Glimpse


Yet another SFF World entry, this time for the theme of prophecy.  I”m pretty glad I stumbled across that site.  It’s been both a great motivator to keep the writing muscles flexed, and a great source of encouragement, both of which any writer can certainly use from time to time.  If this piece tends to run a bit towards the pessimistic, well, that’s where I was this past January.  But I like to think the end is somewhat hopeful.

Mornings are the worst.  I wake up not sure if I’m remembering what’s happened or what’s going to happen.  I’ve printed page after page of calendars and hung them over my bed so I can sort it all out first thing, but there’s always that fleeting moment where I feel like I exist in the past, present and future all at once.

At first, I tried to see a pattern, if I was seeing ahead a certain number of days or weeks every time.  But it just jumps all over the place.  Never too far out, we’re not talking Nostradamus here.  No, first a day or two ahead, then a couple of months, then a week, then a day again.  No way to control it, either.  I can’t focus on something and see how it’ll turn out..  I just have to take the glimpses as they come.

Seems to have a conscience, too.  I’ve never gotten a football score or lottery numbers or anything that would have made this whole thing worth it.  Unless I want to start taking bets on car accidents or bad dates or the weather, which doesn’t strike me as the road to riches.  No, I’m stuck scribbling on my calendar every morning.

I don’t date anymore.  There’s no point.  Either I meet someone and have already seen the break-up, or I glimpse it right after we hit it off.  I haven’t seen a wedding, or kids, or anything that tells me it’s going to be worth it anyway. Besides, my little timeline over the bed would probably be a deal-breaker anyway.

I tried to change things once.  Saw a friend of mine having a bad car accident at 4:13pm on July 27th, 2006.  So I went to his house around 4 and let the air out of one of his tires.  Only he didn’t notice.  And that flat didn’t let him stop in time to avoid the truck that had run that red light.  Died at the scene.  Would it have been as bad if I hadn’t done anything?  I don’t know.  I’m not even sure if I was meant to cause the accident all along.  Anyway, after that, I stopped trying to make things better.

So I get home and check off all the things that happened that day, and when I wake up, I write down anything I glimpsed while I slept.  Day after day the same thing for the last ten years, this lonely oracle who’d rather be in the dark.  Not really living a life, more just verifying that it happened.

Except I noticed something yesterday.  Maybe I was aware of it long before then, maybe I was just ignoring it.  But I don’t have anything on my calendar after next week.  There’s the usual run of mundane events:  I’m going to break a glass on Thursday; it’s going to rain this weekend; traffic’s going to make me late for work next Tuesday.  Then it all just stops that following Saturday.

Next Friday is when I’m supposed to fly home to see my parents.

I’m sure you want me not to board that flight.  But I’ve seen the results when I try to fight this.  Something’s going to happen to those people whether I’m on board or not.  And a part of me thinks I deserve to be there when it does.  I’m not happy about the people who may suffer, or their families, and you might think it’s selfish of me not to even try to prevent whatever’s possibly going to happen.

And it is.  It’s totally selfish.  Because for the first time in ten years, I have no idea what’s going to happen.  It could be something as simple as the glimpses just going away.  It could be that I die at some point during the flight.  It could be that we all go down in flames.  I don’t know.  And I haven’t been able to say that in so very long.  There’s a blank slate before me, and even though it might mean the death of everyone else on that plane, God help me, I’m excited.

And scared.

And alive.  Oh so alive.

4 thoughts on “Glimpse

  1. Pingback: New Story: “Glimpse” «

  2. I really like the sense of desperation I see here, like something out of Taxi Driver. There’s poetry with a lot of pain here, like some sort of futility at trying to change somebody’s life. Very nice.

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