Ripples- Friday Flash

Ripples

Ripples (Photo credit: john shortland)

RIPPLES

By Melissa L. Webb

Time is a funny thing. People see it as chronological. And I suppose it should be. The way time works is what that word is based on.

Time is linear. That much is true. It’s a straight line that never curves back on itself, unlike what some quantum physicists might have you believe.

The timeline stretches out, never moving even a fraction of an inch from the straight path it’s on.

Never.

There are other timelines out there. Millions. One for every possible outcome. However, they will never intersect. They exist side by side,  isolated from one another forever.

Certain events have already been place along the timeline. Whether you want to call it fate, destiny, or someone’s OCD preplanning, some things are meant to happen.

We can’t change those. Even if we could find a way to travel the timeline, nothing we could do would ever change those planned speed bumps. Those are fixed points in time. They are already reality, even if we haven’t experienced them yet.

So time is a straight line. Never moving. Never curving.

But…it is not a one-way street. No way. It is a temporal freeway, one where things move in two directions.

Time can go both ways.

Therefore, because time moves from past to future and future to past, the fixed points in time that haven’t happened yet…can affect our lives right now.

Say World War 3 is a fixed point. The negativity it would generate in its own time would ripple out, affecting not only the future, but also the past.

It would affect the past like a leaf on a pond. It would only be bounced around a little from the ripples. Nothing too significant because it wasn’t close enough to the rock that was dropped in.

Right now, the world is in a state of turmoil. So much violence, death, and destruction is happening and no one knows why.

Well…maybe it’s the negativity from said war trickling down to us. Maybe everything happening around us is an indirect result of something from our future.

I know the ramifications of that are terrifying, Mom, but just listen.

Maybe three months from now a guy is destined to be in a car accident. He doesn’t know that. How could he? All he knows is that his shoulder had been killing him for the last few days and he can’t figure out why.

But I can.

It’s an echo from a fixed point in the timeline. It had rippled down that freeway and settled where it came from in the future.

He is experiencing the consequences of the future, today.

Any one of our aches and pains could be blamed on a future event. A fall, a cut, even a death. We could be feeling the weak version of any of those things. We feel it all before it even comes close to being played out.

I tell you this, Mom, because you need to understand. You have to know why I am doing this.

Mom, I can’t go to school today. I simply cannot.

I am feeling the effects of the flu I will have in two weeks and I simply can’t get out of bed.

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Faithful Companion- Friday Flash

FAITHFUL COMPANION

By Melissa L. Webb

Photo of an alley in Gion at night using HDR

Photo of an alley in Gion at night using HDR (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

I stepped out of the restaurant, a sigh of disappointment on my lips. That was 3 hours of my life I couldn’t get back. 3 hours waiting for a man who had never shown.

He seemed so eager to get together. I honestly thought this one might have potential. I thought he might be someone who could help drive the loneliness away.

But in the end he turned out to be just like all the rest of the men I had dated. An irresponsible, unreliable jerk that could care less if he broke someone’s heart.

Well that was just fine. I didn’t need him. I didn’t need anyone.

“May I get your car for you, Miss?” the attendant asked as I stepped into the chilly night air.

“No,” I told him with a smile I didn’t feel. “I parked down the street. But thank you.”

He looked at me, uncertainty in his eyes. Are you sure you’ll be all right to walk alone? It’s awful dark out there and…well…”

I knew I looked like a fragile thing, but after being as hurt as often as I was, you build up scar tissue. I was tougher than I looked because of it. Besides, I was pissed. I’d like to see someone try me.

“I’ll be fine,” I told him. “It’s not too far away.”

He nodded but still seemed unsure. “Have a good evening,” he called as I headed down the sidewalk.

I definitely hoped it would get better. The night was still young. Maybe I could still enjoy my evening if I tried.

I weaved through the crowds of people out for a night on the town. They all looked so happy. So normal. Smiling faces with someone who cared about them by their side.

