Daily Reaction: 50th Anniversary Special – Animals, Stories, Love
“It’s time” he said, putting down his cutlery and dabbing his mouth with his handkerchief.
“No!” Mary choked, tears welling in her eyes. “Can’t you wait another day?”
“You know I can’t, I have to go. She needs help, I have to do something.” John replied, trying to keep his voice level and calm. He strode over to the fridge, taking a small vial out and carefully slotted it into a thermos.
She followed him as he went outside towards The Machine. “John, are you sure it will work?”
“Yes”, he lied. “Everything is going to be fine, I’m sure. I’ll give them her blood, we’ll find a cure”. He leaned over, gently turning a dial until it reached 50.
“50 years! Why does it have to be so long? Why can’t you make it sooner, the doctors said a cure could be out in less than a decade.”
John turned to face her, brushing away a tear that was slowly making its way down her cheek. “You know why, it’s the only time in the next millennia when the Earth will be in exactly the same rotation and orbit in relation to the Sun. Any other year and I’ll be transported to the middle of space. “
He gave her one last tender kiss.
The machine whirred, lights blinked, sand trickled. Blackness fell, the world disappeared.
Time passed. John couldn’t tell how long he was stuck braced to his chair as the darkness enveloped him, but to everyone else 50 years went by. Light flooded back, the ambient sounds of the universe roared in his ears. He had arrived.
Dazed, confused, frightened, John stumbled out into the new world, hefting his supplies onto his back and carrying the vial in a secure case by his side.
The streets were empty, devoid of life. But they were still streets – and clean, vegetation free streets – they showed that mankind was still alive, still here. Nuclear warfare hadn’t obliterated the world after all, as Mary had feared.
John felt a strong sense of urgency, as if he had to hurry to return, unable to shake off the feeling, despite knowing he could spend 10 years here and still return 5 seconds after he left Mary.
He walked down the street towards what used to be Horsell Common, looking for signs of life. There were no shops, just tall buildings with no visible doors. He knocked on the walls, which seemed to be a blend of plastic and metal, but heard no answer.
Then he heard it, a low buzz steadily growing louder. The car came towards him at speed, camera on its roof spinning and scanning. John waved his arms frantically and it slowed and pulled up alongside him. Someone stepped out – two arms, two legs, two eyes, a nose. A human. His clothes may have been outlandish, but he wasn’t a mutant, an alien or a cyborg.
“Do you speak English?” queried John.
“Heh, of course” came the reply, his voice light and of an odd dialect.
John wanted to ask about how the world had changed, about what mankind had achieved in the space of 50 years, but he had a mission, he had to save his daughter, he had to give them the blood. “I need to get to a hospital or a University, I have questions to ask. Could you help me?”
There was an odd pause, a glint in the man’s eye, a golden spark for the briefest second. He seemed to stare off into the distance for a short moment, and then he snapped back. The man’s face broke into a wide grin “What’s wrong, has your map crashed?”
John didn’t know how to reply, he couldn’t tell him he was from the past, the man would probably think he’s crazy or – worse – believe him. Before he could answer, the man cut in “Look bud, I’d love to help, but I’m in the middle of a videogame right now”. The glint again, the flash in the eye as something happened that only the man could see.
As much as he wanted to just get the directions, John couldn’t help himself. Back in 2012 – both 2 hours ago and 50 years ago – he had been an avid gamer, playing games like Uncharted and Heavy Rain. He loved waiting for the latest new titles, seeing how new technology brought new games and new ideas. In five whole decades… he couldn’t even begin to imagine how much must have changed, must have improved, he had to ask: “Oh yeah? What are you playing?”
The man frowned for a moment, looking at him properly for the first time “What do you think? Call of Duty of course”.
Need moar? Go to the next page for a triple-whammy of Dan’s sexy Daily Random yearbooks.