Their names were Dave and Lyra and they let me sit around their fire and stare into the flames. I had my own food, so they seemed content to let me share their space for a moment; a five-minute family.
Dave used to be a writer, and Lyra had been looking for teaching jobs. They didn’t meet until after the big one, but they said that sometimes you just know. I watched as they traded a cigarette back and forth, passing the lightning each time their fingers touched. ‘Those things can kill you,’ I almost said.
When it came time for me to leave, no one said a thing. The fire danced its appreciation.
The first trip only took me back five hours, just long enough to watch myself put the finishing touches on the machine through my garage window.
The next one took me to 1991, where I saw my younger self get the shit kicked out of him by Ricky Garcia, and helped myself off the ground, taking the time wipe the blood from under his nose with my handkerchief, which I'd always found to be oddly familiar.
My third and final trip was to World War II, where I threw myself on a grenade, and became the stranger that saved my grandfather’s life.
I've always loved that story.
About the author:
Eric Zipper is a writer and comedian residing in Portland OR, who graduated from Occidental College with a highly useful theater degree. When not reading or writing, he's either telling dumb jokes, walking around outside, or watching way too many movies.