Breakfast was a self-service buffet affair. Stainless steel trolleys, with deep trays containing various items placed in them, had been wheeled into
the dining room, the lights and heaters inside the hood keeping the contents warm. Jester took three sausages, two eggs and a spoonful of fried
tomatoes and a rack of toast. He didn’t fancy the baked beans, they wore a ragged skin, covering them like a lumpy duvet that was beginning to
harden in some places, turning his stomach. They had probably been sitting in the tray under the hot-light for a while.
He carried his plate to an empty table and sat down by the window, so he could look out into the morning. The hotel was situated on the side of a
hill, offering a pleasant enough view. Everything looked quite normal. Cars were already queuing on the roads as people made their way to work, their
wipers frantically waving backwards and forwards in the rain. He checked the date on the paper, Wednesday 7th December 2011.
“What was I doing this time last year?” Jester wondered, this was a new and unexplored territory for him.
The cash he had been paid for the gig plus what he already had in his wallet wouldn’t sustain him for a week let alone a year. He recalled that by
sheer luck he had been - was going to be - taking temporary work as a lorry driver so he would be away from home far more than he was there.
At home he would have plenty of time to sort things out while his other self, Jester-from-the-future, was away so he didn’t need to worry about
bumping into himself, at least he wouldn’t to start with. Plenty of time! And his stomach did a somersault at the idea. If it wasn’t so
jaw-droppingly, bottom-clenchingly mad, it would have been quite amusing. Maybe it would be tomorrow, he thought optimistically, when things had got
back to normal.
The driving work had only lasted some six months and then he was made redundant when the company went bankrupt. And if he hadn’t bounced back to the
future by then, he would have to hang around somewhere else and make another plan.
After deciding that it would be better to head for home, Jester ate his breakfast trying not to think about anything at all, wanting instead just to
enjoy the food and regain a sense of normality and chronological propriety. When he finished he got another coffee, drinking it while he risked
scanning the papers again.
His stomach full and his head feeling better and in a lighter mood, he checked out of the hotel paying his bill with cash. Walking briskly to the
railway station he bought a ticket home. His original ticket was dated a year in the future and he doubted that they would let him on the train with
The train entered the station with a rumble and a screech as the wheels slid on the tracks. It was nearly empty as Jester had purposefully avoided the
rush hour, which had finished a while ago, not wanting to be surrounded by too many people. Because of this he easily found a seat, having an entire
carriage to himself. He had left the newspapers in the restaurant and tired of reading the same front page articles over and over, had bought a
motoring magazine at the station kiosk. He read this as the train moved out of the station and through the country.
The morning was turning out to be just like any other normal one, albeit a year earlier than it was supposed to be. Once they were out of the city,
the sky got darker with grey clouds and the rain made a wavy curtain of mist which followed them all the way back to the valley.
It usually took about forty-five minutes, but the work on the line meant it was nearly an hour before the train slid into the station. If it had been
a longer journey, he would have tried sleeping, just in case that did the trick.
“Well, I’m home at last.” Jester said as he got off onto the platform and then the world began to spin and he fell headlong into the vacant
waiting room. “Oh no not again!”
edit on 4/12/2014 by YarlanZey because: (no reason given)