Flash Fiction: Boomerang


Kanyla Wilson

Logan was warned about his fate but nothing could prepare him for the jarring experience of watching his life in reverse. His father attempted to explain but had no words suitable for summing up their family’s unique affliction. As his thirty-fifth birthday approached the knots in his stomach grew so large he felt pregnant with worry, but there was nothing he could do to avoid the inevitable. The day after his thirty-fifth birthday, he would wake up and begin his life in reverse. The day after his birthday would be a repeat of the day before. He would relive every day of his thirty-five years in reverse until he reached the day of his birth. Then, he would experience every day in the correct order until he reached the thirty-fifth birthday again. Logan would remain a thirty-five-year-old man, watching every day of his life so far as a voyeur with nothing more to do than analyze all he saw like a sports commentator watching game footage.

All of the men in Logan’s family line shared the same condition and although they boomeranged back and forth through time the men were said to never age past thirty-five. Their permanent youth and immortality were the only consolation for their redundant existence. The story of how they received the curse was buried beneath centuries of inconsistencies in the oral history but the fact remained clear when a Dreux man reached thirty-five he disappeared never to be heard from again.

“If there is anything you want out of life, you had better get it before you turn thirty-five.” Logan could remember his father giving him those words of wisdom when he was seven. From that moment he was in a rush to do everything, he got married at eighteen and fathered three children by his thirtieth birthday. He prayed for little girls but fate dealt Logan three boys with his eyes and his burden.

Preparing for his thirty-fifth birthday was like preparing for death. He sat in his favorite chair in the middle of the birthday party his wife threw in their home, feeling like he was attending his own wake. His family and friends all gathered to say goodbye but none of their words were consoling. His wife cried as his mother and grandmother comforted her. They were a very exclusive support group for the women of the time travelers who never returned back home. He would see his wife again and again. He would get to watch himself fall in love with her a million times over but she would never have another day with him. The cruelty of the curse would also leave her one day comforting the wives of his sons just as his mother did for her now.

His last night with her was full of the same love as the first. And as she slept he stared at her and balanced between feeling like the richest man in the world and undeserving of the unconditional love she gave to someone who was only a passing moment. He knew his wishes to stay wouldn’t be answered but he made them anyway as he kissed her tear stained face. It was time to say goodbye to his life without ever really leaving. He closed his eyes, took one last breath and surrendered to the slumber that would carry him into nonexistence.


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