The note taped to my apartment door said, ‘Game night, my place, 7:30 p.m. Thursday. See you then.’ It was unsigned, and I didn’t recognize the sloppy handwriting.

I stared at it, imagining the possibilities. Did they forget to sign it or think I’d recognize their handwriting? Did they stick the note on the wrong door? Were they pulling my chain?

Our building’s outer door was always locked, so another tenant in the old house converted into tiny flats for singles probably delivered the note. I’d met them all but didn’t know them well.

I put the note aside and awaited clarification. If I heard nothing, I’d check the floors on Thursday. If I saw no activity, I’d write it off as someone’s weird joke.

After work on Thursday, I had a bite at the local pub and checked my door and answering machine for messages before walking through the building. I saw no sign of an apartment with any social activity.

When I returned to my little flat, I entered an unfamiliar space occupied by two women and one man. I recognized none of them, but they seemed to know me. A table with two decks of cards, a scorepad for Bridge, and four chairs dominated the main room. Soft jazz played on the stereo, and drinks and snacks were laid out.

We sat down to play, and my partner dealt the first hand. My knowledge of the game was limited, and my skill, rudimentary. But I played with abandon, and we won several hands we should have lost.

When the other couple left, my partner led me to the master suite. She pulled a bottle of champagne from an ice bucket, released the cork, and filled two flutes. “To my lover on our first anniversary. He never ceases to amaze.”

The following morning, I awoke alone in the Murphy bed in my tiny one-room apartment. My pants pocket contained a cash register receipt I’d used to scribble a note. It was dated August 28, 1973, thirteen months into the future. Suddenly, my future looked very bright.

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Fuji
Fuji (@fuji)
1 month ago

Very nice, Alan! Our time travel stories often go back into the past, but I like how this one foresees the future – and a very bright future indeed! Not only will he meet the love of his life, but he trades in a Murphy bed in a tiny flat to a master suite. What fun!

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Admin
Voice-Team (@voice-team)
1 month ago
Reply to  Alan Kemister

Hello Alan – We definitely do NOT expect a positive spin on the entries. Quite the contrary. We honor and value well-written stories of all kinds. Family-friendly does not mean all sweetness and light, nor does it mean avoiding difficult topics. We look for stories that approach their theme with dignity, perhaps some degree of compassion, and above all excellent writing. We wonder if you’ve read some of the many stories that address extremely difficult topics – no positive spins here! These are just a few examples of some truly powerful, memorable stories: Run Little Rabbit, The Delusion, Euthanasia, When the Bough Breaks

Sandra James
Sandra James (@sandra-james)
1 month ago

Like Fuji, I really like the way you’ve gone into the future. How often do we comfort people who’ve been disappointed in life or love by telling them, or indeed ourselves, something wonderful could be just around the corner? Sometimes it would be nice to know. Well done 🙂

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Christer Norrlof
Christer Norrlof (@christer-norrlof)
1 month ago

I like your story, Alan! It’s very well written and thrilling. At the end of my reading, I was afraid that it would be another one of those waking-up-from-a dream stories we already have had so many of, so I am happy you found another way out.
I constantly learn new things from you guys in our Voice-family. I didn’t know what a Murphy bed is and had to do a search. When I found it, I also saw a question about it: “Can you die in a Murphy bed?” The answer was “yes” and in my mind I had another possible outcome of your story, haha.
By the way, your story reminded me of Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five.

Carrie OLeary
Carrie OLeary (@carrie-oleary)
1 month ago

An interesting time travel story Alan. I enjoy ones that go into the future; there’s so much potential because the unexpected can happen. Nicely done.

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo (@lotchie-carmelo)
1 month ago

It is fascinating and unique story, Alan. Because sometimes time travel stories go back to the past but this one goes to the future. Hopefully, there is a time travel machine like this so I can travel to my future, I want to know what my life could be in the future hahahaha. It can be exciting and frightening as well because there are so many possible things to happen. Good job.

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