SW10: Time Bounce #2: 1971

Scott Eiler seiler at eilertech.com
Sat Aug 27 19:15:31 PDT 2011

Time Bounce

Part 2:  1971

Commentator: Wyatt Ferguson.


What Has Gone Before:  Wyatt was displaced from 2011's Washington-DC to 
the year 2014.  There he found Charlie Sheen had become Vice-President. 
  The demon-genie Vesper had been summoned to make that universe Never 
Was, but he needed a Witness.  Wyatt refused to participate, so Vesper 
cast him back to 1971.

Time Bounce Part 1:  http://www.eilertech.com/stories/2011/2014.txt


Monday 12 April 1971

I have to write in a diary now.  Like King's Mountain in 1780. 
(http://www.eilertech.com/stories/2005/after.htm#mountain )  But at 
least Mom *gave* me a diary.  Doctor said it would help me express 
myself.  Now I will, Mom.

This is Clermont, Indiana.  My old life.  Worse than King's Mountain.

Calvin shoves me around and calls me Retard.  Big brothers *always* do 
that.  Lauren makes Calvin leave me be.  But he's right.  I'm in my 
*almost* ten-year-old body.  I have a big fat ass, I have to wear 
glasses with one red lens for Lazy Eye Syndrome, and it's hard to move 
my arms.

Writing is hard now.  No more today.


14 April

Moving my arms is exercise.  They burn the day after.  My brain just 
gets tired.

Kids shove me at school.  Like they used to.  One said, "Give the 'tard 
the test answers!  Maybe he'll pass!"  Now I don't want to.


16 April

I skipped school on test day.  Wasn't hard to tell Mom I was sick.

Principal summoned me today.  He heard I had test answers.  I showed him 
and said, "Give me a new test!"


Saturday 17 April

Weekends I can rest.  I hide in the attic with my diary.  I always 
wanted to see up there.  I never dared.

Do people miss me in 2011?  I hope so.


18 April

Mom drags us all to church, even Dad.  Big wooden pew.  I'd relax, but 
Calvin pokes me.  I poke him back.  Minister stopped.  Outside church, 
Dad spanks us both.  No family-friendly church in 1971.

Then big family dinner.  Sunday not rest day.


19 April

Need to write Mondays for exercise.  I want day of rest.  Blah.

Mom says I'm so motivated now, I should address bums at city rescue 
mission.  Whatever.


Tuesday 20 April

Principal calls me to office again.  Not mad, though.  Says I'm doing 
great and Mom says so too.  I say, Whatever.  Can I leave 1971 yet?

Principal says, only by growing up.  I say, Okay.  Check your finances. 
  Recession in 1974.

Then back to classroom.  Kids still shove me.  Whatever.


21 April

Writing day.  Whatever.


Thursday 22 April

I write better after day of brain rest.  Arms better now too.  I shoved 
back today, like with Calvin on Sunday.  Kids so surprised they leave me 

Not much else to write about.  Grade school always sucked.


Saturday 24 April

Good Saturday.  Walked to swings at grade school. People don't care 
where kids go in 1971.  Most kids go to park instead of our Township 
Public School #4.

Tried to pump swings.  Arms still barely write, let alone pump.  Legs 
let me swing, though.  Whee.  Then sat and wrote.  At least I can write now.

Can people find me from 2011?  Here I am!

... Maybe they're trying.  Saw a black girl look at me funny.  No one I 
know.  No black girls in Clermont in 1971.  I was too scared to go talk 
to her.  She was older, and even girls my age can beat me up now.  I 
left.  She followed.  I ran.  Made it "downtown".  By then, people 
looking at *her* funny.  She gave up.

Did I just lose my ride?  Or if someone *does* come back for me, will it 
be my friends?


Sunday 25 April

Dad's working overtime at the GM plant.  So Mom takes the rest of us 
shopping.  Sunday dinner just got worse.

And I'm blah today.  At one point, I fall asleep on a mattress at J.C. 
Penney.  Mom says Aww, Cute.  Calvin whacks me later.  Aww, famlee.


Monday 26 April

I got in trouble.  Calvin wouldn't let me watch TV in the dining room 
because he was playing with plastic soldiers on the table.  So I dragged 
TV cart in the kitchen.  Some of Mom's glassware fell off the cart. 
*Rollable TV cart*...  Mom?  I hope future isn't going to hell while I 
worry about important glassware of 1971.


