Sean's Decision

In the year 2014, Sean Michael Rowes makes a decision to send a message back in time to his younger self, telling him to do whatever it takes to prevent the 9/11 attacks. 1000-word story written for the Movellas flash fiction competition.

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1. Sean's Decision

September 11, 2011

Sean Michael Rowes was standing at a memorial marker. The marker was located by the reflecting pool next to the 9/11 memorial center. The marker had three names carved on it. The names read "Logan Kamoku Dara Trichenberg (August 9, 1974-September 11, 2001), Richard Jeremiah Harlequin Trichenberg (August 25, 1971-September 11, 2001) and Andrea Deborah Marshall Elan (February 11, 1979-September 11, 2001)". A tribute to three people whose lives were cut short by the September 11, 2001 attacks.

On the other hand, were those lives that ended on September 11, 2001 an act of murder?

Sean found himself weeping as he thought about his cousins Logan and Dicky, the cousins he knew while growing up in Galloway, Scotland. He had met Andrea, his distant cousin (and a descendant of Johannah Trichenberg, Leo's youngest half-sister) during the 1980s, when her grandfather Omar Moghaddam was fighting with her parents (Bassil and Joanna Marshall) to keep her out of a mental hospital.

Those cousins (two of whom who had Down Syndrome) had been the best in the family, with Logan continuing his father and grandfather's work of "dominating the entertainment world, one movie at a time", Dicky's various writing projects, and Andrea's foray into acting, which earned her an Oscar before she turned 13 years old. They made a name for themselves in the 1990s, with Logan casting them on his groundbreaking TV dramas "The Teen Rebels" and "Temmy & Venus".

Yet, none of that could bring Sean any comfort now. Since 9/11, Logan's young widow (Deirdre Langston) had married a man who no one in the Trichenberg family (or the public) liked and raised their two children, Homer and Treasure, on a reality TV show. Dicky's twin children Lysander and Margret went through a period of wild behavior that would make many young Hollywood stars blush with embarrassment. Andrea's daughters Anastasia and Consuelo grew up too fast.

None of that would have happened if Sean hadn't put his foot down and insisted that Logan, Dicky, and Andrea meet him in Providence, Rhode Island instead of New York City. The attacks would have still happened, but the dead cousins in question would still be alive.

Speaking of which...

Sean went back to his hotel room and pulled out a barrage of souvenirs that he had collected over the years, which consisted of newspaper clippings that dealt with the September 11 attacks, the wars in Iraq and the Middle East, the Harry Potter phenomenon, and the gay marriage debacle. He also collected many other articles that dealt with school shootings, teen suicides, various other bad movies and pop culture events, and even articles that had something to do with the Trichenberg family. He put the book together and pulled out a piece of paper, writing a message to himself:

"Sean, when you get this message, you will know what you should and should not do. There is so much happening in this world that should not have happened and there are so many things that should have happened, but never got the chance to happen. When you read this book, you will see what has happened and you will know how to end it.

"As for the September 11, 2001 attacks, you must do what is necessary to prevent the attacks from happening. The attacks were the worst thing that has happened in the United States in recent history, and the attacks have spurred endless war and terror attacks. Don't let the 9/11 attacks happen. (Of course, Osama bin Laden must be found, caught, tried, and executed immediately.)

"If the war on terror does happen, don't hesitate to help the Americans win. Terrorism in any form has no place in the world.

"As for Harry Potter, I feel that it is a slap in the face of all literature as well as a despicable source of magic. You need to find a way to stop Harry Potter-mania from taking over the world. Find a book that looks like Harry Potter without all the magic and promote the crap out of it. The Lord of the Rings must remain popular or even be revived, since Lord of the Rings is better than Harry Potter.

"As for the gay marriage debate, I'll leave that to your discretion. Though if you choose to object to it, do it loudly and firmly instead of hiding behind a façade of false pretenses.

"Lastly, keep an eye on your family, as many of your cousins have done some questionable things. Lysander and Gretchen's wild-child behavior and Jacquelyn's questionable relationship with Cadwallader Gruven have made the news in recent years. Your cousins need you more than you need them.

"Sincerely, a well-wisher."

After the letter was written, Sean closed the book and with a prayer, performed the time traveling spell. The book disappeared, as if he had never had the book in the first place. He thought to himself please, God, please let this work. Please let this happen. Please don't let America fall as the Roman Empire had fallen. Please don't let evil win.

Just then, Jacquelyn approached him; she was 18 years old and a student at Yale University. She said to him, "Are you all right, Sean?"

"Jacquelyn," he said solemnly, "I hope that you never have to grow up in a world where God is never given the glory that he deserves and all kinds of sin are allowed to dictate your life. I fear for you and your future children."

Jacquelyn hugged him, saying, "You want to go back and prevent this from happening, right? You know what they say about trying to change the past..."

"I'm not changing the past, per se," said Sean. "I'm changing the future. Your future, my future, and the future of this country. I want to change it all so that one day, you will weep to learn that such evil could have existed."

Jacquelyn stared at him, but Sean refused to waver. He had made his decision to change the future.

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