Author : Andrew Brereton
Now he understood what his master had meant when he said that some people come here only to never leave. The place was truly magical. Even as he watched, a man and his assistant walked by carrying two strange skulls with long ridged horns curling out the back. His imagination was captured by thoughts of strange beasts and the distant past. He wandered in body and mind.
His thoughts were interrupted as he just barely missed colliding with a man holding a rope attached to a strange hairy animal, rushing ahead with its nose to the ground. He put his head down and tried not to attract undue attention. He still remembered his master’s endless rambling about caution.
He thought to himself, “How am I supposed to find the curator of this place, if I am to forever keep myself from looking around?” It was thoughts like these that made him slowly veer off the path. It was thoughts like these that reduced his feelings of guilt. Slowly at first, he submitted to the wonders that drew his curiosity.
When he found the machine, he could barely contain his excitement. He had thought that the dragon bones had been the best, or the picture screen from the ancient times, but as he listened to the ceaseless patter of the operator, he knew he had to try the machine. He was reminded of the vendors in the market-town where he lived.
“Yes that’s right, just sit down and gaze into the “TRU-LENS” goggles, wear the “HI-Q” ear covers and grasp the controllers. You will be taken, lifted into another world! You want to go see the Dinosaurs? Easy! My machine can do it. You! Yes, you there, the small boy. Yes, that’s alright now, just step up and sit down here, hands here… yes! Good! and look into the goggles now…”
As the strange headpiece wrapped around his skull, the sounds blocked out the voice of the salesman. He wondered when he was going to see the dinosaurs, when strange lights and colors began to swirl in his vision. They mixed with the ticking and screeching sounds and made him feel slightly uncomfortable. He was sweating now. He tried to sit up, to stop the machine, but he couldn’t move. His head began to ache, and no matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t block out the disturbing lights and sounds. He began to panic, and his vision began to fade. As he blacked out he got a strange feeling of déjà vu, then, nothing.
He was stacking strange objects into boxes, and a tall loud man was yelling at other children doing similar tasks. He couldn’t remember how he got here. Hesitantly, he called out to the tall man for help, and as he turned, recognition dawned. It was the operator-salesman. Quickly it all came back to him, and just as quickly was replaced by an odd feeling of déjà vu. He panicked. This time, the last thing he remebered was the disturbing grin on the tall man’s face. Seeing that, he understood what his master had meant when he said that some people come here only to never leave.
The 365 Tomorrows Free Podcast: Voices of Tomorrow
This is your future: Submit your stories to 365 Tomorrows