September 3rd: Love letters
Miles to Go
, by Richard Flores IV

To: “Dad”
From: “Miles”
Sent 08/6/2035 Subject: Test

Dad, I think I figured it out! How to travel through time! Well, not travel time, but at least send a message. Please, reply. It’s the only way I will really know it worked. Love, Miles.

Steve finished reading the email from his spam folder. He looked around the laptop screen at Miles playing on the floor with his younger brothers. Miles clutched the toy space shuttle tightly while he pretended it was talking to the other toys. Steve hovered the cursor over the delete button, but stopped short for clicking it. What the hell, he clicked “reply”.

-

To: “Miles”
From: “Dad”
Sent: 06/27/2012 Subject: Re: Test

Miles, I know this email will likely be followed by another requesting a credit card number or something. However, I had to try it. Besides, if you can email me in the future, the world doesn’t end before Christmas.

-

To: “Dad”
From: “Miles”
Sent 08/6/2035 Subject: Re: Test

Dad, I am so glad you responded. I knew your scientific ideals (even if they were fictional) would allow you to entertain the idea long enough to send a sarcastic reply. I understand your skepticism. I am sure you are watching me, at five years old, playing with my toys. It seems I can’t send long emails. The file size of an email is so small we never think about it. But when sending it through time it becomes an issue. You will hear from me again soon. Love, Miles.

-

To: “Miles”
From: “Dad”
Sent: 06/27/2012 Subject: Re: Test

Miles, I must admit it is hard to believe this is you, how does one email the past anyway? And won’t my reading these emails somehow change the future? It all seems a little farfetched to me. Come to think of it, your reply was instantaneous, which is almost impossible for anyone but a machine to do. But, for some reason I feel compelled to reply to your messages.

-

To: “Dad”
From: “Miles”
Sent 02/18/2038 Subject: Sorry I took so long

For you it has likely only been ten seconds, but it has taken me nearly three years to be allowed to reestablish a connection. You reading these emails may very well affect the future in some way. It’s exactly why it has taken so long for me to reply. The international community put enormous pressure on us to stop these tests. They’re afraid of what we might do to our timeline. So now they have requested a small test.
I have no memory of you ever mentioning these emails to me growing up. Neither does Mom or Jake. My guess is you haven’t told anyone yet. Can you please tell someone about this? Love, Miles.

-

To: “Miles”
From: “Dad”
Sent: 06/27/2012 Subject: Re: Sorry it took so long.

Of course I have not told anyone. It has only been a few minutes. Besides you’re hardly old enough to remember if I did tell you. Why don’t you just go ask me? I’m only in my fifties by then, unless of course I’m dead. I am not sure this is real. I decided to play along and told you that you sent me some emails from the future. You think your dad is crazy now.

-

To: “Dad”
From: “Miles”
Sent 02/18/2038 Subject: Re: Sorry I took so long

I didn’t remember a thing about it still, but I called Jake. And wouldn’t you know he said he remember you mentioning an email from the future. He thought you were crazy telling me I was emailing you when we could hardly use a computer. I am submitting some of this to the courts now. After all, it didn’t tear apart the fabric of space.

I couldn’t ask you. No, you are not dead. You and I are not on speaking terms right now. I wish I could tell you more, but now is not the time. Love, Miles

-

To: “Miles”
From: “Dad”
Sent: 06/27/2012 Subject: Re: Sorry it took so long.

We’re not speaking! I don’t believe you. I love my children far too much to let anything keep me from seeing you guys. I don’t know what game you are up to. Do not email me again. I will go to the police.

-

To: “Dad”
From: “Miles”
Sent 07/11/2038 Subject: It didn’t go well

I am sorry I angered you, Dad. It’s your love for us that is the reason we don’t speak now. I promise, as soon as I can explain, I will. The Court has ordered my work stop. Something I have decided to violate in order to contact you again. My work could forever change our lives. I need to run another test or two.

Tell Mom about this email tonight at dinner. Email me back with what she thought. I suspect my access to the net will be carefully monitored. Love, Miles.

