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Author Topic: [April 2013] Time Travel - Submissions Thread  (Read 8147 times)

Offline Idlewilder

[April 2013] Time Travel - Submissions Thread
« on: April 01, 2013, 03:30:31 PM »



This month we're going to do something a little different - a little bit Science Fiction. This past weekend saw the return of that ever-eternal, face-changing, companion-shifting, blue-box wielding rogue we all know as The Doctor. So, in celebration I thought we could do something that involves the past (and the future), big (or small) machines and the distortion of space itself. That's right - this month's writing contest theme is...


Time Travel


As the man himself puts it - "Time isn't a straight line. It's all... bumpy-wumpy. There's loads of boring stuff. Like Sundays and Tuesdays and Thursday afternoons. But now and then there are Saturdays. Big temporal tipping points when anything's impossible.” – Eleventh Doctor

Your challenge this month is to write a story, in whatever combination of genre you like - but it must include time travel as a core element. (Fan fiction is not allowed) Once again, I'm going to open the contest to both prose and poetry as I'm excited to see what you guys can do!


Rules:
1. This can be prose or a poem. Be creative.
2. "Time Travel" must be a core element in your piece.
3. Prose must be 500-2000 words long.
    Poetry must be 100-500 words long.
    You will be disqualified if you exceed the limits by any more than 10%.



Entry will close at Noon (GMT) on the 1st May 2013, and voting will be open for the month thereafter.

The winner will have their piece displayed on the main Fantasy Faction website in June 2013.

Good luck and Happy Writing!   :)
« Last Edit: April 01, 2013, 03:42:35 PM by Idlewilder »
Make Another World.

Offline Arry

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Re: [April 2013] Time Travel - Submissions Thread
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2013, 11:24:05 PM »
HAVOC TIME!

It began with silence on a black screen that was suddenly replaced by pumping, high energy music and a barrage of colors swirling, shifting until they formed the words “Havoc Battle Time”

The music faded, the screen changed to show a colorfully dressed man running across a black stage, pumping his arms above his head. His strong booming voice bellowed “Welcome to this week’s HAVOC!” The man raised an eyebrow, his face showing he was eagerly anticipating what was to come.  “All wagers are now CLOSED and the contest will BEGIN!” Cheers erupted from an unseen audience.  “As you remember, last week our contestants were chosen.” A drum roll replaced the music.

“Contestant One this week…” The drum roll quickened until it became a steady thrum.

***

Gunnar stood solemn in front of the newly raised runestone, remembering his fallen comrades, when the air around him began to shimmer and suddenly everything had the look of being seen through water, the scenery was warping and moving until the ground beneath him fell away. Gunnar began to twist and turn, arms waving, reaching for anything, legs swinging, searching for ground. The air thickened. It pressed in on him, then abrubtly the maelstrom of colors subsided, the ground found his feet, his arms lowered and his breath became just slightly less frantic. The world around him began to reform, but his eyes widened as nothing appeared as it had before. Gone were the fields, the trees and the runestone. His eyes tried to focus on his now stationary surroundings, but a bright light suddenly appeared, blinding him as he now cringed and squinted trying to make sense of the strangeness.
Gunnar heard a voice so loud he cringed again.

***

“A Viking!”

Turning in a circle, Gunnar took on a fighting stance, he tried to determine where the voice came from. He also heard a mass of people cheering and screaming, but they were nowhere in sight. It seemed to be everywhere all at once making him look up to what should have been a cloud filled sky.
“And Contestant Two” The Voice paused to allow himself a quick laugh.


***

Gunnar shook his head, unsure of what to make of above when he saw a shimmering in the distance, similar to the shimmering before everything had changed. Instinctively, he took a step back. From the shimmer appeared a creature unlike any he had ever seen before. He gasped and cried out “Dreki!” while the omnipresent laughter stopped and The Voice returned.

“A Pteranodon!”

Gunnar now focused on the dragon, unnerved by The Voice and the foreign surroundings. As the creature spread it’s wings and let out an ear piercing cry, Gunnar took another step back and started to look for cover. His surroundings were strange. Light appeared, displaying oddly colored bright objects scattered about an otherwise black room. There were balls and cylinders and other things he could not begin to guess. He heard a humming noise to his right. Looking he found a strange metal sculpture of sorts about the size of a dog moving towards him as if it were a boat on water, but there was not water to be seen.

Then a voice, not The Voice, but a voice, came from the faceless sculpture. It spoke in his language.

