Here I am, floating on my back in the ocean, with a decision to make. Should I keep traveling? It wasn’t many days ago that my experiment met with an accident and I woke up to find myself in 1986.
There was no way back, but I wasn’t worried – 1986 wasn’t so bad. All I had to do was keep my head down and avoid paradoxes. While getting rich, of course.
I could finagle a new identity, find a job, and sink every spare cent into Microsoft, then Apple, and later Google.
So I wandered the streets, making million dollar plans and chuckling at the fashions until I fell asleep on a park bench.
A few days after that, I awoke surrounded by a forest. 1986 had been feasible, but 1886 had tossed me out of my comfort zone, and then a forest? There weren’t even any people nearby.
I felt less and less confident of my ability to survive as the shifts continued to send me exponentially further back in time whenever I slept. Sleep can be fought, but sleep always wins.
Today, I woke up in the middle of an ocean, and now that night has fallen I don’t recognize the constellations.
It’s possible the land I knew is currently on the other side of the world, part of the Pangaea supercontinent, but I have no way to know.
All I know is that I have a choice to make – I can float until I doze off,
perhaps waking to glimpse an earth no one has ever seen while I burn on melting rocks or asphyxiate in an atmosphere of noxious gasses, or I can slip beneath the water here and now.
A day spent on the ocean is exhausting. I need to decide soon.