Time is a Road
by Josh Vogt
Time is a road, they said. Two lanes. Maybe some stop signs.
They never mentioned the detours. The potholes. The roadkill. The washed out portions flooded by quantum streams. The damn chaos butterflies slamming into the windshield.
This bike, a marvel, a gift, prints its treads across the continuum. Faces flash in the headlight, along the periphery. Ghostly then gone. The highbeam pierces the fog a few centuries ahead. Far enough for me to dodge alternate Hitler histories, to skirt futures filled with monkey-men.
I gas up at the Great Inflation of the 60s and 70s. My tire goes flat on the population spike of 3193.
Patched. Drive on.
Time is a road, but this one doesn’t lead to Rome. I’m mapping every mile so others can drive it safely. I’ll show them how to avoid the roadblocks of potential apocalypses. Warn them about swerving over the line and plowing into oncoming existence.
I am the first to drive it, and many will come behind me. They’ll see the skid marks, smell the fumes, note the occasional diamond-dribble of glass and know someone sacrificed much to chart the course they follow.
But first I must find the way home.