“Greetings, Viking! Welcome to this week’s Havoc! As you can see, your opponent has just arrived.” Gunnar looked back at the dragon to see it struggling and thrashing as it tried to unfurl its wings. “At the completion of the battle, if you succeed in defeating your opponent, The Pteranodon” Cheers and laughter rose again forcing the voice to pause. When they subsided, it began speaking again. “… you will be returned to your time just as you left with great stories of how you slew the beast! If you do not …” Gunnar heard the laughter surrounding him again, still unable to locate the people it was coming from. “Well, you know. No need to worry about that. Since the odds are currently stacked in your opponents favor, we will start you with this.” A metal arm extended presenting to him an axe, held as an offering. “You may find other things of use scattered about the course.” Gunnar’s eyes kept racing from the axe to the sculpture holding it, to the dragon and occasionally up at what should have been sky. He suddenly got a hold of himself and snatched the axe. He quickly retreated, scrambling behind one of the brightly colored cylinders. Leaning against it, it was a strange material, smoother, slicker than any leather he had come across.  Peering around the side, he could see the dragon’s wings were no longer hampered and were spread to a mind numbing width. Gunnar glanced at the small axe and decided to attack the wings first while wishing to wake up from this impossibility. The sculpture had retreated, a large bell sounded and The Voice spoke again: “HAVOC TIME!!! Contestants GO!”

Gunnar watched as the dragon took off, but it flailed as it hit an obstruction above. It appeared to be looking for a way out, testing various spots on the ceiling and sides. The space was wider and taller than any castle Gunnar had seen. At the moment the dragon was too preoccupied with finding a means of escape to notice him. The Voice returned:

“It seems the Pteranodon needs a little help finding his opponent.” The Voice dripped with disappointment. “ Dinosaurs … no wonder they are extinct.” Laughter and cheers erupted again. Gunnar, still squatting behind the cylinder felt the ground shift beneath him, then suddenly the cylinder rolled away and he was hurled up in the direction of the dragon.  A brightly colored log appeared from above and rammed the dragon, causing it to look towards where Gunnar now lay just yards away. Gunnar rushed back to his feet, slightly disoriented, unsure what had caused him to be thrown across the arena. He didn’t trust his footing, but raised the axe in a defensive position. From where he stood, he was just yards away from the now quite visibly angry dragon.

Gunnar scrambled away, keeping his axe between him and the dragon. He tried to put some distance between them while he formulated more of a plan. He looked down at his axe then up at the dragon. Its wings looked quite huge. His axe looked quite small. To use the axe, he had to get close. Very close. Something he had no desire to do. His heart racing, he decided to break to the right in hopes of being able to get a clean strike. The dragon quickly flapped its wings in a display of fury. It took flight, eyes keen and focused on Gunnar.

Gunnar spotted a large blue cube near by.  He ran towards it, the dragon swooped down with its talons extended towards him.  Diving behind the blue cube, one of the talons sheared his shoulder, as the other caught in the cube. While the dragon’s wings frantically flapped, trying to break free of the cube, Gunnar tried to make a swipe at its wing. His axe barely made purchase as he was knocked to the ground. Knowing this was likely it, he was waiting for fire to reign down upon him when he saw glint of something metallic and long. He raced towards it as the dragon continued to struggle to free itself. Excited about what he found, he suddenly felt better about how to fight this battle.

After testing the weight of the newfound javelin in his hand for a brief moment, Gunnar took his shot. The dragon was speared in the eye, up through to his brain. Blood and fluid oozed from around the shaft, and it let out one final scream before it collapsed into a broken pile. As quickly as that, the battle was over. Gunnar raised his arms in victory to the sound of cheering (and some booing). Then suddenly the shimmering started and he once again found himself in the in between before finally landing in front of the runestone, below the cloud filled sky he had left just moments, hours, seconds ago. He was unsure. The only proof he had that the bizarre battle happened was the damage done to his shoulder.

***

The scene with the downed Pteranodon faded to black, and the colorful announcer ran back on to the stage, arms waiving wildly. “The Viking wins it! Who would have guessed, huh? Those of you that did made out very well. And those of you that didn’t … well, at least you can watch your Contestant up next as teams of chefs compete to create the best Pternanodon dish! Ohh! Sounds delicious!” Cheers from the unseen crowd erupted. “And now, before we call a close to Havoc Time, let’s see who our contestants will be next week, shall we?” Two giant colorful wheels appeared from behind him and moved to either side of him. He reached out with both arms and spun both wheels at once. As their spinning slowed, the music quickened. The man moved in front to watch and called them out as they ground to a halt.

“Contestant One will be …..Conquistador!” Cheers erupted again, but quickly silenced as the second wheel came to a stop.
“Contestant Two will be ….. Gigantopithecus! A 10 foot ape, weighing in over 1,000 pounds!” The crowd oohed and ahhed at the picture displayed.

