A/C: This story was inspired by many great classic time traveling stories. I just had to jump in with a time traveling story of my own. Now-You will get confused; Time traveling is just confusing. But stay with me. I hope you like it!
By Imagination Creations
Ever did something wrong that made you say, "I wish I could go back and fix that." Ever had a moment that was just perfect: a perfect kiss, the perfect flip, making a masterpiece? Ever wish you could go back in time and relive that moment? Unfortunately, we do not have that power to traverse time. Many have imagined this fantasy in literature and film, but all of them will remain just stories.
There's another question that must be asked. Why do things happen in time that make an impression? Why do events like breaking the window across the street or major events such as the discovery of newfound islands cause a lasting impression on us? Ever wonder if someone was manipulating these events?
One day in suburbia America, a small boy and his friends are playing hockey in the street. The boy is in full hockey pads playing the goalie. He isn't very good as his teammates complain that he is letting the pucks pass by. It isn't his fault; the pads are too heavy for him. In fact too heavy that he falls to the ground.
Suddenly, the other kids flee the street. The boy has a difficult time trying to get to his feet. When he does, he sees that his friends have left. He found out why when he turned to see a truck speeding by. Unable to move out of the way, the boy thought the worse. However, a man in a furnished suit ran in front of the truck and took the boy.
The truck sped by with a honk. The boy shivered with fear as he just experienced a near death experience. He looked at his savior. The man in the suit was tall, thin, looked like he was aging as you could see the grey in his hair. Finally he had a gold chain hanging from his suit pocket. "Thank you, mister." The boy said shakily.
The man smiled and put his hand on the boy's shoulder. "Use your time wisely. Now you have all the time in the world." He said. He began to walk away. The boy observed the sight where his life would've ended, and then he turned back to the man. He was gone however; it was as if he wasn't even there to begin with.
Watches Wells is his name. He's just an ordinary man doing his job. Except his line of work is that of great importance. Read carefully; Watches is a Chrononaut. In other words, he's a time traveler. His job is to travel through time and make sure nothing messes up in the timeline. These are called Twitches. Twitches happen more often than one would think. Sometimes they happen multiple times. He is also in charge of making sure that certain events happen, good and bad. These are called Crescendos.
The way Watches can achieve traveling through time is by the technology of the Time Machine. One might think of a hulking machine. Watches has perfected it to where his Time Machine is only a simple pocket watch. With a press of the button and the right coordinates of time, Watches can forward or rewind himself to whatever point in time.
The job of a Chrononaut isn't as great as it would seem. As a Chrononaut, Watches has to put aside his personal feelings to make sure Crescendos occur. It is difficult, for the wrong decision will disrupt the timeline. Yes, Crescendos are cruel, but in the long run, they work out for the better.
Traveling through time, Watches has witnessed it all: the discovery of America, the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the defeat of the Third Reich, and even the construction of Mt. Rushmore. In a way, he has become a student of history and has learned much from it. He hasn't had the "time" to interact with society for his sake.
Resting at a coffee shop, Watches had ditched his suit to be more relaxed while he worked. A waitress brought to him a cup of coffee. He took the cup. "Thank you my dear." He courteously said. At his table, Watches had in his hand a book on World War II. He scanned through the pages looking for the right chapter; Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7th, 1941. Carefully, he hung onto every word within that chapter.
Frustration took over Watches. He wasn't finding what he needed to know. "Useless book." He turned page after page. "There is a Twitch here, I can sense It." the Chrononaut had traveled to the attack on Pearl Harbor dozens of times in search of the Twitch, but he never found it. Perhaps there wasn't a Twitch and Watches was getting too caught up in his work. However, it is a situation he couldn't brush off. The sooner he found the Twitch, the sooner time could resume without disruption.
"I see you are reading the history of World War II." Watches looked to his side and saw a man gazing at the cover which had a troop of soldiers in trenches being bombarded by enemy fire. He nodded to his comment. "Yes, it was pretty interesting war…" he stated. The man chuckled. "I thought World War I was the "war to end all wars." That's false advertisement." The man extended his arm, "My name is Josh, Josh Stomb."
