MISC: The Time Traveler's Day

Andrew Perron pwerdna at gmail.com
Tue Oct 7 15:06:31 PDT 2014

Cloud California woke up on the morning of October 8th, 2014. It was her
birthday - two hundred and twelve years to the day before she was born.

She walked to the window and looked out at the blue-white-green-brown
curve of Earth beneath her feet. The Hero Network had been really good
about accommodating her. She got dressed and walked around the long
silver rim of the satellite base, to the monitor room where Sir Galahad
was on duty.

"Good morrow," said he. "Wouldst this trip be business or pleasure?"

"I'm takin' a day out!" said she, skipping over to the transport booth.
She waved her hand through the ID space and set the coordinates for
Washington, D.C., in the country of USA.

"God go with you!" He waved as she disappeared in a flash.

She reappeared at the embassy building, right in the heart of town. Ah!
A lovely fall day in the Old Temperate Latitudes. She stepped onto the
sidewalk and fell in with the bustling crowd.

On the bus across town, she brought out the copy she'd carefully printed
out and bound of "The Soil Underfoot: Empires of Earth Before" by
Bernice Summerfield. It had been easier than trying to format it for an
"e-reader", anyway. Besides, this way, she could use the bookmark Saul
had given her - a miniature piece of art with an incidental but
important function.

"Historians debate on whether the American Era (1945 - c. 2050) can
truly be considered 'imperial'. Some end the era of the Last Global
Empire in 1989, others in 2008, but most agree that, if empire it was,
its hold did not crumble until a combination of internal pressures..."

Speaking of which. She hopped off near the Washington Monument. They'd
been fighting a giant robot near here last week, and she'd been
fascinated by the place. It was like seeing the Hanging Gardens of
Babylon in person, or being there when Mansa Musa passed through
Tangier, resplendent in gold.

She set off on a brisk walk, taking the scenic route around the
monuments and memorials. It was a nice day - though she really needed to
come back when the cherry trees were blooming.

She stopped to pay respect. The World War II Memorial, the Vietnam
Memorial, the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. It was weird - when you
learned them in history, these events seemed to go by all at once, like
a flock of birds taking off. But here, you saw the generations between
the wars, the layers of time laid out on the mountainside of history.

The Lincoln Memorial. The Washington Monument. The Jefferson Memorial,
which was too far to walk past but easy to keep in her thoughts. She
wondered if the people here could see the generations that separated
their own history, or if it all blended together into The Country's

Finally. A bench on the edge of the Potomac River. She sat down,
stretching her legs. She took a deep breath, and relaxed; listened, and
watched, and saw the invisible miracles.

There - a girl with a tablet! A man wearing a business suit! A child
eating a hot dog! Strange and wonderful and foreign, yet they went
without notice, without being remarked on; an unfamiliar everyday.

It wouldn't be like this forever. She could smell the little changes in
the air that would become great rolling waves, sweeping away what was
and replacing it with something new. Cities, humans, the sky, the sea -
none of it was eternal.

But that made it all the more important that she was enjoying it today.

Author's Notes: This was my winning entry for the weekly Prompt Service 
contest, at http://promptservice.tumblr.com/ . It's basically like the HCC for 
short fiction (500-1000 words). The prompt in question: "A normal day in the 
life of a superhero. What do they do when they’re not fighting crime?"

Andrew "NO .SIG MAN" "Juan" Perron, amping up my writing level

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