Short Story Sunday: Uncle Jerry’s Machine – A Very Short Story About Time Travel

I came down into the kitchen to make coffee and right next to my kitchen sink stood someone who looked just like my Uncle Jerry. You know Jerry, the guy who had a perfect life and everything fell in place like magic. Only this guy was 60 years younger than Jerry.

Before I could ask, “Who the Hell are you and what are you doing in my kitchen?” he said “I’m Uncle Jerry. Don’t scream.”

I wasn’t going to scream. Anyway, to make a long story short Jerry has a Time Machine. Everyone in the family talks about it but Jerry would never share much information. So here I am in my kitchen when Jerry says, “You have a lot of regrets. I’m going to let you borrow my time machine so maybe you can see if any of the other lives you might have lived would have been better. Then you can choose the one you want.”

I thought about it and then said, “OK. Thanks Uncle Jerry.”

I knew no matter what I did that I’d change things then go find my husband, no matter where he was. I don’t want a life without my kids.

The first thing I did was go back and go to a different college. I found myself in a huge 9,000 square foot mansion. Oscar statues were on the mantel in my name and my husband’s. My daughter came in wearing a dress so tight it looked painted on. I asked her where her dad was. She looked at me in a weird way and said he was still in rehab. I asked about her brother. She said he was still in rehab. Then she asked me if I was on drugs too because I couldn’t remember anything.

Well, that wasn’t the life I wanted so I went back and went to Nepal on that trip I didn’t go on. I met a German guy and ended up living in Europe and never shaved my legs again. I never met my husband. I learned fluent German and missed California. My big blonde German was sweet but it was kind of like living with my brother.

In the next life I went back and met my husband much earlier in our lives. We didn’t like each other much. It didn’t work.

Then I went back with another choice and found us living in the hills in a house we’d built. All the electricity was solar. We had our own well and goats and a big loom and a pottery studio and 50,000 pot plants.

The next life had us living on the coast in a tiny cottage. We were both nuts. I don’t know why. I didn’t ask.

After about a dozen more time travel adventures I was done. Jerry smiled and said “You know sweetheart, you had to see for yourself.”

I smiled and thought about stories with morals and stupid stuff like that. As I went into the family room to grab the sweater I left there the night before I looked up at the mantel and saw four Oscar statues. Yes, I did have to change things… just a little bit.

 

 

 

5 thoughts on “Short Story Sunday: Uncle Jerry’s Machine – A Very Short Story About Time Travel

  1. You know, this was quite interesting, Juliette… I would have been fascinated hearing a little more about your “missed lives”… but on the other hand I can understand completely why you decided to keep your look outs short and just return to the life you’ve chosen and are happy with. 🙂

    • My own missed lives would be really interesting and pretty crazy. Even the ones I have lived are interesting and crazy. This is just a silly story I came up with – no relationship to me. I was listening to a TED talk on how many people would like to time travel yesterday and well, it turned into my little story. I have a few other posts here about time travelers and Vampires (a little darker than this one.)

      My husband and I talk about how we wouldn’t change anything now because things are just the way they should be and everything led up to now. But time travel would be fun. I’d love to see a T-Rex!

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