Grabbing his hand in a shake, Watches introduced himself. The average working man, Josh had stopped by the shop for lunch. He was lucky to meet someone new to learn about. "You dress pretty fancy," Josh commented again. "Are you a Harvard professor or something?" Watches was silent for a while. It was as if he didn't know the answer. He replied, "History professor." Watches returned to the book.
"You don't talk much, do you?" Josh said. He heard nothing from Watches. Since Watches wasn't going to talk, Josh might as well say his thoughts. "Don't you wish you could go back in time, during World War II, and change everything about it?" he said. You have no clue. The Chrononaut thought. "My dad was recruited into the army and deployed to Pearl Harbor before the attack." He said. "My mom got the news and I never seen her cry so much. I never my dad again." Watches was intrigued by his father being in Pearl Harbor and wondered if it was a connection to the Twitch. He also was sympathetic for Josh's lost. "I'm sorry." He said. Josh definitely looked sad, but shrugged. "I guess things happen for a reason, huh?"
Time has been harsh for Watches. He's seen so many bad things happen that it doesn't even faze him anymore. The only thing he cared for was the duty at hand. Closing the book and paying for the coffee, Watches made his from the table. "It was certainly nice to meet you, Mr. Stomb, but I have to return to my work."
"Yes, of course." Josh said. "Be seeing you around."
Watches had walked far from the coffee shop into an alley in the town he was in. He took out his pocket Time Machine and set the time of Dec 7th, 1941. Before clicking the button though he thought back to Josh. "There was strangeness to that man." Everything had been rather strange for Watches as of lately, and that's saying something for a Chrononaut. He pressed the button on the pocket watch and Watches disappeared in plain sight in a flash of light.
The working man Josh had finished his shift at a factory in the town. He hurried home to what he always looked forward to seeing, his wife and son. His family lived in the middle of a stable apartment building. It was nothing to glamorous; they didn't need it to be. They were happy with the place they're living in. Josh wanted more for his family though; a house in the suburbs.
Sometimes Josh took on double, even triple, shifts to save up the money to purchase the house he thought would suit them. It was hard work, however seeing the smiles of his family were worth the while.
Finally, after rushing through the crowds and the busy streets, Josh had reached his apartment building. He ran up the stairs to the long hall till he reached the apartment number 193. He slowed himself down to act like he wasn't rushing or anything. He opened the door which gave off a squeaking sound.
"I'm home!" his voice echoed throughout the apartment. He heard tiny footsteps running towards him. It was a splitting image of him only smaller. A giant smile was on his face as to small boy jumped and embraced his father. "Hey, champ." Josh rustled the hair of his son. Josh's wife, a tall beautiful ebony haired woman by the name of Kristen, followed after their son. "Welcome home, hunny." Kristen walked over to Josh and kissed him.
"Glad to be home." Josh replied. "Dinner ready yet?" typical of what Josh would say ask Kristen thought. "It's always food with you two." She laughed. "It's almost ready." Kristen went back into the kitchen to check on the food. Josh released his son.
"How was school?" he asked.
"It was great!" he said. Josh would've asked what he did, but he knew the answer. "I colored and drew today." The same comment every day. He found it funny though. "What'd you say we hurry and go eat? I'm starving." Josh rubbed his stomach. His son nodded with agreement. They walked into the kitchen together.
Dinner for the Stombs was one of their favorites. It was a delicacy that Kristen named Rice Supreme; it composed of rice marinated in soy sauce, added with scrambled eggs and chopped bacon. It was Josh's favorite dish that he stuffed himself to the brim with it. "Hun—once again, you have bested my taste buds." He said pushing a bowl with fragments of the Rice Supreme away. His son tried to finish his second bowl, but rice managed to fill his belly. "I'm full, mommy." He urged to say.
While Kristen kept the table and the dishes clean, Josh took his son and readied him for bed. His son was dressed in loose pajamas, a little too big for his size. Jumping onto his bed, Josh's son snuck under the covers and eased himself into a comfortable position. Before he drifted off to dream land, his son asked, "Daddy, I have a question," Josh listened carefully. "A bunch of kids at school at school says we're poor because we live in an apartment. They all live in houses. Is that true?"
Though times were a little tough, Josh wouldn't consider them poor; just—down on their luck. Josh grabbed a chair from the corner of the room and set it near the bed. He sat down and wrapped his arm around him. "My dad, your grandpa, told me once that people like to talk lies about others. It's just a rumor that isn't true. Never listen to people who talk behind your back." He said.
