time travel – trousers – supervise – successfully – law
identity – mustard – kitchen – tooth – fly
The second to last thing that happened was Margaret over-squeezing the mustard bottle so the yellow condiment shot past her open ham sandwich and landed as a sizeable dollop on the left leg of her trousers. Just before that, a man appeared in front of her in the kitchen of her seventh floor office at the law firm where she worked as an assistant. Before that, Margaret had decided to take an early lunch. She’d been asked to supervise and offer assistance to the men who were installing a new security system in the building, but she’d found she was just watching them work and grew bored. She was excited for lunch as it was the first day she would be able to eat bread in weeks, since the tooth that’d been bothering her was removed just this morning. They’d offered her some alternatives to simply pulling it, but she’d had enough of the pain and the appointments and just wanted it gone. Such was Margaret’s way; she did what she wanted without much concern for the lasting effects. Which is probably why she didn’t get promoted yesterday in her performance review. “You take long lunches, you fly out of meetings early. You’re blasé. Margaret, do you really want to work here?” That’s what they’d asked her. She did. Want to work there, but only for the paycheque. She didn’t much mind losing the promotion, only the extra cash. The increase in responsibility she was fine without.
Before she went in for the meeting, she’d decided she was going to do the insemination from the donor clinic regardless of the raise. She had enough money. The file she was considering was a multiple doctorate recipient, so she’d get to be the single mother of a wiz-kid. That’d be cool.
Now, in the kitchen, she was spooked. She didn’t know the identity of the man. He’d just materialized there, in body armour, silently. He held a gun, looked Margaret right in the eyes, carried a sadness with him. “You are Margaret Vance.” Not a question, but not a solid statement either. “You are the future mother of Richard Vance, the first to successfully achieve time travel,” the man continued. “It’s a terrible discovery. Dangerous. And it needs to never happen… I’m sorry.” The man stepped forward, pressed the muzzle of the gun into Margaret’s chest and pulled the trigger once. The last thing that happened was Margaret bleeding out on the ground. The man looked like her, she thought for a moment. Then she was gone, and so was he.