensued through the market with her dusty tentacles grabbing and throwing any object within reach. The angry mother took the sidearm of a patrolman turned it to the death setting and shot him once in the hand with the necrotizing lazer. He assumed that Winnella knew that the seventh rule of Tayvion’s guide is to never ever touch the larvae of a Balvidian brood. Their parents swear a blood oath to anyone that crosses their brood after hatching.
With a cheesy grin, Vixta tried to change the subject, “What brings you here? Don’t tell me this is your redo?”
Winnella opened a handkerchief filled with purple slime. Vixta recoiled.
She sighed, “A Gorganon slug is eating away at my brain. I’ve got a few hours left and Tayvion says, “There is beauty in the end.” He said this is the best scene in all of the Universe.”
Vixta mouthed the word Gorganon as if to activate some hidden archive of Gorganon history in his brain. He recalled Tayvion’s rule number eighteen; never swim in a Gorganon Party Pool. She must’ve come from a Gorganon Party dressed in the latest Kerulean swimwear. She probably woke up to a toilet full of purple slime and a massive hangover. Vixta smiled with compassion; atleast she was honest.
They looked out onto the plains watching the beautifully feathered dinosaurs gathering as if in some sacred communion. Winnella sneezed. Purple slime poured from her ears and nose. A wet groan emitted from her ear. The slug was growing. She wiped her nose saturating the handkerchief and turned to smile at Vixta.
They took a seat with their feet overhanging the cliff. They spent their last hours sharing stories of their adventures in time travel as the sky turned from black to orange and finally to brilliant neon haze. Vixta realized that over the course of his life he had never truly told anyone his life story. His family and friends would have denied him as a stranger. He had many companions but little authentic companionship, until now.
Vixta scooted closer to Winnella wiping her nose with his sleeve. He placed his good arm around her as she began to shiver. The remainder of his other necrotizing arm crumbled beside him. They looked into each other’s eyes and turned their gaze out toward the sky. The sky was dotted with clusters of falling asteroids leaving fiery streaks through the neon haze. The brilliant Universe above had an incredible future ahead of it. Meanwhile, the Earth below was on the verge of an exciting new creation.
From a distance, Tayvion Jones observed the two underneath the falling sky and took note of the beautiful scene before his departure. He wrote, “Great beasts of every species huddled together along the plains awestruck by the power of the Universe. In the end, their last moments were filled with a celebration of life amongst the tragic beauty of heaven’s rain.” He closed his notebook and adjusted his wrist dial to prepare for another time jump.
I wrote this after listening to a professor talk about The Negro Motorist Green Book, a guide created in the 1940s to assist African Americans to avoid racism while traveling across the US. I imagined what manual would be needed for people traveling through time and space within a diverse Universe of intelligent species.