rating: +48+x

Finally it was time.

You had worked hard and long at this. Days, months, years at a stupid, mindless job, your body on automatic, while your mind raced ahead of itself. You had painstakingly built up a hoard of sick days, until you had a full month ready to go. This was it. This was your moment to shine. Your agent had weaseled you a contract for a real novel, no more short stories for you! You were finally going to write the novel you had always dreamed of. Action, adventure, comedy, romance, all with a unique twist, no one had ever thought of!

You laid your fingers upon the keyboard, ready to let loose-

And there was a knock on your door.

You cursed. You KNEW you had put up a no solicitor sign. You hadn’t ordered any packages. And you had blasted all your social media to make sure your friends knew to leave you alone.

You decided to ignore it.

Fingers poised upon the keys again, you let your mind wander. You had the perfect beginning. Start in media res, a gripping scene of high fantasy, bleeding into a flashback, during a drag-

Again, there was a knock on your door, heavier, more insistent.

You glared at the door, as if by force of will you could make them go away. “No thank you, I have at the office!” You call out, loud enough to be heard through the cheap wood of the door.

Once more your fingers seek the home row keys, no hunt and peck typing for you, no, you are a master of your craft, the words will flow from your fingers like a fountain, no, a river, no, a veritable flood of-


Loud enough it felt like your house shook, loud enough it jarred your mind free from your fantasy worlds. You were out of your chair before you were thinking, crossing the living room in three great strides and throwing open the door. “WHAT?” You yell, before you even look at the person before you.

He is a small man, wider than he is tall, the word rotund springs to mind, like a human version of a rubber ball. His face damn near gleams, chubby cheeks nearly spherical as he looks up at you with nothing but wonder in his wide, innocent eyes. “It’s you.” He whispers. “It’s really you.”

You step back, startled at the tone of sheer devotion in his words. And his clothing, well, it’s vintage, but, it’s, too vintage? He looks like he stepped out of an 90s advertisement, his clothing crisp and new, unworn since the day it was packaged. “I’m sorry?” You stutter out. “Do I know you?”

“No, of course not, how could you know me? I wasn’t born when you… well, no you don’t know me. But I know you. The whole world knows you. The greatest author to have ever lived. The one whose novels changed the very way the world thinks!” He gushes, hands close to his chest. “You’re the best.”

“I, uhm, think you may have me confused with someone else. I haven’t written any novels.” Your hand is on the door, ready to close it.

“You haven’t, yet.” And the way he says it makes you turn and look at him again. The way he seems… too real. His skin, no trace of flush. His blue eyes, bluer than any you’ve seen. His hair, perfectly coifed, with no hint of product in it. “I’m from-“

“The future.” You finish, faintly. What kind of science fiction writer would you be if you couldn’t recognize a time traveler? You step back, feeling a little faint, and your visitor takes this as an invitation to step in, a suitcase on wheels following after him. No, not wheels. You peer down and see that it has dozens of tiny feet. You sit down heavily in shock, and raise an eyebrow at the stranger.

He glances back at his luggage, and his face splits in a joyful grin. “An homage. It doesn’t really need the feet, but I couldn’t resist. I mean, I know you’ve barely begun, but… Well, you must have so many questions.”

“Not really?” You say. “I mean, yes, they are boiling up inside me, eager to know… But I’ve read enough time travel stories to know I shouldn’t ask them. Well, maybe one. Why are you here?”

“To the crux, ah yes, to the crux, as ever, so salient and to the point!” He fairly cackles with glee, rubbing chubby hands together. “I am here for something very important.” He kicks his suitcase gently.

Nothing happens.

He kicks it again, slightly harder this time, and the lid pops open, revealing a good thirty hardcover novels. They are beautiful books, your name blazing across the top of each one, but not blatantly, a subtle nod to you, worked into the very art of the jacket art. And the art! The covers blend into each other, revealing a completely different picture takes as a whole, then when individual. You gasp in delight, reaching out for them, only to be stopped by your visitor.

“I, well, can’t let you read them. Might chance too much. Our computers say that this much won’t alter anything. What I need from you is simple.” His face lights up with glee, his eyes sparkling. “I need your autograph on the inside pages, please.”

“Of… of course. Anything for a fan.” He already has a pen ready as you lean forward, and begins open the covers for you.

“Thank you, thank you, so much, this is so great of you. Can you make them out to Tim? Oh, thank you, thank you, yes, this one is my favorite, the twist at the end? Everyone spent years wondering how you were going to get the protagonist out of this, and then, you did? And it was so masterful. I’m so glad I could meet you, on today, of all days, when you begin your first masterpiece!” He keeps up a steady stream of chatter as you sign each book, your eyes slightly glazed, trying not to take in too many details. Words on the inside of the dust jacket stand out, here and there, ‘Jimithy Kalters,’ ‘Death of the world the spire,’ ‘the Darkness that Dwells,’ and more, just little hints of what is to come. You desperately try not to read them, you don’t want to influence yourself.

“There you go.” Signing the last one with a flourish. The front cover of this book is graced with what seems like an homage to the sci fi novels of the sixties, but with a beautiful man barely dressed on the front cover instead of a woman. You smile up at him, a little strained.
“Is that… is that all?”

“Oh yes, that will be perfect.” He smiles at you again, bobbing his spheroid head. “Thank you for this. I’ll leave you in peace now.” And he turns on his heel, his little footed luggage trailing along behind him as he goes. The door closes behind him, but you don’t see whether he did it, or the luggage did.

You stay seated for several minutes. That was… amazing. Phenominal. Beyond belief. You slowly stand, snagging a soda from the fridge before you lazily make your way back to your computer.

You are going to be an amazing writer.

You swig your soda.

A world changing writer, according to the traveler.

Another swig, and you set the can down on your desk. Your computer hasn’t even had time to go to sleep.

And that artwork. You’d never seen a writer who had connected his covers like that. The spines, sure, but the books themselves?

The cursor blinks at you, almost accusatorily. You ignore it. You know you’re going to be great. You saw your name spread across the entire series.

So why can’t you think of a single thing to write?

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