A Sound of Thunder

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We begin with being shown a sign which promotes being able to supply any animal at the customer’s choosing to hunt, Eckels being the one to read this and ready to purchase. The man tells him the rules behind the counter, mentioning his guide will give him instructions as to what is fair game and if disobeyed will be fined upon return and there not being a guarantee of the customer’s survival on the trip. We realize then they use a time machine to give their customers the opportunity for these hunting excursions, Eckels decides on one which would put him in the past well before humanity would show up. To keep up with the idea of anything touched changing the future, this company constructs an anti-gravity walkway and before letting the hunters out, consisting of two others including Eckels, he asks why they must only shoot the animals allowed.

The Safari Leader, Travis then giving him the rundown of the butterfly effect, making him realize how serious it was to follow their instructions. We then are told how they choose the animals who will be game, going through a thorough background as to when they’ll die and when they kill them. Eckels, who is now seeming to be the trouble-maker with how he’s taking certain rules and questioning them, asks of the assistant whether he’d run into himself on as he had been gathering information beforehand, he explaining how it isn’t possible and when Travis tells them all to get ready to go, Eckels is messing about aiming at animals who aren’t tagged which Travis puts a stop to upon noticing him. Then Travis gets everyone ready for the first game and Eckels is to shoot first, now getting nervous, especially since the animal is close by and everything has gone silent. When the creature bursts through mist one hundred yards away, Eckels is taken aback by its agility, speaking how he didn’t believe it could be killed and being hushed by Travis since the creature hadn’t noticed them yet. Travis then decides Eckels needed to get back to the Time Machine and since he didn’t take his shot he’d get half his fee back.

Then the behemoth notices them and the assistant directs Eckels to move slowly back to the machine. Eckels makes a wrong move and the creature lunges, everyone shooting at it and making their mark, but not before the path is crushed by the weight of the animal, its original fate still happening after its death by the hunters. The assistant, Lesperance then offers the hunters a picture with the dead creature as their trophy. No one takes him up on this and when they get back inside the machine, Travis orders Eckels out, noticing he’d stepped off the path and how much trouble he’d made for them, deciding to leave him there. Eckels offers more money to them which Travis then decides Eckels can make up for his faux pas by digging out the bullets from the Monster’s brain. When he returns with the bullets they go back in time and upon arriving at their proper destination, they find their environment hadn’t exactly changed, but was different in some way. Eckels then notices what he’d stepped on when he had gone off the path, Travis making good his threat he’d made to Eckels after they’d gotten out of the Time Machine; A plain example of the butterfly effect for certain and quite entertaining in the telling, Ray Bradbury certainly had a gift.