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Out of Time

Weekly Writing Challenge: Through the Door – The door to your house/flat/apartment/abode has come unstuck in time. The next time you walk through it, you find yourself in the same place, but a different time entirely. Where are you, and what happens next?

I trudged on leaden feet up to the door to my flat. Helluva day. Hell of a day. I fumbled the key into the lock, turned it and opened the door. I was looking forward to relaxing on the sofa.

Falling into the dark as the air was pulled explosively from my lungs was not on the evening’s to-do list.

It happened so suddenly I didn’t have time to feel fear. I just sat there for a moment, not breathing, and just as fear finally made an appearance something hard shot out of the dark, grabbed my arm and pulled me sideways. Just as blackness overtook me I heard a swishing sound and bright light flooded in.

Aaargh! Who’s pounding on my head? I cautiously opened my eyes. Staring down at me were two people. No, two trees – am I in a forest? No, two tree people. Holy smokes! Tree people! I blinked and looked again. Still tree people. Skin rough like bark, a dark cherry red. Kind of pretty, actually. Wide staring eyes and, oh boy, what a lot of teeth. Teeth, big, sharp teeth, teeth like razors, teeth made for ripping, tearing…

“Strewth, mate, are you OK?” asked the taller of the two. “What’re you doing in the hold? There’s no air in there, mate!”

A tree with an Australian accent! I had met a red tree with an Australian accent! My life was now complete. I closed my eyes again and waited for the Reaper.

“I think he’s passed out again, mate,” said the other.

Hmm, strange dream. I opened my eyes and took another look. They were still there.

“Um, where am I?” I asked, rather hesitantly. “This isn’t my flat.”

“You, mate, are on our ship. Our interplanetary transport.”

“What? Why is there a spaceship where my flat should be?”

“There’s a spaceship where your planet should be, mate,” the shorter one said.

I was feeling a little out of my depth at this point.

“So,” I said, thinking it best to humour them, “what happened to my planet?”

“Gone,” said the taller tree-person-thing. “Someone thought it a good idea to harness the boundless energy of the Earth’s core. As soon as they broke through, the immense pressure caused a fountain of magma to shoot out of the crust. A bit like a rocket engine. Propelled your planet into the sun.”

“BANG!” added the shorter one helpfully, miming a huge explosion with his gnarled red hands.

“You’ve fallen though an inter-temporal spacial flux. You’ve shot two thousand years into your future! You’re in the same place, geographically speaking, or cosmologically speaking if you prefer, but no longer in the same time!” concluded the taller one. He sounded entirely too happy about the whole situation.

“OK,” I said. “let’s see if I’ve got this right. I’m lost in the future, on a space ship run by talking trees, my home is long destroyed and I’ll never see it again?” This was so surreal it was beginning to sound a bit funny. I feared I was going into shock.

“You’re not lost in the future, you’re lost in the present.” explained the taller one patiently.

“OK, my future, Mr Pedantic!” I yelled, my voice starting to sound a little shrill.

“And we can get you home!” he finished triumphantly.

“Really?”

“Probably.”

“Then let’s do it!” I exclaimed. “If nothing else, I need to get back and warn everyone about the impending doom!”

“Sorry mate, you won’t remember any of this,” said the shorter one. He sounded a little sad.

“Oh, I think I will.”

“This is your future, mate,” he explained. “You can’t remember something that won’t, um, will not yet, um be about to happen in the future, um.”

I stared at him. “Whatever. Just get me home.”

“Nothing simpler. Stand there. Good. Ready?”

The shorter one gave me the thumbs up and flashed me a grin, which I’m sure was supposed to be reassuring and probably would have been if it hadn’t been accompanied by more teeth than anyone should be allowed to possess.

The taller tree pressed some buttons. There was a clunk, a flash of light, a feeling of disorientation and…

…I fumbled my key in the lock, trudged into my flat and collapsed on the couch, switching on the TV as I did so. Great. The news. Some scientists reckon they can solve all the world’s problems by tapping the energy of the Earth’s core. Sounds kind of dangerous.

Still, I guess they know what they’re doing.

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  1. May 8, 2013 at 9:07 pm

    Ha ha, good story, you kept my interest and surprised me a the end.

    Like

  2. May 9, 2013 at 1:24 am

    Very nice read, it somehow made me giggle! It also reminds me a bit of a children s book I have called ‘The Magic Key’ except.. yours is much better and funnier (and has more words)

    Like

    • May 9, 2013 at 6:23 am

      Thanks, glad it made you laugh! Funnily enough as I was writing, it kept trying to “force” me into writing it as a children’s story. I guess it’s that type of short bizarre story you get in kids’ writing (it needed to be longer really to explore the characters properly but it was already getting over-long so I left it alone).

      Like

  3. May 26, 2013 at 9:15 am

    Brilliant! Had me hearing the trees speaking with an Australian accent in my head and now they’re stuck there.

    Like

    • May 26, 2013 at 9:23 am

      The perfect ear worm. Australian-accented trees 🙂

      Like

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