“Wagers for next week will open in an hour, so think carefully! But in the mean time, while we wait for our cleaning crew to prepare the meat for our chefs, it’s time to?” The man cupped a hand to his ear as he leaned forward. Music blasted and the crowd exploded in a glorious chant “DANCE! DANCE! DANCE! DANCE! DANCE! DANCE!”
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Offline Phil the Drill

Re: [April 2013] Time Travel - Submissions Thread
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2013, 07:32:38 AM »
The Time of Trees

"Where did this dragon come from?" Angler pointed his proton rifle at the beast's head, its tongue lolling out.

"Does it matter? It's dead." Horace scratched the titanium plate on his skull. It was always much itchier when he was nervous. Being single-handedly responsible for guarding the misty Gurladian Steppe put plenty of pressure on the old soldier.

"It matters," Angler said. "I'm going to have to file a report now." Pulling a Laser-Scribbler from the satchel draped over his shoulder, he jotted some notes down. "So what exactly happened?"

Horace bit his lower lip. "I was just sitting here, you know, like I usually do. Picking off a couple of fairies that were trying to nibble on my armor."

821 words.

Angler sighed. "You know you're not supposed to do that. Order 84-C."

"Yep, I know. It's just if I don't, they get their dust all over me. Then I'm sneezing all day and it just makes for a rough shift is all."

"Go on," Angler growled.

"So I was just picking off some fairies when a big black hole just opened up, right over that crop of blasted trees." Horace pointed through the haze. "It just sort of dumped out of it."

"Dumped out of it?"

"Yeah, like someone just threw it away."

"Someone would throw away a dragon?" Angler stared long and hard at Horace, his eyes blurry behind his visor.

"I guess. That's what it looked like."

"And then what?" Angler made some notes.

"There was this loud popping sound. Blew out my speakers in my headset. That's why I wasn't answering. I just sat here in a daze for a while before I realized what had happened."

"So you didn't investigate the dragon to see if it was still alive or anything?" Angler asked.

"It's not moving. It's dead."

"We'll see about that," Angler said, firing a round into the dragon's claw. The wound hissed, but the dragon didn't move. "Huh."

"Just like I said."

"So what--" Angler stopped mid-sentence staring behind Horace.

Horace spun around to see the sky swirling like it did before.  A loud pop cracked like thunder, knocking both soldiers on their asses. Angler stripped off his visor, blinking and wiping blood from his nose.

From the portal came a small figure who rocketed toward the ground and hit the dragon with a clank and a thud. It rolled off the dragon's corpse, moaned and thrashed in armor that looked like Horace had seen in the video books. Made of inferior metals.

Angler hopped up to his feet. "You there. Stand up. Show us your hands."

The figure coughed from behind a steel helmet, the design like that of a bird's head. "Ah, so it is dead. Good, I can go back now."

"Hands up!" Horace shouted louder, pointing his plasma pistol at the interloper.

"Wizards? Here? Well, this is quite fortunate," the armored man said. "Do you happen to know a spell that can send me back?"

"Spell? The only spell we know is the one that turns you to dust if you don't put your hands up," Angler said.

The man raised his hands with a creak. "Fine, fine. I will do as you ask. If you are powerful warlocks I won't test you any further. I am Sir Reginald Stork, world-renowned dragon slayer. I'm sure you've heard of me."

Horace lowered his pistol. "Reginald Stork? Truly?"

"Keep your guard up, Horace. Who knows if he's telling the truth," Angler spat.

"I'm not going to kill Sir Reginald Stork. Even a fake one." Horace said, bowing down to the armored man. "You prevented the world from being completely destroyed by dragons."

"Actually this dragon did most of the damage," Stork said. "But he's dead now so maybe things will get better."

When he said that, the mist on the steppe began to dissipate, flowers sprouted up, and the trees blossomed bright blue flowers.

"Ah, look, it's starting already. Perfect."

Angler looked down at his hands. "What the hell is happening?"

Angler imploded, all that remained was a black smudge where he stood.

"Where did Angler go?" Horace frowned.

"They mentioned that might happen," Stork said, folding his arms. "Oh well. Just look at those flowers."

"Quite beautiful." Horace went to scratch the titanium plate but realized he was just digging into his exposed brain. The titanium was gone. "Oh."

"Just enjoy it while you can then." Stork pulled off his helmet and dropped it on the ground. It turned to ash. Horace watched a clear sunrise for the first time in ten years. The fairies emerged from the flowers, swarming around Stork until he flaked away into nothingness.

"Oh, I get it," Horace said, smiling as millions of fairies formed a tornado of tiny wings. "I guess this--" His tongue dissolved in his mouth as the fairy dust choked the air and weeds grew around him. 

