The Man From the Future is a science-fiction short story about a boy who is minding his own business when a time-traveler suddenly appears.
One sunny Autumn day, a boy was playing alone in the park. He was kicking a football around on the grass when the ground beneath his feet began trembling. There was a flash of bright white light and all of a sudden a shimmering portal opened up in mid-air.
As the boy watched in amazement, a grey figure fell through the portal and rolled across the grass. A split-second later, the shimmering portal disappeared. The figure lay on the ground and groaned. It was a man in a space-suit. He slowly stood up, brushed himself off and removed his helmet.
“Uh… Greetings,” he said.
“A-are you a spaceman?” the boy stammered.
“No, I’m a time traveler,” the man replied.
“Wow! That’s awesome!” the boy exclaimed. “Are you from the past or the future?”
“I’m from the future,” said the man.
“So in the future… you invented time travel?” the boy asked.
“We were working on a method of time travel,” the man explained, “but something went terribly wrong… Our calculations were completely off… There was a massive release of energy and the resulting explosion destroyed the planet.”
“You mean… our planet?” the boy asked.
“Yes,” the man said sadly. “The explosion was so immense that the Earth was completely wiped out. By chance, I was the only survivor. The force of the blast sent me hurtling through time and this is where I landed. By the way, I’m sorry if I disturbed you.”
“No problem at all,” the boy replied. “But can I ask you one thing… Will you come to school with me tomorrow, so I can show you off to everybody? The other kids will be so jealous!”
“I don’t think that will be possible,” said the man.
“Why not?” the boy asked, disappointed.
“Well… you asked me if I was from the future,” said the man, “but you didn’t ask me how far in the future…”
“OK… How far?” the boy asked.
The time traveler looked down at his watch.
“About 18 minutes,” he said.