THE PARADOX

By Elliot Russell

'Late again!' Harry cursed 'Damned traffic!'

Harry was already 20 minute late for his doctor's appointment. The motor way was packed again, he swore that if the traffic on the bridge didn't clear up soon he would walk. His blonde hair was knotted from running his hands through it frustratedly. He picked up the phone to call his doctor again but as usual she was engaged. Harry looked at his watch. 4:30 'Damn it!' he yelled, he was so angry he didn't focus on the car jolting. He looked up and saw a wall of flames heading towards him. Before he could react the flames engulfed the car.

'Late again!' Harry cursed. He was so late! This has happened before! Thought Harry. He remembered the bridge, he remembered the bomb and he remembered burning. Harry leapt from the car and climbed on the roof. 'Everyone' Harry yelled at the top of his lungs 'There is a bomb on this bridge, get off the bridge.' No one could hear him. 'Please!' He shouted tears streaming down his face. There were kids in the car behind him. 'Everyone li-' but he was cut off as he was pushed back by an invisible barrier. He heard screams as the flames came towards him. The woman turned to her kids and covered them as the flames swallowed him and the car.

'It's every man for them selves.' Harry decided. He got out of his car and started to run down the suspension bridge. It was nearly a kilometre long and it would take Harry at least another minute to reach the end of it. He needed to tell the time somehow, his watch wasn't working which meant he wouldn't be able to use that. His cell phone was set to American time so he couldn't use that because he would have to reset it every few minutes. An idea came to him, use the surroundings, they weren't going to change unless he changed them! So long as he didn't make contact with them they would reset and happen again. What would make this second memorable? A helicopter flew above the bridge, that was it he would use that! And just as he looked away the bomb exploded.

-*/ * * * * *

30 seconds to go, an old woman drove into the back of a black van when he stopped with the rest of the traffic, the car left a rather large dent in the bumper. 20 seconds to go, an Indian woman had her windscreen smashed by a young guy with a bat. 10 seconds, he needed to hurry he could see the helicopter flying towards the bridge. 'NO!' he screamed, he couldn't burn again. A quick death would be more pleasant; he jumped off the side of the bridge just as the bomb exploded. But after the bomb had exploded he froze. He was floating high above the river, the boats, everything. The world started to unfold now. Skyscrapers folding floor by floor the river disappearing, everything went black.

Harry was in a white room, he was the floor and his whole body was aching. He found himself next to an examination bed. A woman sat next to him. His doctor.

'You did very well, I'm impressed. Thankyou for helping us to test the device.' she said.

'What device?' he asked 'You… I.' any words he wanted to say wouldn't come out. 'Mr. Hunter, we are testing a device that in any emergency a citizen can use it to be transported back about two minutes. This device, Mr. Hunter, was disguised as a watch. Harry recognised it as the watch from the bridge. He didn't say goodbye or acknowledge her he just walked out of the building and got into the car. He could see the bridge in the distance, he thought he would take the boat on the way home.