...is it.
“I live, I burn with life, I love, I slay, & am content.” Robert E. Howard

Offline xiagan

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Re: [April 2013] Time Travel - Submissions Thread
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2013, 10:10:05 AM »
This isn't the story I planned to write, but it is the one that got written. :)

How it ends.

You want to know what I'm doing here? Why I'm typing up a story too screwball to be true? Because it is the truth, even if nobody's going to believe it. I don't care much for you or other humans. We f*cked up this planet and the knowledge that someday we'll be gone brings some peace to my mind. So again – why am I writing this story? The truth is, there's not much I have to do and my story is something you and everybody else should know.
I'm illegal, because I don't have a valid passport for this time. I'm poor, because I never learned anything I can use in this time and I'm lonely, because there's nobody I know still (or already) alive.
But I have a story to tell. And this I will do.

I found out about time travel on the internet. Where else? It's not as if anybody has been out of their house for years.
It was a really simple three step instruction which spread through the forums, social media sites and newspapers like a wildfire.
Internet access has been a human right for at least a century and with the state our world was in, it's logical what happened.
That day, humanity ended.

We have always been able to travel into the future. Only at a rate of one second per second, but the fact stands. What we, as a species, have not been able to do, is think into the future. Not our own, and not our planet's. You think pollution and climate change are already bad? You won't like my news then, because despite some efforts, it got worse.
At one point, living on this wasted and run-down planet was so depressing, we locked ourselves in and created new worlds and lives on the internet, having outsourced everything needed for a constant supply of clean air, energy and food to automatic machines.

With this method, you could only go to the past – which was okay, because knowing our present, nobody wanted to go to the future anyways. And we knew the past. We saw all the movies from the 20th and 21st century, all the documentaries about the time before and everybody I knew had a special point in history where he wished he had been born instead of our time.

So when we got the chance, we left. Not to the stars. Not to heaven or the Nirwana. But to the past.

“Hey you! Do you miss seeing the sun every now and then? What about real trees, flowers and plants? Living animals? Going outside without protective gear? Do you even know what I'm talking about? Are you fed up with your own room and virtual nature? I know you are. But are you ready for a change? Are you ready to get some real experience and not only some experience points? Yes? Okay, this is what you have to do:”

That's how the message started. It may be nothing special for you, but for somebody from our time, this was too good to be true. And somehow, it was.
It worked, but nobody thought it through. We spent all our time in front of a computer – which is not exactly the best preparation for a journey to the past. We couldn't hunt, we didn't know which plants were edible and most of us couldn't talk to the natives. What should've been paradise was a trip to hell.

Humanity didn't end with a big bang, with a nuclear war, a meteorite or another ice age.
It ended because at one point everybody left for a romanticised and supposedly better time. A time none of us found.
"Sire, I had no need of that hypothesis." (Laplace)

Offline Geekory

Re: [April 2013] Time Travel - Submissions Thread
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2013, 03:54:20 AM »
Had this idea for a while. First time entering a writing contest.

Buried Through Time

“Aren’t you done yet?” Lilly asked, more to protest than an actual question as I dumped another shovel of dirt into the hole.

“If you’d stop texting and help me, we’d be done sooner,” I answered.

“No way, it’s your stupid idea, you can bury it yourself.”

“It’s not stupid, you’re stupid.”

Lilly snorted as she stepped away, plopping down onto a log with her back to me. As if to spite me she pulled out her phone and started typing, no doubt texting. I let out a sigh and got back to burying my envelope.

I had led Lilly off the park’s path and through the trees until we were out of sight of any passerby. I wanted to ensure no one would see me burying the message and dig it up once we left. Sunset was still a few hours away but already it was starting to get dark, and the trees were blocking most of the remaining light.

A few minutes later Lilly was still on the log using her phone, giving me the silent treatment as I finished. I glanced around, not seeing anyone else in the area I scooped up another shovel full, making sure to catch some mud and threw it at her.

Lilly let out a shriek so loud I was sure everyone in the park heard her. She sprang up as the muddy dirt covering her back and blond hair. I broke out in laughter.

“You jerk. I’m going to tell Mom and Dad,” she screamed, frantically running her hands through her hair.

“Go ahead you little tattle tale,” I barely managed to say between laughs.

“I’m not a tattle tale!”

“You are if you tattle on me.”

I continued laughing as she tried to look over her shoulder and whip off the dirt. She only managed to spread the dirt further across the back of her jacket.

“Arrg, I can’t believe they made me come with you.” Then she swung her arm at me. I dropped the shovel and grabbed her wrist.

