Deliverance

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: March 24, 2020

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Submitted: March 24, 2020

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She stood alone in the middle of the cavernous station glancing at her watch. Arthur was never late. I’m getting too old for this, she thought, the weight of the world too heavy on her aging shoulders; the terrible responsibility if she should miss a delivery—accidentally miscalculate the location, be delayed by traffic, the bus or the train, or god forbid, by an act of nature. Today it had taken her longer than usual to calculate the exact location and time of his arrival. The writing on the letter, dated November 4, 1918, had begun to fade, two of the coordinates all but gone. She could read most of it and, she hoped, had correctly calculated the rest. 

 

On October 1 … our allies … Something … terribly wrong, unprecedented—the careful path of history we corrected … unraveling … Germans have acquired nuclear weapons that should not have appeared on earth for decades! Aircraft laden with nuclear bombs will reach the U.S. within the … We must stop them! Arthur … on his way. You must get the attached information … the elder travelers immediately! We are unable to reach anyone else but you, Josie, the letter warned. We pray for all of humanity … get this information through.

 

Nuclear weapons, good god. That meant only one thing—the Germans…knew.

 

She unzipped her purse, the zipper catching. “Not now,” she hissed under her breath. There would be no time to chat—the time fold would close behind him and everything would be lost. “Come on…” The zipper gave a little, enough for her to reach the package inside. 

 

The air before her shimmered and the man appeared, reaching out a hand.

 

“Oh thank God,” she whispered with relief, tugging at the package. “You must go quickly, Arthur. They have found the future!” Her voice quivered as she pulled it free at last and thrust it into his hand as he knelt down to open the briefcase and slip it inside. She tried to close her purse, but the damn zipper wouldn’t budge. Giving up, she glanced around the station. Humanity continued past them in a steady stream, oblivious. “Oh, Arthur,” she whispered, seeing them all in a new light. “This is it, you must stop them.” And as he rose, she said with great emotion, “May God be with you, son.” 

 

She looked up at him, so close, and their eyes met. Josephine drew in her breath, color draining from her face. It was not her son. The man in a black coat and hat smiled and spoke in a low voice, forceful, thick with a German accent. “I am afraid I am not a religious man, Frau Michaelson. But if there is indeed a God, do give him my regards.”

 

Before her tears could fall, he disappeared, and the station, all of New York, across the United States, everything and everyone collapsed into glowing dust. And where the statue of Liberty once stood, a tattered German flag stood alone, silent and still.

 

(c) 2020 Mitchelle Tanner


© Copyright 2020 Ms T.. All rights reserved.

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