In this story, our characters are set in a civilization that has time-traveling devices. These devices can only go one way, though, which is forward.
Our main character’s grandfather has cancer, and he has about two months left. The plan is to use one of the devices to send him into the future, where they will have developed a cure for cancer. Eventually, they send the grandfather to the future, but until the girl reaches that point in the future, she sends him letters talking about what’s going in her life and how life has changed. We, as the reader, also get a glimpse into how these devices affect society.
One example of how these devices affect society is that they have created time tourists. I came up with that phrase. People would arrive from the past and ooo and awe or, in some cases, criticize the future civilization, which might have been 5, 10, maybe 15 years into the future, for not having developed the way they expected them to have.
The area that the family lived in has become crime-ridden. People have taken advantage of these devices by committing a crime then jumping into the future. Sometimes, dead bodies from the past will appear as well because someone would have killed them and sent the body into the future to get rid of the evidence.
I think the girl grows up, graduates from college is so anxious about meeting up with her grandfather that even though she is close in time, she uses one of the devices to skip ahead to meet him. I won’t spoil what happens, but I will say that like the time tourists she encountered, she too arrived to a future that she didn’t quite expect.
This short story illustrates an interesting idea that human progress isn’t guaranteed to be linear, despite what we think.
It also illustrates the consequences of hoping that situations will improve in the future rather than focusing on fixing them right now.
I expected the first twist in this story but did not see the second one coming. Maybe you could even say that there was a third. I did like this story, though.