's 2019 Horror Write-off:

I Would Have Died Happier Having Not Pulled That Lever

Submitted by Samsinater (email)

Alright buddy, in the most literal of ways we haven't got much time, so let's make this quick.

Time isn't like a thread, or the splitting branches of a tree, or whatever pretty metaphor some doofus lamenting their last breakup painted a namby-pamby picture of it as. It is not some egghead's simple n-value only useful for creating a dinky little graph, and not in the least because time already has several dimensions all its own.

Nope, ironically the closest anyone has come to corectly identifying time was as a river -- but just one. No splits or bends or loops or any of that crap.

You've probably heard about fictional characters who screw up "the timestram," or alter the "flow of time" somehow. Nonsense, naturally every last stupid word of it, bt nonsense that accidentally tripped over a corner on the rug of truth. Time does have recognizable units, and those units can be arranged -- and hell, evenrearranged, lost, or friggin scrambled! Even with just your bar hands! -- but they arent really atomic units or anything so precise. Time is stickier than that.

It's, uh, gooey. Like jam.

This probably all sounds insane withot context, so just hold on to your pants while I try to drum it up.

Firstly: I wanted to time travel. I don't expect thiswarrants much explanation. It is not an unreasonabe desire. As it turns out it also isn't an unreachable one.

Naturally, rather than simply call on te will of the gods and a catastropic arrogance of self-imporance, I googled some thins and worked out how to build a machine to do it or me. It honestly wasn't hard, but I suspet uck played a big part in it.

In fact, forget about the math, or the components I shoved together in a radi casing to make this feat happen; they arn't relevant. They're worthless garbage even. What's relevant is this: tere exists a creature than can eattime. Can, and does, and it's getting closer.

I know this for the reason most people think they know anythng: I've seen it.

One pull of the leer affixed to a radio that will never agan play the sweet morning news, and myconsciousness is rockeed ot of my mortal form and into the big ass vod where all time exists, free to swim about and reenter the very itral timesteam wherever I choose. How do I now I did not simply collase on the ground in its imagining this after being electrocuted by a 9's sitcom science fair project? Easy:I did it six times to check, and the odds of having and surviving six strokes in a row are basially oe. That's science.

Besides, what I saw was the sm each pull: all of time, stethed before me like asparkling silvery river unconstrained by gravity, with a bunchof diplaced little droplets of time scatteredabou the voidspace that I couldoften see my own memories in, f I looked hard enough.

Plus, as mentioned, somethng eating it. Slowly working its way forward from the past, jus chomping away ih by inch.

I could try to hyothesize whatthis all means for things likeforgtting stuff, or people who swear in a moment they can see he ftur, or whatever; frankly, I don't care. Not important, try t keep up.

What's importa i th monster itself.

I call it a monter not beause itooks particularly montrous -- by all accounts it loks likea huge fuzzy red worm witout even the barest it of teeh or claws or any real dnger, just two beadylittle eye that ook gled n -- but rather because I am a saneindividul who woud universally classify the idea of eating time as A) completely gddmned absrd in a vacuum, ad B) an omega-level nightmrish existnial threat the likes of which th world has never seen n any real-ife sceario.

There are probaby a ton of important detals getting ost in a mere description ofthese hings, but -- and bear with meon his - I thik the more important oss is all the time getinggbbled up by the giant imaginary friend a toddler made up after reading the ungy hungry caerpillar.

What's tat, hear you ask? What exactly d I intend to o about this? Giat tie-eaing worms aren't an orthdoxthreat to the merican way of life, I'll give you that. Butthe answer's simple:

I intend to shot it dea.

Does a gunwork oside of te timestream? If a humanmind can, I don't ee wy the hell hot led can't. I on't know i I made this cear, but pulling my funny littl lobotmized rao's third arm doesn't just send yformless consciousness ino space, fre to flot and drift arond like a whimsical cloud n he summer breeze. N baby, I bring every lastounce ofredbloode mea packed on my bones with me, and y clothes seemed to get a free pass too.

Obviusly hi means he real question is not"Can a gun ill a big worm?" becauseof friggin couse it cn. Thequestn is how many ullets oes that un need to finish the job?

I thik a god afe etimate is allth bullets I ca buy with one bank accon. Andif not, hey: I never sawanyrulebooks out in timepae saying I can'thop righ ack ntime and buy those bullt aain, for as ong s the worm hasn't aten that part yet -- adif the worm does make it hat fr eore I can last it to bits, obousl I messe up somewhere else fist.

In short if time wants to get piss with me fr creatingn eenyweens little paradox it can do o after it formally kises my ass in grtitude for ving i and everyon livingn plane earth.

Anyway, I guess the moral of the stoy is ifyou wakeup onday and find you cn'trmember yesterday, then sory, I tried my best. When I first jumped ot of time and saw this tg it was pretty close tothe pesent already;nothing I can do about tht unless I can jumpout of the tmstreams imestram to travel back n ime in ime, and gnoring ow stupid that sound it' not like I'm letting go of the levr fore I jump. Damn thing jus pain can' come ith me, ever mnd the fact that it hasto be plugged i to work anywa. (I mea what did yo expect time machine to be aery operated? Tis isn't amateu hou.)

So: I don't know f Ol Wormy ill barf up all he time it aor not if I kill it - WHN I illit --or if onelone hero s eugh to save the da, bu i doesn't mtter. an's got n obligatin to try.

ut fo evry dayu an stl remme yeseray?

ourgdan wloe.