The Time Traveler's Life

The barman stood completely still, except for his eyes, these flitted around the bar and confirmed what he already knew, that the only other person in the room was holding the gun aimed at his chest.

"Now look, I know I'm not perfect but I'm just a barman-"

"Sure, today you're just a barman, but tomorrow...well tomorrow you'll still just be a barman but one distant tomorrow you're going to be something much more important."

Thomas opened his mouth but found he had nothing to say, you can't defend yourself in this situation, ignorant and innocent of the crime. So he asked the only question he felt he deserved to know the answer to.

"Why now? Why not when I was a baby? Why like this?"

"Despite evidence to the contrary I am no expert at all this, I have made attempts on your life in the future 3 times. I am finding journeying to your past...difficult. This was simply the easiest time for me to travel to. I'm sorry, it would really be for the best if you were a willing participant. I will remember it always as a noble death, you are after all, saving the world. One life for the world, a trade that you agreed was worth making not one minute ago. Any last requests?"

"Stupid as it sounds I would really like a last go at the high score on the pinball machine." He gestured to the far corner of the bar, where a flashing machine sat indifferent to the situation across the room.

The time traveler glanced at it briefly before looking back. "No I don't think I'll-" He looked back at the machine, then at the gun in his hand and finally back at Thomas, his eyes wide.

The barman leaned forward with a face full of hate. "Now we've heard all about my future, how about we start discussing yours?"

The pinball machine chose that moment to put on a particularly bright light show, the writing down the side reading "The Time Traveler's Life" and central to the display on the top cabinet a shiny pistol, the exact double of the one that was currently falling to the floor of the bar. Dropped from a trembling hand.





The End

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