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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
What lengths will you go to for love?

Submitted: June 21, 2013

A A A | A A A

Submitted: June 21, 2013





by Gregory Smart

Transcription of Youtube video originally posted March 31, 2013

My name’s Dr. Gerard Morton and I work for a highly classified government think tank that shall remain nameless. I’m recording this now so people will understand why I did, what I’m about to do. Three days, four hours, and twenty-seven minutes ago, my wife Sarah was murdered. She was walking home from her job as a lab technician at a well-known bioresearch firm, when she was…when she was gunned down in the street.

I don’t know who killed her. I don’t know why she was killed. The ‘why’ doesn’t matter to me; what matters is when it happened; what matters is:  I have the power stop it. And stop it, I will.

You see, recently my team and I created a very special machine. You could call it a ‘time machine.’ It sounds silly, I know. Hearing this, some may think I am a madman. And, there will be those who will try and paint me as one to keep their secrets. Others may consider this a work of fiction. But it’s the truth.

The machine itself is kept in a highly secure military facility. Only my team and select members of the ‘high command’ have access to it. Thus far, we’ve only sent an inanimate object back in time to prove that our machine works—a watch to be exact, which we sent 10 minutes into the past.

When we first tested the machine, we prepared the watch, setting it to 12:00pm, opened the chamber to put the watch in—and what did we find? An identical watch set to 12:00pm. You see? The experiment had already succeeded. We had already sent ourselves the watch from 10 minutes in the future and it was sitting in the chamber waiting for us before we even started the experiment. Now we had two watches, or more accurately, the same watch from two different timelines. To close the loop, when the time came, we still followed through with the experiment as planned and sent our original watch back to ourselves 10 minutes in the past to keep the time continuum intact.

We never conducted any human trials. We knew it was too dangerous. The possible results of disrupting timelines are just too unpredictable. I say this to you now so you know that I understand the full ramifications of what I’m about to do. I’m sorry, but Sarah’s life is just too precious to me…and I can’t let her go—not when I have the power to save her.



I looked at my watch. The time read 12:47am, about 20 minutes after I’d entered the machine. I looked at the time displayed on a bank building from my hiding place in the alley across the street. It read 6:23pm. I adjusted my watch accordingly. It was March 28th, 2013, the day of my wife’s murder and I was waiting for her to appear with a stomach churning like waves in a sea squall.

I’d read the police report, so I knew basics of what had happened. She’d been walking home along her usual route, a route I knew like the back of my hand. When she’d reached the corner of Madison and Niagara, some scumbag had walked up behind her and shot her—ending her life…ending my life. A witness from the bank across the street reported seeing a man in a red hoodie fleeing the scene after he heard the gunshot.

The man in the red hoodie. He was the other reason my stomach was in a knot. He was the one I was here to stop. The banks security camera had caught him passing this alley on his way to…to do what he was going to do.

My plan was simple: I was going to kill him; I was going to pull him into the alley and make sure he never gets another chance to hurt Sarah again.  I had to be careful though. I had to make sure to leave a light footprint on this timeline. I was well aware of chaos theory and the butterfly effect—I didn’t want to be the butterfly flapping its wings, creating a hurricane on the other side of the world. That’s why, when I came through the machine, I came straight to this alley. I didn’t speak to anyone, or interact with anyone in any way. I just came here and waited.

When my wife finally turned the corner onto Madison, I felt like the wind had been knocked out of me. She was so beautiful. How did I get so damn lucky? My heart was pounding like a runaway team of horses.


I peered around the corner and saw the man in the red hoodie approaching at a brisk pace from the other direction. His head was down, probably to avoid security cameras. I steeled myself and tightened my grip on the kitchen knife I‘d brought. This grim business was best done quickly and quietly.

As he walked by the alleyway, I reached out, grabbing his hoodie at the nape of his neck and yanked him hard backward into the alley, into my knife. Take that you sonofabitch. My adrenaline was roaring like a furnace, my heart pounding like a hammer striking an anvil. He gasped as I dragged him further into the alley and dropped him behind a dumpster.

Let’s take a look at you, shall we? I flipped him over and my world imploded.

Stars danced before my eyes as I stumbled back, suddenly dizzy. On the ground, behind the dumpster, the man in the red hoodie was wheezing and bleeding out. And the man in the red hoodie was me. An older version of me with a little more grey in his hair, a few more wrinkles on his face, but he was me, no doubt. I felt the bile rising in my stomach.

“Why?” I demanded.

“She has to die,” my future-self replied quietly, sadly. “You don’t understand, but you will.”

“I’ll never let that happen.”

“I think that I am proof that you will. In fact, you’ll have to do more than simply let it happen, I’m afraid”


“You see—if Sarah lives beyond this day, something terrible will happen…something catastrophic. Millions will die. This is the only way…we’ve tried everything else,” my future-self replied wearily. He was growing pale now.

“You can’t have tried everything,” I retorted with tears streaking down my face. “I can change this!”

“It’s what she wanted. You don’t get it. I AM YOU. And she….she asked me to do this.”

Those were his last word. His eyes stared vacantly through me as I heard the sound of my own last dying breath. I fell to my knees in front of my dead body. My mind was shooting in a million directions at once. I couldn’t just take his word for it. Not when it came to Sarah’s life. But…I’d be taking my own word for it. No! I can stop this. She doesn’t have to die. I will stop this!

That’s when I heard the distinctive click of a hammer being cocked. I turned slowly. Behind me was another me—this one was even older than the last. He looked weathered, beaten. In his hand, he held a silenced pistol aimed at my head.

“I’m afraid we couldn’t find any other way,” my other future-self said stonily.

My mind reeled. I felt like vomiting.

“Wait! You can’t. You…You’re my future self. If you kill me, our timeline will end here,” I blurted, grasping for purchase. “It will be like you never were; you‘ll cease to exist. Then who will…?” 

“Safeguards are in place this time,” he cut me off, turning to look at the mouth of the alley as a man in a red hoodie walked by. “And, I’m afraid sacrifices must be made.”

The muzzle flashed and the lights went out.

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