I’m going to tell you something and I hope you listen. Time is not something you wanna go messing around with. Sure, it seems fun at first when you’re making your sister’s hair grow back into her head, or you make your grandpa back into a hot young stud for your grandma, but if you mess up even the smallest thing you can create a temporal hoop, and once you’ve got one of those on your hands, forget about it.
Also, forget about “ripping the time-space continuum” or whatever you heard on Star Trek. Time does not give a fuck what you do. You can’t hurt time. You could travel back to the year zero and bash every butterfly you see with a hammer, and time would just keep on trucking. Sure, when you got back your mother would be a giant grasshopper and waterbeds would be in style again, but time wouldn’t care. This is the same arrogance that makes humans say things like “We’re destroying the planet!” when what they really mean is that they’re making it impossible for themselves to live on it. People are like that.
This is why most wizards avoid doing any time travel spells, even though it’s super tempting. Imagine you use magic to make a broom grow arms and fetch water but then you fall asleep and when you wake up it’s flooded the whole place. You know your boss is going to fucking PISSED so you chop it up with an ax, but then the pieces just turn into more brooms that fetch more water. You’re telling me you wouldn’t want to go back in time and just carry the buckets yourself? C’mon.
Now there was this one wizard named Decima, who would do very localized time travel spells. She fixed it so time was only affected in, say like, a three-foot sphere or whatever. She mainly used it to do things like fix a plate she just dropped, or prank people at parties by making their wine turn into a glass of grapes.
One morning Decima was cooking breakfast and the bacon smelled so good she decided she needed twice as much, so she scooped up what was in the skillet and cast a time spell to make it cook four more slices. When it finished she sat down quite satisfied with herself and had some of the best eggs, toast, and bacon she’d ever had. But when she went to put the dishes in the sink she saw four more pieces of bacon frying up. That’s when she realized she forgot to shut off the spell, much like you might forget to turn off the stove when you’re cooking. Only instead of just burning your house to the ground, you’ve got a real problem on your hands.
She shut off the spell immediately but of course, she knew it was too late, and too early, and far far too much on time. She tried casting a reverse spell on the skillet but that just made the bacon in her stomach disappear and now she was hungry again. It also did nothing to stop more bacon from appearing since it was already on its fourth or fifth temporal hoop by then. She tried eating some of it to see if that would help, but it just disappeared in her stomach again while more fried up in the pan. She told herself not to panic, but then two seconds later she heard herself telling herself not to panic and that REALLY freaked her out. She knew her original bubble was expanding to keep up with all the time hoops and that’s when she heard the toast pop. Then she looked over and two perfect over-easy eggs were sitting on the plate while the ones she ate disappeared from her stomach (which admittedly did keep her from shitting her pants, which would have been her next move). She tried casting reverse time on the food itself but then that just filled her kitchen with pigs and chickens, who started running wild through the field of wheat coming out of her toaster. She cast so many different time spells, but each one backfired, and then forward fired, and then backfired again but in a spiral. Worst of all, one second she was starving, and the next she was vomiting up entire piglets.
Luckily that’s when Clockacus, the god of time, showed up. He stood there watching for a bit chuckling to himself. “Fuckin’ wizards,” he thought.
Now like I said, time would have been just fine. The bubble would have kept expanding for a while until it finally lost steam around the time Earth became a 24-hour breakfast planet. This would have led to aliens showing up after all the intergalactic bars closed and hanging out for hours nursing coffees and harassing waitresses. As funny as that might have been, Clockacus had developed a soft spot for Earth after humans invented the digital watch. In fact, he now raised his favorite magical digital watch to his face and hit the pause button.
Immediately all the pigs and chickens froze in midair. Decima looked over and of course recognized Clockacus, as any wizard who’s studied time would. “Oh shit,” she said.
“Oh shit indeed.” said Clockacus, taking a strip of bacon from the floor and nibbling on the end, “What have you got to say for yourself?”
“Um… I was hungry?” ventured Decima.
“I imagine you still are, I mean depending on which hoop you’re on now,” said Clockacus.
Decima didn’t say anything, which, if you’re ever confronted with a god, is a great choice.
“Look,” Clockacus said finally, “I’m going to clean up this mess for you… well, not the literal mess, you’ll have to mop that up yourself, but I’ll close all the temporal hoops and whatnot. Boy, you sure got them tangled up. Panicked a bit did we?”
“But you’re not getting off scot-free,” continued Clockacus, “I have to make an example of wizards who go mucking about with time. Therefore no more breakfast for you. I don’t care how early you get up, nothing but water until lunch. Got it?”
Decima’s heart sank. She realized she was getting off easy, but she did dearly love her breakfast. “No breakfast forever?” she ventured.
“That’s the deal,” said Clockacus “If you have so much as a glass of juice before noon I’ll come back and separate you into a sperm and egg that will chase each other for all eternity like the world’s weirdest cat and mouse cartoon. I mean unless of course…” he said, gesturing to the eggs and bacon that were currently pushing the roof off of her house, “You’d prefer to have breakfast forever?”
Decima was perhaps a little foolhardy, most wizards are, and the ones who play around with time doubly so, but she was no idiot. She signed the agreement the god gave her and breathed a sigh of relief when he vanished. She was starving so she looked up at her watch and saw Clockacus and made it 11:59 a.m., which was a sweet gesture. She buttered up one of the thousand slices of toast left laying on the floor and waited sixty seconds before scarfing it down. It was still nice and warm.
Years later she forgot all about daylight savings time and ate a bagel and lox a full thirty minutes before noon. She practically had a heart attack when she realized what she’d done, but Clockacus never showed up. Turns out, for a god of time, he had a startlingly short attention span.