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A Better Alternative

By James McCloskey All Rights Reserved ©

Scifi / Fantasy

The Magician

To write a story is to create life.  I have always thought of God as an author, who allows us, the characters, our own free will, to move with the story as we do, as every great authors do.  Authors do not wish their characters harm (well, usually they don't), but it's their own personalities (to be specific, their hamartia) that leads them to their own untimely destruction.  I would bet that Shakespeare himself wept at the demise of Juliet, or King Lear.  There is also the fact that the story must send a message.  A death of a character you get to know and love will get an emotional response from you, if required.

Luke had no hamartia as far as he was concerned.  He had witnessed far too many people who were too innocent or too self consumed to fall into that pit.  Luke was what you would call "street wise", but the term "magic time portal wise" would probably be a more accurate description, due to the fact that, yes, he spent his life time travelling through a magic portal.  I say "magic" due to the fact that it is it's official name, according to the Society of Time Travellers, which Luke was a part time member of.

The rules of the Society of Time Travellers are, were, have been, and always will be extremely complicated and something I will describe throughout the story in order to accelerate the pace of the narrative.

Luke was not far from home at this point.  He was on Earth-42 (basically, the one you live on.  Boring, yes, but don't worry, Earth -314 is far better) in 1945 (universal date; 890.3.6212), several miles out from Nagasaki.  He reflected upon the idiocy of humanity at this time, as the atomic bomb dropped and exploded killing thousands of people.  This was, in Luke's opinion, one of the most idiotic decisions throughout all of humanity.  All of those innocent people to end a war that was basically already over, which would in turn strike fear in to the heart of everyone for over fourty years afterwards.  Luke was born during what historians called the "Cold War".  It was awful.  The teachers had to tell everyone to hide under the table if a bomb were ever to drop, as if that would do a difference.  At this moment he was also in Hiroshima.

"What a waste," he said, aloud.

And he waved his wand (which was the classic magic wand, a polished, black, smooth stick, with two white ends, on Earth-42 it would be considered somewhat ridiculous looking).

"Earth-57, universal date; 27.535.897" Luke says in a clear manner (especially the Earth part, as he had previously ended up on Mars, which had on undesirably thin and deadly atmosphere).

A dark purple and black swirly hole of mist was created in front of Luke, and he stepped though.  The portal disappeared behind him.

"Luke, how does a time traveller manage to be late so often?" said a voice from behind him, which Luke immediately recognised as the voice of his girlfriend, Princess Guinevere.  And yes, the legendary wife of the more legendary King Arthur.  Luckily this wasn't on the Earth that Luke originated in so he could mess up the timeline without causing a paradox.  Also, he was Merlin's best friend.  Luke really enjoyed this version of Earth.  If only it weren't infested with dragons.

"A wizard is never late, he-"

"If you quote that wretched Earth-42 book one more time, I swear, we're over."

"It's a classic, and it's pure genius.  And I have explained time-travel to you before, you-"

"Can't remain out of sync with another person's timeline if you wish for your history with that person to remain linear, and if your close relationships do not remain linear, the other magicians will be angry."

"Actually, we're not all magicians, some of them are scientists who have cracked the code to time travel via Physics, and so-"

"The way you talk still makes no sense to me," Guinevere laughed.

"I wish you'd let me show you the multiverse," said Luke

"Your black magic is dangerous.  I cannot allow myself to be consumed by it."

Luke shrugged.  Guin was one of the prettiest and most compassionate women he had ever known, but she still had the ignorance that was common in the seemingly fictitious Middle Age.

They were in a large, impressive castle.  It was made of just stone.  The stone which would turn dark grey in a hundred years or so was at this point a nice pale colour which one could mistake for a silvery white.  He looked outside as the low burning sun seemed to sink below the horizon.  This is why Luke had chosen this life.  It was perfect and nothing was going to go wrong (that's just a lie, actually, but I need to lure you into a false sense of security).

And so, Luke and Guin had a perfectly boring date and slept within the same bed, Guin's.  Luke lived for the simple things.

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