‘I drew a breath, set my teeth, gripped the lever with both hands, and went off with a thud. Looking out of my cellar window, I saw that day quickly turned to night, and it was dark. The moon appeared in the night sky – within the space of a few minutes, the moon had moved entirely across the sky, and in the distance, dawn was breaking. I pulled on the lever a little harder to speed up time, and quickly it was day again.
Saturday, I thought to myself, shopping day, and sure enough, within seconds people were rushing in and out of the butchers, bakers, and grocers. They were going at a super speed – one person seemed to visit all three shops, have what looked like a lengthy conversation with the vicar, and leave contented with the weeks purchase in about thirty seconds. Again a little harder I pulled on the lever, people were now just a blur, all that I could tell is that I was now going about a day every five seconds.
I now felt very sick and dizzy; all the flashing lights of the changing days had made me disorientated. Even though I felt sick, I also felt a huge sense of success. I, George Hoothley, had been the first person ever to travel through time. But the question was – could I stop? Light, dark, light, dark, day, night, day, night, again I pulled harder on the lever.
I couldn’t now differ between night and day – it was just grey haze. The harder I pulled on the lever; the quicker I went through time. All I could see was this grey haze, and nothing else.
‘STOP!’ I thought, I pushed the lever back to where it started, and suddenly light rushed back, but I couldn’t make out my house, or any shops across the street. No green, no other buildings, no people, and no cars, just – well, I couldn’t tell.
It looked like a cross between rock, sand, and glass. It was a shade of purple and brown, but that was all I could see, for as far as I could see! It looked solid, but I didn’t trust it.’
‘No, don’t trust anything, if you don’t know what quite it is’ said the Medicine Man
‘Thank you Alfie’ said George ‘ May I continue?’
‘Oh, yes, sorry George’ said the Medicine Man
‘Well, it was this purple-brown colour for as far as I could see. I got out of my seat, and stood up – the floor was, well, solid, but it had a bouncy quality to it. I looked up into the distance again, but just a purple-brown haze, it looked however, as though it could be a cloud. I took a few steps towards it, to try and focus a little better, but as soon as my first foot touched the ground, it was as though I could float.
Each step, leap I took I travelled about five meters, and when I landed back on the floor, it just propelled me on even further, faster. Bounce, bounce, jump, leap, and step – I was going faster now, faster and further for each jump, on and on, but it looked as if I wasn’t moving, everything was the same. Then there was a loud BANG, and suddenly the floor lost all of its springiness, and I slammed onto the now rock hard floor. Strangely though, I wasn’t hurt!
I stood up, and felt a sharp chill go up my spine, and it made me judder all over. ‘I wonder if my watch still works here’ I thought, and I pulled it out of my pocket’
Doing the same whilst telling his story, and indicating with his finger.
‘The dials were spinning round and round – the hour hand clockwise, and the minute hand anti-clockwise. The second hand had stopped entirely. Again I got a chill, and again I juddered – the minute hand stopped. The hour hand however was still whirring round at a tremendous speed. Again another chill, and another judder, and the hour hand stopped.
The goldenness of the watch began to drift away at once, and it was starting to glow a red colour – also at the same time, the watch was getting warmer and warmer, hotter and hotter, until I couldn’t bear it anymore. I dropped the watch, and as it hit the ground, it simply became rooted to its spot, as if a strong magnet had been placed underneath it.
The watch stayed there for a while, and as I went to pick it up, it crumbled into dust, and dissolved into the floor. When I looked up again, there was a purple cloud surrounding me. I felt all the warmth drain out of me, and I fell to the ground.