His son's face was relaxed with reassurance. After he rested his head upon his pillow and closing his eyes, his son said one last thing, "Grandpa was cool, wasn't he?" Josh remembered the times he had spent with father; all the wisdom he passed down to him. "Yes, yes he was." He replied quietly. Josh had returned the chair back to its place and went out of the room very silently.
Boy was he tired. A long day at work and now Josh had the time to relax. He cracked his back, a loud snap in his spine echoed in the hall, and made his way down to his room to sleep the night away. Peering to the window, something occurred outside that stopped him in his tracks. A flash of light gleamed along with a man's silhouette.
He poked his head out the window, wondering what the light could've been. A police car rushing by, a couple of kids with fireworks, he wondered. In the alleyway, Josh saw the familiar sight of the man he met earlier today, Watches Wells. He was murmuring loudly to himself. Josh, as rude as one would take it, listened to what he was saying.
"Of all the Twitches I couldn't find, it has to happen on that day!" the Chrononaut said. "Every time I travel there I can't find that Twitch!" puzzled, Josh listened closer. "The timeline will be altered if I don't find the Twitch. I can't allow that to happen!" Timeline? What is this coot talking about? Josh asked himself. Watches then said, "Who are you—Oh, I'm Watches, I'm a Chrononaut; a time traveler. I can go anywhere in time whenever I please. I'm supposed to stop events in time that will screw up the timeline, but wait—I can't find the only one that can change the very fate of the world!" he mocked himself.
"Time traveler?" Josh said to himself. He brought his head back inside and closed the window.
Disappointed, Watches walked the alleyway. He kicked an old can as he walked. "I can give it one last go. If I don't find anything there, I guess the Twitch is nothing." He reached into his jacket and pulled out his pocket time machine. Before setting the coordinates of time, Josh had snuck up on Watches. "Hey there, old friend." Watches jumped in fright.
When he turned, he was reluctant to see Josh. He didn't have time to reminiscent with "friends" right now. "Mr. Stombs… wouldn't expect to find you here in an alley." He said. Regaining his dignity, Watches then asked, "What are you doing here?"
"I might ask you the same." Josh replied. "I overheard your ranting… are you on some kind of drug or something?"
Watches smirked. "Wh—What?"
Josh explained, "You were talking about time travel. You said you were—what'd you say—Chrononaut. I want to know." Watches was caught. During all of his life being a Chrononaut no one has ever caught him of time traveling. Quickly, he thought of a reason to guise his cover. "I might be drunk…" Subtle, Wells…
Josh saw sweat beads form on Watches' forehead; he knew he was lying. "If you are a time traveler, where's your time machine?" Josh jumped to the point. The Chrononaut had failed to keep his secret. How would this affect the timeline? And most of all… how did he not see this coming!? "You're smart. But I can't show you anything. It's against the rules of space-time… you get the picture."
"Where was the last place in time you visited?"
Well, it is just a simple question. I guess I can answer this for him. "I went back to December 7th, 1941. I visit Pearl Harbor for some business." Watches explained. That was all he was going to say.
Pearl Harbor; the resting place of Josh's father and an American tragedy. He could go back and prevent that even from ever happening. It's now the matter of getting Watches to let him go; but how? He saw Watches fool around with the pocket watch, setting the coordinates. "I do wish you the best of luck." Said the Chrononaut. He turned his back and pressed the button. Without hesitation, Josh jumped onto the back of Watches.
They wrestled; Watches tried to budge Josh off as Josh hung onto him with all his might. In a flash second, they were gone.
The sun gleamed brightly, warming the navy base of Pearl Harbor. On duty officers roamed the base while the town bustled with activity. However the threat of war still loomed over the base, causing some tension for the soldiers. Heads of the base were ready to go if the US declared war.
Another threat loomed over the naval base. A threat that would disrupt the timeline. In a less occupied area of the base, Watches and Josh appeared. With all his strength, Watches threw Josh to the ground. "What in Father Time's beard did you do?!" he demanded. He saw Josh scramble around the floor, awestruck by the surroundings. "I'm—I'm here!"
