The Sound of the Future
Abraham Lincoln looked at the time traveler.
“So I die tonight, and nothing to be done about it?”
“I’m afraid so,” said the traveler.
“Temporal mechanics just work that way.”
“Why did you come talk with me, then?” said Lincoln.
“I imagine a body could get in some trouble for that.”
The traveler leaned forward and said,
“Because everything you did for America was worth it.
Because we’re grateful to you for doing it.
Because it worked.
And because you deserve to know that.”
“Ah,” said Lincoln. “Thank you.”
A smile curled his rugged face.
Then the traveler pulled out a metal box.
“Listen to this, Mr. President,” he said.
Voices poured out of the box,
and Lincoln leaned near, dark eyes alight.
“… all counties reporting. Barack Obama is the first
African-American President of the United States of America.”
Lincoln lifted his head.
“What is … will be … the date?”
“November 4, 2008,” said the traveler.
“So long…” Lincoln mused.
“Well, the backlash after the war was pretty rough—”
the traveler began.
Lincoln waved him off. “I meant,” he said,
“that my country survives that long.”
“America lasts until planetary unification in 2029,”
the traveler added.
That night, Lincoln left for his date with history,