Posted in short story

Maybe This Time (Short Story)

Like my previous short story, this is based on a writing prompt from Writer’s Digest.

Disclaimer: This will be a rather dark story so if you’re not into that you can ignore this post.

Maybe This Time

How many times have I tried to make things right?

After all those movies and TV series I’ve watched about time travel, it should have been obvious that time isn’t something I should mess around with. Or rather, time isn’t something anyone should mess with. The consequences of messing with time is what brought me to this situation.

All my life, I had studied hard and tried to prove my worth to those around me. However, my words and actions were seemingly silent and invisible. Had I been too timid when I introduced myself to the rest of my class? Did I make a mistake in choosing my school? Was I giving off an aura that implied that I didn’t want to interact with anyone?

Or perhaps… was there something wrong with me?

Perhaps the life I’ve led up till this point had shaped me into a person that cannot be loved or valued.

Thus, I made the decision to throw myself into my research. Time travel couldn’t be as simple as microwaving a banana. I had to come up with something that was backed with scientific evidence that it would work. Something I could feel safe using as a means to travel back in time. I was after all, a coward.

By the time I turned 40, I’d managed to figure it all out thanks to the research on time travel that had started way before me by others who dabbled in the realm of science labelled as mere fiction. Even with the help of those before me, it took me a long 22 years of research to get to where I was. I was genuinely happy that I’d made it so far.

Yet how did things turn out this way?

After countless trips to the past, it would seem that all I managed to do was make everyone around me hate me. People say that getting hate feels good because you feel like you are at least being acknowledged. However, I felt a deep despair of having not just been labelled as a man of no value, but a man who would have more value if he were dead.

My family members are being held hostage and people are out to find me so that they can get their hands on my time machine. In a sense, my time machine had far more value than my life itself could ever have. They were sure to kill me off once they managed to get their hands on my time machine.

With no other way forward, I decided to make one last trip to the past.

I planned to dirty my hands.
I planned to sacrifice someone I should have loved.
I planned to relieve myself of my suffering.

To think that I’d done so many meaningless things in my life… what was it all for I wonder? Even my motivation to become a time traveler which earned me world-wide fame was but a stupid wish to be loved by those who couldn’t love me back in the way I desired.

Perhaps I shall apologise to my mother before leaving the world with her.

Not that she would know who I am.

Maybe this time, the world will become a better place without me in it.

– K.A.L.T


My thoughts are always fleeting. Writing is the only way I can remember all the things that once crossed my mind.

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