Beyond the Western
When the Future Needs the Past
Scott A. Gese

“I’m not really here. I don’t exist yet.” Image source: Unsplash

A time traveler from the future needs help from someone in the past in order to protect a project he’s working on.

Beyond the Western

Michael Westing put his book down and got up from his chair to answer the persistent knocking at his door.

“Hold on, I’m coming.”

He opened the door to find an older man, well dressed and clean cut. He held a briefcase.

“If you’re a salesman? I’m not interested.”

“No, I’m not a salesman. My name is Destin Westing.”

“Westing? Are you a relative?”

“Yes, I am. May I come in? I have a message for you.”

“A message from who?”

“I can explain, but it will take a few minutes. Please, may I come in?”

Michael opened the door a little wider and let the man in. “Have a seat. Would you like a beer?”

Destin took a seat on the couch. “No thank you,” he replied.

“My time here is limited so let me get right to the point. You may not believe what I’m about to tell you, but I swear it’s the truth.”

That was enough to intrigue Michael. He took a seat across from Destin.

“I’m not sure how to say this except to just put it out there. Michael… I’m your Great Grandson.”

Michael was taken aback. He jumped up from his chair and moved toward Destin. “What? Bullshit. I’m not even married. Who the fuck are you? Get out of my house.”

Destin held his hand up toward Michael. “Wait, wait. Hear me out. I know this sounds crazy and it makes no sense. I don’t blame you for reacting this way but I’m telling you the truth and I can prove it. Let me explain. Please. Listen to what I have to say.”

“Go on,” replied Michael. “But it better be good.”

“Technology is moving at such a rapid pace these days. It only makes sense that at some point mankind will understand how to manipulate time, making time travel possible. It won’t happen for decades yet, but it happens in my lifetime.”

Michael sat back down. “Time travel? Well, I’m sure this will be an entertaining story if nothing else. Have at it.”

Destin relaxed. “You will get married, but not for a few years. You’ll have kids. Three of them. Two boys and a girl. Your oldest boy will be named Will. He’s my Grandfather. His son will be my father. I’m his youngest. I won’t be born for another sixty-some years. I’m here from over one hundred years in the future.”

“Hmm. I see,” replied Michael. And…why are you here?”

“I detect the skepticism in your voice,” replied Destin. “I don’t blame you. I’m here because I need your help. What I’m about to ask you to do will change history.”

“Ha, great. This just keeps getting better and better. And exactly what is it I need to do to change history?”

“First let me explain why I need you to do what I’m about to ask you. In my time I’m a scientist and an engineer. I’ve been working on the theory of time travel for several years now and as you can see, I’ve achieved it to some degree. My problem is this. I need money to continue perfecting my work. There are cor…”

Michael interjected. “Woa woa. Just a minute here. I see it now. You’re nothing but a con man, here to get money out of me. Isn’t that right??

“No, No not at all. I don’t want money from you. I want to give you money.”

“Give me money? You need money but you want to give me money. You’re too much. Go on with your story. I’d like to know how the hell that works.”

Destin continued. “The time I live in is very controlled. There are certain corporations, certain individuals watching me closely and want to sponsor my work. In reality, they want to take control of it. If I let them do that, the state will take my work and either bury it or use it for military applications. Maybe both. I can’t let that happen. I have a plan and you’re part of it. Here’s what I need you to do.”

Destin opened his briefcase, pulled out two slips of paper and handed one to Michael. It was a lottery ticket for a drawing worth more than forty million dollars.

“I stopped by the corner supermarket and picked this up for you. I did my research. I guarantee you this ticket has the winning numbers on it. After you claim your winnings I need you to do this for me.” Destin handed Michael the other sheet of paper. It was to a brokerage house.

“I need you to set up this account for me and purchase shares of this startup company. All the information is listed on the sheet. I need you to purchase five million dollars worth of their stock. The rest of the money is yours. When I return to the future it will be worth about twenty times this much. It will be enough to finance my work and bribe off those who would want to control it. Will you do this for me?”

Michael looked up at Destin. “Mister, I don’t know who the hell you are, but if this is some kind of a prank, it’s pretty damn good. And to think it only cost you the price of a lottery ticket. Is the camera in your briefcase?”

“I understand your skepticism. I assure you there’s no camera in my briefcase.”

“Then why don’t you do this yourself? Why do you need me to do it for you?” Asked Michael.

“Two reasons,” replied Destin. “First, I’m not really here. I don’t exist yet, so I’m not carrying any identification and have no way to set up the account. Secondly, I can’t take anything back with me that I didn’t come here with.

I do have what I need to get back home and I plan to disappear before your very eyes. If that’s not enough to convince you I’m for real, that winning lottery ticket should do the trick. Please, don’t let your Great Grandson down, Michael. I’m depending on you.”

Destin reached into his briefcase and pulled out a small electronic device. “It was good to meet you, Michael. Thank you.”

“Listen, Destin, If you’re for real you’ll have your money when you return. Now let me see you disappear. If you don’t, I’m going to kick your ass.”

Destin gripped the device, pressed his finger to the screen, smiled and disappeared.

The account had been set up and the money was waiting for him when he returned.

© Copyright 2019 by Scott A. Gese All Rights Reserved