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Category Archives: The Past

Daily Post: One-Way Street

Congrats! You’re the owner of a new time machine. The catch? It comes in two models, each traveling one way only: the past OR the future. Which do you choose, and why?

I know this is all very late, a whole week late in fact and that’s unacceptable for the “Daily Post” tag. My previous post was also a late Daily Post but hey these ideas are gold and in all honesty I was thinking about them the day I got them it was just a matter of sitting down to write ’em out that didn’t work out so well.

The first thing I thought of when I read this post was the idea of regret. With a choice like this I don’t care about the future as much as I do about rectifying the past. So this short is about what I would do if I had a One-Way Time Machine.

_______________________

I glanced at the crack running across my phone screen and wondered if maybe I shouldn’t have gone back a bit further to prevent such an atrocity. The light from the lamp post I was parked under amplified the deep lines straggling across the surface of the screen.  The fleeting thought disappeared with the darkening of my phone screen as I edged the button on the side to lock it. 5:40PM I was early. That was good, since I had a tendency of never being on time – a waste should I not arrive in time to prevent myself from doing something far more abominable than cracking my phone screen.

Now that I’ve had time to think about it, and not only see but experience the consequences of my actions, I can’t believe how stupid I was. I mean this is not even dumb preteen me or immature teen me but not thinking straight a-few-months-ago me. Was it a waste going back a few months rather than a few years and rectifying all of that? I guess you could but all those somewhat small mistakes could never truly change the bigger event that was about to happen or rather, that was happening. Are we not doomed to make those mistakes because it’s in our very nature? Ignorance? Self sufficiency. Efficacy. Training our minds to pick up signs of those particular goals and interests and regardless of what comes our way we push through until we get what we want? Well then if I deny a future version of myself and continue on this doomed path then you could say I deserved it. Destiny or a preordained event, it was all the same.

I turned the radio on. The competition that was running was familiar but more than that my ears echoed as though I was hearing it twice. My lips twitched, moved on their own,

“The answer is obviously One Direction, there is no other boy band like them duh.”

~ the answer is One Direction. Their latest single Best Song Ever… ~

“So their song is not the best song ever…I wonder what song they were listening to. Rather ironic.” My lips spoke. I realized that this was obviously my past self talking to himself on the way home. Why would I be reacting to him that way…this wasn’t something that happened in Time Travel movies. Or maybe this was the whole Personal Interaction theory that would cause the world to implode or whatever if I meet my past self. Well there was only one way to find out and that time was soon, another five minutes and my past self would be driving by; that’s when we’ll test the theory.

Sure enough five minutes later I saw my vehicle sweep around the corner at a rather unsettling rate, swerve back onto the proper lane and roll past me just as I pulled off. Music blared from the open window, an arm hung out with the hand tapping against the side of the car at the same time as the beat. Even though this was a few months ago, I felt far older than the younger man driving ahead of me. This was the moment of truth however, the changing of a past to rectify my future.

The car came to a stop outside the unpaved front entrance of a slightly dilapidated household, a familiar sight that immediately wrung my chest with anger and shame. I sped onto the grassy area, blocking his path off and leaping out the car as soon as it was at a stand still.

“What…the…”

“Listen bud, this is a big mistake. The euphoria or whatever you are feeling right now, is nothing compared to…”

“The feeling you are going to experience when all this comes crashing down.” we both finished at the same time.

“I know.” he added. Staring at myself inside the rather untidy car with papers all over the seat felt unsettling. Was this really me? Can a few months do that to someone.

“So why are you here?” I asked him

“Because I have to be…”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, time travel is a funny thing. You see, future me…us, rocked up just as I left the house, told me ‘No matter who tells you what, do what you planned to do today. You must.’ and now here you are telling me not to do it. Well, I have to listen to older more bearded me than you.”

My throat clicked as I swallowed, I could tell he could tell that my brain was working out how to process what he was saying. In my silence he continued,

“Ok. So as far as I can deduce…which we are so good at yeah… we either have this amazing ability to time travel which we discover later on, or our future selves are being given a single chance to go back in time and rectify that one thing that they assume is the worst.” He looked up at me then, and feeling his discomfort in my own discomfort, I stepped back to let him get out of the car so that we were standing facing each other. He needed a shave.

“For some weird reason, this particular day is the day that we all want to fix. Either we doom ourselves by continuing in whatever I’m supposed to do today or we doom our future selves by not doing what I’m supposed to do today. I think you will agree with me that a suffering now is better than a suffering we must both await. And judging by the message future us sent, it seems whatever he experiences is by far worse than what I’m about to experience now.” The attitude in how he said it and the rising emotion in my chest no doubt experienced by him, had my fist clench in anger at his cockiness. He continued.

“By you stopping me here, outside this particular house, I think I know what it is  I’m not supposed to do which I’m going to do anyway because I’m supposed to do it to prevent future future future us from coming back here and trying to change it too.”

