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Heads Up
by Carla Girtman

 “Rob, you’ve really messed things up. This is going to take a while to fix—if we can fix it at all,” Ralph, my boss—now my ex-boss of We’ll Get You Back In Time travel agency— said.

“Yeah, Rob. You messed up royally,” Alph, Ralph’s second head, echoed.

“Shut up,” Ralph said. “Whoever said two heads were better than one, didn’t have two heads.”

“You shut up,” Alph retorted.

“We have to lock you up until this is fixed, Rob.”

“I understand. Let me know if I can help,” I offered.

“No, you’ve helped enough,” Ralph sighed and locked the cell.

All I wanted was to tweak time just a little bit, to erase that one little incident, to keep myself from asking that witch to marry me. Except her brother got in the way. That’s when it went wrong. Somehow he got vaporized. Apparently he was the one who fathered the scientist who figured how to prevent the viral epidemic that altered DNA and gave everyone two heads. And why I am sitting here with two heads in a detention cell for tampering with the time continuum.

“It’s not so bad, Bob,” I started talking to my second head. Maybe two heads wasn’t such a bad deal. It would be refreshing to be able to have an intelligent conversation.  “Can I call you Bob?”

“Sure. Bob is good.” 

“What were you trying to do?” Bob asked.

“I went back in time to keep from getting married.”

“Nope, didn’t work.” Bob said. “She divorced you last year. Don’t you remember?”

“No, I was back in time.”

“No you weren’t. If you had been, you might have saved your marriage.”

“I mean, I was in the past. I don’t have the memories for your future.”

“Rob, everyone knows you can’t travel into the past.”

“Of course you can. We temporal scientists do it all the time.”

“I love tempura.”

I couldn’t believe that he didn’t know what temporal meant. After all he was part of me.

“Temporal,” I said, “it means ‘of time’.”

“Oh.”  Bob knitted his brow. “So how can you have a brother-in-law? Your ex-wife doesn’t have any brothers, not even dead ones.”

“She used to. I went back in time and accidently erased him.”

 “You work for this time agency?”

“Not anymore.”

“So how come you remember stuff I can’t?”

“When a time traveler jumps back into time, an event bubble is created that keeps the traveler’s memories outside of occurring time. This lets you remember events that no longer exist in the new time line. Unfortunately, it doesn’t protect you from the physical evolution of things like developing two heads.”

“We’ve always had two heads.”

“Now we do, yes.” Bob was beginning to annoy me. “I didn’t always have two heads.”

“Really,” Bob said.

“Of course, you wouldn’t notice.” I stared at Bob. “In my original time line, humans don’t have two heads.”

Bob seemed unfazed by this revelation. “So we’re scientists?” he asked.

Oh God. Bob was as stupid as my brother-in-law.