Artifact

A psychedelic swirl of color

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Despite what the newspapers tell you, I don't fly. And I definitely don't teleport. I just.. move. When I hold the artifact, I go where ever it points, and that's just that. I don't jump, I don't have invisible wings, I don't unlock an inner chakra, I just go. I don't even really get momentum. Everything feels like I'm standing still to me, but I move anyways. It was weird at first, but at this point I can manage it instinctively.

It's very convenient, but I still have to put up with the weather and the environment. Flying up with the planes sounds cool until you're shivering and breathless, and NASA said they'd be happy to take the artifact up into orbit, but not in my hands. So mostly, I just use it to get around. I try to be helpful with it when I can, I recognize that it's easier for me to get around that most. But I'm not super powered, I don't have incredible strength or telekinesis. If I grab a car and try to move with the artifact, my arm will tear off before the car goes anywhere.

Anyways, other than when a documentary crew or research team comes poking around, it's become kinda mundane for me. Just a normal part of life, floating along where I point. Until last Friday, when I did something I didn't even know I could do. Instead of pointing in a direction in space, I accidentally pointed a direction in time. Backwards, and not too far, thankfully. I had been floating along a sidewalk, and saw a child walking with a slow, painful gait. I pointed towards him to approach, in case he needed some help, but he turned right at me with a strange look in his eyes. And suddenly, I was in back in the restaurant I'd been in last Tuesday. Having the same exact meal, with the same waitress and customers around, it WAS Tuesday.

I knew the kid had something to do with it. I tried my best to repeat the week in exactly the same way I had before, to give myself the best chance of running into the same kid. It was eerie living through a few days of the most detailed deja-vu ever, but it worked. I saw the kid, and this time I shouted "Hey. Do you know me?"

The kid smiled, with eyes that seemed perfectly normal. "At times, I do, yes. You've found me once more, but which time is this for you? Do you know me?"

"I think you did something to me.. before. Well.. I mean. I saw you, and then I went.. I don't know. I went back in time? I wa


The kid laughed "I see, you have the tool, but you still aren't the you that understands it yet. I can't help you much with that, but I've seen you work wonders with it, in other times that I suppose have yet to happen. Don't worry, those sorts of fates are inevitable, you'll find your way there without me spoiling it all for you."

It was hard to take it all in. The kid didn't seem much to care how well I understood what he was getting at. "Did you send me back in time?"

"No" the child replied, "your tool did that. I just opened a window for you to point it through. That's what my tool does."

It began to click. I'd pointed the artifact, the "tool", through a portal in time, and it did what it always does. It moved me where I pointed. And this kid had a tool too, that twisted time up like that. "If you have a tool like my artifact, why haven't I heard of you? I get written up in newspapers a few times a year, 'Man Who Can Fly' and all that. Why are you lucky enough not to be known? Is it your age? They can't bug you without mom and pop saying OK?

"My parents' journey ended hundreds of years ago. This body stays young, but age is of little meaning to someone with my tool. With that age has come the wisdom to stay out of the spotlight when I can avoid it. Besides, my tool is much more subtle than one that lets a man float along like a sorcerer."

I pondered for a moment, "Why'd you send me back? That was a little rude."

"I'm sorry, but it was necessary to prove to you that there's more to your tool than you understand. The time is quickly approaching for you when the ways you wield your tool will decide fates larger than you can envision, and beyond those points, even I cannot guess as to what will occur. The Holders and I have discussed the brewing storms, and we feel that our best hope lies in preparing you for what's to come."

"Me? That important? We're all in for a rough one then, aren't we?" I said, not joking near as much as I had hoped.

"We are. Now, follow me. I don't say this lightly, but time is of the essence."

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Art and Writing: 
Yamen
Fractal rendered with Fractorium.