“You’re sure this thing works? It’s not, like, gonna blow up with me inside it is it?” I chew my lip as I contemplate the contraption in front of me.
Eyes roll to the heavens accompanied but an exasperated sigh, “Really? What do you think this is some Calvin and Hobbes-esque cardboard box? Yes it works!”
“Sorry, it just looks…well…um…yeah.”
“I’ve used it three times already. Look if you want I can go with you the first time show you how to use it,” John says trying to reassure me.
Tilting my head from side to side I finally nod.
“Ladies first,” he says as he opens the door and steps back. He steps in behind me and it’s a tight fit.
“Well we clearly don’t need to actually use this thing to revisit the time we played seven minutes in heaven back in the day,” he says.
“OK nevermind, just show me how it works and get out.”
“Still can’t take a joke can you?”
“So can this thing take me any place? Any time?”
“So is this like the toaster on Simpsons and I can screw up the timeline, or is this like the Ghost of Christmas Past and no one will know I’m there?”
“What the hell?”
“What you wouldn’t pick a different place to go if you could change the timeline than if you’re invisible?”
“And where exactly do you want to go?”
“Oh good Lord, get your mind out of the gutter, seriously what is wrong with you?”
“Just a normal healthy male. Right now you can be seen but maybe I should change that.”
“Wonderful so glad I gave you that idea. Now are you going to show me how this works or what?”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah. First you-”
“Well if I can be seen I probably should look the part of where I’m going don’t you think? You know blend in.”
“Leave it to a woman to find an excuse to change clothes.”
“You want to try this or not? Cuz if you do you might want to be nicer to me.”
“Fine, just let me go change into something more time appropriate and while I’m gone can you set it for May 5, 1961?”
“You really don’t know? UGH google it okay.”
“Just give me a minute.”
“I need more than a date you know and…ok yeah if you’re going to see the first American go to space I’m coming along. If I thought this thing was airtight enough to withstand the vacuum of space I’d take us to the moon on the day of the moon landing.”
“Oh my God that would be incredible. You gotta make that happen.”
“I’ll work on it, for now squeeze in here and let’s go.”
“What about changing?”
“I think I can set us down on a fairly deserted beach where we won’t be seen.”
“And if you’re wrong?”
“We’ll come back and fix it.”
“I’m not sure that’s a good-” A sudden flash and a jolt stop me mid-sentence.
John raises one eyebrow while gesturing to the door. All I can do is nod. Temporarily blinded by the sun I shrink back, John steps out, grabs my arm and pulls me out with him.
“If I’m right it should launch out that way in just a few minutes. We’re about 15 miles away, I think we’ll see it before we hear it.”
“It’s almost eerie how quiet it is, how empty it looks here. Does this area look like this in our time?”
“I don’t know. I think the Cape area is pretty empty because of the launches. The Kennedy Space Center takes up a lot of space.”
“Look over there.”
I stand jaw dropping, a black topped white rocket climbs into the sky, higher and higher followed by a white cloud. The sound rushes over us, my heart pounds, my teeth worry my lip. I know, in my head I know this goes well, I know what happens. I live in a world that has seen many men and women in space and yet I stand here clenching my hands together, holding my breath, watching until I can see that small white speck no longer, then and only then can I breathe again.
Ok so that was a lot of build up for very little pay off but oh well that’s how it came to me so that’s what I typed 🙂
Written for DP Weekly Challenge: Time Machine