The Uselessness of Timetravel

There are certain evils in humanity’s history that should be covered up and forgotten for all time. Most concern bending the natural order of things, of twisting physics and chemistry, of combining two creatures that shouldn’t go together.

And he was told long ago, months, or however time works now, the McPizza will be your doom. Do not go searching for these abominations. Do not hunt them down to eliminate them. Some evil must exist in the world, it lubricates the good. He keeps the note to himself in his pocket, ignored like all the rest of the advice he gives himself. The only thing that matters to him, each trip, is being loose in the timestream, all else works itself out when it needs to.

The Timetraveler pops out of the timestream into a bathroom and b-lines it to the counter. He knows he doesn’t have any money for this age, but if he sent himself here, he knows all he has to do is ask.

And then there he is, a man from the 1980’s standing in front of a McDonalds’ worker. It looks like a war zone outside the window. Out there, a car is on fire while a dozen people beat at each other with baseball bats. He doesn’t ask where he is, because he knows. He is supposed to be in New York City, 2095. And he has little doubt that’s where he is. Why that place, at that time? Tachyons. Lots and lots of tachyons, and that can only mean only one thing.

“One pizza,” he requests, which results in a look of absolute horror on the face of the girl behind the counter.

“Pizza?” She asks, voice quivering, hands slightly shakey as they find the button to make the order appear on the screen in front of her.

“Yes?” he questions, expecting her to correct him. “This is New York City, right? Pizza capital of the world? Or did I do my math wrong?”

“No, sir, you are in the right time.” and he watches her hit enter, and right after a stream of McDonalds’ employees exit from the back. Each carries a tachi, sharp and gleaming under the corporate lighting hanged from the ceiling above. They menace him, silent.

“Mr. Timetraveler, I presume?” asks the last person from the kitchen, an old black woman with her hair tied back in a rigid gray bun- done in the traditional Samurai style. She shuffles through the semi-circle formed by her fellows in shower-shoes filled with dirty white socks. Tucked into her ceremonial belt is a wicked looking tantō, stained purple from use.

Damn it, his mind screams, even as his mouth says, “yes?” again, as if it were his job to serve them and not the other way around.

With that, the old lady raises an old-arthritic-ashy-black-hand and pulls her dagger. She sets her feet in first position and bows, “welcome to your last try.”

And with that twenty McDonalds employees, also ready in first position, bow, then come at him as he weren’t the Timetraveler.

Published by Bryan Aiello

Raised on Florida’s Gulf Coast, Bryan served in the Army, graduated from the University of South Florida and now calls Brooklyn home. For more of his fiction and updates on his podcasts, follow him on Twitter: @bryaiello and Reddit: /u/voyage_of_roadkill.

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