A Tarry Sojourn

While traveling through the prism of time, all that Allen wished was to not meet somebody who was going the other direction. The journey wasn’t as swift as he hoped it to be. There weren’t any obstacles as such. But the entire concept was still weird to him and it took a while to get the hang of the entire deal. He was intrigued by the design of the prism of travel; a pentagonal construct with divisions, like the cross section of a ladies-finger, to accommodate other time travelers who were destined to their own preferred landing times. He was traveling from 2010 AD to 1984 AD, a miniscule fraction considering the totality, yet it was all that Allen could ask for.  Stupid of him to not have asked for a more exotic time to go back to you’d think, yet when the question of his choice of landing zone arrived, he could think none other than the year of his birth as the answer. He had no specific reason for making that choice, just a stupid answer to a stupid question, as far as he was concerned. Who was to know the travel would happen for real and the question was not a rhetorical.

The rest five of his companions that day had made different choices and some had even brought their own tools too. The priest carried a camera to record a serpent talk into making a nude lady eat an apple and ruin paradise forever, the holocaust survivor carried a handgun to shoot Hitler in his bunker, the scientist carried an ink marker to erase the history of time and publish her own journal of evolution, and an Alzheimer patient who always forgot he was traveling to a time when he didn’t have the disease carried his false memories.

As soon as the travel commenced, almost miraculously, the Alzheimer patient seemed to have been cured of his disease. He recounted all his childhood days and recited his favorite nursery rhymes without missing a single note. Convinced that he’d reached his destined time, he was alighted from the ship. Unfortunate for him, he had traveled a little further into the past to a day where he couldn’t transpose himself. He had reached when he was one day old and thus was left unable to convince his mother in the hospital that he was the same as the one-day old baby in her arms, just that they were separated in time. Unable to comprehend this bitter truth, the mother died of a heart attack an hour later, leaving the baby orphaned and left to be forcibly adopted by the time traveler.  The time traveler made sure the baby received treatment early in his life to not contract Alzheimer in the future and also, in later days, sent him to London to be trained as a doctor to cure people of Alzheimer. That way, the time traveler lived with a younger himself for the rest of his life and was cured of Alzheimer forty years later without having to travel in time.

The holocaust survivor for all his preparations forgot his handgun in the time machine. Reciting his experiences of the time machine to Hitler in his bunker, he found a true fan in Hitler who was mesmerized by the story, to say the least. Hitler gave up his suicidal plans and called in all his Generals from every squad to attend a get-together that evening where the stories of the time traveler about the future would be recited by the time traveler himself. Overjoyed by the Fuhrer’s response and the adulation he received, the time traveler decided to prepare himself for the presentation. He jotted down notes and rehearsed endlessly. When the time arrived he climbed up the dais and was shot down by the Generals mercilessly. Hitler then went on to instruct his Generals about possible survivors who could one day time travel to recite ugly stories about his regime and ordered them to annihilate every possible survivor in the next 24 hours. As planned before, Hitler then went ahead and committed suicide.

The priest while recording the whole conversation between the nude lady and the serpent couldn’t help falling in love with the lady. He quit recording the video, put the camera aside and barged into the scene. No wonder both Eve and the serpent was shocked. The good lord himself couldn’t believe that a priest from the future could come into the past. The priest credited the Lord for having the potential for blessing humans with such a power later in his career and described the achievement as a feather in his cap. This being a time when the metaphor hadn’t gained resonance among those present went flat. He later talked the serpent into killing Adam, the Lord into leaving paradise and Eve into marrying him for a happy ever after.

The scientist after having landed in Charles Darwin’s time found it difficult to spot him. Since this was time when all men sported beards because there was no Gillette, it was hard to pin point his identity. Darwin being a proponent of a theory that contradicted popular beliefs of the time, was under constant threat and had to use body doubles for safe existence. After a fruitless three-year search for Charles, the time traveler became desperate. It was then she met a Voodoo specialist who killed people by inserting pins into dolls. She quickly learnt the trade by practicing day and night under the supremely trained eye of the specialist. After the specialist had gone closed her eyes while sleeping, she killed him and ran away with his dolls. She then killed Darwin and his body doubles and also self-tutorialed on the Voodoo globe, which she spun to make the whole world spin around like crazy. This continued for a good fifty years when finally two explorers named Frodo and Sam finally found the Voodoo and destroyed it in the fires of Mount Mood, the story of which inspired a writer of Allen’s previous generation to write a famous 1000 page novel involving a ring.

Allen decided he didn’t want to get down at 1984 AD for no specific reason. He kept postponing his departure and bid farewell to all those on the ship. He preferred to go even further into the past. Every minute into the past revealed phantasmagorical images of serene explosions and juggernaut confluences. His march into a certain beginning prodded him into travel further into the next beginning until the many beginnings lead to no more logical endings and trapped in time and space was the traveler, who wandered the whole of next day uncertain of his place’s latitudinal presence and position in the past with no damn concern for the near future.


2 thoughts on “A Tarry Sojourn

  1. oh well, had to read the last para 3-4 times to understand it perfectly; this ending is much better! I like the Frodo and voodoo part – nice connection!

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