Leo Munin’s Log – Entry Two
My cabin was rather humble. To my dismay, it was a covered in a dirt floor. This strange place didn’t believe in flooring their homes? I remembered going to those living history museums when I was younger and seeing the dirt floors of settler’s and explorer’s cabins. I never imagined I’d have to live in one myself. First thing I did was glance around to make myself acquainted with my home and furnishings. The only source of light – other than the windows – were candles placed around the room. I had some counters that looked rather modern, but were made out of wood. Thankfully, there was a bookcase already filled with books. There was a chess table in the middle of the room. That suited me fine, I was fond of the game. I supposed I did need some sort of hobby to kill the time. I had a small couch. It was similar to the counters in that it was a modern design made out of an ancient material.
Next to the couch was a fireplace, and next to that was a tall mirror. On the far side of the wall was a large, lumpy bed. I immediately noticed the absence of two major things: one, a fridge and two, a bathroom. I considered both to be rather vital functions for my well-being.
I glanced around the room again. Perhaps I was meant to do my business outside…and perhaps there simply weren’t any refrigerators. Michael Stevenson’s voice echoed in my head:
Seventeen AD…after disaster. The great war of ’94.
My head began to pound and my chest constricted. I felt the world around me slow down to a crawl. My heart hammered in my chest, each heartbeat shook my body. I could hear rushing in my ears and felt everything around me grow hollow and distant. I was having a panic attack. I had them whenever I was stressed out or upset. Needless to say, the reality of my life hitting me was enough to make me feel like my entire world had been flipped upside down. I fell to my knees inside the dimly let cabin and I did what any sane, rational man in my position would do:
I cried like a little girl.
Not my finest moment, yes, but perfectly normal considering the circumstances. After all, I was a human first and scientist second. I couldn’t help but think about everything in my life that had been changed. In 1994, I was 11. Had my past-self even made it through the war? Was there another version of me running around? I had originally timed it so that I was arriving 10 minutes after I had left. Meaning, there was no chance of that crazy ‘Back To The Future’ space time continuum crap if I managed to come face to face with my past self. By going back, had I made it so my time machine never even existed? Is that perhaps why it blew up? The questions were endless. I had to slow my mind down. As I willed myself to stop thinking about my time machine, I found myself thinking of Stephanie. Was she still alive? Granted she had broken up with me…but she told me that she still loved me. Did I love her? Was she even still alive?
I tried to picture her. My last memories of her weren’t the most positive. I knew without question that she was beautiful. She could have gotten far on her beauty alone, but I remembered that she was surprisingly intelligent. A girl like her you expect to be an airhead, but not my Stephanie. Her interests lay mostly in the monetary side. She wanted to move to work with money and help people plan and make their own fortunes. She had a lot of business sense if I remember…even if she wasn’t the best with her own funds.
The image of her in my mind is cloudy and a little fuzzy. I remember she was always put together. She spent hours on her appearance. Her hair was always done beautiful and she always had makeup on her face.
She wore nice clothes and carried herself well. To this day, I wondered what she ever saw in a science-y geek like me.
I tried to force myself to remember our relationship. What was it like? Did we ever really love each other? I couldn’t hardly make myself remember how it began. I knew she must have been the one to initiate things, I would never have dreamed of attempting such a thing with her.
Did we ever have those cliche ‘perfect moments’? Did we ever gaze longingly at each other as the sun rose? Perhaps we embraced or kissed on a playground swing. Were we that unrealistically perfect couple filled with those picturesque moments that women crave? Did we put those sorts of heavy expectations on our relationship?
No. If we ever had a moment on a playground it probably involved her screaming at me, right? I mean we had to have broken up for a reason. I could remember that part of our relationship easily. Around the time that my invention was coming together I was, of course, working hard in my lab every day. I didn’t have time to spend with Stephanie. She felt neglected…I can’t blame her. So, she dumped me.
I sat back on my feed and sighed as I wiped the tears from my face.
“I’m sorry,” I whispered to no one, because there was no one left to hear me.
Having my friends leave me out and having my girlfriend dump me was one thing…but because of me – unless there was some OTHER time traveler I could blame this shit on – I had destroyed everything. It was all my fault. I steeled myself and shouted to the nothingness:
I growled and beat my fists into the hard dirt floor. I cursed again and beat my fists harder into the ground. Another expletive, and my hands hit the ground again. I exhaled sharply and looked up at the roof of my cabin. Like it or not, this wasn’t a dream…this wasn’t some sort of Doctor Who serial where everything turns out all right an hour later.
This was real life.
I stood and turned down the covers of the lumpy bed. I stripped down to my underwear and climbed in.
I slid down underneath the covers, ignored the scratching sensation of my sheets and closed my eyes. With as much shit that had happened in this one day, I was exhausted that I was able to fall asleep in a few moments.
