It's been a while since I tried my hand at writing. So, when i was reading on Io9 (arguably the best Sci-Fi website I have ever seen - one that I religiously check daily) that Hilobrow was having a short story contest, I had to try my hand.
Here's the deal: Hilobrow wants a 250 word story about a troubled superhero. They specifically asked that participants stay away from the traditional caped crusader types.
So I plopped this up:
It’s not murder.
It’s saving lives – protecting the future. You can’t murder someone who never existed.
While the list of marks is getting shorter, the work’s getting harder. I can’t keep histories straight. I struggle to use the ‘right’ memories, to hit the ‘right’ time.
My first cut-back took me to July of 1888. I started with one of history’s obvious monsters. Slipping a sterilizing agent in his parents’ tea saved 60 million from the War.
I changed it all and came back to a better world. I took pride in my work.
But each job meant cutting-forward to a new present. And reconciling the old and the new histories became more and more difficult.
15 marks later and I’m not sure what’s real anymore. Events are muddled. Temporal points are harder to recognize.
I feel the Temp-Reps following me. They have my list of marks. They track my jobs. They know my next target.
They can’t know when, or how, I’ll strike – yet I know they are there. I see them in the corner of my eye but when I look, they’re gone and I start to doubt – it’s all unravelling. It might be paranoia, but I can’t tell anymore.
Before I broke away, they wanted to stop-said we’d done enough, but I can’t quit – I can do more. I can make the world what it is supposed to be. The list has become my life – It’s the only history I have.