Sunday, March 8, 2009

Newbie by Joshua Scribner

by Joshua Scribner

“I’ve been walking around for seven years,” said the legend. “People occasionally notice me, but it never last.”

The legend held her hand, and they moved down the sidewalk. The legend said, “I felt you first. Then, one day, I heard your steps keeping pace with mine. Then, days later, I saw you start to come into view. The next day, you were in view, and now I can feel you. Will you stay with me?”

She spoke for the first time, with the most soothing voice he’d ever heard.

“Of course I will, for as long as we are needed.”

“For as long as we are needed? Who would ever need me?”

She laughed, and even that was soothing. “You were always so painstakingly humble, but in answer to your question, all of them.”

He looked away. That was so hard to imagine.

She said, “I’ve listened to the words you sang. In them I can hear that you know time and space are relative.”

He nodded, though he didn’t see the significance.

“You deciphered the illusion long ago and could see that all time existed at once. You’ve known that you can’t really go back and change the past. All you can really do is go back and take a different track into the future.”

He nodded again.

“I’ve been traveling through time for centuries. I found you walking here, never having left the track you tried to escape, hiding in a way, though you said you didn’t have to do that anymore.”

The legend smirked, thinking of the lyrics from the song.

She said, “I had to come into the same track at the same speed as you, in order for you to perceive me. That’s why I came in phases.”

“I guess that makes sense. But what do we do now?”

“Well, you don’t know what lies ahead on this track, but I do. It’s horrible, but we can change that.”


“Well, I say we start by disbanding the major terrorist organization. Then we can put massive funds into natural disaster prediction and proactive intervention. This will help create a sense of cooperation worldwide and . . .”

The legend laughed.

She smiled. “I know, predicting the things I already know will happen doesn’t seem to make sense, but it will be better in the long run if we develop and give away the technology.”

“No. It’s not that. I just wonder how we’re going to manage all this.”

She shook her head, as if amused. “I’m sorry. Watching your life has made me forget you’re kind of new at this.”

“Seven years to be exact.”

“Sure, by your time, you’ve been dead seven years. Anyway, we manage all this by doing what ghosts do.”

Just then, she squeezed his hand really hard, and the scene around them melted and a new scene was there. They were staring at The White House.

She said, “We possess. They’re both only a few days into the job, so we’ll be able to have a huge impact. You be the bald one with the evil stare. I’ll be the Texas cowboy.”

Author bio:

Joshua Scribner is the author of the novels Seed, The Coma Lights and Nescata. He has published over thirty short stories. Up to date information on his work can be found at

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