This Night Trick

Barbara McVeigh

The thing about time travel is you can’t be afraid of the dark. Start by shutting your eyes. Wait until you see constellations. Adjust your mind to the night. Pull threads on the star-pricked canopy until you meet the abyss. Breathe and let the pitch consume you until it shrinks your bones and spits you back out onto the green. The trick is to realize there is no such thing as time, only ripples. Each act you commit creates a kerplunk in the universe that is repeated and echoed and moves away from the original scene, expanding itself into the cosmos. What we think of as time is only distance. Imagine it as an old vinyl record. You only have to find the right groove to slip back in where you started. If the record skips, you can fall in love one million times, hearts breaking like chicken bones as you step over them, so you can be in time for your next flight. When the travel goes smoothly, you will waken in a different place and forever be a stranger. There’s always the fear you’ll never go home again. But why would you want to? Tuck a bit of night into your pocket in case of emergency. Decorate yourself with silver. Collect fractals from snowflakes. Move in figure eights.


Barbara McVeigh is a Canadian writer and teacher-librarian. Her work has appeared in formercactus, The Ginger Collect, Ellipsis Zine, and Funicular Magazine. You can connect with her on Twitter @barbaramcveigh.