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Backstepper: A cheap sci-fi plot device
Posted by clayman, Sep 29, 2008. 2254 views. ID = 1817


Posted by clayman, Sep 29, 2008. 2254 views. ID = 1817
This post was written in 27 minutes.
An idea I've toyed with but never wrote down
This post has been awarded 64 stars by 17 readers.

I woke up, eased into my clothes and walked backwards out of the bedroom.
This was going to be the hardest day of my life. The day I met her...

I threw dinner up onto a plate and put it in the microwave where it slowly turned cold. I stuck it into the fridge and backed out of the front door, jumped into the car and drove backwards to the office among hundreds of other cars doing the same thing.

You see, ever since I inadvertently stepped into the Professor's particle beam, I have been living my life backwards.

And today is the day I met the love of my life, and it will be the last time I ever see her again.

I have full consciousness of both my future (up until that fateful day in the laboratory) and my past (what I can remember of it - like everyone else, my past is just a spotty patchwork of memories - so I do get surprised from time to time), but I have no control over either; it's sort of like living in a constant state of deja vu.

Actually, it's like living in Hell. It's monotonous, painful, and humiliating. Today is the worst one yet. I've lately been reliving the thrill of falling in love in reverse. And, believe me, losing someone this way is even more heart-wrenching than in forward time.

Oh, well, I've got to get "back" to work. And I have a little rendezvous to attend to.


Copyright 2008 clayman. All rights reserved. has been granted non-exclusive rights to display this work. For permission to reprint this item, please contact the author.

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This post has been awarded 64 stars by 17 readers.
This post is part of a writing prompt: Time Machine


Sep 29, 2008
This is a neat idea. I was wondering if "woke up" is the right way to describe falling asleep in reverse - but I couldn't think of any clever way of phrasing it.

It reminds me of a movie preview I saw recently about a man who was born old and grew young - but he didn't seem to be living life "backwards" like your character.

Anyway, I've put this one in the featured gallery. :)
   ~Posted by Douglas, Sep 29, 2008

Sep 29, 2008
I'm sure it's a standard sci-fi plot device, but I don't read a lot of sci-fi (except for the old stalwarts like Bradbury, Heinlein, or Vonnegut).
It's a pretty thin premise, and only good for a few paragraphs.

I just liked the idea about falling in love backwards.

I have crazy theories about love existing outside ordinary time, which to me is the only plausible explanation for how eternal love can seem to die.
Thanks for featuring my work again.
   ~Posted by clayman, Sep 29, 2008

Nov 25, 2008
That is amazing! I love it.
   ~Posted by DiAnne, Nov 25, 2008

Nov 25, 2008
Shouldn't it end with 'Hello' rather than 'Good-bye' ? just a thought.
   ~Posted by DiAnne, Nov 25, 2008

Nov 28, 2008
Good point!
   ~Posted by clayman, Nov 28, 2008

Dec 28, 2008
Technically it probably should be 'Hello," but if you actually did all of the wording backwards nobody would be able to understand it.

I like this a lot. It makes you think about what it would feel like to fall in love backwards...:D
   ~Posted by Hannah, Dec 28, 2008

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