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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A young woman struggling to cope with a harsh reality speaks with a man on a beach.

Submitted: July 09, 2019

A A A | A A A

Submitted: July 09, 2019



A young woman in a summer dress was walking down a long, deserted beach holding something wrapped in a blanket. The sun was just beginning to dip under the horizon and its rays were starting to turn the sky and ocean water, a nice amber color. The young woman was walking towards someone sitting on the sand, close to the end of the beach perimeter. It was an older gentleman. He had a stream of gray hair tucked behind his ears and a short beard that looked older than he was. He was staring ahead of him, probably trying to admire the sunset. He glanced at the young woman when she got close to him.

“Hey! You’re missing it!” The man shouted, patting the sand beside him.

The young woman sat down next to him. “Sorry. Wanted to get you something.”

“Oh yeah?”

The young woman unwrapped a blanket covering a white square box, “It’s from my favorite bakery. They make this fabulous apple pie. It’s homemade.” She handed it over to the man.

“Oooo, you shouldn’t have. You do know we still have these over there right?”

The young woman smirked and said, “No, you guys don’t have anything like this apple pie.” She propped her hand on his shoulder, “trust me.”

“Okay, I’ll take your word for it then.”

The two sat comfortably as the sun drew ever so slightly towards the edge of the ocean. The wind was picking up and the young woman was struggling to keep her long hair from being harassed. They both gazed lazily towards the ocean for a couple minutes before the man looked over at the woman and said, “How’s mom?”

“She’s fine. She’s constantly worrying about me, but considering the circumstances, I can see why.”

“Yeah. It’s always out of love, Abby.”

“You two are the only ones who call me that.” She continued gazing into the distance, “How’s mom over there?”

The man took some time to respond but finally muttered, “She’s getting older. Forgetting things. Her memory is worse than mine and I really want to—”

“It’s fine dad. We don’t have to do this right now.”

The two stood in silence for a couple of minutes. The man crossed his legs and shifted a little, “I wish there was some way to save you. But…I’ve gone over everything. There’s no way.”

“Nothing we could do, right? You always tell me that.”

The man started to aggressively use his hands while speaking, “No, but don’t you think it’s odd that we are all doomed to a predetermined future? I’ve tried to replicate every single scenario just for a chance of saving you. They’ve all failed. It’s like your future was already sealed.”

The woman continued staring languidly at the sunset. “It’s crazy. It’s all just crazy. I really wish you and mom raised me religiously just so that I can make sense out of all this.” She started rubbing the tops of her feet. “It feels hopeless.”

The man sighed, “Sorry Abby. Didn’t want to start all of this again.”

They kept staring at the burning sky and its sparks reflecting off the water. Abby rested her head on her dad’s shoulder. The beach air was getting snappier and brisk.

“I don’t think I ever told you this but, me and your mom’s honeymoon was, well….right on this beach.”


“It was the quietness of it all. All you can hear were the sound of the waves crashing and she loved it. At noon, you can witness the beach’s best feature at its clearest: the water. It has a nice pretty color which your mom called, aquamarine. Sounds like something she would make up.”

“Uh uh, it’s real. I have a bracelet that’s the same color.”

The man looked at his watch, nudged Abby and stood up to ready himself for something.

“Already?” Abby said.

“I guess so. Looks like the sunset was more mesmerizing this time around huh.”

A loud whirring flanked them from behind, getting louder and louder and blue sparks starting to emerge a couple feet from the ground and a couple of feet away from them. In a matter of seconds, a portal, twice the size of Abby and the man and with a blue outline, opens in front of them. Through the portal you can see a blurry image of what seems to be a state-of-the-art laboratory and a couple of people in lab suits patiently waiting. A muddy male voice can be heard from the portal, but it sounded as if it was a mile away. The voice said, “Year 2034 to Year 2019, can you hear us Matthew?”

“I can hear you guys,” Abby’s dad said.

The voice continued on, “Sorry about the short visit there. Some intern messed with the machine’s buttons so we gotta pull you out for now.”

“No biggie. Be sure to introduce me to them.”

“Will do, Matt. You can start coming through whenever you’re ready.”

Matthew turned to Abby, “Well kiddo. Another day, another goodbye.”

“When will be your next visit?” Abby asked.

“I don’t know. Should be in the next few weeks or so. You know how wonky that machine can be at times and you heard the man in there, machine needs some fixing for now.”

“I’ll miss you again.” Abby reminded her dad to take the apple pie.

“Abby, I would do anything to have you in my life again.”

“I am in your life, dad.” Her eyes started to glint but was barely noticeable due to her hair being constantly swept over her face.

“You’re not with me out there. Believe me, I’m still going to focus all of my efforts in trying to find a way of keeping you alive.”

“Don’t waste the rest of your life in trying to change something that’s already set in stone,” Abby smiled.

“I’m not giving up Abby.” He tucked her hair behind her ears, “Maybe I’ll force your mom to come next time; remind her how beautiful you’ve become.”

The voice from beyond the portal spoke again, “Sorry to interrupt Matt, we got a couple minutes left, I think. Machine seems unstable from our end so it’s best if we get this thing to close sooner rather than later.”

“Got it.” The two of them hugged very tightly. “I gotta go Abby. ‘Till next time.”

The two broke off, with Abby still holding onto his arm and mouthing off the words ‘love you’. Matthew began to walk towards the blurry picture of the future and stepped in one foot at a time – leaving behind his only child and bringing with him only memories. Stepping into the world he lives in; the present reality of having lost his only child and the unfathomable struggle of trying to reverse it. It may seem completely hopeless, but to Matthew, it is something he desperately clings onto to help him cope. His struggle is a mere bump in the road compared to Abby’s knowledge of knowing her death beforehand. Knowing that everything was for naught and hoping for the slightest chance that the future where she doesn’t exist is one of many other futures.

The portal closed rapidly leaving behind blue sparks in its wake and an eerie silence being accompanied by the waves. Abby bent down to pick up her blanket that she wrapped her apple pie in and began walking back down the lonely beach road leaving the aquamarine waters behind her.  

© Copyright 2020 Manolo. All rights reserved.

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