“Let go of me,” she screamed trying to twist her arm free but I was bigger and stronger.

“Hey!” a voice called out and we both stopped. As I turned my head looking for the source Lilly pulled out of my grip stepping a few feet away. I ignored her as I saw the most strangely dressed guy I’ve ever seen walking towards us. His hair was in a green Mohawk at least a foot high, his shirt a blinding red and his jean spread at the bottom.

“What do you think you’re doing?” he asked heading towards me.

I looked down at my feet trying to look innocent and through the corner of my eye saw Lilly was doing the same.

“Nothing,” I said not looking up.

“Really.” He stopped right in front of me and I glanced up. He stood about a head higher and I could now see he was a teenager. I looked back down at my feet.

“Say, are you Charlie?”

I looked back up surprised. “Ya” I said nervously. If he knew me then he might tell Mom and Dad that Lilly and I were fighting.

“I got your note,” he said.

“What note?”

“The note you buried there.” He took a step back pointing to the patch of dirt I had just filled. “I’m from the future and here to collect.” He extended a hand to me.

“How did you know?” I started to ask then looked at Lilly.

“You are little tattle tale. You promised you wouldn’t tell anyone,” I yelled at her.

“I’m not a tattle tale and I didn’t tell anyone about your stupid note,” she shouted back.

“Oh ya, then how does he know?” I pointed to the unknown visitor. “You texted him didn’t you?”

“I didn’t, check my phone if you don’t believe me.” She held it out to me.

The seriousness of her tone and face made me rethink my assumption. Maybe she really didn’t but I couldn’t admit defeat so I waved her off. “You could have deleted it.”

The visitor cleared his throat, “ah hum, my $20.”

“What? No way,” I said anger still in my voice.

“Your note said you’d pay $20 if someone from the future came to meet you.”

“Ya, but that wasn’t supposed to happen till tonight,” I said.

“Well I’m here now. So pay up.”

“OMG, why are you dressed like that?” Lilly asked letting out a laugh. She must of realized we weren’t in trouble and felt free to speak her mind.

“What this? I got to look the part, you know blend in,” the visitor said looking himself over.

“Blend into what, the nineteen sixties. Are those bell bottoms?”

“Hey, I’m no fashion history expert. I don’t know what people wore back then.”

“Or have any fashion sense,” Lilly snickered.

“Look I didn’t come here to be made fun of.” He turned back to face me. “I came for what you promised.”

“Your not from the future,” I said.

“Yes I am.”

“Prove it.”

“I knew about the note. How else would I know?” His tone was getting angrier.

“Lilly told you about it.” I glanced back at her but she looked away arms folded. “Do you have the note? The future version.”

“Are you kidding me, I barely managed to get the time machine and find an antique money collector. I didn’t have time to grab your stupid note.”

“See,” Lilly said triumphantly and I shot her a glance that caused her to look back down at her feet.

“Can I see your time machine then?” I asked getting excited despite of myself.

“Ah, better not. It might, you know, create a temporal paradox and destroy the world or something.”

Lilly snorted.

My brief excitement was now being replaced with annoyance. “Well I’m not convinced. Don’t you have some future gadgets or something.”

“Hey it wasn’t easy for me to get here you know. Now I want that twenty bucks you owe me, and hurry it up. I don’t have a lot of time here.” He tapped the side of his hip then looked confused as if realizing he’d forgotten something.

“Sorry you wasted a trip,” I said turning to walk away. He grabbed my shoulder with a tight grip.

“Now look here kid.” He pulled my shoulder back spinning me around to face him. “Your note said for someone from the future to meet you and you’ll give them a crisp twenty bucks. Well here I am, so give me what you promised.” He grabbed the front of my shirt and lifted me onto my toes.

“You put him down!” I heard Lilly call out.

The visitor ignored her, now staring face to face with me. “I’m going to ask you nicely one more time. I want that twenty dollars. I got an appointment to have it appraised and I hate to be late.”

“No,” I said stubbornly, squeezing my hands into a fist. He was going have to fight me for it.

He grinned his teeth as if reading my mind and enjoying the thought. Then a thump and he let out a cry of pain throwing me to the ground. My back hit the dirt and rocks first, followed by the back of my head. My vision briefly went bright as pain ran through me.

“You little brat!” I heard him shout and I forced my head up onto my arm to see him running away. A sense of relief flowed through me, this quickly turned to concern when I realized he wasn’t running away but chasing Lilly. She was a fast runner but he was much bigger, and he quickly closed the distance. She screamed as he grabbed her hair, pulling her head back.

Another pain surged through me, only this was in my stomach and wasn’t associated with the fall. It was guilt and an urge to protect my little sister.