“Surely I can change whatever has happened!”

“We are predestined to these choices. All the smaller choices we make lead us right back here, every good and bad choice leads us here. Human responsibility or not… it’s supposed to happen.”

“When did you get so wise?” I finally said, exasperated.

“I didn’t. You’ve known this all along and have fought to change the past when you can’t. The lesson you must learn is acceptance and content. Let me go make my mistake, let me go suffer and let that teach future me a lesson he won’t forget, being stronger for it.” I looked at myself, aware of so many things all at once. He was right, of course, who would I be if every wrong I fixed was rectified? Would I be perfect? No, not when the ability to be imperfect was nestled so deeply within me that I would always have that one point in time I would want to go back to. Where then does my hope lie? What then am I to do with this irreversible past?

_______________________

Well that story is not at all what I had in my mind when I began this tale. Uhm what did you make of it? Hit me up in the comments.

In response to:

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/one-way-street/

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In Need of a Saviour

A single plume of steam, slowly writhed its way up from the coffee mug, on the large wooden table she sat behind. Her hands were wrapped tightly around the mug, keeping her icy fingers warm. She sat silently, her convoluted thoughts bouncing back and forth in her mind. The kitchen was cold and gloomy. The winter sun remained hidden behind dark clouds yet letting in enough light, to illuminate the barren trees in the garden… and  the freshly dug hole. She’d been outside. Four in the morning. Robe and all. She’d held the cold steel handle of the shovel. With each hard thrust into the soft ground, her hair swung forward in disarray, swinging back as she threw dirt back behind her. Her once lime green robe turned a shade of brown, the same shade as her eyes, that stared blankly at the ground. Her mouth moved but no words formed as she ceaselessly worked the shovel into the soft earth. In her mind her past played out like a movie; the characters her family, friends and acquaintances, the protagonist herself and the story…her life. An endless loop of episodes past and present, all intermingled into one, making it difficult for her to distinguish between the time frames. There she was as a little girl, twirling in her yellow sun dress lined with white frills, her bare feet sweeping across the softness of the green grass below, the lace tied around her waist spinning along  behind her. The sun shone, making everything glimmer that fine spring afternoon. A shadow fell over her, making her look up to see who it was, squinting against the glare of the sun to see a manly figure. She could not make out the face of the man above her, but she knew it was her father..however, when she could make out features of his face…she became certain, that it was her husband. He proceeded to lift her up by the waist, making her giggle in glee then laughter as he spun her around..and around…and around until her twirling younger self spun fast enough to make the face of her father…husband… blur across her vision. Her laughter turned to screaming, the soft warm gleam of sun became the cold harsh beam of headlights and the crackle of bending, twisting metal swallowed up every other sound.

She raised the cup to her lips and took a sip of the bitter coffee. That seemed to soothe her slightly. Her thoughts began to dwindle into single occurrences, events that made her heart in her chest pang with regret and anguish. Her past was like a dark cave, hiding a malicious creature that thrived off the darkness in her heart. With each hurtful memory came that deep anguish, one that struck a cord so deep her whole body shivered; and that creature wallowed in her displeasure. She knew, wholeheartedly, that there was nothing she could do about those past events, no place to hide them both within her mind or in the world.  Even with her mud caked robe and dirt streaked face, even with all her husband’s possessions scattered haphazardly within the shallow grave, she would not be able to erase her past; she felt burdened and heavy-laden. Burdened and heavy-laden. The phrase sounded familiar, somewhat nostalgic yet foreign, like a familiar yet unrecognizable face in a dream. She grasped for it, something of it, yet her mind brought up blanks each time, no closer than she was when she started. She took another sip of her coffee, allowing the thought to filter out and into the dark abyss that was her mind. She was lost, well and truly lost.

Dennis van der Berg stood outside the large wooden door, smoothing his dark grey suit down with one hand. It was a habit he’d developed in the early years of his ministry, one he was yet to break. Nervousness, as usual before these kinds of works, filled his stomach with a queasiness that both excited him and made him sick. He recited his exhortation softly to himself, silently mouthing all the main keywords that would help direct his conversation. When he was satisfied, he raised his hand towards the doorbell and pressed it. Nothing. He waited a while, listening for any sort of sound that would let him know that someone had heard him. A full minute passed before he pressed the doorbell again. When no one opened the door he lightly rapped on the hard wood, knocking louder with each passing minute. Finally he heard the shuffle of feet behind the door and with practiced ease, placed a friendly smile on his face. The rattle of keys came from behind the door, followed by a soft cry of frustration, some more rattling and then the tell-tale click of a door unlocking. Dennis opened his mouth to greet, a smile still across his face, but instead of a greeting his mouth remained agape, his smile faltering then drooping into an “O” of shock at the figured that appeared before him. He quickly tried to cover the shock with a smile but he found it hard to smile at the ghastly, face that peered at him from behind the slightly ajar door. She was half hidden within the darkness of the house, yet he could make out the bedraggled locks of hair that draped wildly over her face, the streaks of dirt that lined her cheeks, broken by a clear trail leading down from what was most assuredly tears. The bags under her brown eyes added ages to what should have been a young face. Dennis’ face softened, the shock wearing off as quickly as it had appeared and in its place, sorrow took hold. He felt his heart drop in his chest, weighed heavily by emotion and without thinking reached towards the door and softly whispered within her hearing,

“You look burdened and heavy laden…come to the Lord for He will give you rest.”