Tuesday 27 April

Blah.  My brain will let me write and do school stuff, but I tire. 
During school playground time, Mrs. Henderson caught me trying to sleep 
behind a bush.  She sent me to school nurse.  I told nurse I was 
thinking extra hard lately.  Nurse said I was fine.  I had to go back to 
class and sit in corner.  No special students in Clermont in 1971.


Wednesday 28 April

Enough.  I need to *try* to leave this hell.  Who can help me?  Most 
heroes of 2011 are younger than me.  Ellipsis barely born!

One big exception:  Lucianus Autonomus.  Height of his boxing career in 
1971.  (http://www.eilertech.com/stories/lucianus.htm )

I could write a fan letter like any kid, but I can't just look up his 
address.  I do the Cute Kid thing to ask Mom.  She says, check the library.

Teacher probably no help.  Won't even ask.


Friday 30 April

I ride my little bike to county public library after school.  Bike still 
has training wheels!  Because parents know I'm still special.  And not 
ridden for months.  But now I can find air pump and get tires working. 
Until now I never went farther than around the block.  This is three 
miles.  And it's scary.  No helmets or bike mirrors in 1971!  But I have 
to do it.

Librarians totally cool with polite little kid who's a fan of famous 
boxer.  I get address of fan club.  Important letter to write tomorrow.

Outside library, bike missing!  No bike racks or locks in 1971! 
Librarian said, black girl peeked inside, then left.  (Enemy action!) 
Librarian called police, then called Mom.

I got grounded.  Fine, I think.  Just one letter to get out.  And I know 
where Mom keeps the envelopes and stamps.  Odd to *lick* the stamp...


Saturday 1 May

I *should* be blah.  But Saturday is my special day here.  I won't give 
it up.

Wish I could make a copy of my letter to Lucianus.  No photocopies for 
kids in 1971.  But I asked him if he worried about 2011, because I did 
too.  Worrying about the future was *becoming* cool in 1971.

I ran for mailbox while Mom wasn't looking.  Left diary behind.  Back 
home, Mom scolded, "*Wyatt Patrick Ferguson!*"

"But Mom, letter!  Just a letter!"

"Young man, we need to talk."  Harsh Mom voice.

Mom read my diary.  She thinks I'm fantasizing.  Which isn't bad, but I 
can't go losing my bike over it.  But Mom...  Then I was a bad boy and 
went to the mailbox one block away.  But Mom...  *And* my diary has 
swear words in it now!  Young man, you've crossed the line.

Huh?  Which word?  Hell, young man.  Hell is a swear word, Mom?  I 
thought hell was 1971...  Mom spanks me.

Okay...  Mommy, I promise not to write swear words in my diary ever 
again.  Okay, young man.

... This must be the *exact* day Mom stopped thinking I was cute. 
(http://www.eilertech.com/stories/famlee.htm#mom )


Monday 3 May

6th-graders found me after my 4th-grade school.  Pick On The Weird Guy 
Day again...  They found a basement to hide in and smoke cigarettes! 
Uh, why?  Because it's cool.  So I said, $&^% that.  They let me walk 
once I used *that* word.

Mommy, I'm *keeping* my promise to not write swear words in my diary. 
So there.

It's Calvin's birthday.  He gets his favorite dinner:  cheeseburgers, 
about quarter-pound, with nothing but gray meat inside.  No medium-rare 
in 1971, especially not with Mom.


Wednesday 5 May

Still waiting for a response from Lucianus.  Hey, this reminds me of 
when Calvin hooked me on mail-order war games and I'd wait for the UPS 
truck.  In 1974.  Hmmm...

I take two sheets of Dad's computer paper.  I draw a crude map of the 
eastern U.S. on them.  Then I swipe Calvin's soldiers.  Before long, he 
finds out.  But by then, I'm recreating the Civil War.

Heh heh.


Friday 7 May

I watch the nightly news.  There must be *some* war.  I have enemy 
action of my own, and I need inspiration.

In the news, a Marine brigade in Vietnam is deactivating...  Oh, right. 

I'd like to deactivate too.  But like the Marines, I'll have to get home 
first.  And whoever my grand cosmic enemies are, I'll have to get clear 
of local enemies first.


Saturday 8 May

So far, enemy action from one black girl.  Only on weekends.  She must 
be in school too.  She must be on an agenda like I am.