"You're visit won't last," Watches said. "I have to return you back to your point in time before you…" Watches reached for his pocket watch, but he found that his pocket was empty. He noticed that his chain connected to his watch had snapped from his jacket. "What the?" Josh raised himself from the ground and revealed that he took Watches' Time Machine.
"Looking for this?"
Watches lunged forward for his watch, but Josh avoided his approach. "I have a chance to save my dad!" Josh announced. On his knees, Watches frowned. "You have no clue what you're doing! This could utterly plunge time into a paradox!" Josh stood firm, but his face squinted confusedly. Watches knew what he had to do; explain how time works.
"OK, OK," Watches dusted the dirt from his jacket. "Me being a Chrononaut is important. I have to make sure the timeline is preserved correctly."
"Then what screws up the timeline?" Josh asked.
"Twitches. You see, before you as anymore question, Twitches are objects or living things that get transported to a different area in time by Rifts. Rifts are openings in time that absorb the nearest thing in and spit them out somewhere in time." Josh's face was still a blank. Figures that no one other than me would understand. Watches was getting annoyed.
"Another part of my job is that I have to make sure certain events happen, called Crescendos. Take… Pearl Harbor for example. This event must happen. I won't let stop me from preventing me." Watches finished. Josh felt angered by this; his father must die so time could proceed. "You can take this day off." He said deeply. Clenching the watch tightly, Josh flung it out into the air.
Eyes open wide with terror, Watches chased after it, completely forgetting about Josh. "No!" he shouted. He never took his eyes off the flying watch in the air, not looking at the obstacles in his way. He tripped over buckets, several boxes full of supplies, and finally a wheel barrel full of dirty laundry.
The young man rolling the barrel stopped and helped Watches up. Covered in sweaty shirts and old socks, Watches peeled the rotting clothes and looked for the tiny Time Machine. He spotted it; it had landed in the back of a jeep driving away. "Hey!" he shouted. "Hey! Stop that jeep!" he gave chase after the green jeep.
With the time traveler out of the picture, Josh now could put his plan into action. He made his way into one of the complexes. Inside were regular issued uniforms seen all around the base. He grabbed one and dressed himself in it to blend in. He looked just like a sailor. Exiting the complex, he stood up straight and trekked into the bustling inner base.
Josh blended into the military active soldiers as if he was one of their own. He stopped every soldier that he saw and asked them the same question, "Do you know where Phil Stomb is?" Most of them didn't know who he was talking about. The others didn't know where his father, Phil, was. He was on his own, he felt.
His hopes were dwindling by the minute. He searched only a small part of Pearl Harbor and still it would be impossible to find one man out of thousands located in the base. Just as he was about to call it quits, a tap on the shoulder caught his attention. He turned to face a very familiar sight. A face he would remember since he was little; the face of his father.
"You seem pretty down, my friend." Phil said. "Are you OK?"
Overwhelmed by joy, Josh stood there in a gape. All his childhood he wished for nothing more than to see his father again. He couldn't believe that he was seeing him again. Every detail he saw before he left for duty was implanted into Josh's mind and Phil was the exact same.
Seeing how still and silent Josh was, Phil was even more curious. "Uh… perhaps you need to rest?" he commented. Phil took Josh by the shoulder and started to walk him down the street. "You know," he said. "My son would do the same thing you're doing right now. I remember this one Christmas…" Phil stopped mid-sentence. "Oh… my son," he pulled out his wallet and showed Josh a picture of younger Josh.
"This is my son Josh. He's nine right now. After I get done with all this, I'm going to take him to his favorite place." Phil said. Josh began to smile, even a tear formed in his eye. "I'm sure he's waiting for you." Josh replied. Phil looked at the picture of younger Josh. "Wanna know what he told me?" Josh listened. "He told me he wanted to be just like me. I'll tell you what though; he'll be a better man than I ever will be. I can tell."
His heart ached with joy. He wanted to tell him of the event that was going to happen at any minute. His chance to save his father from the surprise attack that would "Live in infamy." He said to Phil, "I need to tell you something."
"Yeah, what's that?"
"Today will be…" his mouth was covered by the hand of Watches. He snuck up on him and restrained him. "Funny, I've been looking for this guy for a while." Watches said with a big smile. "This guy was supposed to be at his post an hour ago."