It wasn’t fair. All I wanted was to be loved. I wanted to feel like I was important in someone’s world. Was that really too much to ask?

As I stepped onto a side street, the hairs on the back of my neck stood up. I shivered as a certain sense of foreboding came over me. I could feel eyes sweeping over me, watching me with close intensity.

I quickened my step, knowing my car wasn’t too far away. I needed to get to it. Fast. I would be safe inside, headed home and away from any trouble the night had to offer.

The sound of footsteps echoed behind me, out of sync with my own. My pursuer was growing bolder. They had stopped watching and were now on the move.

I was being followed.

Whoever it was, they were growing closer by the minute. Their gunshot-like footsteps ricocheting off the brick buildings around me, making it hard to determine exactly how close they were. I knew they couldn’t be far behind. If the goose bumps covering my flesh were any indication, then they were practically breathing down my neck.

I was never going to make it to the car. Boy, this night was not going to end well.

I ducked into an alley, planning to make my stand. I was tired, cold, and emotionally raw. They chose the wrong night to make me angry. I didn’t care what it cost me; my stalker wasn’t walking away without some damage.

A shadow stepped into the alley, causing me to take several steps back. This was really happening. I was going to be a victim of some back alley violence. And I’d really thought the night couldn’t get any worse.

“Annie?” a voice filled with worry and doubt swept through the alley.

I recognized it immediately. It was the jerk who stood me up. “Oliver? What are you doing here?”

He stepped forward, the moonlight illuminating him. “I’m sorry I’m late. I saw you leaving as I arrived. I was hoping to catch you before you got in your car. I didn’t mean to startle you.”

He had startled me. Very much. I was just glad he spoke before I tried to protect myself. Things would have been very bad if he hadn’t.

But…I was still angry he stood me up. He wasn’t forgiven for that. Not yet.

“What happened? Why were you late?” I asked him, hating the pout in my voice. I was better than that, but the loneliness was taking its toll.

“I had a flat tire and my phone was dead. I know it sounds lame, but it’s the honest-to-God truth.”

He was right. It sounded lame all right. Did he really think I was dumb enough to fall for that? “You expect me to believe that?”

“Please,” he said, shortening the distance between us. “I would never have intentionally done this to you. I like you too much. I want this to work.”

I wanted to believe his words. I wanted to think he was different from the rest, but I had been hurt too many times. If he’d treat me like this now, how would he act when he learned the truth?

“I need someone in my life, Oliver. Someone I can count on.”

“I can be that, Annie. I swear. Don’t let this stupid accident keep us apart.”

I watched the sincerity dance through his eyes. He honestly thought he wanted to be with me. But how could I even dare to hope?

“I need someone who’s compassionate, honest, caring, and loyal. Can you be those things?”

“Yes, I can.”

“Can you be sweet, and fun, and always happy to see me?”

“Yes, Annie. I can be all those thing. Just let me make this up to you. Please.”

“I need a companion. One who will stand by me. Even when I tell them I’m a witch.”

Oliver froze, confusion sliding over his face. “You’re a…what?”

I felt my heart sink. He was just like the rest of them. I should have known better than to risk my heart again. He would never accept me. No one ever would. I was a freak. One that was meant to be alone forever.

“Just leave,” I told him, wanting to be free of him before the tears came.

He backed up slowly, still confused by my confession.

All I wanted was an end to my loneliness. Someone to greet me when I came home. Someone I could share my life with. Someone to make my house feel less empty.

Devotion, faithfulness, loyalty. These were words I had been chasing all my life. And I had never found them in another person before.

And I realized then, what my problem was. I was a witch. I didn’t need a human. I didn’t need a man’s love to feel needed.

“Oliver,” I said, stopping him before he could leave. “I’ve changed my mind. You get to make it up to me after all. Seems I don’t need a date. I just need a familiar. And I think you’d make a perfect one.” I smiled as the man’s form changed, hair turning to fur right before my eyes.