A pair of time travelers meet in the past at the infamous Mercury Theatre and end up getting in an argument about history, unaware people are listening to them.

Gia worked on catching her breath as Kojack slammed shut his purple, free-standing door. Across from his door in an office was a green door that belonged to Gia.

“Let’s go back in time to the first bull running,” Gia said in a mocking tone. “It will be fun, he said.”

“It was fun until you tried to direct the bulls,” Kojack snapped back.

Gia didn’t respond. Kojack saw the hurt in her expression. He knew she was trying to become a great director, so he changed the subject. “When and where are we?”

Gia pulled out a tablet from her muddy red dress. “Wednesday, October 26, 1938. The Mercury Theatre.”

“Anything interesting about this place?”

“Anything interested?” Gia said, offended. “This is Mercury Theatre! Why in a few days, they’re going to perform the War of the Worlds radio drama, and that show was one for this planet’s history books.”

“What was so remarkable about this show?”

“The public reaction. You see, Howard Kock was trying to adapt the novel of the same, but Howard was having trouble making it interesting or credible as a radio drama. Then Orson Wells gets inspired by this other program on the Columbia Workshop. They adapt the story by using real people and places for the alien invasion. They even add lots of eyewitness accounts and news breaks to create urgency and excitement, giving the show incredible realism.”

Kojack could tell from Gia’s bright smile how passionate she was about the arts. Getting her to talk about the radio drama got her mind off the mess that was their previous adventure. He smiled back at her.

“Where to now?” Kojack asked. 

“There’s this food truck festival in 2011 that didn’t seem like much at the time, but sparks this whole big movement. I figured we should take a break and get something to eat.”

“Sounds good.”

Gia and Kojack opened their doors, went inside, and when closed, they blinked out of existence like they were never there.

Off in the corner of the room, hidden from sight behind props and costumes, sat Howard Koch, Frank Froelick, and Orson Welles.

Howard turned to Orson, breaking their silence. “I thought you didn’t get a chance to listen to Columbia Workshop today?”

“I didn’t,” Orson softly replied, his mind racing with thoughts from what transpired. “But we should do want they said.”

This week’s short story is inspired by the following writing prompt: “Two time travelers meet in the past and end up getting in an argument about history, unaware that their conversation is being listened to.”

I did some research about the War of the Worlds radio broadcast and thought of a way of how my end-timers were able to inspire the show.