Rooting Around – Part 4

[This is part 4 of the 4 part short story Rooting Around, you may want to read Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 if you haven’t already]

Somehow Sean had expected something to happen from just touching the box. Like it would innately be able to read his desire and take him where he wanted to go to. In fact nothing had happened when he had touched the corner of the box other than he’d realised that the box was made of cardboard rather than wood as it had seemed in the half light of the attic.

He saw that some tape was holding down the flaps on the top of the box, and he started to pull it back towards him. His knees felt very uncomfortable in this position so he sat back down to help him, but kept – very slowly – pulling the tape towards him. Sitting back down made some of the blood rush back to his head. With this he realised that actually he was quite drunk. Was he ready to meet his previous self and explain to him how he should change his life?

And maybe it wasn’t such a good idea anyway? Suddenly Sean wasn’t so sure he wanted to go through with it. He would have to stop being himself to win Jen, and he wasn’t sure that he was totally ready to do that. Sean quite liked being Sean, he wasn’t sure he didn’t like being Sean more than he liked Jen at this point.

And anway, surely he didn’t have to travel through time immediately. That’s one of the beauties of time travel, you’ve always got a chance to do it again if it didn’t work out the first time. Maybe he’d have a coffee first and sober up? And maybe a shower wouldn’t be the worst of ideas?

The only downside to this plan was the exit to the attic. The arrangement of the attic was such that the light switch was not within reach of the ladder. But, he thought, he’d be back up here in a little bit, maybe he’d just leave the light on when he went down this time.

As he stepped down the ladder the full force of daylight re-entered his eyes. And he found himself blinking more than normally. Everything looked so normal. Up there everything had seemed so surreal. It was like coming of a movie theatre after seing a film during the day.

He walked down stairs and walked into the kitchen. Oddly he couldn’t find any coffee in the cupboard, actually there wasn’t anything in the cupboard which he was sure wasn’t right. He walked into the living room, and realised that there was completely different furniture in there.

“Hello,” said a voice from an armchair that Sean didn’t own, it was the old man who Sean had bought the house from, “having fun travelling through time?”

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