THE TIME IDIOT
(2011) - a novel by A.R.Yngve - Sample Chapters
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The buggy made it to the stretch of road near the spot by the river. Prescott threw his remaining loose change to the buggy driver and told him to go away. Then he ran for the cluster of trees. The sky was still bright for the late afternoon; the humid heat made him sweat.
Prescott came to the trees... and he stopped. He fumbled at thin air and began to panic. Where was the pod?
"I left it here, I know I did! Shit, shit, shit..."
He glanced at the road, which lay about a hundred feet away. The pursuing carriage was catching up with the horse buggy. He could not risk making the pod visible now. Prescott ducked behind a tree and prayed the carriage would drive past his position.
It did not. From the pursuers came puffs of smoke as they fired several shots. The buggy driver was struck by a bullet and fell off his seat; his horses panicked and the buggy turned over into a ditch just sixty feet away. The carriage stopped right where the buggy had dropped off Prescott, and the Reds climbed and jumped down. He counted six or eight men armed with clubs, revolvers, rifles and even a sword.
One of them, the smiling one with the big mustache, definitely had to be Stalin. Oleg walked before Stalin, cupped his hands around his mouth and shouted in English toward the trees.
"Mr. Walker! I bring you boss, Dzjugaswili! Show him weapons! We see you come here, no silly hiding please! Now show us weapons, or you will be sorry! Boss Soso is not nice if you make him angry!"
The men fanned out across the terrain. With a gesture, Soso made them halt. He was still smiling, an expression like a mask of joviality - the most terrifying smile Prescott had ever seen.
If Prescott’s mind had seized up with fear in this dangerous situation and paralyzed him, he would have not have lived long. But through some combination of luck and chance, it didn’t.
It would be dishonest to say that Prescott Walker now coolly appraised his options, analyzed his chances and chose the proper action.
It would also be less than truthful to pretend that he outsmarted the Bolsheviks with a cunning ruse.
What really happened:
"Where’s my attache case?" It wasn’t nearby and it wasn't in his hand. "Oh no!" He had forgotten it beneath the passenger seat in the horse buggy.
Before he did anything else, he wet himself. And then, without really thinking, Prescott found the blockbuster’s wireless detonator and punched all the buttons as fast as he could.
The overturned buggy instantly turned into an expanding cloud of hot gas, which then ignited within a microsecond, and turned into a much bigger explosion.
The Bolsheviks’ carriage and four horses were engulfed in a ball of flames, and so were Soso’s band of thugs. Soso himself was hurled through the air with his hair and clothes on fire, and flew out of Prescott’s line of sight. Prescott, hiding behind the tree, escaped most of the shockwave but had his breath knocked out of him.
He spent a minute coughing and gasping.
When he had stopped coughing, he got up on his feet and reached for the time pod’s remote-control. Then he turned around, and saw a very strange sight. Soso, or the man who would have become Stalin, hung impaled on a sharp tree trunk some eight feet above the ground and thirty feet from where Prescott stood.
His blood dripped down on the invisible shape of the time pod, and made a blurry trace across the surface. It looked as if he were bleeding on a large bubble of air which was slowly settling onto the ground.
Prescott shook his head, shut off the camouflage and went for the pod. The explosion had not dented or burned the pod’s hull, but several airbags had apparently been triggered and sent the pod bouncing off. Even as Prescott watched, the bags automatically shrank back into the hull.
He gave the corpse of Stalin one last look, and shuddered. "May God have mercy on your soul, you godless Commie bastard," said Prescott and climbed into the pod. "Mission accomplished."
Then he remembered the Kodak box-camera. He climbed back out in a hurry, snapped a few photos of Stalin's corpse, and hurried back inside.
Inside, he checked the controls and found no signs of damage to the pod.
Now, where should he go next? Returning to Stockholm a few decades into the future seemed like the safest option. He could stay there a while and make sure history was developing in the right peaceful, free-market democratic direction.
But he longed for home, to see his wife and kids. They were going to return from their vacation soon. They would be so proud of him, if only they knew...
What the hell was he going to tell them? He remembered vaguely that someone had asked him "Hitler who?"
What if there was another great war, with his dad Morgan in it?
Prescott loved his Dad. So he had to find out. He had to visit the year 1941, before Pearl Harbor when Morgan Walker was drafted and became a war hero, and make sure Dad was safe from harm this time.
He set course for Washington, D.C., midnight on the 3rd of July 1941, because he clearly remembered what Dad had told him several times: On the Fourth of July 1941, I visited the capital with my parents.
Prescott picked a landing spot in a park, at night. He turned the launch key and turned inside out...
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