Story a Day, Day 10: Losing and Death, Backwards

I’m writing a short story a day for a month. Due to internet problems, I wasn’t able to publish over the weekend. I will publish two a day until I catch up.

There was once a scientist who loved a woman. His mother had a friend who smoked and drank too much of the good whiskey when she came over. She had a daughter who lived with the father, and once, when he was ten, she came over, drank too much, and showed him a picture of the daughter. The daughter was about his age, and despite the spots on the photo, he could tell that he loved her and reasonably guessed that she would love him too.

He told all his friends about her and how they were going to love each other. They thought he was lying, but after he beat up big Yuri, they started to believe him. A few years passed, and all he talked about was this girl. She never appeared, and he would say she’s coming soon. His friends started to get bored, and then they stopped believing him, and then they didn’t care if she was real or not, they just wanted him to shut up about it.

Finally, right when she was graduating college and he was on a summer break, she came to visit the mom’s friend. He never liked the woman, but he insisted that they have them over for dinner. After, he offered to show her around town, and he got her number. She didn’t love him–not yet–but he knew she was going to.

He called all of his old friends who didn’t really invite him anywhere anymore, and though they were happy for him, this girl had occupied enough of their time.

Over several years they stayed in contact, and with the steadiness of an ocean liner coming to port, she loved him a little bit more each day, and finally, they got married. Those were the happiest days of his life, each day building on the happiness of the day before, until one day, many years later, she fell walking home from work. Sure, she held on for a few days, but she was old, her body frail, and she let go.

The scientist was heartbroken, and after the funeral, he disappeared for ten years. He spent those ten years working on a time machine that would make time run backwards, and despite everyone’s incredulousness, it worked.

People got younger, every sports game ended in a tie, marriages started with divorce and ended with marriage, and: his wife came back from the dead.

For as long as they were married, they loved each other again, but his wedding came, and we watched her walk back up the aisle, and although he always got along well with the father, the older man took her back in his arms.

He realized he couldn’t stop time moving backwards: he’d been too focused on her, and bringing her back. Eventually, she started falling out of love with him, until she barely recognized him anymore. Finally, she was gone again, and he was back in college, telling everyone who would listen all about this girl he’d made the world run backward for, and sure, people started out bored and got more interested, but watching her stop loving her was a torture far more painful than watching her die.

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About Big Adam

A NYC doorman, a community organizer, wannabe ape, sometimes blogger, sometimes writer, always crossword puzzle incompleter, I will ride bicycles with your papa, dance Bhangra with your mama, take you on dates that cost nada.
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2 Responses to Story a Day, Day 10: Losing and Death, Backwards

  1. I like this story…but my machine would be different. Mine would be a “play it through, first” machine, where you can play through your social interactions with others, looking for the optimal conduct to apply, before you actually “enact” anything!!

    Katie

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