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Slow victory

In the current timeline Juanjo Bazan is an author based in Madrid, Spain, with interest in science, poetry, and of course their intersection. Among other publications his work has appeared in Strange Horizons, Star*Line, and also in spanish anthologies like Visiones. He holds science degrees in Math and Astrophysics, and got an M.A. in Creative Writing from Hotel Kafka writers' workshop. You can find him on Twitter as @xuanxu

I know they won't allow me to travel back in time for no reason. They only accept big missions, with clear goals: kill somebody, cause a discovery, change the outcome of a war. I'm so tired of changing the past to adapt it to our preferences.
This time I sneak in alone and tell nobody, because they can't deny permission if I don't ask. I choose the destination and the subject with my rules about no interfering in mind. Then I jump back just a few centuries, and find her in the woods.
She is trying to escape, hiding from the army of uniformed and ignorant men that have her surrounded. Because anything is sorcery for those who don't understand the world.
Together we find a hut. We have probably just a few minutes, and she is so scared she just listens to me with surprise. I tell her about the future, about our time. About how we fly around the planet and beyond. How we fight disease with poison injections. How our metal machines come to life with sparks and communicate with invisible signals.
When the door rumbles and we hear the blows she is laughing with a new light in her eyes and I disappear like an old memory.
History continues untouched, so this would qualify as a waste of resources or a failed mission. Except it is not. I know everything changed in her mind.
She goes out to the soldiers, half smiling, to the fire that awaits her. Losing a battle but sure of winning this old war.
She knows the magic survives.
She knows we are all witches now.
The End
This story was first published on Thursday, May 24th, 2018

Author Comments

In most of the time travel stories where people jump back in time there is something wrong in the future that must be corrected. With this short piece I wanted to avoid that and just show a travel back in time for the sake of it, no big purpose or timeline changes but just a small mission to make something good for someone you are visiting, not for the future society. Could that be justified? I hope so.

- Juanjo Bazan
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