Above is a link to my story, Through The Looking Glass and Down The Rabbit Hole. It deals with a central character (which is me) being thrust into the future 500 years. This is the third version of this current story, and I am about to start working on it again in hopes of finishing it.
Through the Looking Glass and Down the Rabbit Hole
Suddenly, Last January
Suddenly, Last January
The clock was about to strike midnight, and January 26, 2005 was about to come to those of us on the eastern seaboard of the United States. I was working security at Reeves Brothers and was just starting my first key wind of the night when it happened. I was walking in the receiving area when I was overcome with a flash of light. I felt my body expanding and, for a moment, I thought I was about to die, having been caught in some kind of explosion. I didn’t have time to think, but I lost my balance and fell to the ground.
When I hit the ground, it was not the cold, hard concrete surface of the rubber and vinyl spreading plant that I was so familiar with. Instead, I fell onto a rug-covered floor with a thud. I lay there for a moment, trying to get my bearings, when three people came up to me in what looked to be some sort of office. As I rose to my feet, I noticed something strange: one of the people was light blue skinned.
At first, I thought she was a human who wore tight leggings or something, but as I stood up, I noticed that her face was also of the same light blue composition. Her hair was blonde to the point of being bright yellow, which fit her head and face quite well. I looked over at the other two and realized that they were obviously human males. One was older and wore a tweed jacket much like any college professor would, while the other one was a younger man who wore some sort of suit, which didn’t include a tie.
“Are you all right?”, asked the blue skinned woman, who helped me up. I nodded, looking around the room and at the other two men in the room with a look, which was probably of shock on my face. And why not, because I clearly wasn’t in Rutherfordton anymore.
“Do you want to sit down?”, asked the young man, who looked younger than I was, which led me to believe that he was a college student. I nodded again, realizing that my throat was parched, so I pointed to my throat and made a gesture that I wanted to drink something. The older man said, “Alan, get the man some water. His throat must have dried out during the process.”
Alan went out of the room for a moment, then brought back a glass of water for me. I drank it down slowly, and it had to have been some of the best tasting water that I had ever drank, with no metallic taste whatsoever. I breathed out and handed the glass back to Alan. I managed to gather myself and ask the question anyone would have asked in my predicament: “Where am I?”
“You’re on the campus of Rutherford Polytechnic Institute. Do you know where that is?”, said the older man. I furrowed my brow in incomprehension and told him, “No, because I didn’t know such a place existed. Not in my time at least.” I looked over at the blue skinned woman and said, “And I don’t remember seeing anyone like you in my time, either. So what year is it?”
The older doctor coughed and mumbled, “I’m not sure if you’re ready yet for that…”
I knew it was bad right then, so I cut to the chase. “Go ahead and tell me, because I already know it’s bad. I get the feeling that I’ll find out soon enough.”
The doctor nodded and said, “Well, the year is 2505. What year was it in your time?”
“2005.”, I said and sighed. Five hundred years? It seemed unbelievable to me that I could have been pulled a half millennia into the future, but apparently I had just jumped that amount of time. “I was working at my job, at Reeves Brothers, on Railroad Avenue. It was in a small town called Rutherfordton. Do you know of it?”
The doctor nodded his head and said, “Well, the plant no longer exists, but the road does. Apparently we pulled you into the same spot into the future, because this science hall is right next to the road. But the town is no longer called Rutherfordton, for it’s become a large city known as Rutherford City. A lot has happened since you were last in your time. What do you remember?”
“Well, I know that President Bush would be inaugurated again, and that the Super Bowl was happening the following weekend.” I said.
“Super Bowl? What’s that?” the blue skinned woman asked.
“I’m not sure, Tana. Our records from that time are a bit sketchy…” replied the doctor.
“Wait! Sketchy? How can that be?” I asked.
The doctor clearly wasted some time by asking me for my name, as he didn’t know how much I could handle. “Jason Bond is my name, and you didn’t answer my question.” I said, challenging the doctor.
I could tell the doctor was hesitating, so I advanced some ideas. “Something bad happened, didn’t it? A cataclysm? A world war, perhaps?”
“You’re close with the former than with the latter, although the latter would apply as well. It’s a long story, and I don’t want to overwhelm you at this time.”, the doctor answered, shaking his head at some bad memory.
Alan came back into the room and said, “Doctor Chronenberg, I think they suspect something is up. Campus security is on the way here!”
“Tana, take him to my place. I’ll call my wife and let her know what is up. Alan, you stay here, because you’re better at forestalling them than I am.”, said Dr. Chronenberg. Tana took me by the arm and escorted me out the room as Alan held the door. I could tell from the windows that it was nighttime, and that there were a lot of lights in the sky. I shook my head and asked Tana, “Are you sure we’re in Rutherfordton?”
“It’s Rutherford City, and it’s changed a lot since you were last here. Quite a lot, in fact. Come with me, because we don’t have much time!” She hustled me into an elevator and we went down several floors, getting off at the lobby level. We walked into an empty vestibule and exited the building into a parking lot. The transports, clearly unlike the cars of my time, looked more like tricked out hovercrafts. I looked up and saw for the first time that I was far from home, chronologically speaking.
Instead of Southern Baptist Church across the street, there were large office buildings as well as shops on street level. The buildings were around the twenty to twenty five stories, and the streets were busy with lots of foot traffic. The buildings were a lot different than the ones from my time, as they had multicolored exteriors with lights running up the sides of them.
