Too Much TV is Bad for You

Here’s the prompt:

Your TV is receiving broadcasts from 24 hours in the future. You see a report about a tragedy and attempt to tell somone about it so that they can prevent it but no one will listen to you.

Here’s my story:

I turned on the TV to watch the morning news while I fixed breakfast. I was surprised when the weather man said it was Friday because I was sure it was Thursday. Maybe he was just confused. I looked at my smart phone. It said it was Thursday. I ate my oatmeal and watched as the news anchor started reading a breaking news story. A train had hit a car stalled on the tracks two blocks from my house. I was surprised that I hadn’t heard any sirens. I looked on the local news web sites on my phone. There was no mention of a wreck. This was starting to be a little strange.

I finished breakfast and finished getting ready for work. I was expecting a traffic jam. There was no sign of the wreck on the tracks. When I got to work, I called the TV station to ask about the story. They didn’t know what I was talking about. I thanked them and hung up. I had trouble concentrating all morning long.

I had to go home at lunch to get some paper work I had forgotten.  I turned on the TV while I was eating my lunch. There on the noon news was film of the scene of the accident. There was an ambulance, a medflight helicopter, a fire truck, and several police stations. It was the crossing near my house. I was about to call the station again when the news anchor read the date. He said it was tomorrow.

What was going on here? Was I somehow seeing a TV show the day before it was broadcast? Was I stuck in the Twilight Zone or something? I was beginning to doubt my sanity. I looked out the window and my neighbor was getting his mail. I stuck my head out the door and asked “What day is it?” He said, “It’s Thursday, of course.” I said, “Yeah, I just got confused I guess.”

I called the police station. I didn’t call 911. It wasn’t an emergency, yet. I asked to speak to someone about attempting to prevent an accident. The person on the other end of the phone put me on hold. When the line connected again it was a man’s voice. He said, “Could I get your name please?” I gave him my name.

He asked me to explain what I meant about preventing an accident. I told him what I had seen on my TV. He checked and there had been no accident that morning. He suggested that I was the victim of a sick prank. I assured him that it hadn’t been a prank. I had seen the local news anchor reading the story and the film of the accident. He said he didn’t know what they could do to stop it. I could tell that he didn’t believe me.

I thanked him and hung up. I called work and told them I was feeling sick and was taking the rest of the day off. I tried to think of something I could do to prevent the wreck. I called the railroad office. They were even less receptive than the police had been. I sat and thought and fell asleep.

When I woke up, it was supper time. I made supper and watched the news. The train wreck was the lead story. The name of the victim was still being withheld. After the news the Friday night line up of shows came on. I watched them for a while and then I decided to go to bed early so that I could get up early and try to prevent the accident.

I got up very early the next day and got ready for work. I got in my car and drove to the railroad crossing. As I was crossing the tracks, very slowly to see if there was any sign of a wreck, my car stalled. I heard a train whistle blowing. I tried to start the car again. It wouldn’t start. I tried to open my door. It was jammed closed. I could hear the crossing gates close behind me. I could hear the whistle blowing as the train got nearer. It was almost upon me. There was nothing I could do. I wished I had never turned on the TV yesterday morning.

Tomorrow’s writing prompt:

After getting a strange phone call offering help with stabilizing reality you start to notice that things keep changing inexplicably. For example, your phone number is not what you remember it being.

Sweet dreams, don’t forget to tell the ones you love that you love them, and most important of all, be kind.