Time and Time Again by Devon Traylor

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Time and Time Again

The gunshot echoed within the surrounding park, resonating off the sad hollow trees. Rashaan imagined the sound would be similar to when the atom bomb fell on the innocents at Hiroshima. It was the sound of a leaf falling from a tree. It was the sound of tears dripping intensely from a mournful face.
The sound of the End.
The Beginning.
Rashaan quickly began to feel the weight of his body slump to the ground as he realized the course of his actions. Springing to his feet, he began to fear the unthinkable, and that the impossible had happened. Reaching for his face, he felt only the moisture of cold sweat, but not blood. If there was no blood, then there is no death. If no death, then there must only be life. The question that remained in his brain was how? Didn't he pull the trigger? Didn't the magnum slug tear through his skull, setting him free, or was this another cruel twist of fate? Searching his mind for any conceivable reason for this anomaly. He barely noticed something. Balling up his right hand, he slammed it forcefully into his bandaged left palm.
"Where is the sound," he thought feverishly to himself, "Why can't I hear a damn thing?"
Frantically he tried listening for anything at all.
The wind in the trees, the fish in the pond, the cars on the nearby highway, but nothing seemed to echo back. Then he heard the click.
Turning on his heels he watched his tragedy unfold. Sitting on the bench with a gun in hand was himself. Rashaan gasped with fear as he looked at himself. There he was, but it couldn't be him, his slender body seated loosely on the park bench. Rashaan watched as the tears fell from his own face like endless streams of rain. His stomach knotted as he observed himself turn the barrel and the handle of the gun, end over end in an eternal tumble.
What the hell was going on? Why was he watching himself relive the hardest thing he ever did? Rashaan could feel his fingernails dig deeper into his palm as he clenched his fist and teeth in automatic union. Dark despair welled up in his chest as he realized the next course of action in which the other Rashaan was about to partake. A chance to set it right . . . change his path . . . cheat death.
Frantically Rashaan rushed at the ghostly husk that resembled him in form and manner. There was time to change his direction as he watched the cold gray chamber set itself in alignment; hand . . . to gun . . . to head.
"Wait," he heard himself cry out loud at the once soundless void.
"Stop," replied a voice from the outskirts of the trees, "This is my favorite part."
Rashaan's heart stopped as he heard the voice answer from the shadows. Slowly he began to feel every muscle tense in his long body as his movements soon arrested. He knew he was frozen. He eyed himself as he watched his ghost like double's index finger pulling back in slow motion. Time didn't exist in the before moment and neither did Rashaan. He watched as the body violently jerked under the single lamp light that kept watch over the secluded park.

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