The phone rang on Dr. Michelle Funchess’s desk. She looked up from the paper she was writing on quantum entanglement theory and picked up the receiver.
“Hello, Dr. Funchess speaking.”
“Yeah, I know. Look you have to listen to me.” The voice on the other end sounded exactly like Michelle’s own when she had a cold.
“Okay, is this Jenna?” Michelle asked. “The voice is pretty good.”
“No. I am you from twenty-five years in the future.” Michelle thought about hanging up the phone. “Listen, I know this sounds crazy, but hear me out. I know about that time you were with Bobby back in the stacks.”
That took Michelle aback. Yeah, that happened and she hadn’t told anyone about it, or did she? There were a couple times she had gotten stupid with her girlfriends, so maybe it had come out?
The voice continued. “And what about the time you felt guilty swiping that pack of gum from Albert’s Drug Store in fourth grade? Remember that?”
Michelle smiled at how bad she had felt for weeks until she had “accidently” left like seventy-five cents in the need a penny take a penny tray at the counter. “You need to do better than that. If you are me you know I tell lots of stories. I’m not sure I have a deep dark secret that would prove you are who, or when you claim you are.”
“Damn!” the voice on the other side of the line said. Michelle could hear a ton of typing on a keyboard.
“Look, there is nothing you can say that will make this hoax work. If you really know me you know I too much physics to fall for this.”
“One second,” the voice said. “Ah, there. Okay, I’ll give you a prediction for your future to make you believe.”
“You’re going to give me the lottery numbers?”
“That would take too long. What time is it where you are?”
“Not the year, what time of day? It’s like 12:30, right?”
“Close. It’s like 12:46. What time of crappy time travel do you have there twenty-five years in the future?”
“There are uncertainties, just like the ones you are writing in that paper.”
That stopped Michelle in her tracks. No one really knew about that. Well no one around here. She might have hinted it at the last American Physics Society national conference, but still. This was quite the scam.
The voice continued. “It’s going to start raining in exactly three minutes.”
That made Michelle laugh. They finally overplayed their hand. She looked outside her large office windows. “It is perfectly sunny here,” Michelle said. “There is barely a cloud in the sky.”
“It will rain in the next two minutes and forty seconds. This will prove I am who I say I am. I need to hang up now and call back in four minutes. The energy cost to keep the line is too much to just wait.” With that the voice on the other side hung up.
Michelle hung up her phone and went back to her computer, but her curiosity wouldn’t stop her from checking the scene outside her window. As she stared, wondering why someone was trying so hard to get into her head a sun shower began. Big wet rain drops splattered against her window and her vision to the outside world, and her world in general, became blurry.
The ringing of the phone soon thereafter made her jump in her chair. She stared at the phone, but didn’t try to pick it up. She still wasn’t sure what was going on, but she knew she didn’t want to know. Her future self should have known that. Time must be able to change a person.