Fiction Fragment Friday
I have mentioned before that I like exploring the different options for story telling that flash fiction provide. This week that is in the form of a letter. I thought about expanding it and providing the answer to whether the recipient ever actually receives the letter and how they react to it. That would have been more typical storytelling though and I wanted something different.
This story is not particularly deep or introspective. It should be just a little bit of light reading.
I’m not sure if this letter will ever reach you, but I needed to write it anyway. Part of me feels like even writing it is an admission that I have given up hope of being rescued. I can’t quite accept that we will never see each other again no matter how unlikely it seems. If that is the case though you deserve to know the truth. I cannot continue taking the risks I am in hopes of getting home without knowing that I at least tried to make things right with you.
Considering our last argument, I do not think you will be surprised to learn that I am not in fact a middle manager for a tech startup. Techuserve is actually just a shell corporation cover for a classified project. Many private companies and multiple government agencies knew pieces of the larger puzzle, but less than twenty people knew the full truth. I was an agent picked out to travel through time completing research missions and artifact extractions.
I know that is hard to believe. It sounds like something out of science fiction, but I swear I am telling you the truth. You caught me in so many lies over the last few months we had together and I’m sure you were thinking the worst. I couldn’t tell you the truth though because it would have put your life in danger. I should not be writing you this now, but I felt the circle needed to be closed.
My last mission was to rescue a collection of art that was lost to the Nazi’s during World War 2. By rescue I mean break into museums and steal them myself sometimes hours before the Nazis arrive. It is not a safe job since basically everyone in the world is against me. I am very good at what I do though, and my encyclopedic knowledge of history played a large part in my being recruited for this work.
Time travel sometimes makes me question everything I know about reality. When I am not doing research, I am going back in time to make items disappear before the Nazis can take them and make them disappear. The result in the end is the same. The item is gone, and no one ever finds it until I bring it back to our time. So I can’t help but ask if the Nazis ever really did take them. Was it always me who took these items? Am I just completing a loop of making them disappear so I can go back to rescue them? Would they have actually gone missing if I had not gone back? Is everything that happens actually predestined to? When I think about things like that, I can’t help but get a headache.
This last mission went extremely wrong. I ended up getting shot by a museum guard and was not able to get to my extraction point. By the time I reached the time machine the clock had run down and it returned without me. I expected an extraction team to come back for me when I didn’t return, but that never happened. I’m writing you this note two years after my failed mission with no sign of rescue. I am making one last attempt to get home, but if it doesn’t work then I’ll have to build a life for myself here.
Do you remember that scene at the end of Back to the Future Part 2 where Marty receives a letter from Doc delivered by Western Union? Well, if you received this letter then it turns out that actually works. I am sending letters to you as well as my coworkers. With any luck they will receive them and know where to pick me up. Just in case I can’t come back though I am sending you a key to a safe deposit box and the bank’s address. I paid it up through what should be next year for you. Inside you will find some collectibles that I have bought brand new. I may not be able to be there for you, but I can ensure you never have to worry about money another day in your life. I also hope this will serve as the evidence that my story is true.
I am sorry that I will not be there for the future that we had planned. I couldn’t have you thinking that you were abandoned though if I could help it. Please make the most out of the time you have left and never tell anyone what you have read here. They will kill you if they suspect you know.
I love you with all my heart,