Bloat To Self

There came a startling knocking sound…

“That’s odd,” I grumbled to myself. “What the hell is that?” I looked around and it seemed to be coming from a mysterious object I had once named, at random, a “door.” Found upon the door was a piece of spherically-shaped metal which I brilliantly intuited could be used to pry the bloody thing open.

Gazing through the gaping portal I saw a most hideous thing standing on the go-away mat. “What the hell are you?” I gasped.

With an eerily familiar voice it replied, “I’m you from the future.”

My mind reeled. “How far in the future?”

“Tomorrow, to be exact.” God, it sure was ugly. It looked irritated and menacing, too. “Are you going to invite me in?”

Once inside it looked around the living room as if with the eyes of a child. “You’ll have to forgive me,” it said. “This sure brings back memories.”

By now I was feeling pretty damn irritated. My normal routine had been severely disrupted. “I’m feeling damn irritated,” I said. “You’re severely disrupting my normal routine.”

For a second it lost it’s composure. “Don’t you think I know that?!” it snapped ferociously. It took a deep breath and slowly exhaled then seemed to go limp in resignation. After an awkward silence, it finally continued. “I’m here to help you,” it said softly. “To help both of us.”

“Go on,” I barked.

“A few minutes from now,” it said ominously, “something is going to happen. Something completely out of the normal. Something disastrous. I’m here to stop it.”

Suddenly I noticed a gun in it’s hand. That’s odd, I thought lamely to myself. We don’t own a gun. What the hell had happened to me?

Bang. The gun went off. I fell to the floor while clutching my stomach in pain. He had shot our most prized possession. He had just shot our LCD 42″ flat screen TV.

“You son of a bitch! You die!” I screamed as I felt my life oozing away. “Why??”

“Poor little idiot,” he said, literally looking down on me. I couldn’t help but notice he was starting to twinkle, almost as if he was slowly dissolving away. He smiled.

He looked at his dissolving hand in wonderment. “It worked, it worked,” he said, forgetting the question that was currently pending on the floor. Then an expression of fear gripped his hideous face. “At least this time.”

“What worked?”

His expression changed to one of resolve then went soft as if he had reached some sort of climactic decision. “What I’m about to say may end the space-time continuum as we know it, everywhere, everything, but fuck it. It might be our only chance.”

“Wha…”

“Shut up!” he hissed. “We have very little time.” By now he was about fifty percent translucent, much like the time I had tried to Photoshop a profile image using a real picture of my own face.

“I don’t know what I was thinking,” he said to himself, ignoring me completely. “I never watch broadcast TV. I never even turn it on. I hate the commercials. I avoid it like the plague. But I was supposed to be working. So, yeah, I guess that might be how it happened.”

He turned and looked me in the eye. “I turned on the TV,” he said. He was starting to scare me. “I did it on purpose. It was showing the CBS morning show. God help me, I don’t know why, but I watched.” I was stunned to see tears streaming down his face. “They called it ‘Note to Self.’ Oh God, why did I watch?”

He was almost gone now. He sparkled like a glinty trick of light and I had to lean and strain to hear what he had to say.

“Don’t do what I did. Don’t ever, EVER,” he hissed, “make the mistake of watching Note to Self. It’ll be the death of you.”

And with that, he was gone.

Dazed, I slowly got to my feet and swayed. Wow. What a trip. And what an idiot. How the hell was I going to watch anything with a bullet in my TV? And how the hell was I supposed to avoid doing real actual work?

More importantly, who was going to clean up that mess of ectoplasm where the bastard had been standing?

11 responses

  1. Riveting. Chilling. Gawd-awful frightening, but seriously…
    A very talented read.
    Is this Chapter One? Should be. Ectoplasm can be cloned, can’t it? Oh hell, of course it can! In Chapter Two we are meeting up with you and your cloned self.

    Like

    1. Thanks so much for the comment. Sorry I was slow to acknowledge it. Yes, Chapter Two will be about the clones. Not only do they meet but they also hook up.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Sure it just wasn’t a neighbor complaining about too much noise from the television set?

    Sometimes when people get angry, they lose all ability to keep it together. *grin*

    Like

    1. Hey, Boss. How comes I don’t see that little NW badge around here? Ain’t that the equivalent of a secret handshake? How do we know we can TRUST this guy?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are so Get Smart. I’ll send out an image to everyone. Again.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. So now, of course, your interest is piqued so you can’t HELP but check out “Note to Self”. This would be a brilliant marketing campaign for a show of that name.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I spent about three hours scrounging the net for the clip of “Note to Self” that I’d seen on TV. It featured celebrities like Oprah and Dale Earnhardt Jr. who had been tasked with using an imaginary time machine to write letters to younger versions of themselves.

      CBS advertises the bit like this: “If you could offer insights and advice to a younger you, what would you say?”

      I understand that lots of people have done the bits and some of them may actually contain real meaning. (At least in theory.) But the ones in the clip were utterly masturbatory in nature. It was like a narcissist circle jerk.

      “You are so good looking.”
      “You’re going to have a great life.”
      “All of your dreams are going to come true.”

      Those could be described as “insights” by some (not me) but “advice?” Hells to the no!

      I couldn’t find the damn clip so this is all paraphrased from memory.

      Not a peep (at least in the clip) about stuff like, “Cherish every minute with your dad. He won’t be around forever.” Nope. Absolutely nothing like that.

      Maybe instead of supreme narcissists they could feature some life losers from time to time. Perhaps that might make it palatable.

      Like

  4. So now we know you write fiction. More! More! Hire me to be your MS editor!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Prodded by your comment, I strained my brain and found (and corrected) two mistakes. Let’s get this piece placed in a prominent national magazine (Life? Time? The New Yorker? Playboy?) then we can hammer out details of the editing gig. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t correct copy errors unsolicited anymore. I wanna be your dev editor.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I don’t know what that means. It kinda sounds like I’d be working for you. I’m okay with that.

        Like

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