Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Microstory 1142: Tick Tock

Byron Minett, a.k.a Tick Tock, hated making mistakes, and according to everyone around him, he literally stopped making them when he was eleven. It was around this time that he developed the ability to undo the immediate past. He couldn’t travel too far back in time, but it was usually enough to correct what he needed to. He wouldn’t just suddenly jump back to an earlier point in time. He would actually watch the recent scene play in reverse, until he reached his chosen destination, and pushed play on reality. The further back he tried to reverse, the harder it was on his mind, though, so he tried to stay within a day. Others had this same ability, but could only have on do-over. That is, one of their time jumps could not overlap with another time jump. He could try an occurrence over and over again, until he felt he had it right. Byron used his power all the time, and it became so second nature, that he sometimes didn’t even notice it happening. If something didn’t go well, he would just give it another go, and hardly remember the original timeline. He quickly became the best student in every one of his classes, sometimes spending the equivalent of weeks on a single school day. His teachers were astonished at how intuitive the topics seemed to be for him, including his judo instructor. As you might imagine, this life started getting a little boring. Sure, it still took him about as long to master something as it would anyone else, but most of the time, the choices he made had no consequences. Theoretically, he wouldn’t be able to undo his own death, and he had never tried to reverse more than two weeks, but everything else was fair game. One thing a person like that can realize is that everyone has their limits. No matter how many times he retried a foot race, he couldn’t change his finishing position. He signed up for the City Frenzy thinking that he would be able to find his way to first place, but it never worked out. Sure, he could steal a few seconds here and there if he memorized how the traffic lights were going to change, but nothing major. He just wasn’t fast enough, and no matter how hard he worked at it, that wasn’t going to get significantly better. Every time he reversed time, his body went back to its state in that moment, so his power didn’t help him build muscle, or anything. There were still only twenty-four hours in a day. In the end, he decided to accept this reality, because his life was still easier than most, and there were plenty of other, more useful, applications.

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