truth is, some people are scum. In fact, most people are scum.
Your narrator would like to dismiss this notion as cynicism, misanthropy
or one too many beers - but it's true. What's worse is that most
people don't even know they're scum. But it's not all bad; if
most people were brilliant, brilliance would be a mediocrity.
And if it weren't for a small, scummy pool, life on this planet
would never have evolved. For better of for worse - who can say?
the point is, that sometimes by pure cosmic coincidence, someone
realises they're scum. Such moments fill your narrator with a
warm, fuzzy feeling; but possibly because he's a sadist... It's
a frightening experience, to so suddenly have a conscience. They
look back on everything they've done in life, and as their eyes
glaze over they realise their self-perception is about as warped
as a fun-house mirror. Not only that, but they have to live out
the rest of their lives knowing they're a gigantic disappointment.
That they're something like dog shit on society's sole.
was one such shitty person. He first realised he was scum at the
age of fifteen, when the girl he drugged still managed to turn
him down unceremoniously, and he thought somewhat inconsiderately,
by vomiting all over him. It wasn't until the next moment, when
the thought: "what a bloody waste of money!" passed
through his mind. that the truth collided with some dormant, unused,
brain cells to create his conscience. Even then, like a newborn
or a rusty old machine, it was a while before his conscience could
make itself heard. Meanwhile, Phil carried on fighting, fucking,
drinking, lying, smoking and doing drugs. The standard activities
for sub-human entities.
night, however, when Phil had spied a smallish half brick, tested
its grip and weight, and was waiting in a bush for the next firm,
young woman to walk by, his conscience found its voice. In its
loudest and firmest tone it said: "put the brick down you
piss-poor excuse for a human being and go home!"
took his conscience's advice, but mostly out of fear from hearing
an alien voice inside his head for the first time. This was a
grave mistake as it set a precedent, and forever afterwards Phil's
conscience thought its opinions mattered.
the next twenty years or so Phil wasn't permitted to do anything
fun. No muggings, rapes, murders - not even an innocent little
beating. Instead, he fell into a sort of puddle of self loathing.
This was allowed because his conscience reasoned it so: for him
to hate another human being was bad. Therefore any action of hate
against another human being couldn't and wouldn't be permitted.
Self-loathing was fine, because Phil didn't count and therefore
no human beings were involved. Still, Phil felt that his potential
was being wasted.
day Phil was reading the newspaper, trying to live vicariously
through all the bad news and obituaries, when his eye was caught
by a small black and white advert at the bottom of the page. It
said: "Trialists needed for Time Travel experiment. Preferably
people with nothing to lose." and a phone number. He rang
the number, stated that he was human filth and promptly given
an address and a time.
the given day Phil arrived at a reasonable house out in the suburbs.
He knocked on the door which was opened by a small fat woman with
enormous jowls. For a moment, he considered whether or not he
should rape this woman - but his conscience didn't even have to
interject in that decision.
I'm here..." Phil began.
you're selling we're not buying," she said, her neck wobbling
I already told you!"
many times will I have to say it? I'm a very busy woman you know!"
Travel," Phil said.
woman looked at him blankly then shouted "Harold! Someone
here for your silly time trial darling. He's downstairs."
She turned away, into the sitting room where a half empty box
of millionaire's shortbread was quietly melting into a chair.
walked downstairs into a dingy room, where a single dirty plastic
tube stretched from floor to ceiling and was crudely connected
to a PC on the floor. The whole thing was plugged into the mains.
Harold ushered Phil into the tube, shoved a few sheets of A4 paper
into his hand and stood behind the computer.
makes me leave this room in ten minutes and I've already spent
over budget on electricity so I can only afford to send you about
ten years into the past; have fun and don't screw anything up!"
He said and double clicked his mouse.
was a low humming. A bright white light. An obnoxious 'BING!'
filled the room. When Phil's vision returned to nomal, he rubbed
his eyes, held his breath and looked around. He saw Harold behind
his computer hammering control, alt, delete and cursing under
Phil could ask what was happening the humming started again and
he covered his eyes.
he opened his eyes he was standing in the middle of a field, he
assumed ten years in the past. It was suspiciously unimpressive.
He looked at the paper in his hand. Written at the top in rushed
biro was: "Simpal rooles for Time Traval." Phil decided
to overlook the spelling considering he'd just been hurtled through
space-time. Scribbled next to a number one in the margin was:
"Under no circumstences attempt to contackt yourself. I've
no idea what'll happen, but I'll guess it's probubly bad."
Phil read this, scrunched up the paper and set out to find himself.
turned out to be quite easy to find himself. He knocked on the
door and stepped back. He opened the door and stepped back.
had put a lot of thought into this meeting and said with complete
confidence: "Hello, I'm you. Please kill me."
reasoned it like this: he loved killing, but he couldn't kill
people anymore. But - as his conscience made so frequently and
so abundantly clear - he wasn't a person. Therefore he could allow
his younger self this charitable act without his conscience having
a hypothetical leg to stand on. His conscience reasoned it like
this: Phil was a fucking smart arse and it couldn't care less
if he died.
Phil - or would it be Present Phil? I guess they're both, technically,
in the Present, as that's the only time one can exist. But one
does permanently live there and the other's a sort of tourist,
one of the worst kinds that only visits places they've been before.
Anyway, Phil the younger only hesitated because he couldn't believe
his luck. He blissfully beat himself into a pulp.
was only afterwards that he started to consider the implications
of this. Was it a crime to kill yourself? He knew suicide was
a crime, but this was more like murder. But one can't murder one's
self. It was a conundrum; even the Judge and Jury didn't really
know whether it was a crime or not, but decided to lock Phil up
for the rest of his natural life for the general benefit of society
- who didn't really like Phil that much anyway.
incarcerated, Phil became quite interested in, what was at the
time, speculative physics. He speculated that because he had met
his future self, that he would be destined to go back in time.
The event had happened, but it couldn't have happened without
him going back in time, so for it to still have happened it would
be necessary for him to go back too. This means he was destined
to meet, and be killed by himself, again, again and again, for
all eternity, infinitely recurring. Phil reclined on his bench
and smiled knowing he'd always have the satisfaction of one last
did puzzle him though, how was he supposed to go back in time
if he was stuck in prison? No sooner had the thought crossed his
mind then a huge tear in space-time localised itself in his cell
and sent him spiraling back in time - still holding onto a cup
of tea. He landed outside of his own house and saw Phil the second
younger's face smiling at him. Despite being killed every twenty
years, the Phils' lives carried on pretty much as normal.
was one rather important, and somewhat unforseen, consequence
in tearing the fabric of reality however; and that was that every
time Phil went into the past, suddenly there was a cup of tea
that hadn't existed a few seconds ago. Normally, this wouldn't
be a big issue, but after about the fiftieth million repetition
of the event, there wasn't a lot of living space left anymore.
was approximately the one billionth cup of tea that finally caused
the world to reach critical mass and implode in on itself, killing
all life. Needless to say - Phil's conscience was less than impressed.