HumpDay Quickie #17

Posted: April 30, 2014 in Hump-Day Quickies
Tags: , , ,

Hummingbird

by: Karl A Russell

I can already see my killer, stuck in traffic, shouting at his secretary. She’s on speaker so he can watch the road, but his attention is elsewhere anyway. She doesn’t have the files either and suggests checking the house, but he already knows they’re not there. That was practically the first thing I did to try and stop him, but it never did more than slow him up.

The same goes for resetting his alarm clock, hiding his car keys and placing Diversion signs on his route. I even tried to make him call in sick, ran round the house flicking power switches and turning faucets, buzzing like a demented fly as I vibrated invisibly, milliseconds out of sync with him. That just made him more scattered the next morning and made me wonder if I was partly the reason it happened.

Not that it really matters why he was there; It’s all about her.

The lights change and he accelerates, speeding towards me, the sunlight gleaming off the windscreen. I look the other way, towards the house I used to live in, the car I used to drive. Like always, I get a weird split screen effect as I see it from one angle but remember it from another.

A hundred yards down the street, Lucy’s about to step from the kerb, holding her homework book way up high, not looking where she’s going. She’s so impressed with her discovery, so eager to share it, she won’t see the car until it’s far too late.

She’ll try to scream when she realises, but it will be too late for that too, and her final words will be the ones which lead me here, the idea which let me crack the code and make it into the timestream.

“Look dad! Hummingbirds can fly backwards!”

I hear the words and know that I can’t watch her die any more.

This is the only way to stop it.

I watch myself, a hundred trips ago, flailing for Lucy’s shoulder and looking past me at the car.

I smile at him, raise a hand in greeting, then step out to meet my killer.

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