Today I’m participating in the Back From the Future Bloghop hosted by fab bloggers M. Pax, Suze, and Nicki Elson. Click on the badge to learn more about the hop and/or to find links to other participants.
bftfPREMISE (with slight modifications as I don’t drink coffee)
I’m up before dawn on Saturday and the doorbell rings. Did I imagine it? I haven’t even had a chance to heat the water for my tea yet.  I abandon the kettle, go to the front door and peer outside. No one. I glance down and notice a parcel on the welcome mat. It is addressed to me . . . from me. WTF?
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I scoop up the package and haul it inside, sensing something legitimate despite the peculiar situation. Carefully, I pry open the carton. Inside I find a shoebox sent from 2023, and according to the attached Post-it,
filled with items I have sent to myself . . .

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I pluck the enclosed envelope from the box, a thick slice of paper the color of old bones, addressed in black ink, handwriting mine. The sheet inside is yellowed and crumpled. How could a letter written ten years in the future look so flippin’ old? Ten years is ten years, I suppose. The page smells of dust and mildew and something darker. I am afraid but read anyway. Is it wrong to hope for stock tips, lottery numbers, and Super Bowl winners?

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click to enlarge

That figures. Finally a chance to make some real money, and my future self gets all right-minded. That is so like me.

Thinking back to Monday, I remember the weird call. I was sitting alone in my office when the landline rang. It announced a call from VR, and my cell number appeared on the caller ID. Fine and dandy, except my cell was sitting quietly in its case next to my keyboard. When I answered, I got dead air. Creeped me out. Apparently the situation had way more creep potential than I imagined.

I shove the letter back in the envelope and peek into the box. Something electric slides across the back of my neck. Why would my future self send a bunch of candy bars? I pull out a Snickers bar. No, not a bar, just an empty wrapper. That is so like me. I sniff it. Still smells like chocolate. Thanks loads, future self. I study the wrapper. That’s when I notice the nutritional information: calories 0, total fat 0%. I examine the other candy wrappers. They all read the same. Chocolate without fat or calories? Now that’s my kind of a future!

I go back to the box and pull out a stack of paper—screenshots of newspaper headlines, the good, the bad, and the ugly. I hesitate. Do I really want to know?

  • PRINT-ON-DEMAND KIOSKS TO BE INSTALLED IN GROCERY STORES
  • LAST REMAINING PRINT NEWSPAPER GOES DIGITAL
  • FDA APPROVES CANCER VACCINE FOR MARKET
  • 33,310 HIGH TEMPERATURE RECORDS BROKEN IN JUNE ACROSS U.S.
  • SMALL PUBLISHERS FLOURISH AS REMAINING “BIG TWO”  FLOUNDER IN BANKRUPTCY.
  • NUMBER OF INDIE BOOKSTORES DOUBLES IN U.S. IN FIVE YEARS

I turn the shoebox over and empty the remaining contents onto my desk.

There is a photo of my dog, d’Arty, bouncy and smiling, taken at his 20th birthday party.

There are cancelled boarding passes for Scotland, Turkey, Peru, Ireland, Egypt, Poland, Spain, Iceland, Portugal, and Chile. The dates have been blacked out. Does this mean Scotland next year? The year after? The year after that?

At the very bottom of all this paper, I find a plaque:

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I repack the box, prop the plaque against my monitor and take the pup for a walk.

That is so like me.

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