Yeah, it’s been a while.
As always, if this story inspires you to write something, or if you wish to use this story and develop it further, a small acknowledgement would be great.
And so, without further ado, here is “How to Live at the End of Time”:
The story begins in the year 2327, in a period of rapid human advancement and technological development. One day, during a routine experiment, 22 year old lab intern Arthur Libnon makes a mistake with his coding and causes an unforeseen reaction to occur inside the experiment. In the aftermath, he discovers that he has accidentally invented a time machine capable of traveling to any point in time.
After announcing his discovery, the time machine quickly falls into public use, and a new type of tourism emerges. However, after five years, Arthur discovers that humanity is gradually abandoning the present in order to live in the past.
Arthur travels far into the future and despairs when he sees the ruins of humanity (specifically, he sees that the ruins are of the civilizations of the year 2327, meaning that humanity began to decline due to his invention).
Arthur decides to live amongst the ruins as penance, building himself a shack and eking out a meager existence. After two years he is surprised by a visitor, Ava Romaine, a 26 year old woman who has grown discontent with living with her family in the year 1975 and has travelled to the distant future to escape from her life.
Together they explore the ruined world and muse on humanity’s ultimate fate. While doing so, Arthur tells Ava about his past and his regrets.
Ultimately, Arthur comes to a realization and tells Ava that he intends to return to his time and live as a normal person.
However, Arthur instead heads back to the day of the experiment, intent on changing the outcome. Before he is able to do so, Ava appears, having seen through his lie. She confronts him about his intentions and tells him that if he changes the timeline, their entire relationship will be erased.
Arthur tells her to believe in the power of fate and completes his plan, causing an explosion that destroys the laboratory and his past self. Instead of ceasing to exist, Arthur is flung forward in time and ends up in the distant future.
As he contemplates dying alone in the desolate future, he sees that the ruins have changed and become far more technologically advanced and that there are even signs that humanity left the planet rather than die out (proof that without the discovery of time travel, humanity kept progressing and discovering new inventions).
Suddenly, Ava appears and tells him that during the explosion she managed to grab onto the time machine (which was still created despite Arthur’s intervention) thus removing it from the timeline. She has spent a long time searching the timeline for him. With all of time and space open to them, and with humanity back on track, the couple activate the machine and leave the future, heading to an unknown time and space.
Thank you for listening.