A story about a god discovering his powers with a weird twist.
‘Has he even showered these past few days?’
The thought is quickly drowned out by relaxing ticks of the clock hanging next to the wooden door frame. He rustles his dirty brown hair as he walks to the bathroom with eyes half open. In the mirror he can see a man he barely recognizes anymore. Who’d have thunk that in his mid twenties he would still look this good. He plays around with his reflection for a while as he does the daily duties and begins his routine. Brush teeth, take a piss, shower, stop to drop a deuce, continue shower, prepare waffles, regret the waffles, nice half an hour of Facebook on the couch and get going. Days melt into each other as he threads the path laid out for him. Today something caught his attention. As he was eating the waffles he painstakingly toasted and searching through random posts he saw one from his friend Michael about how horrible his commute was every morning. Weirdly enough he had never had problems getting to work on time. He always woke up at 8am and did the same things to arrive at 8:30am at work. Michael lived 5 minutes away from him, in direction to work, and yet was complaining about waking up every day at 7 and still not making it by 9.
‘Must have a slow process for him to take that long’
He thought as he took the final bite of his waffle that always sent him running to the porcelain throne.
Today, he decided to throw on a navy blue sports jacket that fit nicely in his slim body, along with dark brown khakis and a white shirt. He straightened out the few wrinkles with his hands and went on his way. He stopped for coffee on the way in his favorite spot and went on to work. When he arrived his boss was just arriving as well.
“Good morning Mr.Rocksteady.” he said pleasantly
“Hey Tim, early as always huh?” he said giving a small wave
“Now that you mention it…” he paused and reconsidered “On second thought, forget it.”
“What’s on your mind Tim? Anything I can help with?”
“Not really. I was just wondering what time you got up in the morning to get here every day.”
“I try it to be between 6 and 7 since I live about half an hour away.”
Tim stopped walking alongside him and was mouthing numbers as he structured the math in his head.
“Well, that’s not right…” he whispered
“Anything wrong Tim?”
“No…I don’t think…”
A surge of cold spit out from his brain down his spine and as it reached the bottom it shot back up in searing heat. He felt his back burning and his head was warm to the touch. He knelt over in pain as Mr. Rocksteady noticed and approached carefully.
“Tim, what’s wrong, are you okay?” he said worried
Flashes of memories lit up Tim’s brain sectioning themselves by era. Memories that were impossible for him to have. He saw streets littered with dead people in old Victorian London, rats crawling into their rotting bodies. He saw himself holding weapons of past eras as he rushed into his oncoming death. He felt tears down his eyes as he looked at stillborn children he did not recognize but loved more than life itself. He cycled thru a myriad of partners, young and old, of all sexes and genders, as he caressed their ever changing skin with a softness he had never thought possible. He lived thousands of lives in just a second and remembered every moment of each one. Then just as abrupt as it started he jolted awake and was back in his bed.
‘Was that a dream?’
He rubbed away the sweat from his forehead and tried to steady his agitated breathing. He took a couple deep breaths as he reached for paper towels inside the nightstand drawer. His mouth was dry and the air tasted metallic. As he touched the cold floor he looked down and saw a stump where his leg had been only just yesterday.
“What the hell!” he screamed
In the blink of an eye his leg had grown back to where it was. He anxiously reached for his leg and inspected it. Pinching the skin, pulling on the leg hairs and even slapping his foot a few times, everything seemed to be there.
‘What is happening to me?’
He jumped, lost his balance, and fell to the floor as the alarm sound again. He grabbed a sandal in close proximity and hurled it at the clock, making it fall of the stand and break into a few pieces.
“What is going on!” he screamed frustrated
Did he imagine everything yesterday? Was that yesterday? Was it a dream? Was he forgetting anything else? All these thought plagued his being as he stood up using the bed as support. Everything began to wash away as he listened to the relaxing sound of the clock and closed his eyes for a minute. As he took the last bite of the waffle he couldn’t help but wonder how long it took him to actually commute. He had never actually googled his route, so he decided to try it out.
“30 minutes? Well that’s not right…” he said confused
As he arrived at the coffee shop he looked at his clock and saw 8:25am. He googled the route from there and saw it said 10 minutes to work.
“Wait, but I do this every day. Is there a traffic jam?”
As the workday came to an end he decided to talk to Mr. Rocksteady, he was still too curious on what had happened. He knocked on the side of the crystal door with the big John Rocksteady on the front that was wide open.
“You got a second boss?”
