Saturday, 28 May 2011
The Book - José Vicente Ortuño
"I'm very busy, Mr...."
"Professor Polycarpus Uchronus," the man said. "I'm from the Polytechnical University of Valencia.
"I've never heard of that university," Herbert George Wells said as he tried to put further distance between himself and the strange character who had been following him.
"Well it's just that... well, the way I'd put it is," the professor stammered, "it's just that it doesn't exist yet."
"Ah, well!" Wells exclaimed. "Then send me a note when it is to built; I would be enchanted to deliver an inaugural address. Good-bye, good day."
"Allow me to tell you something," the professor insisted, "then I'll leave you in peace. I promise."
"All right," Wells conceded, tired. "Let us sit on this bench for a few minutes. Then I must return to work, you know."
"Thank you, Mr. Wells, I won't take any more of your precious time than necessary." Professor Ucronos laughed as though he had said something funny.
Once seated, the scientist from the future began to explain, "Look, Mr. Wells, I come from the future, from the Twenty-fifth Century. I happen to know that in 1895 you will publish a book entitled 'The Time Machine'. This novel will become the inspiration for generations of scientists.
"Really?" Wells said with an interested look.
"Of course. I myself, having read it as a child, became obsessed with attempting to construct a similar machine. Finally I succeeded, and I have come to meet the person responsible and to thank him."
Wells rose, smiling, and extended his hand to the visitor from the future.
"Thank you professor. I thank you for having bothered to come from so far... from the future. I will think of you as I write my novel," he said amiably, and he walked away with long strides.
Professor Ucronos, satisfied with having turned one of his dearest dreams into reality, returned to the 25th Century. Wrapped in an aura of scientific bliss, he sat down at his desk, on which he had left a copy of "The Time Machine". But his satisfaction turned to dismay as he examined it. The title had changed. The cover now read: Cooking recipes for refined persons.