Tasty, but Deadly
By G. P. Avants
The idea of changing history, especially events that you feel brought you sadness or suffering, is appealing to some people. What would it mean if you could take the other fork in the road?
You know going back and fixing something from your past in order to see the events of your future hopefully turn out better…for everyone? This is the hook that has lured Levy into listening to Mr. Cross’ dream for creating a better future.
In this scene Levy has just seen what he can only describe as an echo in time. The same event happens twice which caused a disaster that almost destroys the time pod and his only way home. As he ponders the possibilities of what altering his choices might look like, he is given a gift in the middle of the night. Instead of his familiar backpack (which doubles as his portable inventor’s toolbox) he receives one that should not exist: one from an alternate reality.
Levy looks at the second burnt and twisted bag. “I am not sure I want to know what’s inside.” Levy gingerly attempts to unzip the second bag. With a crackle of material, it opens roughly. He brushes away burnt char.
“My school books, homework, and score! More snacks.” Levy pauses in thought. He pats where the secret compartment should be. Maybe baby. His fingers find the compartment. “Yes!” In the dark, his fingers do a quick inventory. It’s all here. My tool kit, some fuses, gears, and batteries. Wait.
He flips the bag over and finds his lunch. The food smells of smoke, the chips are micro crumbs, but…Whodeedoo! He shakes the full box of Choco-Dips. “Whoo hoooo, all mine.” He pops open the box. Some are melted, but they still taste yummy. As he snacks, he examines the bag.
HOLD ON! You are so excited about what is in the bag, dork, you didn’t think where it came from! This was the one that I saw rolling after the explosion. That means it came from the second phantom time pod?
Levy looks at the chocolate and the box. His mouth is open with melted candy on his tongue. He spits it back in his hand. “Ahhh!” He looks at the box in his other hand. He sets it down. “Wait, hold it.” Levy scoots back as if the box might explode. “This bag, this stuff…” he holds his head. It’s from an alternate time line? Parallel universe? Does it even really exist? Is it even safe to eat something from another reality?”
Tasty, but deadly? Levy holds his stomach. “See. Stomachio, I knew you’d be the death of me yet.” With his socked toe, he edges the burnt bag over the side of his bed, but something else catches his eye. No more surprises, please. Levy reaches over and sees a strip of paper tied to the bag with a green ribbon. He is afraid to touch it. It says something, but it’s upside down.
He lies on his back to see the short, hand-written message. It reads:
Manage time wisely, or it will manage you.
For the first time since he can remember, his brain freezes. He has no idea what significance this tiny message, which reminds him of a fortune in a cookie (minus the cookie), means. I know I am going to regret this. That little piece of paper looks… he takes it between his fingers. I know that tinge of aquamarine, the pebbly texture. Someone is sending me a coded message. It’s made of Chronotons.
He turns it over to look at the back. It reads:
Your Friend in Time,
* * * * **
“Those six stars are a pattern. I wonder what they stand for?” Levy counts each one to
make sure he has the number correct. Yep.
“If you are wondering what they stand for, they represent the members of the A6.”
Levy freezes. He grips handfuls of blanket. “Are…you here to take me home?” He
glances around the room, but no one is there.
“We were sent to put things right,” answers the female voice again. “If we work
together, then it is our goal to get you and the other historical travelers home safely.”
“Is there a chance I won’t get home safetly?”
There is a pause and the voice returns. “Levy, what you have suspected about Mr.
Cross’s plan being altered is true. Something has gone wrong and the time to repair this
affair is limited. So, yes, the risks to the integrity of the original timeline is real.”
As the woman speaks, Levy scans the room looking for some projection or hint that
someone else is in the room. meant to do. This is not an intercom system. She appears to be
camouflaged and speaking from inside this room. Amazing.
I can almost feel her breath.
“We went to great risk to get your back-pack. You will find this one un-tampered with
for the most part, and filled with items to help you build your next invention.”
“For what?” Levy asks.
“We need to know the outcome of this time-travel incursion,” The woman’s voice
sounded grave and ominous. “If we can’t resolve these events in the timeline, history may be
“So, you need me to build you something to do what?” Levy feels the pillow he is
grasping getting damp with sweat. “I haven’t had the best track record with the life-span of my
inventions. The Fizz-E-Drive is a perfect example.”
“As my colleges are reminding me, I am bordering on saying too much already. You
have to make a way for you and your friends to escape.”
Levy forces a grin. “How? Can you give me some direction or does that violate some
time law or something?”
“Something like that.”
“Of course,” Levy asserts, “just my luck or lack of it.”
The voice stops talking for a few seconds. Levy tucks his legs in and waits.
Is this woman the leader of the A6? She seems to know what you are
Why are they making us wait? I bet they are re-thinking their choice of hero, here. I would.
Somehow, I am going to build something to save history? History must be low on options for
heroes for them to pick me.
“Levy?” The voice returns.
“I want to highly encourage you to not waste another moment. We all know that history
owes you a debt of gratitude for what you will do.”
“Will do?” Levy knows how close that comes to leaking future events.
“I have to go, but we will be in touch,” then switching tones, she whispers, “Levy
you’re not alone in this. I believe in you.” Then she is gone. Levy sits until he is sure he
“Is that it? Okay then.”