She took my bike.  But I can still walk.  And I can call the police. 
Even from Mom's phone.  No 911 in 1971, but I can look up the police 
number, and I can say I'm tattling on friends with spray paint.  Police 
should respond *sometime*, but still give me enough time to do what I 

Only a few blocks to the oil refinery just out of town.  I sit on one of 
the steps spiraling up a drum.  Nothing to stop me in 1971.  Of course, 
I'm followed.

I know the girl.  About fifteen years old.  I just ask, "2011?"

"No!  2009!"

"Okay... How?"


"That's Why.  Exactly How?"

"I had someone cast you back here.  Me too.  So I could *kill you*."

"But I went to 2014 first."

"But you're here now.  That's all I need."

"Exactly Why?"

"You turned my son from me!  You and Corrigan!"


"You *forget* the Oregon Highway Incident?"

"... 2009?"  I remember everything, but I often lose track when.

"*Last year*, dammit!"

"Which is...  1970?"

"The Twenty-Fifth of July 2008, asshole!"

"Oh.  The Devil's War that year." 
(http://www.eilertech.com/stories/2008/devilwar.htm )

"What you mean, *that year*?"

I would have crossed my arms, but they still don't move that well.  So I 
just shrugged.  "Your son went on *another* rampage the day after I met 
him.  Vice-President Corrigan was there."

"What you mean, *Vice-President* Corrigan?"

"You'll have to get back to the future to find out.  If you get there 
and you still serve the Devil, he's found six *better* servants." 
(http://www.eilertech.com/stories/2010/predecessors.htm )

"Liar!  I'll choke you dead!"

She crashed into me.  But my arms worked well enough to save my throat.

Then a police car pulled up.

She said, "No!  I'll go *back*!  I'll see you dead *then*!"  Then she 
was quiet, her body still on top of me as police came.


Police said it was just a girl from Indianapolis.  Her boyfriend had 
dropped her off for a walk.  They got her address.  But I never got my 
bike back.  Boyfriend probably sold it by then.

Mom said I'd been bad again.  But Dad was there.  He said I'd been a 
real Ferguson boy for once.

Enough Ferguson boy for one day.  I melted into Mommy's arms.  Waaah!


Sunday 9 May

Grocery shopping on Sunday again.  I get separated from Mom, and start 

Wow.  Maybe I'm a real Ferg now, but I'm not stable at all.  Waaah!


Monday 10 May

Calvin's Cub Scout troop has its den meeting tonight.  They're going to 
build a cardboard tent for a fundraising stunt, to stand alongside a 
real Boy Scout tent to show the difference...  Hmm, pretty inventive for 
1971.  I promise to tag along nicely.  Calvin whacks me.  Waaah... Oh, 


Tuesday 11 May

Mom's won a shopping spree at J.C. Penney!  She insists on replacing all 
of *Calvin's* pants except his best pair.  I'll get his old pants.  I 
always do.  The staff there gives us all free ice water.  Golly.


Thursday 13 May 1971:

Principal called me to office again.  Lucianus Autonomus had sent a 
letter to me!  But he'd sent it to my school, for the principal to read...

"Young Mister Ferguson, I can tell you're special.  Your letter has made 
me think about the future.  I know you think about the future too.  Your 
spirit can go there now.  I hope to meet you there."

I said, "What?  That's it?"

Principal said, "It's unusual he'd send you this mail at all.  And he 
found your school, so someone could *know* he sent it to you."

"So... what?"

"So What, Wyatt?  You've just gotten a personal response from a famous 
boxer, and everyone knows it, and you say So What?"

Uh... He's right.  I tried to free myself, and I got a response from the 
universe!  This must mean *something*.

Lucianus *became* a mystic around 1971!  Maybe *he'd* just gotten *his* 
message from the future!  Maybe I'd just caused that!

So maybe *this* letter had a pointer to the future embedded within it. 
As a software engineer, I can *track down* embedded stuff.  Once I find 
it, I can go home via Hyper-Body Hyper-Transfer Protocol.  I'd 
transferred that way *into* this body, against my will.  I had a way out 
now.  But it wasn't, blink your eyes and you're back...

I did my best Lost Little Boy impression.  "You *must* be right, Mister 
Bainbridge.  This letter *is* important.  Can I think about it for a while?"