I opened my eyes, and looked around me. This time, there was something, and it looked like I was in a huge cavern. The walls were high, and they met together in a huge domed roof. It wasn’t the same colour as before either, it looked like what a medieval castle looked like – stone walls, stone floors – there was even a number of large golden chandeliers hanging from the ceiling. It looked like it could be a palace, for ahead of me, perched at the top of a small flight of stairs, was a huge, elegant throne, dark oak, red velvet, with gold etchings along the top. I walked up the steps, and towards the throne – I noticed that the writing was in English. Not only that but it had elegant curls on each letter, and it read:
‘Beware the human standing there,
Beware the chair, beware the glare,
Of those who sit upon it,
For if you stare into their eyes,
Your soul will never leave it,
So beware the chair, too late,
Look behind you!’
‘Ahh, what have we here?’ said a high-pitched, monotone voice ‘A human? But surely not! There have been no sightings of humans for centuries, thousands of years’
I turned around, and standing behind me was a small, being. It had the features of a human, but it looked strangely like a fish.
‘Who are you? What are you?’ I said, with a quiver in my voice.
‘I, am Augurey – ruler of this land’ said the figure.
‘And this land is?’ I asked.
‘Planet Earth of course’ Augurey replied ‘and who might you be?’ Augurey asked curiously, it sounded as if there was some excitement in the question.
‘George – George Hoothley’ I said, Augurey did what could only be described as a celebratory jump.
‘I knew you would be coming soon George’ Augurey said.
‘But how…’ but I was cut off as Augurey clambered up onto the throne and held out her right – well I suppose, hand. Suddenly out of the ground, came a small, but tall table. When the block had risen, and touched Augury’s hand a picture suddenly appeared. I bent over for a closer look. I saw myself, at home, in my laboratory, surrounded by junk. The floor was littered with scraps of metal.
‘What year is this?’ I asked
‘Only 1911 – 2 months after you return back to your time’ Augurey said
‘And what’s that’ I said, pointing at a capsule, that was about as tall as a human.
‘Ooh, that is your greatest – and worst invention!’ Augurey replied.
‘When you returned home, your great time travel achievement got to your head. You decided that if you could travel through time to things, then things should be able to travel through time to you’ Augurey said ‘keep watching, it gets better!’ so I bent over the screen again – ‘Right, finished’ I heard myself say. I then fiddled around with some buttons on the capsule, and BANG the capsule exploded, emitting a purple-brown light.
‘Is that…well, did I…is this land…this world now all my doing?’ I said.
Augurey sadly nodded ‘you wiped out mankind, animal kind, everything on your planet, as it was then. The thing is George; your mistake did have some benefits’ Augurey said
‘How can wiping out an entire existence have benefits?’ I asked
‘Well, us, me, our kind, had been watching your planet since the beginning of time. We are the Gordian race, the creators of the world, as you knew it. We had been watching your planet for 4.5 billion years, since it was created’ Augurey said ‘that film you have being watching is exactly 4.5 billion years long, it stops seconds after you blew the machine up, and this world was formed. What you saw of the film, is just a miniscule section of it’ Augurey continued.
‘You keep saying us’ I said ‘does that mean that there are more of you?’ I said
‘Oh yes, and you are our god – you are the creator…all we can do is create planets generally, we cannot make them habitable for us, that is a skill we have not yet perfected…the last time we tried to create a habitable planet was what you call Jupiter, and that is our last attempt’
‘So I created your world?’ I asked
‘Oh no, we did that, you just provided us with a habitat that we could survive on’ Augurey said.
‘And is there any way to change what i’ve done?’ I asked
‘Alas no’ Augurey replied ‘this will happen whether you try to avoid it or not’ Augurey continued ‘It would now be best for you to return home’
‘But…’ I started, but again I felt all of the warmth drain out of me and I fell to the floor.
When I awoke, I was sitting in my chair, in my machine, in my laboratory. I pulled my watch out of my pocket (it had been returned), and the watch was working again, the hands were normal. The hands were pointing to 12 and 3 – 3pm I thought. I had been gone for no time at all, it was exactly the same as when I left. I then changed into this’
Showing off his suit
‘And the doorbell rang, you entered, and I began – I drew a breath, set my teeth, gripped the lever with both hands, and went off with a thud’