by Edd Howarth
During my childhood, on the cool, star-sprinkled summer night of the village fair, an old gypsy lady held my palm and told me that, one day, I'd meet my future self, and I'd kill him. Granted, it was a strange thing for an old gypsy woman to say to a young boy, and I never gave it much stock until yesterday when, while waiting on a bench at Piccadilly Station, working steadily through a pack of Marlboro, I faced a man who just had to be my future self. His appearance was softer, greyer; body bent with the weight of age, wrapped up tight in a worn Anorak with one hand pressed to his throat; but beneath the fog of age the familiar features, the bent nose, the razor-scar nicked into the chin, the slight scowling expression, pierced through. I barely had time to think before the overhead clock chimed in a new train, and the future me was up and hobbling across the stone floor to the gate, still holding his neck, like those tobacco-mudded fingers were the only things keeping his head and body together. In the end I panicked, and I think that's what annoyed him: me grabbing his sleeve, yelling about being him from past, and dropping my cigarette and stooping to pick it up while his eyes lingered on the smoke and his hand tightened around his throat, giving me that one angry wheeze before storming off. My future self departed into a swish of coats and baggage, and I stood there knowing I'd missed the most important opportunity of my life.
Edd Howarth obtained his BA in English and Creative Writing from The University of Plymouth. He is currently pursuing an MA in English and Creative Writing at Longwood University.