So there this man, we’ll call him Paul, who can communicate with a future version of himself. The two of them can talk back and forth, although Past Paul is mostly interested in what Future Paul has to say. He, of course, also talks back to his past self. His past self can communicate with him as well, of course, and they refer to each other as Past Paul and Future Paul.
Here’s the thing, though: The amount of time difference between each of the Paul’s is dependent on how long Current Day Paul has managed to sleep. If he sleeps 8 hours then he talks to Future Paul 8 hours into the future. The same works for Past Paul, but the time difference is based on how long HE has slept.
Now it’s very difficult for Paul to sleep more than 9 or 10 hours at a time. If he tries to sleep longer using drugs his connection with Future Paul is very muddled and the two can’t communicate effectively. It has to be natural sleep. As a flip side, if Paul tries to go back to sleep before the time difference passes, he finds he can’t.
If he times it right, Paul can sleep to just past the drawing of the current lottery numbers and report them back to himself before he goes to sleep. Thus Paul can play the lottery any time he wants. He makes sure he doesn’t win any amount that’s too noteworthy. In fact, he prefers to play poker. Right after a long nap, say at least six hours, he’ll wake up and attend a game. He’ll keep track of the cards as they come up and communicate them back to Past Paul when that Paul wakes up.
Paul exercises his mind to remember as much as possible, using memory tricks to keep his memories from fading, in order to be able to tell Past Paul as much detail as possible without having to write everything down.
Plot idea: Someone is trying to kill Paul. Paul first finds out about this by suddenly losing communication with future Paul. He doesn’t know what has happened but he assumes it is pretty bad. In a panic he forgets dinner plans he had made, at the restaurant where he was about to be killed, and missing that event reconnects him with a Future Paul who doesn’t know what happened. He figures out what has happened only by a near miss, which both alerts him to being hunted and explains why he lost contact.
At this point, whenever he loses contact he assumes is Future Self is killed and does his best to figure out where and how the murder might have taken place. While he definitely wants to avoid the murder, he also wants to find out who’s trying to kill him and why. Of course the police aren’t any help. They’ll investigate the close call but eventually end up closing the case when they can’t find any evidence of ill intent. They write the close call off as an accident and write Paul off as a nut case when he slips up and starts talking about information from the future.
In an attempt to gain assistance Paul enlists the help of a private detective. She doesn’t believe him but needs the money enough to string him along. Instead of trying to convince her of his own situation he instead uses his future site to help her out with some of her own cases. He can predict where cheating spouses will be meeting up. He can tell her which hunch will or will not play out. He can warn her of potential violence and even warns her of a car accident. Actually, that can be the first.
So, who is trying to kill him and why? Some possibilities:
1) Future Paul: Some far flung future version of himself splits off and becomes his own chain of Pauls. Killing the original means he can take over current Paul’s life and resume normal living.
1b) Far Future Paul: At some point Paul gets cryogenically frozen and ends up sleeping for a Very Long Time. The distance between him and Past Paul drives him insane and he attempts to use his future knowledge to prevent himself from being frozen. Simplest method to his deranged mind is to kill Paul before he sleeps.
2) Another time sleeper: There can be only one!
3) Former gambling opponent incredibly sour about losing. The first attempt at killing Paul is a spur of the moment thing, but when it doesn’t come through due to extraordinary circumstances he starts to see that Paul has an unreasonable amount of luck. Each time he misses Paul, or Paul evades him, he becomes even more dedicated to killing him. “You keep cheating! I don’t know how, but I know you’re cheating!”
3b) Gambling opponent was once good because he has a supernatural ability to read people and knows what they’re going to do. On some people he can even tell what kind of hand they have. Paul confounds him, though, as he can tell Paul is acting on information he shouldn’t have but can’t figure out what that info might be. Convinced Paul is cheating he accuses him without evidence. When Paul is proved above reproach Mr. Gambler is disgraced and his career is ended.
4) Time Police: Paul is breaking the time laws and therefore must be stopped. But then they’d be aware of his ability and should be able to plan for it. Elaborate and unavoidable deaths that will lock him in for more than 8 hours, or they would simply try to kill him in his sleep.
After his cryo-sleep Paul has been asleep for many, many years. He cannot contact his future self either a) because his future self has died of old age or b) his future self has gone back into cryo-sleep. Would a nap of a few hours reset this?