This has all happened before,
and it will all happen again.
Captain James Hook—
not to be confused with James T. Kirk of the Enterprise—
wondered as to whether he need not accept both declarations;
one reflecting and the other illuminating.
Regardless, he believed ol’ Walt to be a master of misdirection—
who else could capture so many fairy tale princesses
as a mere ruse for ensnaring lost youth,
as a way of being the happy ever after into perpetuity?
Hook would later navigate his way
off island and second star to the left.
He would kidnap a grown Pan’s children,
leaving a dagger and a note on the door.
Still, how did he make the journey from salty lagoon
to nursery bedroom? And why had he never done so before?
In 1997, Sarah Connor is no longer allowed in her son’s life.
She has been exiled to the psych ward for telling stories about the future.
Upon her escape from padded cell and medicated syringe, a metal blade
in place of a human hand bursts through an elevator door.
The T-1000 is a new model and takes the shape of whatever it touches—
including fairy tale villainy. The year is technically 1991,
and they are all inside the croc’s mouth,
which is to say outside of time
with Judgement Day let loose on the horizon
Sarah Connor cannot fly.
She has very few happy thoughts.
The terminator will not stop,
so she carves the words No Fate
into a wooden picnic table
as she ponders how a murderous robot
is the closest filament to a father
figure her son will ever know.
Meanwhile, Luke Skywalker’s real father
will chop off ol’ Luke’s hand. Of note,
his father already has no hands—
is a robot already, and this has all happened
four years prior to the first Terminator
visiting Sarah Connor. But Annakin Skywalker
won’t lose his first hand until a year
after the Rise of the Machines
and a few cuts prior to The Clone Wars
and his murdering of—gasp!—younglings.
Before two moons can illuminate the truth in massacre,
they may all be already dead, even Princess Leia,
survivor of hostile kidnappings and orbiting needles,
will draw a last breath at the speed of light.
“Bit happens,” Mr. Smee whispers as he twists the metal
appendage into place and Vader exhales a ghost blue breath.
A terminator’s battery can power a life 120 years long.
Captain Hook vows to leave notes on the doors of the children’s
children’s children. He is somehow both older and younger
than a century when he casts his vile promise into being:
He will live in metal so long as the Pan duels gravity:
Skynet is, after all, everywhere between here and the final frontier:
Thumbs up in molten lava! That is, if you still have a hand.
Bryan Harvey’s writing has appeared in FlashBack Fiction, Moon Park Review, Twin Pies Literary,Hobart and HAD, The Florida Review’s Aquifer, and elsewhere. He lives and teaches in Virginia. He is an avid runner and reader. He tweets @Bryan_S_Harvey and has been catching up on The Sopranos.