"Not here, Wyatt.  You have duties as a student.  You have to go back to 
class now... But Wyatt, you *are* special just *because* you worry about 
the future.  You know how bad it could be if we don't fix it now."

"Uh, yeah...  So *can* I get some time to worry about the future?  Like, 

"What do you mean, 'like'?  But I can *make* you stay after school today."


"Are we buying things, young man?"

"Sorry, sir..."


After school I got privacy, in the school gym.  I moved up on the stage, 
where people give convocations.  There I found a teacher chair, and thought.

I had a letter from someone of 1971, who had 2011 contact... Good 
enough.  I *could* just fling myself back that way, and *probably* make 
it.  I'm ready to.  But if I do, what happens to me back here?  The 
black girl was practically lobotomized when *her* future self went back.

Now I have to think about the Hyper-Body Hyper-Transfer Protocol, or 
HBHTP.  It always makes my brain hurt. 
(http://www.eilertech.com/stories/2005/pentahedron.htm#hbhtp )

Plain old Body Hyper-Transfer Protocol will get me home - in my 
ten-year-old body.  Just Hyper-BHTP will get my spirit home to my 
regular body - if it still exists there.  I'll take that chance.  But my 
ten-year-old-self will have to come too.  I don't know any variation of 
HBHTP which *divides* the travelers once they're merged.  I *have* 
divided myself before - but only when I had cosmic power.  Which led to 
the *Chancellor* Wyatt. 
(http://www.eilertech.com/stories/lxmf.htm#fullmoon )

Can I leave a copy behind?  I'm messing with the past if I lobotomize my 
younger self.  I'll try not to... but if I have to choose, 1971 is on 
its own.  So I'm going...


Principal Bainbridge says, "Time to go home, Wyatt."

"He's gone."

"Who's gone?"

"Uh... I don't know.  Can I go home now?"

"... Are you all right, Wyatt?"

"I guess.  As good as ever."

I'm going home to Mom and Dad.  I love the future, but I know I'll only 
get there the usual way now.

But I still have my diary.  I know Mom will read it again.  But maybe 
other people will read it some day too.


Author's Notes:

Phew.  Writing my favorite character who now inhabits a body whose brain 
is untrained and whose body hates writing, is hard - at least at first. 
   This is getting to be like "Flowers for Algernon".  I am 
*intentionally* not correcting my mixed tenses, by the way.

There's one advantage:  the writer eventually redevelops nearly the full 
writing powers of Wyatt Ferguson.  But there's one drawback:  he still 
has the life of a child.  If Wyatt has to live through it, the reader 
does too.  Fear Wyatt's Diary!

To do this story right, I had to figure out what days were what in 1971. 
  For instance, was 18 April really a school day on which I could take a 
test?  No, but 15 April was.  An online calendar from 
http://www.timeanddate.com/calendar/. helped.

It is important to the plot that Clermont, Indiana have a public library 
within about three miles in 1971, no matter what size.  It doesn't have 
one now - but given modern-day budget cutbacks, that doesn't say much 
about the past.  So I've assumed a library where I needed it.

Wyatt Ferguson has family details at 
http://www.eilertech.com/stories/famlee.htm .  Remember, Wyatt's family 
is fictional and not necessarily like *my* family.

Wyatt might always have been a manic-depressive on a two-day cycle. 
Here we find out how he learned to fit that in a seven-day week.

I won't comment on how much of the story was like real life.  But some 
parts that *weren't* actually made me cry.  Waaah!  Perhaps it is not my 
role to say, but I was proud of my Britannia Beach story 
(http://www.eilertech.com/stories/2011/britannia_beach.txt ), and I 
might have just written better now.

For those of you who would for some reason like to visit the 1970s, I 
hope I've given you an impression of the real thing.

As ever, this story is online.  You may want to navigate there through 
http://www.eilertech.com/stories/2011/. to get the full power of web 
site formatting.  All characters herein are copyright 2011 by Eiler 
Technical Enterprises.

(signed) Scott Eiler, 27 Aug 2011.

(signed) Scott Eiler  8{D> -------- http://www.eilertech.com/ ---------

Turns out I'm an anally-fixated oedipal paranoid with 
south-of-the-border schizophrenic delusions...  But never mind, I've 
found me the ideal job.  I'm going to run for President!

- Major Honey, scripted by Grant Morrison, Doom Patrol #46, August 1991.

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