“All right!” I shouted pulling up onto my knees and shouted again louder when he didn’t react.

Still holding Lilly the guy turned back. “All right, what?”

“All right, I’ll give you the money,” I shouted grudgingly. “Just let her go.”

“Give me the money first,” he said walking back to me. I cringed seeing that he still held onto Lilly’s hair, she struggled to keep up.

My ankle hurt when I tried to stand, felt twisted but I pushed through the pain stumbling to help close the distance.

“Well?” he asked when we were a few feet away from each other.

I pulled out the twenty dollar bill from my pocket and handed it to him.

He held it up in one hand examining it while still holding Lilly in his other hand. I could see tears in her eyes and my hands formed a fist again. I wanted to punch the guy so hard.

“2011, and feels like real paper, nice. Now was that so hard?” He pocketed the bill and flung Lilly aside. She let out another cry as she lost her balance falling to the ground.

“Lilly!” I shouted taking the few steps to her oblivious to my ankle pain.

When I got to her she was lying with her head into the ground and I could hear her sobbing. I knelt beside her and paused hands above her back. I wasn’t sure how to comfort her. Her blond hair was a mess where he grabbed it, and I could see strands on her coat that must of been pulled out.

“It’s all right,” I said deciding to grab the back of her shoulders lifting her up and letting her cry into my shoulder. “He’s gone now.”

“Oh and by the way,” the visitor shouted and I tightened my grip on Lilly as I looked over my shoulder. He was several meters away now but had stopped to face us. “Don’t go digging up that note or telling anyone about this. You know, cause it will create a time paradox and cause the universe to implode or some sciencey thing like that.”

“Some sciencey thing?” I called back, not sure why.

“What do I look like, a quantum physicist or something. Just don’t mess with the timeline.” He turned and walked away. I looked at the shovel on the ground and imagined beating him with it. My sobbing sister in my arms stopped me.

I loosened my grip and held her in front of me. “Are you all right?”

“I guess so,” she said sniffing and I whipped her tears away with my sleeve. “I didn’t text him, I swear.”

“I know,” I believed her. “Lets go home.”

I stood up cringing as the pain in my ankle returned but it didn’t seem so bad now. We held each other’s hand while I picked up the shovel and started for home.

“What about your twenty dollars?” Lilly asked her voice more steady now.

I thought about that as we walked. “I don’t know. Maybe I’ll bury another message.”

“Another one?” her voice rising with concern.

“Only this time we’ll be ready for payback.”

Offline Jeni

Re: [April 2013] Time Travel - Submissions Thread
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2013, 01:30:05 AM »
I've never written a proper story before. I always thought that when I did, it would be very short, and would therefore take only a short time to write.
Can Jeni say stoooopid!!!
Anyhoo...
I kind of got carried away and it was taking forever to write, so this is what I have so far. It's the beginning of a story that I may finish one day.

Nish and the Temporal Event

Nish had been sitting in the front garden of his home, cross legged, with his elbows on his knees and his face in his hands, waiting for his best friend when it happened.  He had been hoping that his friend would hurry up, because he was really, really bored. Then suddenly, he looked up and found himself sitting in the middle of a square patch of grass that was surrounded by buildings he had never seen before.

“Huh?”

That definitely was not old Mr Thompson’s house in front of him. It looked a bit like a Town Hall, or a Library, Nish thought. It was certainly big enough to be either of those. A quick look left and then right showed him that the rest of the houses on his street, and the street itself, had also disappeared.  On the left, was a building that reminded Nish of the local High School and on the right, he saw a building that was at least twice as tall as the others and looked like a city office block. Nish twisted around to look behind him and ended up on his knees, looking at a massive warehouse. He felt sick. His house had disappeared too. His home, his family, the fishpond  that his parents had turned into a sandbox after he had fallen in one too many times, all gone.  Nish was alone and very confused.

Fear and panic then gripped Nish as he noticed one of the smaller warehouse doors starting to open. His muscles tensed, his body froze, his mouth went dry, and he started breathing quickly. All he could hear was the sound of his own heartbeat, getting louder and faster as someone came through the door and started to walk straight towards him. As the person came closer, Nish could see it was a girl. She started to walk more slowly as she got closer to Nish and she raised her hands, palms towards him. He hoped that meant she was not going to harm him, but he wasn’t feeling any less afraid, and his heart was still thumping as if it wanted to explode out of his chest.  She stopped when she was about an arm’s length away, and knelt down in front of Nish, removing the bag she had been carrying across her body and placing it on the ground next to her. She waited, watching Nish and saying nothing.

