View Full Version : Destination Unknown - A Time Travelling Short Story

10-27-2011, 05:45 PM
Hey guys, here's a short story I wrote for a competition recently. I''ve got some responses from family, but I thought it'd be interesting to see what you guys think of it.

Destination Unknown

Why are these people looking at me? By the looks on their faces you’d have thought they’d never seen a Solarmatic Hyper Suit before! Besides, they’re the ones dressed bizarrely. Who wears such primitive fabrics these days? And I’m pretty sure automobiles were outlawed centuries ago… So why are these people using them?

Those were the initial thoughts that came to mind as I stood in those alien surroundings. I checked my telepocket, hoping it would shed some light on where I was. The screen read ‘Destination Unknown’. As I looked around, I noticed that the walls were made feebly out of clay and water, the benches were fashioned from the innards of trees and the less said about the dogs the better… I soon realised there were two possible explanations. Either my telepocket had malfunctioned and sent me to one of those freaky historical conventions… or I’d travelled back in time.

The only way I could know for sure was to make contact with one of the many civilians in this social hotspot. Luckily I used to study 21st Century English in University, so I knew their slang. I swiftly approached a man sitting on a bench; he was gorging on a roasted pig carcass compressed between two slices of bread. Disgusting. I withdrew my pocketbook on 21st Century Language.

“Wassup, blood.” I enquired.

“I beg your pardon?” he replied disbelievingly.

“What’s the date homie?”

He continued to stare… Had I got my words mixed up and accidentally insulted his mother? “It’s October 7th 2011.” He eventually responded.

I quickly flicked through my pocketbook to find a phrase to show appreciation to him for his assistance. “Cheers, bro.” I replied, taking a small bow. Then I took my leave.

What was I to do next? I was stuck in a time period filled primitive buffoons, with no possible route of escape. Then it struck me. Perhaps if my telepocket had transported me to this time zone… it could transport me back to my own one! I hastily fumbled through my pocket to find it… then I realised it was out of power. I had to find a new source of energy.

Once again, I had to turn to one of my simian cousins for assistance. I approached a young lady pushing what I assumed to be her offspring in a mobile capsule. I had read in Yesterday Magazine that humans used to increase their numbers through sexual fertilization. Although these days the whole process is a lot more civilized.

“Hello there!” I said mannerly. After the blank looks given to me by the elderly man, I assumed that using my normal dialect might prove more successful.

She turned round to face me. “Do I know you?” she barked in an aggressive tone. It is common for animals to try to protect their young, she must’ve seen me as a threat.

“Uh… no, you don’t.” I stated, morphing my mouth into a semi-circle position. In their culture this is referred to as a ‘smile’ and is considered a sign of friendliness. “I was wondering if you could assist me with something.”

She leaned back against the wall. “Uh-huh, and what would that be?”

“I was wondering if you knew where I could obtain Ultra Dual Quantum Batteries… size double A.”

She stood there for a minute with a puzzled look on her face. “Is that like Duracell or something?”

The name seemed unfamiliar to me. “Err… maybe?”

“Well there’s an electronics shop up the road there, just take a left at Quinton Lane. You might be able to find some Quantum thingies there.” She extended her arm pointing towards a sign labelled ‘Quinton Lane’.

“My humblest gratifications to you lady.” I replied in my most welcoming tone. Finally there was a chance I could get home.

I trundled onwards through Quinton Lane, while observing the ancient architecture around me. Along the way a passer-by called out to me, asking if I had what he called a ‘ciggy’. According to my handbook, this is olden day slang for cigarette. It seems that the laws on what were legal in this time zone are a lot more lenient to what I’m used to. In my time cigarettes are class-A drugs, here they seem to be completely legal… Do these people not realise how dangerous they are?

Eventually, I found myself standing outside a shopping sector named ‘Curry’s’. The woman’s directions had sent me to this location, though it didn’t sound like it retailed electronics to me. I decided to peep through the window to make sure she hadn’t misled me. Thankfully my eyes were greeted by low-tech computers, miniature contact devices and budget noise makers. I rushed through the doors; all this historic technology was legendary in my time. The company known as ‘Apple’ were well renowned for their music based devices in this period, when in mine they’re known for their unsuccessful attempts at universal domination. Funny how things change.

I soon came across the section filled to the brim with batteries. Hastily, I began hunting for the Quantum batteries I so desperately required, but there were none to be found. It seemed that the organisation that makes them had yet to be formed. So I needed a substitute, the next best thing. Then I remembered what that mother had said to me earlier. Duracell. Perhaps this was the brand of batteries I needed? I seized the nearest packet of Duracell for closer inspection. The energy rate was exceptionally low; they would only be able to power my telepocket for 12 seconds. (13 if I’m lucky) But I had no other choice, they were my best option.

As I approached the counter, I found myself blocked off by a flock of people. As I tried to shift my way through to the front I was instantaneously denied access by hairy knuckled gentleman.

“Oi matey, no pushin’ in line!” He snarled at me.

“Excuse me sir, but I simply wish to purchase these batteries.” I replied calmly.

“Well I’m buyin’ a new mouse for the wife. You ‘ave to wait like everyone else.”

I took a deep breath. Although I could have easily split the ruffian in two with my genetically superior body structure, the most logical thing to do at this stage seemed to be following the creature’s instructions.

While I waited, I skimmed through the trivia section at the back of my pocketbook. Apparently the date 21/12/12 was noted as the end of time by many people during this era. It seems they had not yet calculated an accurate prediction of when doomsday will be like the people from my time. Before I could move onto another piece of trivia, I heard a voice.
“Hey buddy. Your next.”

I glanced up from my pocketbook to see two eyes glaring towards me. “Are you gonna buy those or not?”

I shuffled towards the counter “Oh, yes.”

“Okay then, pal.”

He reached out and snatched the batteries from my grip. As he began to swipe the batteries with his infrared laser, a thought occurred to me. I didn’t have any money from this time.

“That’ll be 3.20.”

I didn’t know what to say.


I scrambled through my pockets to find something to substitute for money, but all I could find was a lump of carbon I had kept from my science classes. I presented it to him. “Do you accept allotropes of carbon?”

His eyes sprang to life like a child on Christmas morning. “Jesus! That’s a diamond!”

Diamond? What did he mean? “Uh… Yes, diamond. Will it cover the costs?”

“You’re seriously trading that for some flippin’ batteries?”

“I believe so.”

He swiped the diamond from my hand, flinging the batteries onto the counter. “Rick! I’m taking an early lunch!” And with that he left.

I thought for sure I’d have to haggle a bit…

I decided to find a less public area to set up my telepocket; these people weren’t use to time travel, let alone teleportation! I soon found a shady alley. Perfect. I tore open the basic packaging and slammed the batteries into the G-Port. Instantaneously my telepocket started to hum. I only had one chance; I pressed the Home button on my device. Everything began to fade away, the clay walls, the poorly made dogs and the dim civilians. Finally it was over.

As I glanced around my fresh surroundings I realised something; this wasn’t home either. The walls were composed of straw and mud, the paths were paved with fragmented stones and the goats were poorly manufactured. It seemed I had fallen into a similar situation as before. Luckily, I had better knowledge on how to get home this time. I immediately approached a gentleman dressed a gown made up of sheep fiber, he was transporting what appeared to animal faeces off the pavement with a shovel.

“Excuse me sir, but do you know where I can find the nearest Curry’s?”