© Google 2016
“I never thought I’d see Chūō-ku again.”
“Does it look that different, Hiro?”
“I miss the waterways. It’s different, but it’s home.”
“I’m almost sorry I brought you here, given what’s about to happen to you.”
“You said what happens to me happened over seventy years ago.”
“You’ll still have to return.”
“And die, I know. But I’m curious why your Isis had you bring me here to the ward where I was born.”
“Look there.” The Time Traveler pointed to the fish market on the corner. A family, three generations of them, were just opening up.
“Your son, his children, and their children.”
Hiro’s eyes moistened. “They survived.”
“One last look at home, Hiro.”
“Thank you, Martin. Now I can die in peace, knowing my family lives on.”
“It’s time for me to take you back to Hiroshima.”
“Back to my present, Monday, August 6, 1945. I’m ready.”
I wrote this in response to the What Pegman Saw photo challenge. The goal is to use the photo at the top of the page as a prompt to write a piece of flash fiction no more than 150 words long. Mine came in at 147.
To read other stories based on the prompt, go to InLinkz.com.
The photo prompt is a 2016 street view of a ward of Tokyo called Chūō-ku, which literally means “Central Ward”. I looked it up on Wikipedia, and among other things, found out that after World War II, much of Chuo City was rebuilt and many of its numerous waterways filled in to make space for more buildings and roads.
I leveraged time traveler Martin Fields, who I featured in a seven-part series beginning with On Wednesday, The Time Traveler Got Wet, in order to give a Japanese man from 1945 a chance to see what had become of his family after seventy years. He gets a look at them in the 21st century before returning to his fate in Hiroshima the day the Atomic Bomb was dropped.
Why the other-worldly being known as Isis would have given this gift to a single individual is not revealed, but it’s enough that it was given.