Thursday, June 20, 2019

Microstory 1129: Susan Glines

On the ninth day of October in 1983, a baby was discovered in Bryant Pond, Maine, right by the actual pond, wrapped in a newspaper that would not come out for another three days. The man who found her would normally have gone straight to the authorities about this concern, but upon noticing the date of the paper, felt like he couldn’t. This child was abandoned by someone from the future, presumably, and he thought it was safer to just keep her a secret. She would have frozen to death if not for him, and he didn’t know if he could trust anyone else. He named her Susan, after a town resident who would be featured in the future news for having been the last switchboard operator for a hand-crank phone in the world. He even moved halfway across the country, and changed his own last name to match hers. He raised her as his own, but it was not the easiest task. She was never properly diagnosed with anything, since her father was always afraid to draw attention to their family, but she had clear communication issues. She was very quiet most of the time, and when she did try to speak, she had both a speech impediment, and trouble getting her point across. Again, he didn’t think it prudent to seek professional help, so he went to the library, and did everything he could to learn how to teach her himself. He ended up doing such a great job that she went on to graduate from the University of Missouri-Kansas City with a degree in Communication Studies. It was around this time that Susan started seeing things she should not have been seeing. It started off small; she could sense events happening around her without looking directly at them. By the end of the week, however, she had a general idea of what was going on in the whole city. Within the year, she could see the whole world, and before another year was up, she could see all of time and space. She wasn’t literally watching people move through their lives, though if she concentrated hard enough, she could do just that. Normally, however, it was more like time itself was a spatial dimension, which she was able to walk around and study. She was not the only person who could do something like this, but it did inspire her to put her college degree to creative use. She noticed there were people from different points in time who were trying to communicate with each other, but no cell phone company was capable of connecting them. She started connecting them herself. At first, she did this via relayed messages, but her means soon became more sophisticated. Certain peoples were given access to physical aids, so that when someone wanted to talk to that person, they would have a more tangible means of alerting Susan to this need. Seeing the river of time was demanding and taxing on Susan’s mind and body, so these alerting devices were vital in allowing her to relax, and only use her ability when necessary. She eventually came to be known as The Switcher, and officed herself with The Courier, who happened to also live in the Kansas City area. Together, they made sure that time travelers never lost track of each other, even across time and space.

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