Just wanted to share this, since I feel the 500 word requirement for this week's Weekly Prompt from Writer's Digest was a little stifling. This is the original, uncut story I cranked out this morning before hacking it down to 500 words, this original was only 1,400 and I feel a much more entertaining short story, and still a short story. Remember the prompt was you receive an email from your future self at midnight on New Year's Eve. This version does have some adult themes and should only be read by an adult audience:
I can feel the bass reverberating through my intestines. Or at least I think I can. After another gulping shot of some wild concoction of four different hard liquors, I am not sure I feel anything besides a deep, tingly buzz. But the bass is loud and deep and, again, I feel it moving inside my intestines.
Ten minutes until midnight and I realize that it's not just the music I feel moving everything around inside my belly, it's the all-you-can eat sushi I thought was a great deal, and idea, to eat with my current fling before we headed to this swanky roof-top New Year's Eve party. My date is gyrating to the techno mix next to me, garnering the attention of another well-dressed computer enginerd who seems more likely to be blessed with the gift of coding instead of the gift of feeling the beat. That was one reason I maintain a higher social profile than much of the has-beens of Silicon Valley: I could cut a rug, and most chicks digged that.
Less than eight minutes to go in the countdown and my lower abdomen pinches in pain. I could make it until midnight, steal a kiss and then rush to the bathroom. Just had to do some clever clinching and minimize my movements.
Of course, now, my date, wearing a flattering, tight sequence dress wrapped around ample curves, decides she wants to "drop it low" and beckons me to follow. I playfully wink and shake my head, realizing I was no longer sweating from all the intensive dry-humping we had been doing on the dance floor, but, rather, because I had to go.
I had to go now.
No time for explanations. I made a bee-line for the rest room, which luckily had been cleared out as everyone prepared for that magical moment at midnight. My date would be pissed, but I could care less. After I get my fun out of her tonight, I'd be on to the next one, unless she proved herself unique in the Clinique.
I mumble a painful apology to the restroom attendant and rush down the line of sparkling urinals (#notformuchlonger) and slide around the open door of the last stall. I give the seat a quick once-over with a thick, protective handful of toilet paper, close and lock the stall door, pull my iPhone out of my pocket and loosen my belt. My pants and boxer briefs are around my ankles and my ass is barely on the cold plastic seat (#gooditsnotbuttfleshwarm) before my dinner makes a hasty exit. Maybe I could still make it by midnight, and I am losing precious seconds but I had to Tweet about my current predicament, it was too ironic not to.
I turn on my phone to see a new email alert, "OPEN IMMEDIATELY.". It's from me, well, my GMAIL account, which I labeled "ME." Odd. I open and read.
Dear Me, You, Us:
Hey douchebag (and I mean that in the strongest sense because you are one right now, stop hash tagging everything, it's not hip, it's stupid). Let me give you specifics that only we would know so you take this email for the seriousness it requires. One: I know the real reason you had to rush out in the middle of the night to buy a new keyboard for our parents computer from Wal-Mart and that you dumped the old one in the dumpster behind the store (and you will still get flush forty years later when the memory of that night resurfaces). Two: the spicy tempura is currently making your anus burn.
I stare at the screen, wanting to wipe that burning sensation away from thus referred to region, but could just sit frozen. All I can do is keep reading. (#wtf)
I am writing you using GOOGLE's beta program TIMEMAIL. I know, pretty lame name, but we didn't come up with it. We did help write the code from the program, and I don't have to tell you how well it works. I just have to tell you what you need to do. That dorky hipster you saw moving in on your girl, well, guys a genius and as tonight would have gone, you would have walked out there and caught him kissing your date at midnight. You would then act all tough guy and threaten to beat his ass but he mulls things over by not just buying you another drink, but paying for your whole tab and apologizing for the whole incident (your date needed a midnight kiss regardless of what your weak stomach needed). Well, anyway, the three of you end up leaving together and it begins a weird love triangle thing that lasts several weeks (yes, she was "unique in the Clinique," and yes, you are gay, so you can stop pretending, or bisexual as you might feel more comfortable grasping, but soon the female part of the equation is going to remove herself from this budding relationship and it'll be just you and him.) This CAN NOT happen. You and him, he and I, we write the code for TIMEMAIL, we create it from a silly idea of emailing ourselves in the past to comfort our conflicting sexuality and it develops into a REAL thing. A REAL BAD thing. I refused to use it until now, because I understood the evil temptations that could rise. Be nice to send an email to tell past-you to buy up as much APPLE stock as you can when it is only $100 a share wouldn't it? This program is evil and it is the ingenious creation of the brilliant mind horribly dancing on your date right now. I need you to do something drastic. When you go home with him tonight, you need to kill him.
(#shitjustgotreal) I force down the lump in my throat and keep reading.
They're both into some crazy shit, and if I remember correctly he wants to choke himself with a belt while she performs on him and you perform on her. Use the belt. Make it look like an accident. Kill the girl if you need to as well. But I doubt either of us would be up for that.
I stop reading and put my phone down. I was not capable of murder, and unless this was a hoax, future me should know that as well. And I was not gay. This had to be a trick. So I did the only logical thing to do, I hit reply. (#seriouslywtfwasinthatlastshot)
I send a brisk email back to me to see what would happen. The main question I ask future me is why murder is necessary, why tonight and why I couldn't just convince this guy that sending emails through time was absolutely ridiculous (but even as I typed that I could feel the gears slowly turning in my mind), and lastly I reconfirmed my conviction that I was not gay.(#threeminutestilmidnight)
I hastily begin to wipe myself clean before I get a response. It comes quite quickly.
Another email from "ME" marked URGENT.
I open it.
Whatever we did now changed things drastically. TIMEMAIL is still up and destroying the future but ours has changed. So strange how it happened. Butterfly effect. All I can say is that you have to kill Paul Davidson. It is his tinkering that makes TIMEMAIL work. He can't be given the opportunity to allow that to happen. And you are gay. Trust me.
I am about to reply again, I have finished cleaning myself and am ready to pull up, zip up, and man up to the challenges of the night (#howcanthisstudbegay), when a new thought kicks down the door to my mind. I open my GMAIL chat app and there I am, top of the chat list, with an ominous green circle next to my GMAIL account.
My heart is pounding as I message my future me.
Is this me?
A long pause and then the most gripping conversation with myself unfolds. At the end of it I leave the bathroom in a cold sweat, my heart pounding and my mind focused. From what I have told myself, TIMEMAIL is the most corrupt technology ever created and the man behind it all is indeed awfully grinding on my date. It is well past midnight, my GMAIL chat with myself had lasted through nearly ten long minutes of patrons banging on the bathroom stall and me shouting macho comments back. But I knew what I had to do. There were no hashtags for how this night would end. I would have to save the world from the evil I would help create. I would kill Paul Davidson.