Across the way, where there once was a convenience store, was a statue of some kind. I had no idea who it was, and I could tell that the area behind it was a shopping area of some kind. Tana walked me to a transport and pressed a button, which slid the roof of it up and the doors slid out and back, allowing me to step into the vehicle. I sat down inside of it and noticed that the steering wheel was gone, replaced by a computer terminal. Tana sat down inside the car, sweeping her silver dress around her legs as she adjusted herself into the contoured seat. I felt the seat shift under my weight and it became more comfortable for me as I leaned back into it.
Tana activated the vessel and I jumped as it ascended slowly into the sky. “Well, I wasn’t expecting that!”, I told her and won a chuckle from her. The city began to grow as we ascended, and it took my breath away. Far into the distance were buildings upon buildings, separated by a myriad of parks, stadiums, and other odd buildings that looked to be museums, concert halls, sports arenas, and other venues for activities. Lights came on the vessel as we began to head northwest.
“Where are we going?”, I asked.
“A suburb of Rutherford City called Asheville. It’s up in the mountains, so it’s rather secluded.”, she replied.
I gave her a double take. “Asheville is a suburb of Rutherford City? How’s that possible?”
Tana may have been an alien, but her skin flushed like a human’s, although hers flushed a dark blue instead of red. “It’s a long story. For now, just relax. We’ll be at Dr. Chronenberg’s estate shortly.”
I took her advice and took in the sights. She decided to take a spin around what once was downtown Rutherfordton, but what was now called Parliament Hill. “Where you once knew as the courthouse is now where the Parliament of the Republic of Carolina sits, and the president’s residence is next door where the old jail used to be. Across the street, where a church used to be, is where the Supreme Court sits. Various government offices surround the hill, and residences are nearby as well.
“Spindale is a suburb that has become the heart of the artistic community, while Forest City has become famed for its business sector and academic institutions. They encompass what was once Rutherford County as well as surrounding areas. Rutherfordton spread to the north and west, while Spindale spread to the south and west. Forest City expanded to the east in all directions, and the cities merged to become Rutherford City.”
We turned west above what was once Interstate 40 and I said to her, “So how big is Rutherford City?”
“One billion people call it home now. It now stretches from Nashville and Lexington to the west, Richmond to the north, Wilmington and Charleston to the west, and Atlanta and Savannah to the south. I can tell that you can’t comprehend the size of such a large city. If you think that’s bad, wait until you see the subway system.” Tana replied.
“One billion people, you say? Geez, how did it get this big?” I asked her.
“Jason, you’ll find out all about it in good time. Right now, we’re about to land at his estate. We’ll get you something to eat and we’ll give you a chance to sleep, then we can deal with how to help you adjust to the future.”, she said.
They landed at a large estate just outside of what was once the heart of downtown Asheville. The city was still very active, but it had been overrun by the growth of Rutherford City. The landing was very smooth, and an older woman with honey blond hair and wearing a green dress walked out to the transport. “You’re Jason?”, she asked, and I nodded. “My name is Sarah Chronenberg. Johan told me about you. He’s busy, so he won’t be back until tomorrow. I’ve prepared the guesthouse for you.”, she said in a strange accent that seemed to be part southern twang and part German. She led me to a spacious house that was roughly two hundred feet away from the main estate, which dwarfed the house.
They went inside, and the air was noticeably warmer than the chill that was outside. Snowflakes began to fall as he passed a window in the living room on his way to the stairs. “I’ll bring over something for you to eat shortly. Feel free to roam the ground tomorrow, but the doctor asks that you stay on the estate until he feels like your ready to handle the city.”
I nodded as I entered the spacious bedroom, decorated in a myriad of styles that somewhat clashed. Nevertheless, it looked comfy and warm. “Thank you, Mrs. Chronenberg. I appreciate all that you can do for me. To be honest, this is a bit much to take in.”
“Oh please, call me Sarah! Tana will stay here and help you adjust. The bathroom is through here.”, she said as walked to a door and opened it, and I saw a sink, toilet, and shower inside. “Now, if you will excuse me, I have to check on the meal. I’ll be back over with it shortly!”
Sarah walked down the stairs and went back to the main estate, leaving Tana and myself in the guesthouse. I sat down on the bed and looked around the room. “Is this satisfactory?”, she asked. I smiled at her and said, “More than satisfactory. Now, if you will excuse me, I need to use the bathroom.” She smiled and walked out of the bedroom. I walked into the bathroom, lifted the lid, and emptied my bladder. I cleaned up and looked down at my uniform, chuckling as I wondered what they had thought when I went missing at work.
I walked down the stairs, finding Tana inside the kitchen, seated at the table. “Do you know when I can get some more clothes? I don’t know if I can go walking around in this old thing!”, I joked. Tana smiled and said, “I’ll ask the doctor about it when he arrives. For now, I’m sure you need to rest.”
Sarah arrived with a trolley full of foods. “I know you’re hungry, so I made plenty!” She had fixed some traditional American foods: chicken breasts, mashed potatoes, peas, carrots, corn, and rice au gratin. We all filled our plates full and ate up. Tana consumed the meal as if it were natural to her, and I asked her, “So your metabolism can handle human food?”
Tana looked at Sara and smiled, then responded by saying to me, “Yes, my race, known as Elaren, can metabolize human foods, as well as most alien cuisines. You’ll find out all about the various extraterrestrial civilizations that are out there soon enough. For now, eat up, because I’m sure your body needs the nourishment!” I nodded and did as she told me.
I walked back up the stairs, got out of my uniform, the t-shirt I wore underneath it, and my pants, and climbed into bed wearing only my tighty-whitey briefs. As I settled in to sleep, I said aloud, “This is gonna take some getting used to!” It wasn’t long until I fell asleep.