The Unlikely Trump
a Sci-Fi Story
by Martin Green
As the title of my story indicates, Im a science-fiction writer; unfortunately, not a very successful one, which is probably why youve never heard of me. At any rate, this story is about time travel. Where Donald Trump comes in, youll see as you read on.
Time travel has long been a science-fiction staple. In The Time Machine, H.G. Wells foresaw a future world in which one species preyed on another, not an optimistic projection. Britains Dr. Who travels through time in what Google tells me is a police box and Id thought was an old-fashioned phone booth. More recently, in the The Outlander, a beautiful English nurse goes back and forth to 18th- century Scotland through the means of some mystical stones; not likely, but who cares as long as Clair and Jamie engage in those steamy sex scenes. So time travel is certainly not a novel subject and ordinarily I wouldnt be writing about it except for recent events, such as the election of Donald Trump.
Okay, to get to it, lets go back to the time when I was in college and became a teachers aide to a professor working in the college lab. The professors name was Henry Hinkley, a man of about 40 then. He was a physicist and was working on what was then the radical idea of a driverless car. He was one of those scientists who liked to tinker around and so my job consisted mostly of handing him various tools for use in connecting or tightening up things. Unlike the popular concept of a professor, Hinkley wasnt wild-looking. He looked and dressed like a conservative businessman. He was also interested in the stock market and spent a lot of time studying financial journals.
I discovered he had another interest one day when I mistakenly opened a door at the back of the laboratory and saw another car in there, somewhat similar to the driverless car but not the same. This other car, he told me after Id sworn an oath of secrecy, was actually a time machine. His hope was some day to drive the car, which bore some resemblance to the DeLorean one in the movie Back to the Future, to some point in time years ahead. Think of it, he said, if you could see the stock market pages of the Wall Street Journal. You could make a fortune.
Of course I was skeptical about time travel and told the professor so. He then proceeded to give me an explanation of why it was possible, at least theoretically. I cant say I understood it but it had something to do with Einsteins special theory of relativity and also his theory of gravity which united space and time as spacetime. Evidently, spacetime allowed for so-called wormholes, tunnels through spacetime. It was my impression that Professor Hinkley thought he could drive his DeLorean-type car through one of these wormholes and so get to some time in the future.
Whatever the professors intention, his work on both of his projects came to an end shortly before the end of the term because he suddenly disappeared. I simply assumed hed gone on his summer vacation a little early and didnt concern myself too much about him. I was immersed in my own struggles to pass my courses and also with a girl Id met in my English class. I certainly didnt think that Hinkley had gone somewhere into the future.
Then, sometime at the start of the presidential campaign last year I happened to catch the end of a TV program on Donald Trump in which his advisors were introduced. One man who was introduced as a science advisor reminded me of Professor Hinkley. I was intrigued and so I wrote a letter and addressed it to Trump Tower. Somewhat to my surprise, about a week later I received a letter back. Yes, Professor Hinkley remembered me. He appreciated the help I d given him on his projects. He was pleased that the driverless car had become a reality, or almost so. If only hed had the computer knowledge back then; oh, well. And oh, yes, hed made a breakthrough in time travel; his DeLorean-type car had somehow made it through a wormhole and brought him into the future. As unlikely as it seemed, Donald Trump was going to win the Republican nomination and then go on to beat Hillary Clinton to become the next president. Hed made a sizeable bet on this and he advised me to do the same. He was hoping to get some advance information on the stock market but hadnt been able to yet.
That night I discussed Professor Hinkleys letter with my wife. She scoffed at it. Time travel? That was crazy. Your professor is a crackpot. And it was even crazier to think Donald Trump would be our next president. I tended to agree with my wife. Nevertheless, I placed a modest bet on Trump at quite favorable odds. Well, you know what happened. I wished Id bet much more but as it was I did clear enough to take my wife on a European trip, the first vacation wed had in years. When we returned, I wrote again to Professor Hinkley, this time in care of the White House. I hoped he could give me some more inside information, perhaps on the stock market.
This time I received a letter from the White House saying that Professor Hinkley no longer worked there and that his whereabouts were unknown. He hadnt praised Trump enough and so had been dismissed. No, just kidding, that last bit is my own fancy, based on news reports about Trump and his revolving staff. So Im back to my sci-fi writing but still hoping to hear from the Professor and maybe getting that advance stock market information. Id also like to know, is it possible that Trump will win a second term.
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