THE TIME IDIOT
(2011) - a novel by A.R.Yngve - Sample Chapters
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Friedrich Nietzsche was walking in the foothills one autumn morning, when a stranger came walking up to him from behind a pine tree.
"Uh," said the stranger with an American accent, "Sprechen Sie English?"
"Nein, Mein Herr," said Nietzsche, puzzled by the strange cut of the man's costume.
"Wait..." The stranger came within six feet's distance, pulled a gun and shot Nietzsche three times. "Die, you nihilist son-of-a-bitch!"
Prescott could not stand the sight of gunshot wounds. Covering one eye with his hand, he looked down on the corpse and checked that the man's chest had stopped moving. "May God have mercy on your atheist soul," Prescott said and returned to the time pod.
Next, Karl Marx...
"Damn," said Prescott. "I can't do this."
Prescott had been spying on Marx' home from the street for a few days, waiting for the best opportunity to shoot or blow him up. But he realized, as he kept postponing the deed, that he couldn't follow through. He had seen Marx hug and kiss his little child, and Marx' wife was pregnant with a second child.
"There's got to be another way," Prescott said to himself from the alley where he was watching Marx' family walk away from their house. "He hasn't published his book yet. I should try to just talk to him, win him over to the right side. Surely he can see that capitalism is better?"
He followed Marx to a cafe, where Karl met some friends and talked politics.
Prescott took a seat nearby and listened in. He had to pinch himself to avoid falling asleep, as he tended to do during speeches with lots of three-syllable words.
Then, when he heard Marx say "revolution," Prescott cleared his throat.
"Mr. Marx," he said, leaning toward the table, "pardon me for interrupting, but this 'revolution' will fail. I know it. Capitalism will triumph in the end. And it will make everyone happier."
Marx frowned at the intruder and took a deep breath. "Who are you?"
"A friend," Prescott said quickly. "Please listen. I know what you think about capitalism and free enterprise, and I know that you are writing about it. But you are on the wrong path. Marxism will create tyrants, cruel tyrants..."
"Excuse me," Karl Marx said, "what is 'Marxism'?"
"Uh..." Damn, Prescott thought. I shouldn't be leading him on!
"May I speak to you in private?"
Marx' friends protested, but he brushed them aside and let Prescott lead him away from the cafe and into a stagecoach. Prescott told the coach where to drive.
"I have not yet completed my manifesto," said Marx, and studied Prescott with an intense gaze. His large dark beard made him resemble some Biblical prophet, thought Prescott. "Only my good friend Engels, Friedrich Engels, has seen the early draft. And you, a total stranger, come to me and talk of 'Marxism.' I'm intrigued."
"I am from the future."
"And I can prove it. I traveled in time in a machine, created by capitalism."
Marx made a relaxed, patronizing smile. "You don't say."
"It is my mission to make you change your mind about Marxism. I must convince you that capitalism is good for everybody."
"Did Engels send you? As a joke?"
"I don't know him. Please. Let me take you to the future, and then back to your own time, and you will see that capitalism makes a brighter future. Don't you want to be a part of that?"
Prescott fully understood that he was taking a wild chance, but he hadn't come up with a better plan. Whether Marx believed him or not, the man started to argue.
"Man from the future... have you visited our factories?" Marx asked. "Have you seen the slums where the factory workers are forced to live on slave wages? Have you seen their children poisoned by the smoke and polluted water from the factories? Have you read the reports from India, Africa, South America, the West Indies, where the capitalist powers of Europe are plundering the poor nations? Have you seen the palaces for the rich, where the workers may never enter except as servants?"
Prescott frowned. "But... but in my time, over a hundred years in the future, the factories are much cleaner. Workers have rights, earn better, they can buy almost anything. We have better health care, better... stuff. I can show it to you, and you will change your mind about capitalism."
Marx let some air out of his nostrils with a hissing noise. "This does no longer amuse me. Let me out of here. Stop the carriage!"
Prescott told the coach to stop, paid him, and he stepped out together with Marx. Then he stepped behind Marx and poked him in the back with a gun.
"I don't want to do this, but you give me no choice. You're coming with me to the future." He guided Marx in the right direction by grabbing his collar.
"You are insane!"
"The only reason I don't kill you is that you have a wife and children."
"Typical bourgeois sentimentality!"
"What's that? Oh, just shut up and walk."
Marx showed appropriate surprise when Prescott made the camouflaged time pod appear. And he did gasp when he climbed into the pod and saw the control panel. There was only one seat, so Marx had to sit across Prescott's lap.
"This is undignified!" Marx said.
"You will soon be back with your family, so shut up and enjoy the ride!"
Prescott had already set the return destination; all he had to do was turn the launch key.
Karl Marx and Prescott Walker felt themselves turn inside out -
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