art by ShotHot Design
Just Enough Time
by Douglas K. Beagley
The Time Traveler entered Starbucks in a hurry.
There were five of us, the usual. I was drinking a mocha with whipped cream, trying hard to hold the hot cup and not look like an ass. I wondered if I should have shaved. I was going after Jenn, you know, nodding at what she said. I asked, "What did you think of the book?" and all that, and I thought it was going pretty well. I probably should have shaved. I thought my leather coat was good, but just about then I was worrying she might be a vegetarian now, or hate leather or something. Jenn plays all smart like that.
So the Time Traveler had pushed the door open roughly, and she stepped into the noise and smell. She looked around the room, sort of frantic and maybe disappointed.
How did I know she was a time traveler? Probably something about how fourth-dimension travel lends a subtle dream-like quality to things and people, as if they are only available to our reality through a profound mistake. Whatever. She was kind of a hottie, thin but curvy with really great hair, and we were all pretty stoked when she rushed right over to our table.
"I only have a few minutes. Please, please listen to me."