“Of course, come in, sit down.” he gestured at the empty red futon in front of his desk
“I have a weird question. Did we talk yesterday morning about anything weird? Was I acting strange?” he said as he slowly sat down
As he laid to bed he couldn’t help but wonder what had happened. He knew something happened to him, he still felt odd about the whole thing. But he couldn’t worry about that, the wedding was tomorrow and there was nothing more important than that tonight. So he closed his eyes and listened to the relaxing ticks of the clock on his wall.
He woke up, ready for another day as a broke college student and reached for the energy drink beside his bed. Some of it managed to land inside his mouth as he spilled most of the sticky green liquid all over his face. He closed his eyes once again but could not ignore the jolting bam of his gunshot alarm. He got up and grabbed the milk sitting in the kitchen table as he kissed Ana goodbye and walked to the door. He was so luck to have such a wonderful wife and to finally be rid of those daily waffles. 5 years of happiness and beyond.
“Wait…what?” he said confused as he reached his cubicle “What’s happening? I was just home.”
He looked at his watch and saw the time
“8:30” he whispered to himself
He clutched his head, confused and scared. Reached for his phone and looked at the date
“2025…” his face went pale
“This isn’t, right…This isn’t the year, I am not in the right year!” he screamed scratching his head vigorously
His coworkers looked concerned at him, their eyes locked in the suddenly panicking man. Then Mr.Rocksteady grabbed him by the shoulders and pushed him into his office.
“Calm down.” he said gently “You’re okay, it’s gonna be okay.”
“What? No! I’m not…this doesn’t…” his eyes were darting around the room and his body was trembling. Breath escaped him as his chest was trying to choke him.
“Here, it’s tea.” Rocksteady gave him a beautiful ornate teacup with a vintage map of the world etched into it “You have to calm down.”
“It doesn’t make sense! I was just waking up to go to college. I don’t have a wife. I talked to you yesterday about our…” he stopped himself “Wait, was that yesterday? What day was yesterday?” his migraine issued a new pain level as he knelt over and grabbed the brown chair in front of his desk “This is brown!” he screamed one last time.
“Calm down Chronos!” Rocksteady said firmly
Tim’s mind went blank as he heard that name. Every worry he had was suddenly gone and all he heard was the relaxing tick form the clock on the wall.
“The clock.” he said
“Yes, the clock.” replied Rocksteady
Rocksteady helped him up into the chair and walked around the desk to sit in his. He cupped his hand together and lay his chin on top.
“We’re not technically gods. We’re more humans with amazing abilities. You are one in the endless cycle of reincarnation we are forced to follow.” he said
“But, I don’t have any abilities. I’ve always been mediocre at best. Why did you call me Chronos?”
“Have you ever been late in your entire life?”
Tim was about to answer but decided to think about the question before giving an honest answer. He couldn’t remember a time he was ever late. Even the times he knew he would be, he would always arrive right on time.
“We don’t have superpowers Tim. We’re not impervious to harm, we just have special abilities. You can manipulate time, no matter the moment you can make it stay that moment forever or move it faster down the timeline. You’ve been subconsciously manipulating time your whole life, it just takes a little nudge to help you remember what you’re doing.”
Rocksteady walked up to Tim and stood beside him, putting his hand on his shoulder
“Who are you then?” Tim asked
Tim made a quick connection between Rocksteady and Atlas
“I get it, Rocksteady.”
“Yep, same goes for many of us. Your name is Tim Eldrich, Tim E.” he said, gesturing towards the clock
“How do we get such on the nose names?” Tim said
“One or many of our brothers and sisters who manipulate fate probably. Not everything can be explained logically in a world full of gods. We make our own rules after all.” he smiled at him
After a few minutes of contemplating his possibilities, Tim took a deep breath and decided to accept his new reality. As hard as it was to accept he was a living god, it was harder to accept he was freely travelling through time without this sort of explanation. His acceptance awakened something inside. Memories filled his head, from times and places he had never even heard of. This time they slowly trickled in and felt like a soothing wave of water washing over him. All his lives, all his promises and triumphs, all his defeats and suffering, everything he had ever done or would do, he embraced it all.
“What now Atlas?” he asked slowly standing up
“Now? Same thing we always do when we awaken, we look for other awakened and gather them together. We make a new world or we keep the status quo. We decide whether we’ll let the humans live this time or kill them all in one of our endless wars. We live as gods, as what we’ve always been, or we die as nobodies in the gutter of some club. Chronos, welcome to Alpha and Omega inc. Welcome to the realm of gods.”
With that Atlas opened the door and all of Tim’s coworkers were standing and began to applause. Chronos was home.