Time Travel

So this week we’re time travelers. Simple enough, get in your time machine and off you go. Of course you need to watch out for those pesky paradoxes.

But what happens when you don’t know your time travelling.

Or for that matter if you’ve even got a time machine.

Well Artimis Blake is about to find out. Let me know if he handled it as well as you would have.

Time Travel, A Big Mistake

Artimis sat in his office; pondering over the latest drivel he’d spent the best part of the night writing. Disappointed and annoyed, he couldn’t even screw up the pages and hurl them across the room, as he would usually have done so, had he stuck to pen and paper. But instead he had gone straight to the computer, no planning or anything.

Rubbing the grit from his eyes he got slowly to his feet and stumbled out of the room thinking of nothing more than a hot cup of coffee. Judging by the light streaming in through the windows sleep wasn’t going to be an option, as the rest of the family would soon be up and demanding one thing from him or another.

Upon reaching the kitchen he wrinkled his nose at the stale smell of last night’s takeout, and resulting stacks of…well pretty much what you’d expect. Ignoring it all he went straight to the kettle and turned it on, then fumbled down the strongest coffee he had in the house from the top shelf. He grimaced at how light the jar felt, a testament to how many times he’d done this in the last few weeks.

Grabbing the only clean coffee cup he then made his coffee. Artimis added extra sugar and plenty of cream then carried it back to the office. Perhaps he’ be able to salvage something from the nights work before he had to give up for the day.

“Well Cecil, it seems I might be losing my touch.” He said to the full sized plastic skeleton sitting in the corner of the room. “I just can’t get my imagination to work anymore.”

Of course Cecil didn’t reply, being made of plastic. If he had Artimis would probably have thought he’d gone mad from exhaustion. However that had never stopped him from talking to the inanimate thing. Instead he closed his eyes, took a sip of the near scolding hot coffee, and enjoyed its overly sweet taste as it ran down his throat.

Exhaling, Artimis opened his eyes and instantly tried to figure out what the hell he was looking at.

Had the smallest inhabitant of the house been in the office again?

Had he been trying to watch something on one of the many streaming sites?

Because instead of his poor work he seemed to be staring at what appeared to be a T-rex.

A very realistic T-rex, 3D in fact. Which was impressive considering the computer was barely capable of playing anything more complicated than solitaire. Then there was the smell, a bit like what you’d get when you stepped in to the reptile room at the zoo, nothing at all like his office.

Setting down his coffee he took off his glasses and wiped them on the bottom of his shirt, putting them on he slid them slowly back up his nose.

Nope, the T-rex was still there.

But the rest of the office wasn’t.

Instead of his comfortable chair he seemed to be sitting on a rather large branch, quite a way away from the ground. Though that wasn’t nearly as puzzling as the fact he seemed to be outside. But then who would be sitting in a tree inside?

Of course he didn’t really have time to sit and try to figure this all out, because the large carnivore had suddenly noticed him and was regarding him with the same puzzled expression. And was probably thinking something along the lines of ‘I wonder what that thing is? Can I eat it? Let’s find out.’

Now sitting in a tree would usually be a good way to avoid being eaten, however in this case it happened to put Artimis at exactly, jaw level.

It made him easy pickings for the curious, hungry creature. Artimis, not really wanting to be eaten -though it would probably save him a lot of effort rewriting anything ever again- did the only thing that came to mind.

Panicking he threw what was nearly a full cup of not quite scalding coffee straight at it, then watched in amazement as it disappeared, smell and all.

Now of course a new problem presented itself, how on earth was he going to get home?

It was question that would stump even the smartest of people. Especially considering Artimis had no idea how he’d gotten there in the first place. The question was made even harder to answer now that he’d run out of coffee.

Wondering whether he’d done the correct thing, Artimis stared in to the bottom of the cup and his heart almost skipped a beat.

He saw there was maybe enough coffee for one last mouthful. He raised it to his lips with shaking hands and let the cold liquid slide in to his mouth, savoring what was might be his last taste of the stuff.

Sighing, he lifted his glasses and rubbed his eyes lowered the glasses again then stopped.

He was back in the office, the same poor writing on the screen, Cecil still sitting staring at him from his corner. He was about to dismiss it all as a bad dream when he heard his wife calling out from the bedroom.

“Babe!” She shouted, sounding rather alarmed. “There’s a bloody T-rex in the street!”

“Just keep the windows closed and it’ll go away.” Artimis replied, confused all over again.

After setting his now empty mug on the desk he lent back in his chair and then shot straight back up.

Printed in bold capital letters across the mug were the words;

WARNING CAFFEINE MAY CAUSE TIME DISPLACEMENT.

Cecil 1.

What gets me writing?

What gets me writing?

 

So, what gets me writing?

I’ve probably stared at this open word document for most of the week trying to figure out what actually gets me writing.

Could it be copious amounts of coffee? Or threats from the wife to actually finish something I’ve begun?

No. They’re reasons why I keep on writing, but what actually gets me writing?

So after looking in to the deepest parts of my literary soul and many long and very one sided conversations with Cecil (the skeleton who lives in my office) I’ve finally realised the most basic answer to that question.

Boredom.

Pure and simple, boredom is and will probably be the very origin of why I write. I hate being bored, so I write.

The next answer would be enjoyment of doing it, some people watch football, others play games I write.

I love putting down on paper or screen the stories, worlds and characters I’ve created. I love to see what I might put them through. Usually laughing manically as I do it.

And when ive sat back and looked at the result of these many hours tirelessly scratching away I love what’s appeared on the page. Months down the line I might look back at what id done and absolutely despise it, so I pick up pen or keyboard and begin again wanting to do better each time. Which probably explains why I’ve been working on the same book for so long now. But we’re all perfectionists at heart. Let’s face it if any of us actually get something published would we really want it to be substandard.

But back to the question at hand.

The final answer could really come under two things.

The first Disappointment. We’ve all read something somewhere that we’ve just had to put down from shear disappointment, for some it might even be this right now. And if it is then I don’t care.

The second would be determination.

Determination to do something better than that terrible, pointless waste of time, shouldn’t even be used to wrap chips in book. I actually keep copies of said books, so that when I’m being lazy, or blocked I can punish myself by perusing the terrible contents and fan the fire of my determination again. Or just to make myself feel better about whatever garbage I might have just written.

So, there we have it. What gets me writing. Basically as an exercise in stroking my own ego.

 

Simon Barnes

AKA Artimis Blake