© 2020, Michael William Clark. All rights reserved.

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Chapter 3

People celebrating In 1834, the Town of York was incorporated as the new City of Toronto.

Time is like a river. If you walk over a bridge and look down, the future is upstream; the past downstream; the present is right underneath and flowing fast. The further you gaze in either direction, up or downstream, the slower the stream seems to flow. But this is just an optical illusion, due to distance.

Time is a lot like that, Louis realized. Time travelers must begin their self-instruction by thinking of the past and the future not as hazy, distant possibilities but as existing right now, with all the vim and vigor of one’s own present.

Yes, Louis knew the past exists ‘now’ just as the present exists ‘now.’ So too with the future. It’s all NOW.

But before he got a grip on all this, Louis had encountered unexpected time slips as a young man. The first slip was hellish, but not quite the trip to hell as Dante had envisioned with his shadowy guide Virgil. And the episode certainly was not a banishment to eternal hell as hardened, mortal sinners are said to suffer.

It happened like this:

Louis was strolling down the main commercial artery of Yonge St. in 23rd century Tron, which in the late 22nd century had updated its name from the First Nations word, Toronto. With the advent of flying cars, floating apartment complexes, and holographic billboards it only seemed fitting for Torontonians to adopt a new name for their city. And for more than two centuries, local inhabitants had informally referred to themselves as Trontonians, living in Tronno. So the new name was but a small step, not a giant leap in nomenclature.

But Louis was not thinking about placenames when instantly and without warning, he was transported to the very same spot in which he stood—yet in early 19th century Tron, which back then was the Town of York. He felt a sudden chill before his exosuit adjusted to warm up his skin and the air around him. Horse-drawn carriages creaked and rattled along a thoroughfare of frozen mud. Utterly gone were the familiar aircars and sparkling walkways of his native 23rd-century reality.

He could hear a considerable din from the surrounding area as inhabitants were outdoors celebrating. Today was the day that York would be renamed Toronto. And one thing had not changed. Early March was still cold as Kerberos in that region of the world.

To be continued…

© 2020, Michael William Clark. All rights reserved.

Did you miss part of the story? Find it here!