Back – Chapter 9 – The Man

“I’ve called the police.  Whoever you are, you’d better bugger off now.  There’s nothing here, we don’t have money and stuff.”

“Please be calm.  I won’t hurt you.”

“Who the hell are you? Get out.  I’ve called the police.”

“No, you haven’t.  Try not to panic.  You were expecting me.  I mean you no harm.”

“Shit.  Are you him?”


“The Man.  You are aren’t you?  You’re the man?”

“Yes.  Are you feeling calmer?  Is it alright if I climb the remaining stairs?”

“What, oh yeah, yeah.  I didn’t expect that you’d come, yourself.  How did you get in anyway?”

“Your security systems are woefully vulnerable.”

“Woefully vulnerable?  Right, well I’ll tell me Dad that, he’ll be chuffed.”

“Heh. Shall we continue in your room?”

“Oh. Erm, hang on a minute.  I mean, no offense or anything but I don’t think I’m about to let you in my bedroom.”

“As you wish.”

“Let’s go down, back down the stairs.  We can go into the lounge.”…

“So, what are you doing here?  How did you know where I live anyway?”

“If you wish we can waste time with pointless questions but my responses will be of little use to you.  I have come because you told me that you were ready.  This is the way that it has to be.  You need my help now.”

“Right. So, this is it then.  Have you brought the machine?”

“There is no machine.  I have brought nothing.  You have all that you need.  Have you written in The Book?”

“Well, no.”

“You said you were ready.”

“Well, yeah I am.  I think I am but I was scared.”

“It is good that you were afraid.  What you wish to do is a terrible thing.”

“Terrible, what you mean I shouldn’t do it then?”

“No – I mean that it is a formidable responsibility.  It is awesome, again I mean that in its purer sense.  You are intending to interfere with the space-time continuum.  You plan to alter history and you plan to deny the existence of another human being.”

“No, no I don’t.”

“But you do.  What you intend to do, for what you see as your own good and valid reasons is to deny the existence of your cousin.  You have decided that his life is not worth the living and that the world would be a better place if he were not a part of it.”

“Shit, no, no I don’t – I mean I didn’t.”

“Please do not cry.  I did not come here to distress you.  I came to help you.”

“But, you make it sound bad, I didn’t mean it to be bad.”

“How do you think your cousin would think of it?”

“I thought of that, you said that he would never have existed.  If he never existed then he wouldn’t think anything – he couldn’t.”

“That is perfectly true and you have decided that your life would be better in that instance.”

“No, I’m not doing it for me.  I’m doing it for him, for them.  I’m doing it for Jack and Steve and Chloe.”

“You are doing it because you cannot cope with the thought that Jack will die.”

“Yeah, yeah – that too.   It’s horrible, he shouldn’t have to die and he shouldn’t have to keep being ill and going to the hospital.”

“And he should not have enjoyed yesterday, the game of bowls on the lawn and the company of his family.  He should not enjoy that feel of the sun on his shoulders or laughter in his belly and joy in his heart.”

“No, no, course he should have enjoyed that, them – all of them.”

“But you would take that from him.”

“No, I wouldn’t – well not take it from him.”

“If you were to die tomorrow would you regret your life?”


“If you were to die tomorrow would your parents wish that you had never been born and that they didn’t have the memories of you as a baby or as you are now on the brink of manhood?”

“We’re not talking about me.”

“Do you think that Jack is less than you? Search your heart.”

“No, of course not.”

“Then why do you value his life less than your own.  Because it may be shorter, because he can’t play football and because he is sick at times?  I suggest that it is you who can’t cope with Jack’s life.  I suggest that your intentions are selfish and your aims are egocentric.”


“Google it when I’ve gone.”

“You came to stop me didn’t you?”

“I came to make you see that what you want is not important.  You should value every second, of your own life and the lives of those you love.  You can’t change Jack but you may influence his days.  You want to negate Jack, you simply wish to ease your own journey.  So, you are selfish.  Do you see?”

“I think I do.”

“Do you still wish to write in the book?”

“You’re not magic or anything are you?  There was never any way I was going back in time was there?  Are you some sort of internet police or something?  Some sort of social worker?”

“I will leave that to you to decide.  I will go now and maybe you could put together some things to take to your cousin in the hospital. He probably becomes very bored.”

“What about the stuff in the bottle, the book?”

“They will not be a problem to you.”

“I don’t know what to say.”

“Then simply think.”


That was it, he went.  He didn’t disappear in a flash of blue smoke or anything he just walked out of the door and down the road.  I watched him.  He was wearing a suit and an overcoat and a hat, he looked really ordinary but a bit posh.  I can’t remember what his face looked like.  His eyes were blue I think, he didn’t have a beard but I can’t really say now what he looked like.  Mind you it was all pretty intense.  I wonder why he didn’t just say all that stuff on the website.

Maybe I needed to really think about it, he made me do that – no mistake.  Anyway I’m going to throw that stuff away, the bottle and the book…

Okay – so that’s weird.  They’ve gone. I know for sure where they were, they were in the box at the back of the wardrobe.  They’ve gone.  I’ve looked everywhere.

I can hear the car now, Mum and Dad are back.  I’ll go and see how Jack is.  I’ll go with them tomorrow if he’s still in the hospital.

I’m glad he’s still here.  He’s my best mate.


The End.




Filed under Serials, Shorts and Stuff

5 responses to “Back – Chapter 9 – The Man

  1. Fran Macilvey

    What a sweet ending, Diane. You really made me think about the value of each life. Thanks so much. xxx 😀


  2. Been away, back in the clinch of work. Your output is so prolific, I can’t keep pace 🙂 Seems a touching story, given the feedback.


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