The Time Machine

The benefits of time travel are that of adventure, a growth of personal knowledge, and friendship. It’s quite something when one can have breakfast with Rod Serling then drinks with a young Thomas Bell. Death was just an act to be repeated, a play that I could delay for everyone else but me.  “A time machine Wells, a God be damned time machine.”

I clicked the knocker on the door; it pinches my fingers on the second knock. I gasp and put the finger in my mouth. A skinny faced man with a brilliant mustache opens the door. I freeze with my index finger in my mouth. I remove it, wipe my hand on my trousers, and reach out to him. “Hello, I am Ka..” I tried to say before he cut me off. “What is the reason for this intrusion on my peace?” He asked. He looked flustered but pale. “Mr. Wells, I enjoyed many of your books and would like a piece of your time to talk.” I said with my hand poking out like a scar on the face. “You’re an American, aren’t you? Well, come in, I just love the way Americans speak.” He said as he took hold of my hand and pulls me inside.

His house smelled of cabbage and old books. He guided me to dimly lit room. Books and papers stacked vicariously about, the rest of the house appeared straightened and clean, but this room was his, and he treated it as such. He pointed to a chair that had sketches piled on it. I move these to the side and sit, the chair creaks under my weight holds. He handed me a coffee cup, and sat in the chair to the left, his didn’t creak as not to complain about his presence. The room temperature whiskey caught me by surprise as I sipped from the cup. “So,” he announced, “what would you like to know?” I jumped right away to his book The Time Machine. I threw as many questions as I could at him. He answered them carefully.  I had stars in my eyes and a spin in my head.

Several hours passed, in which came the point that I let it all slip. I spilled my guts on being a time traveler. Wells, however, was calm and collected when I divulged this information. “I suspected as much.” He said as he finished off the contents of his cup and walked to a bookshelf. There he retrieved a worn copy of The Time Machine and hands it to me. I open the book the first page holds a sketch of a man with pointed ears and an unfashionable wardrobe. “He mentioned there may be more of you.” Wells said this as he returned to his seat. “What do you mean by this?” I asked while holding the drawing. “Let me tell you a story.” He filled his cup again with the bottle next to his chair and began.

“It was a foolishly cold day. I love to walk in the cool air to clear my head. Though be it this was quite the chill. I was setting my way back home cursing the air when this man appeared.” He pointed at the sketch. “Oh, it was a miraculous site for a man to apparate right in my path. I was taken-a-back of course. Ideas were fluttering through my head when the man finally spoke.” He takes a drink from his cup and continues. “So he asks of me ‘Are that of Mr. Wells?’ ‘Sure I am’ I answered. He stepped towards me I took an equal distance step back. ‘No worries Mr. Wells’ he said to me, the fear painted all over my face. ‘So how do you know my name?’ I asked him. He replied to my inquiry in his forced English. ‘Simple in time Mr. Wells, I suggest we take these questions to a location that is warm’ I lead him to my house. We returned to my Aunt Mary’s house, the place was empty. If just seconds after we entered he started to explain himself. You see, this man was also a time traveler like yourself, he came from around the year 6000 or so. Apparently, in this time the ability to travel through time was used as a way to go on holiday. He explained to me that he wasn’t a man of very much and all his life he wanted to meet me. Of course, I was flattered by this but I wanted to know about his time, so we exchanged questions about his time and I answered his about my books. Some in which he mentioned I have yet to write. Have you read this ‘Shape for things to come’, sounds relatively dark. He told me of his time, of how it’s a quite a utopia world. Capitalism still has its roots in things, but not as much as it does now. Well, the point is; he told me that I shouldn’t be surprised to encounter more travelers in time.”

Soon after he finished he asked me as many questions as he could about my time. I tried to keep it optimistic. I told him of space travel, advanced computer systems, the works. He loved every bit of information that was carefully leaked to him. He asked me about how I made such an advanced machine and if I could show it to him. I carefully remove the device from my pocket and hold it out in my palm. He looks it over, back and forth then asks. “How in the world is it so small?” I stopped myself from saying ‘that’s what she said’ as it would probably not get a laugh. “Well, I sort of borrowed technology from the 41st century. My first device was much bigger than this.” I said. He takes some more time staring at it before my arm gets tired. I wrap my fingers around the device and place it back in my pocket. “Will you stay for dinner?” he asked. I agreed and not 20 minutes later we were sitting at his table.

His wife Jane made a lovely stew. We talked about the arts and anything else that wasn’t time travel related. After the meal, I explained to Wells that I really must get going. He told me to wait and retrieved another copy of The Time Machine from a stack of them, signs the inner cover and hands it to me “For your travels.” He said as I placed the book in my back pocket.  I wave a goodbye as he vanishes in front of me.


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