Walking By Faith

Where do we go, nobody knows. We go wherever the wind blows.
~Faith – the spirited Adventurer ~

Faith hoisted the large, heavy backpack higher up on her shoulders, placing it in a more comfortable position on her back. She gripped the backpack’s dark straps firmly; they came across the front of her mud stained blouse, the blouse no longer a sunny yellow in colour but fading into a shade of yellow and brown. Her large straw hat hid her from the scorching heat, and the flow of long, light brown hair coming from it covered her ears, framing her demure face and reaching her shoulders. She looked ahead, her clear hazel eyes sparkling with excitement as she gazed across the empty, ridged landscape of the desert; there was a large tower ahead. It stood erect, rising from a sand dune that covered the bottom quarter of the immense structure. There was an eagerness within her. It seemed to bubble right through her as a large grin spread across her face and she began to rise up to her toes and drop back down to her heels in an energetic rhythm. She glanced down at her partner and snorted softly.Unlike her, young Aaron sat crossed legged on the coarse ground; despondent. His short golden brown hair lay matted to his head from sweat. The heat had taken every ounce of his energy, regardless of the short swim he had taken, at the oasis Faith had managed to direct them to. The mud had helped cool them off too but the prospect of traversing the sandy terrain with mud baking on their skin did not appeal to him at all, even if that would have cooled him down. He gazed up at the tower in the distance, shielding his light brown eyes from the sun so he could look at it without going blind. He sighed dejectedly; that was the last thing he wanted to do.

The travelers, completely unrelated, had been making their way across the desert for a week and a half now, each with their own personal goal. Faith sought adventure, yes, she lived with almost eccentric motivation that had led her to many different parts of the world. Yet this journey had become spiritual more than adventurous as she trekked through aesthetic landscapes varying from mountains and valleys to forests and jungles. Each region she traversed filled her with awe and wonder, a deep longing as well as a desire to know not only about its creation but also about its creator. Aaron on the other hand was an orphan, abandoned as a young boy by his parents claiming they were not ready for a child; he was pulling them down. He’d met his parents again later on and they had rejected him again. In his sadness and anger at his parents and a deeper bitterness for his unfair life, he lost all will and purpose to live. At the apex of the apartment building where his orphanage was located, he’d found himself on the edge of the building and gazing glazed eyed at the inevitable below him. Had Faith not appeared at that moment, Aaron would not have been alive this day. He found a new desire at that moment, a desire to figure out his purpose and know more about this ultimate Being that Faith spoke of so reverently yet so mysteriously about. Who indeed was the creator of those marvelous places Faith had traveled to? Where was He now? What purpose did He have for him? This journey had to have answers, just had to.

“Come now, enough rest let’s go!” Faith exclaimed as she grabbed the younger boy’s arms and pulled him up to his feet. Aaron grunted his disapproval but let himself be pulled up to his feet.
“Are we seriously going to climb that?” Aaron asked, unable and unwilling to alter his despondent tone of voice.

“Of course! This tower will challenge you beyond anything you have ever faced!” Faith exclaimed, falling back into her excited rocking, “In fact, there is a historical record of a young man, a little older than me, who not only climbed the tower but leapt from its top!” Aaron had a moment to remember his once strong desire to jump from his own high tower; so much had changed since then that the idea disturbed him.

“Not only did he jump, but he landed safely on a bale of hay at the bottom…he called it…the Leap of Faith. Exhilarating!” Faith’s face seemed to glow under her straw hat, her lips unable to contain the large grin that filled her face. Aaron, however, was skeptical…and fearful. It was as though Faith had saved him from one jump only to propel him towards another only this time…he was not looking forward to it. Not at all.


I hope you enjoyed the little excerpt from one of my short stories called Walking by Faith, playing around with that theme of walking by faith by having a character named Faith. The basis of this story is the idea of self discovery and also how God reveals himself in nature. Within the course of the story itself you will see that outworking of revelation through the eyes of energetic, optimistic Faith and the skeptical, despairing Aaron.

As always, please feel free to leave a comment, message etc. Thank you for taking the time to read and visit my blog. May you have a blessed week!

Rajat Narula

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