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Fifteen years ago I was visited by an elderly man who claimed to be from the future. He showed me a book, and alleged I had written it -- would write it -- years from now -- years from then -- when I was approximately 34 years-old -- six months from today, presently. He said I would become a world-famous author, and this very book was my key to success. He claimed to be me, and said he was 87 years-old. Time travel became publicly available three weeks ago, in his current time, which should've been around 2067 -- if my math was right.
For fear of negatively impacting our lives, we said goodbye, and, intrigued, I began reading a book I had yet to write. Assuming the man was, in fact, me from the future, I was reading the first-ever paradoxical novel. But -- my God -- it was horrible drivel. I promptly burned it, because I like to burn things. As the book took flame, the ends of the pages curling upward in wisps of smoke, I noticed a distinct murphy-like aroma. Shrugging, I placed the ashes inside a sandwich bag. If Stephen Hawking is right, the ashes themselves should've disappeared, causing an irreversible distortion in space-time. But they didn't.
After several weeks of watching the Ziploc'd remains, I opened the bag and re-examined the charred fragments of my yet-to-be written novel. Only then did I realize the book hadn't been made of paper -- but, apparently -- some bio-edible substance. The ahes smelled like burnt potato chips. I offered a piece to my pet dog, Loki, to make sure it wasn't toxic, and he gobbled it up with pleasant delight. Satisfied, I ate the remaining pieces and washed them down with a glass of Sunny Delight.
The next morning I awoke with a curious sensation. Something struck me, like a lingering dream, images and ideas I would never be able to liberate from the confines of my own mind. I was inspired to write, for the first time in my life. I knew then that's why the ashes hadn't disappeared, because I hadn't yet torn an irreversible hole in the fabric of space-time. My novel -- the novel that would define my future -- was now inside of me, converted into polymeric macromolecues, and absorbed by my body.
I furiously labored away, alone in my room, writing all day and night, freeing the story inside me. After three months, and eight hundred pages later, I hit a wall, a roadblock on my four-lane highway of inspiration. Apparently, I had fed Loki the last chapter of my book, and now the greatest story never told was locked away inside his canine innards. I decided I had to eat him, for the sake of my own future, but he died of intestinal worms that same afternoon. That, or book-poisoning.
Unable to eat the corpse of my own pet, I had unwittingly condemned myself to a life of unrealized potential. But, like Sarah Connor said in Terminator 2: Judgment Day -- The unknown future rolls toward me. I face it, for the first time, with a sense of hope. Because if a dog, a Siberian Husky, can learn how my novel ended, maybe I can too.
I'm the author of several books, including Seattle Strange, Tank, Live Bait, July 13th, Mooncalf, The Legend of Esdraelon, Miss Megiddo, Plum, Verisimilitude, and The 40 Miracles of Steve Guttenberg. I am also a master of the Ninja Clan Arashikage.
Currently looking for feedback on TAGGERS and SEATTLE STRANGE. I appreciate all honest critiques -- don't fluff my ego -- and will burn the midnight oil to return the kindness.
**** Contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org ****
I love everything for every different reason.
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