#

Steve read over the email before pressing the delete button. He had enough of this hacker’s game. He started powering down his computer.

“Are you all done checking your emails, Daddy?” Miles smiled at him.

“For now, it’s almost time to start dinner.” Steve stood up.

Walking down the hall stared at his reflection in the computer monitor. Worry had crept over him.

“Hey” The familiar voice of his wife made Steve jump.

“Damn, honey. You scared me.”

“Are you okay?” She rested a hand on his arm.

“This may sound a little crazy, but hear me out.”

#

To: “Dad”
From: “Miles”
Sent 07/11/2038 Subject: You told mom!

I know you didn’t email me back. But you did tell Mom about these emails. I couldn’t wait any longer so I called Mom. She remembered a time when you were so upset about a hacker who was sending you emails about the kids. She tried to reassure you it was nothing to worry about. She even talked you out of going to the police. She told you to delete the emails I send. I am hoping you don’t listen to her. Love, Miles.

-

To: “Miles”
From: “Dad”
Sent 06/27/2012 Subject: Re: You told mom!

I am not listening to your mother, and I am sure when she finds out in 26 years she is going to be pissed. But, after reading your last email, I am starting to think you may be speaking the truth. I don’t much care for the fact that a son of mine is violating a court order. But, I hate even more that we aren’t speaking. Please explain to me why that is. Do I speak to Jake or Adam? I can’t work on anything else with this on my mind.
Can you explain any of this to me? I know you say your space is limited on these emails, but it would really help. Love, Dad.

-

To: “Dad”
From: “Miles”
Sent 08/12/2039 Subject: I am out of time.

I don’t speak to Adam either. The fact that none of us can speak to Adam is the reason you won’t speak to me.

It is also the reason I got working on time messaging and won’t give this up. I was hoping to have more time to test this, but my lab is surrounded by Interpol agents.

Don’t worry about Interpol. If you listen to me, we will all cease to exist on this timeline. If it goes as I pray it will, I doubt I will ever get into time messaging again.

I don’t have time to explain. But I picked June 27, 2012 for a reason. Tomorrow, you plan to take us to the pool. Don’t do it. Stay home. It’s the reason none of us speak to Adam, or even know him growing up. Years later I blamed you for it. It was never your fault. I was unjust. You were always a loving father but teenagers say terrible things. I uncovered the blame you had been hiding for all those years. I want Adam back, and I want my Dad back. I have to go now. I love you Dad, that won’t change on any timeline.

#

Steve put his computer down. He looked through blurry eyes at Miles, Jake and Adam huddled together watching TV. As a tear rolled down his cheek he spoke in a cracked voice. “Boys, we can’t go to the pool tomorrow.”

“But, Dad. We really wanted to go swimming.” Miles groaned.

A smile came naturally to Steve’s face as he embraced Miles tightly. “You’ll thank me in the future, son.”

*

Richard Flores IV is a writer of Speculative Fiction living in Vacaville, California. He has been published in Cygnus Journal and Liquid Imagination Online. His novel Dissolution of Peace will be released in September 2012. Richard fits writing around raising his three young boysand posting mildly amusing jokes on Facebook and Twitter. He also enjoys working out. That last sentence is not true, but he insisted it be put in this bio. For more about Richard Flores IV, visit FloresFactor.wordpress.com


4 readers love this story!

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5 Responses to “September 3rd: Love letters
Miles to Go
, by Richard Flores IV”

  1. Betsy T says:

    Love love love this one!

  2. Anonymous says:

    There’s a website where you can email your future self – not nearly as useful as emailing your past!

  3. Kelli Kims says:

    So sweet! Go Miles!

  4. Nick Johns says:

    Richard

    Thanks, I really enjoyed the story. The hook start and subsequent pace were really well done. Also the tone of the emails (in both voices) was believable and distinctive. Nice low key resolution too. Well done!

    Nick

  5. Thanks for the great comments. I am glad you guys all enjoyed this one.


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