Tag: premonition

Allergic to Now

Once upon a time there was a woman named Martha who had time-traveling sneezes. Every time she sneezed, she had to go check the date. Allergy season was the worst.

The time-traveling started small. She moved to a new town after college, and got into a terrible car accident driving into town. It took a year to heal, and the car was totaled She developed allergies to something in the new environment while in the hospital. The sneezing didn’t always move her in time at first, and when it did, she didn’t go far.

By the time she realized what was happening, she had lost her own time all together. She tried a few times to visit a doctor to see if there was some sort of medical explanation, but they never seemed to believe her. Unless she sneezed in their office, of course. Well, she assumed they believed her after that, but she really didn’t have any proof. She never saw the same doctor twice.

It was lovely to see so much history, but as she didn’t travel in space, just time, then she wasn’t able to keep a job and earn money to travel anywhere else. Even if she could, money seemed more time-specific than you’d think. Sometimes there was a train out of town, sometimes a boat. A few times she watched people fly off in hover cars. But, she couldn’t afford to take any of them.

If it weren’t for the periodic visits to a time where it was easier to hunt and gather, she probably would have starved. As it was, things were growing worse. The sneezes were growing closer together, and every time she visited was in the middle of allergy season.

She wasn’t sure what would happen when she couldn’t stop sneezing all together. She couldn’t get a signal on her cell phone to check. She always visited either before her phone plan started or after it had lapsed.

Once, in a moment of desperation, she called her childhood phone number from a public phone with change scrounged from a fountain, uncertain of what else to do. “Mom? It’s Martha.”

“Martha who?”

“Your daughter. You have to believe me!”

When her mother hung up, Martha checked the date at a newspaper stand. She was visiting a time where she was still three years old. Of course her mother didn’t believe her.

The sneezes came even quicker. An apple orchard. A village. A spaceport. A large city. Was that dinosaurs?

It was all blurs now. It was getting hard to breathe between sneezes. And then she sneezed one last explosive sneeze.

Something flew from her lungs and burned the whole way up her throat and out of her mouth. A spark flickered in front of her eyes, and then it flared brighter, white and blue. What was it?

Around them, the world spun in tight circles, but in the circle, time stood still for a moment. And then the bright light was gone, taking with it all the light and heat. Martha could breathe again.

She gasped in one breath, then two. And then the world was dark.

Martha blinked. She was driving her little car that she hadn’t seen in decades or years or centuries or however long ago she finished college, and it was dark. Did she have the headlights on?

She almost glanced down to flick them on, when she remembered this moment. She swerved right, onto the shoulder, and slammed on her brakes. A car driving in the wrong lane barreled through the spot where she’d just been. It was followed by two more cars, driving equally fast.

Moments later, a bright light flashed on the other side of the road, white and blue. It blinked three times and vanished. Martha turned her car off and sat in the dark for a long time after that.

A week later, Martha moved away from the town she’d spent so much time in. She found a job on the other side of the country, and carefully studied the history of her new town, just in case. She also got a prescription for antihistamines and was always extra careful about handwashing and taking vitamin c pills.

Waking up in her own bed in her own time every morning never got old. And sneezes never grew any less frightening. Even though she’d neglected to write down any winning lottery numbers from the future, Martha was glad to be stuck in one time. She was finally home, and she lived happily ever after.

Charlie’s Room: The Storm

Suddenly, it was pouring. The rain hit the roof all at once as though someone tipped over the clouds to empty them all at once. The walls glowed for a moment, followed by a loud, echoing boom.

Isaac loved thunderstorms at night. There was something extra cozy about being safe and dry in a nice warm bed while it rained outside. Perhaps it was the feeling of gratitude for his good fortune. Perhaps it was the lulling, repetitive sound of rain hitting the roof. He smiled and snuggled into his nest of blankets.

He glanced at the alarm clock. 1:00. It was a new day. What a nice way for the day to begin. He yawned and closed his eyes.

And then he sat up. Yesterday, when he arrived home from work, Charlie had come running out of the house. Isaac had rolled down the window to see what he needed.

“Dad, don’t drive in the garage. You’ll smoosh my art project.”

“Can’t you move it?” Isaac asked.

“Mom said it can’t go in the house because the paint needs to dry and it smells terrible.” Charlie scrunched up his nose.

Isaac smiled. “You could put it on my workbench or off to the side.”

Charlie shook his head. “It’s too big and the glue isn’t all the way dry. It’ll break.”

He laughed, turned off his car and followed Charlie inside. Had he rolled up his car window? What if he hadn’t? At this point, the fabric-covered seats would be sopping wet. He would drive to work sitting on towels and a garbage bag.

Isaac jumped out of bed. The quicker he closed the window, the less water to deal with later. He pulled on a jacket over his pajamas and tried to zip it closed. The zipper was stuck. He yanked.

The zipper pull came off in his hand. There was a flash of light and an echoing boom. Isaac blinked.

He opened his eyes, feeling extremely confused. He was lying in bed. It was dark and still and quiet. There was no rain. He rolled over to look at the alarm clock. 12:00. What just happened? Was it all a dream? Was it the zipper?

The car window! He hurried out of bed and glanced at his jacket. Would it be alright to wear it if he didn’t zip it up? Deciding not to risk it, he stepped into his slippers, picked up the car keys, and hurried down the hall.

He paused by Charlie’s room and waited until he could hear soft, steady breaths. All was well there. He continued down the hall. He changed his slippers for outside shoes, pulling them on without socks. They felt strange on his feet.

The car waited in the shadows, a metal robot waiting for his commands. It seemed strange that such things were commonplace. He pushed the button on his key fob and the car clicked, flashed its headlights and beeped twice.

He walked around to the driver’s side. The window was still down. He rolled it back up and locked the car again. He patted the driver’s side mirror. “You’re safe now.” He shivered and walked quickly back inside.

He continued shivering as he changed his shoes for slippers and scurried back to bed. The sheets were cold now. He curled into a ball as he waited for them to warm up. Without noticing, he fell asleep again.

He woke up to the sound of rain on the roof. The walls glowed for a moment, followed by a loud, echoing boom. He turned to look at the alarm clock. 1:00. Was this his second time seeing this or had it been a dream the first time? Did the broken zipper send him back in time? Was the whole thing a dream, and his car window was still open?

He sat up in bed. He needed to check the window. He got out of bed and did not put on his jacket. He put on his slippers, grabbed the car keys, and checked on Charlie. He changed his shoes and grabbed an umbrella.

He pressed the button and rounded the car. The window was closed. What did that mean? When did he close it? He locked the car and hurried back inside.

He shivered as he left the wet umbrella by the door and went to bed. He’d worry about what really happened in the morning. Maybe he’d ask someone to look at the zipper, just in case. For now, all was well and he had a storm to enjoy.