* * *
That night, as I slept, I felt a sudden shift of weight on my bed. The movement was just enough to jar me awake. I looked up to see Stephanie climbing on to my bed. I let out a startled cry and practically jumped back towards the headboard. She smiled as she watched me scramble. I felt my heart beat a little faster. Her smile always did that to me. It was cold, calculating and yet sensual and sultry. It didn’t help things as I raked my eyes over her form and saw that she was wearing a slip of a dress and red heels. Out of the bottom of her dress I could see pink, lace garters peeking out. I ripped my gaze from her and glanced around the room.
This wasn’t my cabin.
“Do you like it?” she whispered as she finally climbed on the bed.
“I don’t understand, where am I? Stephanie, what’s going on?”
She sat back on her knees and chuckled, “you always did like to call me Stephanie. Even my own mother called me Steph. Do you remember what my friends used to call me, Leo?”
“Guinevere, I remember…your middle name.”
“Call me Guinevere, please, Leo…for old time’s sake. After all, it’s not like I have any friends anymore to call me that.”
She giggled as she turned and flopped back on the bed in front of me. I relaxed just a little bit and watched her. Was this real? What was this place? I had never been in a room like this in my life and yet…somehow here I was. Was this a dream? Or was this my real life? The entire thing made my head pound and ache.
“Stop,” she said suddenly.
She giggled, but kept her eyes closed, “stop thinking about the reality of this place and your situation. I know you, Leo, you’re sitting there trying to puzzle everything out instead of enjoying the moment. Just sit for a moment and relax. Let the beauty of this place wash over you.”
“Tsk tsk, forgotten my request already?” she interrupted.
I sighed, “Guinevere, what’s going on?”
“Don’t you remember what it was like, Leo? We used to have so much fun together…until you killed me.”
“I didn’t…I didn’t kill you.”
She tapped her bottom lip for a moment before looking up at me with a harsh smile, “must have been some other time traveler that irrevocably altered the course of the human existence. Great job on that, by the way.”
She laughed cruelly as I hung my head in shame. I felt guilty enough without her rubbing it in. It was instinct, what I did. How could anyone not pull a man out of the way of an on-coming car? I hadn’t thought about the consequences, I had just acted. Now, I had destroyed the world and killed my girlfriend.
“Am I dreaming?” I asked her.
“Don’t be stupid,” she said, shaking her head at me, “of course you’re dreaming. Isn’t it a lovely dream though? We could live in this dream, you and I…forever.”
“No, we can’t. I have to fix this. I have to make it right.”
She sat up and spun to face me on the bed. Her eyes were sparkling mischievously as she spoke:
“Why, Leo Munin! That would mean that you would have to kill someone. Do you think that you could do that? Could you go back in time and push that man into on-coming traffic?”
I sighed and nodded, resolute in my task.
She laughed heartily, “what makes you think that its even him? What if…there was another cause of the destruction? Hmm? What if that man was supposed to live and it was really something else? I know you’re thinking it, wishing for it to be true. You don’t want the responsibility of it. You can’t handle the weight of the world being on your shoulders. You never could.”
“That was different!”
“No it wasn’t. It’s the same then and its the same now.”
“Are you a ghost?” I whispered.
“Hmm, I’m not sure. You want to touch me and find out?”
She smiled at me and wiggled her hips a little bit as she waggled her eyebrows. I sighed and looked away. It was the same Stephanie, always bringing everything back to sex. I ignored her suggestive smirk and looked her in the eye again.
“Are you still alive?”
She sighed and shifted her position on the bed again.
“I don’t know. It’s possible. Are you going to come and find me?”
Without hesitation I nodded and reached out to touch her very real, very human hand. I laid mine on top of hers and gave it a firm squeeze.
“I will find you, Stephanie.”
She smiled and flopped back down on the bed in front of me. She closed her eyes and smiled.
“It’s time to wake up, Leo.”
I closed my eyes and moved to lie down next to her. Though we had broken up, I just wanted to feel close to someone. As soon as my eyes were shut and my cheek was against the soft comforter I felt a sudden shift in the air. The room was no longer warm and the cloth against my face was no longer gentle. It was harsh, scratchy and uncomfortable. I was cold. I opened my eyes to discover that I was back in the lumpy bed…back in the cabin. The sun was starting to rise. I sighed and climbed out of bed. Throwing on my clothes from yesterday I walked outside to watch the sunrise.
As I felt the warmth of the sun hit my skin, and saw the beautiful colors dance across the sky i made a promise. I would find a way to fix this. I had made this world, and I would find a way to unmake it. Even if it took the rest of my life, I would find a way to remake my time machine and I would stop myself from going back in time. Until then, though, I would spend my time here. Once I could get out though, I would and I would find Stephanie.
No matter what, Stephanie…I will find you and I will save you.
Hmm, so what do you guys think about Stephanie? :O