"Oh, OK," Phil answered confusedly. "Anyway, great to meet you, mister…"
"Ronnie Talbot." Watches gave a fake name for Josh. "We'll be seeing you around." he dragged Josh away from Phil, leaving him to stare at them. "Seeya, fellas." Phil waved goodbye.
Dragged away, Josh pulled Watches' hand away from his mouth. "You idiot! Let me go! We can save everyone here!" he pleaded. "This atrocity could never happen!" however, Watches knew too well if this attack never happened, it will cause more trouble.
"You are the Twitch." Watches said. "You could seriously alter the timeline. But let me tell you what will happen if this doesn't happen. America wouldn't enter World War II, Germany would gain full control over Europe, the Allies will be running with their tails between their legs, and the Axis will control everything. You'll create a paradox timeline." His words weren't getting through to him; which meant he needed to hit where it hurt.
"You would have never met your wife, your son would never have existed, and everything that you know will fade if you change anything here." Watches said reluctantly. It was the harsh truth that he had to live with every minute as a Chrononaut.
Josh Stomb stopped struggling. He never wanted to change anything, but he wanted things to return to when he was a kid before his father left. It was too onerous for him. A loud boon stopped Josh's thinking. The Empire of Japan had launched its attack.
Several bombs were dropped, fires erupted from the contact. Panicking screams were heard and the soldiers scrambled into action. A bomb dropped several kilometers from Watches and Josh, sending them to the ground. Josh landed on the ground and tumbled several feet while Watches slammed against a wall.
The shockwave from the blast knocked the wind from Josh. He was determined to save his father from his doomed fate. He brought himself to his feet and headed into the inferno. Watches recovered quickly for such a slim man. He chased after Josh, jumping onto him. "You're not going into that storm of burning smoke!" he shouted. He pulled out his pocket watch, coordinates already set. "We're going back!" he pressed the button.
Josh tried to free himself, but he felt as if his body was being sucked away by the light radiating from the pocket Time Machine. The suction was getting stronger. Before they beamed away from this tragic event, Josh reached out to the pillar of black smoke and fire, reaching for his father. "Dad!" he cried.
They were gone.
The two men had landed back to Josh's point in time. Watches released Josh and quickly observed the stability of the timeline with his watch. Everything seemed to be in order: Hitler was dead, the Allies had won, the Cold War proceeded as normal, all timeline events have occurred. Relieved, Watches slouched in relaxation.
"Wait—if you were the Twitch… that meant I was destined to meet you. Do you know what that means? That means I still have a timeline! I'm not destined to walk time forever!" he was feeling a joy he had not felt in ages. Amongst his joy, Watches saw pain. Josh was still suffering. He lay there, still in navy attire, sad.
Watches went to him and knelt down. He put his hand on his back. "I know it's hard. I had to witness worse. And most I would give this Time Machine just to make sure that they never even happened. However, I learned something from these terrible occurrences. Bad things usher in the good." He used an example, "The lessons you're father taught you, you are teaching them to your son, right?"
Josh nodded. "In a way, like your father said, you are a better man than he will ever be. He would be proud of you." Watches said. Josh replied, "How would you know?" Watches answered, "When I first met you, I went back to find your father, seeing if I could find the Twitch. Instead, I found him and talked about nothing but you. He said he was proud to have a great boy as a son."
Lightened by his father's pride for him, Josh snuck in a smile. "I suppose he didn't die in vain." He said.
"Of course he didn't!" Watches forced some happiness on Josh. "Now then, you have all the time in the world to bring you father's teachings to life. Pass it on, share it." Watches announced. "As for me… I have work to do." He began to walk away. Josh got up from the ground and shouted to him. "Hey!" Watches turned around. "Will I see you again?" Watches took some time to respond. But he answered. "Time will tell." He said before proceeding onwards.
Josh smiled. He walked inside and back up into his apartment. Walking into the apartment, he was greeted by Kristen. "Babe, where did you get the officer uniform?" she asked. "You look pretty sexy." Josh chuckled. "Is everything OK?" she asked again. Josh replied with a smile, "Everything is more than OK."
In Memory of Pearl Harbor Victims
Ending Commentary: Not such a bad story huh? I do wish I put some more detail into the ending, expressing Josh's adjustment to his experience, but hey ho, what ya gonna do? Anyway, feel free to comment and review.