As Nish’s curiosity increased he stopped panicking, and after a minute or two, his heartbeat started to slow down and his breathing began returning to normal. He wondered why she hadn’t spoken yet and why she was just watching him. He wondered how fast she could run, and if she was quick enough to catch him if he ran. When Nish looked calmer, the girl reached across to pull back the flap of the bag, carefully, so that Nish could see exactly what was inside. She removed a board, a small bottle filled with a clear liquid, and two glasses. She placed the board onto the ground about halfway between herself and Nish, rested the two glasses on top and then poured some of the fluid from the bottle into each glass.  She indicated to Nish that he should choose a glass and then leaned back to give him some space. Nish still had a dry mouth and was very thirsty, but he wasn’t sure if he should drink this. It looked like water, but it might not be. He picked up the glass on the left and sniffed the liquid. It didn’t smell of anything, so he dipped a finger into it to see if it felt like water. It passed that test too. Nish then motioned to the girl to take the other glass, “If she drinks it, I’ll drink it”, he decided.

The girl picked up the other glass and drank all of the liquid. Nish took a deep breath and a tiny sip from his glass. It was water. He then drained the glass and placed it back on the board. The girl breathed a sigh of relief and finally spoke, “I am Reyha.” She smiled at him.

Nish cleared his throat, “I’m Nish. “ He didn’t smile back, “Are you an alien? Am I on another planet? Are you going to do experiments on me? Will I ever see my family again? What happened? Where am I?”

Reyha considered his questions, “No, no, no, I believe so, an accident and this,” she waved her arm around in a circle, “is the Scientific Research Academy.”

While Nish was still trying to work out which questions those answers were for, Reyha returned the board, glasses and bottle to her bag and stood up, “Can you stand? Walk?”

“Of course I can,” Nish scrambled to his feet, “Where are we going?”

**

The Academy reacted quickly to the sudden appearance of Nish and others from his town, who had arrived randomly scattered throughout the complex. They took advantage of the confusion to gather the Towners together and calm them down so they could explain what had happened. The research scientists at the Academy had invented a machine that had unexpectedly caused a ‘Temporal Event’ which had transported the Towners forward in time. Nish didn’t really understand much about the machine or how it worked, he just understood that it didn’t work the way it was supposed to, because some of the scientists had got their maths wrong. The scientists also explained that it wasn’t safe to use the machine to send the Towners back until they’d figured out how to correct the mistake, and that other options were also being considered.

All of the Towners accepted this without argument. Nish did too, but he thought it was a bit weird that none of the adults had any questions, or seemed angry, or afraid. And then he realised that he didn’t feel afraid anymore, even though he was lost and surrounded by strangers. He took a good look at the people around him. Like him, they were all upset and worried about what was happening and wondering when they would be going home to see the people there they missed. Nish also noticed that a few of them were still clutching the bottles of water that he supposed they’d all been given earlier. Grabbing a surprised Reyha by the arm, he pulled her to the back of the room where he wouldn’t be overheard.

 “What was in the water, Reyha?”

“A few things, “she confessed, “Something to stop you feeling afraid, something to help you understand my speech, and, something to protect you from the new viruses and bacteria that you will be living with here.” Reyha was impressed. It didn’t look like the other Towners had worked out yet that what they had been drinking wasn’t just water, and Nish was a good deal younger than most of them; about the same age as her youngest sister, if she had to guess. “Are you upset that I didn’t tell you before that it wasn’t just water that you were drinking?”

Nish thought for a minute, “No, not really. I think it’s probably a good idea that I drank it; otherwise I wouldn’t be able to talk to you now. And I don’t like being sick or afraid.” Nish looked down at his feet, and then back at Reyha. She hadn’t lied to him and she hadn’t treated him like a dumb kid. He felt very alone and he really wanted to trust her.  “Reyha?”

Reyha could see his eyes getting glossy and could tell that he was close to tears. She knew he must be missing his parents terribly. She desperately wanted to tell him not to worry, that she was sure he would be home soon, but she couldn’t lie to the boy. He needed the truth, “Nish, I don’t know when you will see your parents again,” she placed her hands on his shoulders and looked straight into his eyes,” I am part of a team that is working on a project that will get you home, but it will be a while before it is ready. Three or four months at least, and then it will take a few more weeks of travel through space to get you there. I promise you will get home and see your parents again, Nish, but I can’t promise that it will be soon. I’m sorry.”

Nish flung himself at Reyha and sobbed his heart out. She held on to him until he had run out of tears and was ready to let go. Then, together they headed off to catch up with the rest of the Towners, who had been taken to the Infirmary for routine health checks. After Nish had been poked, prodded, scanned, sampled and questioned for what felt like hours, the doctors told him that he had passed all of the tests, and that he didn’t have to spend any time in quarantine; he was free to re-join the rest of the Towners in the apartments that the Academy had arranged for them in the Residential Quarter.

