I recently bought an Ipod from an elderly couple at a garage sale. They said it belonged to their grandson, but he had passed away a few months earlier. I didn’t ask for any details and gave them my condolences. Anyway, they gave me a great deal and told me that their grandson’s music was still on it. I told them it was no big deal and went merrily on my way.
When I got home, I guess out of some morbid curiosity, I decided to go through and see what the grandson’s musical tastes were like. They were respectable. A little too modern for my taste, but, that’s beside the point.
I noticed there was a folder that was simply named: “William.” I thought it was odd that there would be a folder with just a first name, and, “William” is also my first name. When I opened the contents of the folder, I immediately noticed numerous recordings. I’m talking hundreds. They were all labeled “William,” and they all had a date. The creepy thing is that all the dates were in the future.
I know that this Ipod belonged to the elderly couple’s grandson. So, it is very possible that his name was “William” and that he had made these recordings. Maybe even little motivational sayings that he would listen to on the dates provided. You know, a little pick me up. That’s what I expected anyway.
I decided to listen to the first one. It was dated about a year into the future. The hair stood on my neck. I lost my breath. I distinctly recognized the voice on the recording. How could I not recognize it? It was my own voice.
I paced my little room in a panic. “I never made those recordings,” I thought to myself. And, I really hadn’t. I had never heard them before in my life. At times, it sounded like I was speaking in a different language. I only know English. “It can’t be me,” I thought. “No way, it’s not possible, it has to be someone with a near identical voice.” I decided to listen to the next recording.
Again, my voice. This time in a whisper. I was speaking fast. Fierce. About something in the news, something bad. I sounded shook. I had to stop it. What was I to do? The gravity of the situation was not lost on me. During the third recording, my fears were affirmed. Clear as day, I refer to the date of the recording, a date that is in the future. I began to question my entire existence. If these recordings are from my future self, how can I know anything is actually real here and now?
At this point, I had no idea what to do. I couldn’t bear to listen to anymore of the recordings. After the first five or six, it was making my stomach hurt. I sounded frightened. Distraught. Something was wrong. After much deliberation, I decided to listen to the very last recording, recorded about five years into the future. A transcription of which follows, I warn you, though, read at your own risk:
“All is gone. Lost. They’re gone. They’re all gone. Nothing to do now. Can’t go outside. Supplies will soon run out. Neighbor’s house disappeared last night. Woke up and it was gone. They could be coming tonight. We could be next. Marie doesn’t think so. But, I think we’ve lost. These could be my last words. It’s hard to imagine. Marie is asleep, so I have to whisper. But, I can feel the end coming. It’s here. It’s cold. If we survive the night, I will write again tomorrow. I love you Marie!”