Author : Adena Brons
The sign at the border assured them that the wait would be “no time at all.”
Literal, but misleading. Garam looked at the lines of chronocars in front of them. They were so far back; he couldn’t even see the gate. With a word to Sarah, he stepped out of the car and strolled up the lane marked 1300-1400AD. He passed a couple vans pulling horse trailers – Reenactors. It was a popular holiday among those with a passion for the Middle Ages to pop down for a weekend tournament and be back in the office on Monday. Someone that dedicated would have a Timepass and be able to use the express lane. There was the odd run down car, overloaded with hippie kids, who smoked tobacco and talked about living off the land. They probably didn’t even have their immunizations. But most of the cars were people like him and Sarah, lower middle class, with enough money for a lower middle chronocar and a streak of independence that would lead them to another time.
It was incredible, he thought, looking around the enormous time crossing, how much had been accomplished in the last fifty years. Time travel had been invented nearly a century before, but had first been reserved for governments, meaning armies, and had only slowly filtered down for use by the general public. The Public Release, 47 years ago, had created a wave of emigration as other times were suddenly opened to those seeking other lives
“Word is,” he said, returning to Sarah, “it’s a middling century. There’s a fair bit of room coz of the plague but there’s no one outgoing so they can’t go crazy letting people in. I think we’ve got a good chance. A few Reenactors in our line and they’re only weekenders and won’t cause us trouble.”
She leaned over and kissed him. “We’ll get through. We have our visas and you have that certificate from the college. They can’t turn us away.”
He returned the kiss, “Then a real life with the sky overhead and children underfoot.”
“Children?” Sarah asked, giggling.
“Children,” he said firmly, pulling her closer.
“Dim the windows. No one will see.”
They tumbled into the backseat as the windows went black.
In what would have been forty-five days if they weren’t stuck in line in a timeless other dimension, Sarah and Garam reached the border guard.
“Destination?” he asked, as he scanned their passports.
“Sussex,” Garam answered, trying not to sound too nervous or too hasty. From the look Sarah gave him, he wasn’t succeeding.
“Can I see your chrono-adaptor for the car?”
Garam hurriedly rooted around in the glovebox for their insurance certificate. He handed it to the guard, who laboriously pecked at the keyboard.
“Adapts to: …One Horse and Wagon. Seems to be in order sir,” he said as he handed it back. “When you depart the border zone, please inset these coordinates into your chronocar’s positioning system. I’m sending you to August 26th, 1314. Local time 06:24. Enjoy your stay.”
A machine spat out a card with the coordinates on it and the guard passed it to Garam through the window.
“Yes sir. Thank you!” Garam said, rolling up the window. He gave the card to Sarah and slowly rolled out of the gate. There was a parking lot beyond the border crossing, where he pulled over and crushed Sarah in a bear hug.
“We made it! We’re through!”
Sarah grinned shyly as she whispered, “All three of us.”