“I consider whoever my words land on to be my target, that’s why I like flash fiction, it’s a lot like using a shotgun.”
~Author: Neil Leckman~
By Grant Guy
The Future was moving on, and he was being dragged into it inch by inch. The Future tugged on him by the collar, almost pulling his shirt over his head. Now and then, if he twisted and squirmed with persistence, he broke free of the Future’s grip and slide back into the Past by a year or two.
Now and then, he would slide back in Time by a decade or more. When he did slide backward in Time by decades, these were the happiest few seconds in his life. The glimpses of the Past were more refreshing than anything the Future could offer. He saw the Future and did not like it one iota. It was not all it was cracked up to be, in his mind anyway.
When he succeeded in sliding back, the Time Police hunted him down through the years. They usually found him somewhere between 1968 and 1989. He was not hard to find. Like all men of the Past, he was predictable. And when he was captured they dragged him kicking and screaming, like a baby, back to the moving on Future
Moving on Future
On each occasion, when he slid back in Time to the Past, he brought back an artifact with him:
An Olivetti typewriter,
A pinball machine,
He though the relics of the Past would be would be a bulwark, would make the Future maybe more endurable, give him the sunshine memories of the brief glimpses he had of the Past. Sweeter than dreams of honey walks.
But the more artifacts he brought back, the deeper and greater became the nostalgia he had for what was lost in Time. He became depressed. He ached. He cried. He pained. If he had a girlfriend he would have lost interest in her. What could a man do who was born for the Past and not the Future?
For the moment, he stopped fighting the Future as it moved him along. He needed time to think. It was hard. His brain ached. He had to find a permanent escape.
He thought, tomorrow, while the future moved on, he would make another break for it. He would wriggle and squirm a little bit, act like he was fatigued, on the verge of giving up. If he was too passive, the Future might become suspicious. One thing he could say positive about the Future – the Future was not stupid. But the Future might ease up. Then with a violent jerk he would break free. The Future had strong arms but weak wrists.
He was going to be Frank Grigware of the Future for the Past.
He set his watch for April 21st, 1957.
In 1957 people did not believe in a Future. They believed the world would be blown up before 1960. In the decade of no Future, a No Future Zone, it was impenetrable to the Future. Future had no authority in the 1950s.
My origins in art derive from theatre. Theatre is a storytelling medium of the human condition. It may be hyper-realism or absurd but it is of stories of the human experience. As my career moved from playwriting to prose and poetry I remain committed to the human experience.
From the front jacket of the collection of short stores The Naked City by Sterling Silliphant – where a crime of violence and an act of infinite tenderness can occur seconds apart . . .
In many respects that is what I am attempting to do with my poems and stories. I am interested in our individual humanity in a harsh and sometimes comical environ.
I believe, if there is a god, god is a prankster. How else do we explain genitalia and Donald Trump?
Grant Guy is a Winnipeg, Canada, poet, writer, and playwright. Former artistic director of Adhere + Deny. His writings have been published in Canada, the United States, Wales, India, and England. He has three books published. He was the 2004 recipient of the MAC’s 2004 Award of Distinction and the 2017 recipient of the WAC’s Making A Difference Award.
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