A Thousand Threads Outside of Eternity
Author: Sarinom

Chapter 14
The future In retrospect

It took a full two hour and a copy of the day’s paper before Tanaka-San could accept that he had just gone backwards in time.

“But my daughter, she’s dead, isn’t she.”

“Death, you will learn, is a relative thing—”

“Oh quit with the cryptic clues!” he grabbed my coat collar and pushed me up against the bank pillar, eyes swollen and red with tears. I didn’t resist, I figured he needed this. “Just tell me, is she gone?” he pressed though his teeth. He was frustrated, confused, lost in his love for his daughter.

“Friend, I know your pain, and I wish it was that simple but you must accept the fact that, from now on, everything has two answers. So yes, she is dead,” His grip loosened and he dropped to his knees, trembling in silent tears. “And yes, she is still alive.”

Tanaka-San sat there on his knees crying, “I am just a man, I’m not built for this, why did you do this and what did I do to deserve this?”

“Tanaka-San, you were going to die, I took you here because the future would have destroyed your mind.”

He calmed down and took a moment composed himself. “We would do anything to protect our daughters, remember? I would have gladly sacrificed my life for hers. You should have saved her.”

“I believe you serve a greater purpose than forfeiting your life for hers.”

“What greater purpose can there be?”

“That, I do not know yet.”

“Wonderful, well can I see my daughter now?”

“Not if you are near her, you won’t be allowed to do anything to change your path along time.”
“Whose rule is that, yours?”

“It is not mine, it just…is.”

“”I spent the whole day with her. Today was my day off, or today is my day off. I’m so confused.”

“Then there is your answer. You can’t see her now.”

Tanaka-San lowered his head in disappointment. “But at least I know that she is safe today. Will I die if I visit the future? In need to see this destruction that you speak of, to see if she, and I, died a good death.”

“You won’t die; you just weren’t mentally prepared.”

“Then take me.”

“I can’t, there’s nothing there for you.”

‘Take me, I didn’t ask you to decide what is good for me.”

“I—”

“Take me dammit.” he snapped “Now!”

“If that is what you wish to see, then who am I to stop you? I must warn you, it is hot.” He stared at me as the pristine august day melted into a vision of hell. He blinked hard, taking in the chaos.

“They, did this to my daughter?” he looked at the crumbled bank structure, and out into the distance where whole buildings once stood. “They did this to my innocent daughter. Where is the honor in this? this slaughter.”

“Many daughters died today. Not just yours”

“You would say something like that.”

 “I assure you, friend, there was no pain; there was no time for that.”

He had no response to those words. “Where are the bodies?”

“We are too close to the detonation site; everybody in the immediate area was vaporized instantly.”

“We are all the same; I don’t understand the need for this,” He paced with his hands on his head, “God gave us life and we do this to it? I feel sick.”

“That’s the radiation, which I can fix, but we have to leave. I’ll take you somewhere safe, the only safe place I know.”

 

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