Story A Week: The Arch

(OK, so story a week might be stretching it here on my blog, but have I got a story for you! Read on!)

“The Arch”

The dust was oppressive. Fine grains of sand and thousands of years of dust sent me into a fit of violent sneezing. I was far more suited to a clean research laboratory than some primitive archeological dig.

“Come on Don!” my companion urged impatiently.

“It’s… Donovan…” I reminded in between sneezes.

Trevor rolled his eyes and replied, “Whatever,” before continuing down the claustrophobic tunnel that we found ourselves in.

After the sneezing subsided I picked up the thread of our conversation once again, “So why on earth did you insist that I fly all the way out into the middle of absolutely nowhere? I’m a theoretical physicist for goodness’ sake!”

“I know that,” Trevor answered calmly, “But like I told you a few minutes ago, what we’ve discovered appears to be a method of time travel. That’s why I need a theoretical physicist. Who better than you?”

“Flattery won’t impress me, so don’t attempt it,” I grumbled, “And I already told you, good grief, I’ve BEEN telling you for twenty years that time travel may be a theoretical possibility, but it’s practically not feasible. This is just one more colossal waste of time.”

“This time is different, I can feel it,” he declared confidently.

“Irrelevant. Facts are what matter, Trevor. I’ve already told you the facts.”

“Isn’t it just a little arrogant to assume that we know everything there is to know scientifically? After all, people once took the idea of the Earth as the center of the universe as fact.”

“Primitive idiots,” I muttered, “This is entirely different…”

My ratings were interrupted by our arrival in a surprisingly large room. I took a deep breath, glad to finally be out of the cramped tunnel. The carved squiggles on the walls might make this an archeologist’s dream, but I was wholly unimpressed.

Trevor glanced at me and spoke quickly, “I know, it doesn’t look like much, but what I’ve been able to decode has really caused some excitement! This stone arch seems to be the key.”

I looked at the carved stone arch. It was polished to a glossy sheen and there appeared to be small tiles here and there, but I failed to see how it was anything other than an historical artifact.

“None of this means anything to me,” I sighed, “It’s just ancient ruins.”

“I know that’s what it looks like, but trust me on this. It really is a way to travel through time!”

“Trevor, why am I here?” I asked sternly, tired of being out of the loop.

He refused to make eye contact with me as he answered hesitantly, “Well… we won’t know for sure until someone tries it out. Rumor has it that someone else is coming in to take over the whole site first thing in the morning. After that, I’ll probably be totally locked out, along with the rest of my team. This is my only chance to find out if I’m right.”

“By doing what? It’s just a polished hunk of rock!”

He didn’t speak another word, but went to work tapping the tiles in a certain order. A sharp crackle of energy echoed in the empty chamber and the arch began to glow a color that could not be described. The middle of the arch shimmered slightly, as if a distorted reflection in an old mirror.

I was astonished, but had the presence of mind to grasp Trevor’s arm and ask, “You’re not seriously thinking of going through there?”

“Yeah,” he spoke softly then announced more resolutely, “Yes, that’s exactly what I’m going to do.”

“You can’t. You know absolutely nothing about it. For all you know that distortion could kill you. You don’t know what it is!”

“Well, I’m pretty certain that it’s a distortion in space-time and that it will allow me to access other times when I step through.”

“Whatever made you think that?” I asked in disbelief.

He gestured to the walls, “What I read there.”

“Trevor, you can’t do this. There is certain testing that needs to be done before anyone even considers what you are about to do. It’s not safe! This isn’t how a reputable scientist works!” I tried frantically to dissuade him. We’d been friends since college, and I was genuinely concerned for him.

“I know Donovan, I know. But this is my last chance, my only chance, to find out if I’m right. In five hours I’ll be on a plane back to the states and likely never be back. I know that it’s a huge risk. But I have to take that risk. I have to know if I’m right!

“We’ve rarely seen eye to eye. I don’t expect you to endorse my actions, but I had to let someone know where I was going. I don’t know if I’ll ever make it back to this time, or even if I’ll survive this. So, someone had to know, and you’re the only friend I could trust.”

He looked at me beseechingly, hoping that a small part of me would understand. I made the first utterly foolish and impulsive decision of my entire life.

“I’ll accompany you.”

Clearly, this was not the response that Trevor had expected. His face paled slightly and his eyes widened.

“No way!”

I cut him off before he could continue, “I’ve made up my mind, if you’re going then so am I. Now get on with it before I change my mind and drag you out of here to prevent us both from doing something foolhardy.”

He nodded and placed a hand on my shoulder. We each took a deep breath and stepped through the arch. The distortion winked out and the glow instantly dissipated. All that was left, was a silent room.

____________

So, what happened to Donovan and Trevor? Will we hear from them again? Well, that’s up to you dear readers! Has this caught your interest? Would you like to read just a bit more? If so, or even if not, leave a comment and tell me!

2 thoughts on “Story A Week: The Arch

  1. Someone’s watched the old Star Trek episode “City on the Edge of Forever”. I suspect that you can have a couple more stories out of this one! Now…. Don’t you dare keep us in suspense.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *