Wednesday, 14 January 2015

A Room with a Tap

I wrote this short story in 2005, and uploaded it to the website: h2g2

A Room with a Tap

I sensed the change to fuzzy time. As I gazed at my hand it blurred and elongated towards the direction I would move it and in the direction it had come. My senses expanded from being localised to one instant to being spread out over time. At first I was horrified since I was used to processing data at one time only, and I could not tell what was before and what was after. Things in my time-window were meshed together as a colourful noisy nightmare and I descended into confusion. As I tried to bring order, patterns began to emerge. I was in a hospital where buxom nurses spooned medicine out of my mouth. As my neurons re-arranged and my skills grew I learned to filter-in only the data relating to a single time, say the present, or a time two seconds in the future. I also rediscovered the correct direction of time, and the patterns made sense again.

Eventually I was released from the hospital and I went home to my beloved wife and work. I found that I could reply to the questions of my wife and colleagues before they had asked them, which, oddly, roused the suspicions of my wife, but gave me a tremendous reputation at work. I found myself at the talking end of a lot of one sided conversations, since I tended to fire answers at approaching people who hadn't even asked their question yet. This disturbed and impressed them hugely, but it always bothered me that I could only see a few minutes into the future at most. Then I realised that the future I was seeing was constantly being negated because I was acting upon it before it happened. As I looked further and further ahead my future-sight couldn't keep up with the changes in all the possible futures which diverged like spaghetti so all I could see was a distant tangled mess of superimposed possibilities. Damn: bets on the horses were out.       

However, gambling with foresight was unnecessary, since over a couple of months my amazed colleagues propelled me to the top of my company, I started a religion and my salary increased four fold, but I became so bored with knowing what would happen two minutes before it did, that I took to staring at myself in the mirror, jiggling my head desperately trying to out-guess my future-sight. Then one day I turned on the cold water tap and, for once, looked at the water. I was amazed at the turbulent flow that erupted from it. It was like seeing a coloured flower in a black and white world, because I couldn't forsee it at all! To the dismay of my wife I spent the next few days marvelling at the arrogant freedom of turbulent water. Eventually, the nice men at the hospital gave me a room with a tap.