I had an idea planned out for this story before I started but I changed the way I wanted to tell the story after I had finished the second chapter. It seemed to me that the second chapter was a better start than the one I had written so I swapped them around! Because this is a story about weird time thingies, I think I got away with it.
Can you see why I changed it around?
What do you think? Did it work
What's it about?
1) A radio that picks up stations from the past
2) Time machine malfunctions
3) A last kiss
What do I need?
What words do I improve?
Long Kiss Goodbye
Chapter One : Majesty
The creature that stood so calmly in the middle of the road was a thing of beauty. The morning sun did little more than highlight the fine hairs that only occasionally lifted from its brown coat. A golden halo traced its lengthy mane, the remaining light picked out the perfectly tuned muscles that led to the strangely thin legs.
It turned its head and looked directly through the windscreen of Byron's car. Straight through him. Its piercing black eyes stunned him, then locked upon him and then when it was far too late, then they swallowed him whole, holding him in their darkened grip.
Now, there was too little distance between them. Too little time. Never enough time.
A panic tore through the young man's flesh. For a moment it froze time, but few things have their way with nature for long, and slowly the world reordered. First, the feeling in his hands. He gripped the wheel tightly, his knuckles forming a white ridge that threatened to burst loose of the skin that bound them. Second, the light streaked back into his eyes.
It was still there. The horse never moved. It was as though it thought doing so would be beneath its stature. Not a hair. Not a hoof.
Third, was the smell. Ever so clearly, Byron could sense the musk and sweet sweat that accompanied the horse. Thin lines evaporated from its flesh, escaping, as though a being of this majesty could only exist for such a brief moment before the universe pulled it apart and made all things equal again.
It was a thing of grace and glory, and for the moment that it shared its gaze with Byron, he felt that he too was a lord of creation. A blast of hot air misted before its snout, slowly unfolding in a turbulent ball.
He pulled the wheel towards the side of the road, away from the crime he refused to commit. Time regained the moment. The sounds, the sights, the smells, they all merged together again. The car spun and rolled, screamed and turned. Trees stood firmly before the tumbling wreckage. They held their ground. The car's lights flickered and struggled before beaming brightly through the fog that was yet to lift from the field.
Fourth, the taste. Metallic. A thin line of blood.
Chapter Two : Discontent
"It's another dreadful Saturday morning on the Peninsula, cold winds sweeping in across the sea bringing those temperatures way down. You'll be..."
Byron already knew it was cold, the radio didn't need to say. He'd spent 30 minutes scraping the frost off the windows of his car before he'd even been able to sit instead the little thing. A 1974 Corolla. Green. Green-ish, really. Silver if you counted the long scratch down the side. Red if you counted the rust. Blue, if you counted how lousy it made him feel when he drove it.
He hated that car. It as an icy wasteland inside, nothing worked. No heater. No fuel gauge. No style.
Just that little radio that didn't even pick up the FM channels.
"...with another chance to win that boss portable..."
"Nice one, grandad!" thought Byron, "way to bring back the old school lingo."
The car shuddered and shook as though it also felt the sting of the frozen, coastal air. The engine turned over reluctantly and the empty street filled the rearview mirror before shrinking away into the distance.
It wasn't so much that he hated his job, although he did, it was that absolutely nothing of interest ever happened on the way there. Twenty-two kilometres of close-to-empty, single lane asphalt weaving lazily through completely empty fields, where few crops bothered to grow and even fewer animals bothered to eat them. They hadn't even bothered to paint a line down the middle of the road to separate the coming from the going, although there weren't exactly many coming through this way, Byron supposed.
"...makes it time for the quiz." The radio's gruff, gravelly voice tried to tear through the boredom.
"Brilliant," Byron thought, "something to do!"
He leaned over and twisted the volume. As usual the knob snapped off in his hand but, this time, before he could click it back into place it lurched loose and fell to the poorly carpeted floor. He flicked a quick look back to the road and saw the road's straight spine stretching out for the grey clouds hugging the horizon. "Plenty of time." He slid his right hand across the wheel to get a better grip and reached down again.
The first question came and went, too faintly to make it out clearly. Something about basketball.
"Volume!", muttered Byron. He knew basketball, missing the only question he might actually know bugged him more than it should have. "Come on!"
He slapped his hand around the floor with great purpose but little accuracy. The plastic knob rolled and leaned, enjoying its moment of freedom. Byron snuck another glance above the wheel. Same road, same horizon, same clouds. Nothing worth more attention than that little piece of plastic.
The second question was a little louder. Not much though.
"...space ship..." Static "...to the moon in July..." More static.
"Oh, easy", he thought, "Apollo 11" as hand found its target.
When he leaned back up it was already too late, it was already there.
"traced its lengthy mane"
"remaining light picked out the perfectly tuned muscles"
"stunned him, then locked upon him and then when it was far too late, then they swallowed him whole"
"it was far too late, then they swallowed him whole holding him in their darkened grip. Now, there was too
little distance between them. Too little time. Never enough time.
"panic tore through the young man's flesh"
And most of that same paragraph!