Can someone help me decoding this time travel short story ??
The messenger is first story and forth chime is a sequel.
If one were to look at Weatherton Drive from afar during the mid-afternoon of June 3, 2014, nothing would appear out of the ordinary. But to a scrutinizing observer, the red Royal Mail van at the end of the block presented something of an anomaly. For it was both stationary and occupied.
Inside the van sat Navid. This was his last full day of work. Technically he worked tomorrow, but he wouldn’t be on his route; rather, he’d be having a retirement party and eating biscuits with those of his coworkers who cared enough to take the day off and celebrate with him. But in his thirty odd years delivering post, this was his strangest assignment.
He looked down at the envelope in his hands and checked for the tenth or eleventh time that he was at the right address.
23 Weatherton Drive
He looked back at the front of the house and reaffirmed that the address did, in fact, match the address on the envelope. The last thing he wanted to do was to screw up this final and bizarre assignment.
After a half hour of waiting on the corner, Navid saw a woman leave 23 Weatherton Drive, get into a station wagon, and drive away. This was his cue. He stepped out of the van and walked up to the front door. Only a few seconds after he rang the doorbell, a handsome, burly man appeared in the doorway.
Navid cleared his throat. “Delivery for Paul Hocutt.”
“I’m Paul Hocutt. Do I need to sign?”
“Well, I’m afraid it’s a little more complicated than that. I need to watch you open it. And then I need to sign something in your presence saying that you have read it and appear to understand it.”
Paul’s eyes narrowed. “I’m sorry?”
“Yes, sir. But you’re not to read it aloud. I’m not to hear anything in the letter.” Navid leaned in and lowered his voice. “I’m told it’s a bit hush, hush. Also do you have any identification I can check?”
“This isn’t some sort of collections trick? I’m not behind on any payments?”
“To be honest I have no idea what this is. But in my thirty years I’ve never seen a debt collector resort to these lengths.”
Paul showed his ID to Navid, who nodded and handed over the letter. Paul opened it. “Thirty years, eh?”
Navid laughed. “I retire tomorrow.”
“Congratulations! Any big plans for the next—” Paul stopped mid-sentence, the look of moderate interest in a stranger’s story frozen on his face as a deep concern for his own took hold internally. He read on:
What you’re about to read will be alarming, but don’t worry. Everything works out in the end. If the plan has unfolded correctly (which I am confident it has as I have in my hands the sworn statement Navid is about to sign), you and I have just had a fight, and I’ll be spending the night at Wanda’s. I can’t tell you exactly when we’ll see each other again, as I’ve learned that time doesn’t work that way. But I can tell you that, from your perspective, it will seem like a few days.
Here’s the hard part. In a few minutes you will not exist in this time; you’ll exist in the past. I wish I could have given you more warning, but I couldn’t risk you alerting me. I can’t know what’s happened until tomorrow. After you’ve gone back in time, the first thing I need you to do is make sure that a post card reaches me tomorrow, telling me how to find you. It seems that you’ll know what I need to do after you make the journey today. I can’t tell you what you end up telling me to do, because that would create a paradox, and time has a way of avoiding paradoxes. Plus, you’ll need to pay close attention to what happens in the next few minutes. Your knowing what to do will be vital later. Best of luck (and remember to smile)!
So much love,Jillian
When the post came that day, a small card was nestled just conspicuously enough between a doctor’s bill and advert for the new electronics store down the block. Had it been hidden entirely, Mrs. Hocutt would not have noticed it in time. But had it been too prominent, she would have found it too soon. It did, after all, stand out from the rest of the post. The edges of the card had softened into a yellowed frame for a discolored message. It was this darkened edge that first caught Mrs. Hocutt’s eye upon her third trip down the hall that afternoon. She found her eyes focused on the cards yellow corner peeking out from behind the doctor’s bill, and so she did what any curious adult would do and slid the card out from the pile of post and scrutinized the heading.
TO: Jillian Hocutt23 Weatherton DriveBRIGHTONBN50 9ST
Below the address was a date: 4 June 2004. Then “Deliver on 4 June 2014.”
Mrs. Hocutt laughed. Had this card actually been written ten years before, then the author would have been uncannily prescient. Mrs. Hocutt had only two months before been Miss Carlisle, until she married Mr. Paul Hocutt, her childhood orthodontist’s son. Clearly this is some sort of a hoax. But the next lines introduced some doubt into Mrs. Hocutts’s hoax theory, and indeed into things Mrs. Hocutt had never before had cause to doubt.
“My Jillian, it is imperative that you follow these directions precisely. Wait for the fourth chime. Then RUN to the kitchen.”
This prank is not worth my attention, thought Mrs. Hocutt as she dropped the post card back on the pile. But before the aged card had fallen to the doctor’s bill, the grandfather clock in the hallway began to ring. Mrs. Hocutt looked up. Four o’clock.
“Paul!” cried Mrs. Hocutt throughout the house. No reply. “Paul!”
“Paul, answer me, yeah?” Mrs. Hocutt glanced down at the card and read on frantically: “I’m not there anymore, so don’t waste time trying to find me. You have to decide now to do this.”
“If you follow these instructions exactly, there may still be time. Go now.”