Reyha was waiting outside the examination room for him. “All done?”

Nish nodded.   

Reyha stood up, “Come on then, let’s get you settled and find you something to eat. You must be hungry?”

Nish hesitated for a second and then nodded again. But he didn’t move.

Reyha frowned, “Nish? What is it? What’s wrong?”

His eyes darted around the waiting room. She had been really kind so far, but there was no way Nish was going to let Reyha make him stay with a bunch of people he’d never met before. He didn’t care if they were from his town or not. He’d rather be on his own. He bolted for the door – but Reyha had been watching him carefully and was ready to catch him before he got past her. She swung him around and sat him in the chair she had just got up from. She sat down next to him. He was clearly afraid, which was to be expected, as the chemical in the water Nish had drunk earlier would have stopped working a while ago. Reyha took a deep breath; this was going to be tricky because she wasn’t sure why he was trying to run when he knew there was nowhere to run to.

“Nish, I am really sorry that you caught up in the accident. It’s not fair and it’s not your fault. I wish I had a magic wand that could send you home to your family, but I don’t, or I would have used it already because I can see how frightened you are,” Nish turned to look at Reyha. She hoped she wasn’t about to make things worse for him, but he needed to know what his options were. “But you can’t start running away from me every time you feel afraid. You are too young to be left on your own, so if you keep running away from me, you will have to live in one of the apartments with people from your town and..”

Nish interrupted, “I can stay with you?”
 
Reyha looked relieved, “Yes! When you told the doctor earlier that you would rather stay with me than the strangers from your own town, they asked me if I would agree to foster you for the time that you were here. I signed the forms there and then; I thought they would have told you.”

Nish shook his head. Then, for the first time that day, he smiled.

**

Offline Neila

Re: [April 2013] Time Travel - Submissions Thread
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2013, 04:58:15 AM »
This wound up a lot shorter than I thought it would but then it also went a slightly different direction than I was expecting as well. Here's the raw version with little to no edits. You guys are the first people to see it!


Quantum Fangirl

By: Sarah Elkins

   The math was the hardest part but it would be worth it. Tamera would get to see him. The man she fell for during school ten years ago. He was perfect. Intelligent.  The kind of man that was hard to come by. She had never met anyone like him. The work would be worth it.
   It took her two years to secure a ground floor apartment. Necessary. The math didn't allow for anything above the bottom floor.  The Earth had not been in the same location in over five hundred years neither had the galaxy.  Gravity would serve as a sort of anchor so she wouldn't fly out into space.
   She built the structure of her machine in the apartment and tied the massive battery packs into the power grid to charge. One shot. If it failed she would have to start over from square one with the calculations. It was time. She was careful not to get her dress caught in the door to the small metal pod as she crawled inside and powered up the machine.
   "Hello. It's an honor to meet you Mr. Tesla," She repeated to herself in 'Classic North American English' like a solemn prayer. "Hello. It's an honor to meet you Mr. Tesla. Mister Tesssssla."
   A chime sounded telling her the machine was ready. Her chariot to take her to her Prince. Destination the Spring in New York, New York 1895. All systems go.
   "Hello. It's an honor to meet you Mr. Tesla," Tammy smiled and eagerly pressed the final sequence into the machines.
   A high pitched whirr escalated into a scream as the pod tore a hole in space-time and vanished while igniting the air in the apartment.

   The weather was despicably cold but he suspected it was warmer in the city than elsewhere. There was word of record low temperatures in England in the papers the month before. Would Summer ever return? Or at least Spring? It was not impossible to go for walks in the bone chilling air of the prolonged winter but it was far more comfortable and safer to do so when the city was not covered in ice. 
   The traffic in New York remained steady reducing snow and ice on Seventy Fifth street into a grungy black slush that splashed up onto the sidewalk through the small paths cut into the tall hills of snow. He did not envy the men who had cleared the road, nor the side walk. His days of shoveling were behind him and his laboratory lay ahead. Just one block further and he would be home. His walk had sparked an idea as to how to apply the Roentgen photographs he had been experimenting with. One could potentially use them to find the best way to repair a broken limb or find a bullet if someone were shot. The medical applications were endless. It would change the world.
   BADOOOOOOSH!
   The ground shook as an explosions on Fifth street erupted. Fifth street.
   "My God." He breathed as he hastened around the corner to see his laboratory a flame. People ran from nearby buildings in a bid to reach safety, but all Nikola Tesla could do was collapse to his knees and silently breathe the words, "No...no....no..."