Susan travels to the future, but it's not by choice
| Resting comfortably at home, Susan went to go get another coke. When she opened the refrigerator a bright flash momentarily blinded her.
What the heck was that?
Shaking her head, she squeezed her eyes tight, opened them again and reached up to close the refrigerator door, but the refrigerator was gone. In fact, her kitchen was gone. Hell, her whole neighborhood was gone! Instead of standing in her cool house, she now was standing outside in the middle of thick and muggy woods.
Shocked, she spun in a circle, Where am I? What happened? Help! Anyone? Someone? She barely said above a whisper, not entirely sure if she wanted whoever's or whatever's help that was out there.
Pushing up on her thick, red frame glasses, she took in her surroundings. She was on a mountain, with the sound of waterfalls not too far off in the distance. Hugging her thin poncho tightly against her, she started walking.
"Ow! Damnit. These things are going to end up killing me."
Bending down, she grabbed the bottoms of her flair-legged jeans and rolled them up the best she could. Swatting away at flying insects, she divides the curtain of green ivy vines blocking her way and steps through to the other side.
"What the ..." Susan stood frozen.
Just a few yards away, aluminum top buildings peeked out from underneath the sloping, leaf-filled hillside. The roofs curved up and met on three sides. A triangle shape in front met the two sides. The tops of black tinted windows with the same basic shape as the roof disappeared behind the unmanicured ground. The buildings literally buried in the hill.
Finally finding the strength to move forward, Susan tip-toed in a wide circle around the building. Her hand nervously made its' way to the spot under her breasts beside her pounding heart.
Thunderous scraping of metal on metal filled the air. Susan stumbled over her pants and took a running fall forward. She came down hard, sliding her hands across the rough terrain.
"Do not move. Stay where you are. If you attempt to run, you will be shot."
"Okay, okay. I'm not running!" Fear filled Susan's face. Where the hell am I? Biting her trembling lower lip, she stayed with her face to the ground, scared to turn around and look at the baritone, growl of a voice that just threatened to kill her.
"Get up slow and easy. No sudden moves or I will shoot."
"Sir, please. I don't even know where I am." Susan said in a trembling voice.
When she turned around, she was surprised to see a young man in his early twenties. He had blonde hair pulled back into a ponytail, he was about 5'8 and a little lanky. He wore strange clothes. His shirt had moving pictures on them. It almost looked alive. His pants were a dark blended color and tight around the legs. Glancing up to meet his eyes, she was stunned to find he was looking at her as strangely as she was him. When he spoke, it was no longer with the threatening voice, but one with a regular tone,
"Who are you? How did you find us?"
"My name is Susan and I don't know how I found you. I was walking in the woods ... but, but I don't know how ... I don't know."
Donny rubbed his hand rapidly along the top of his head, like praising a five-year-old boy. Then slid his hand down over his face, where it came to rest over his mouth. Staring down at a strange woman in the weirdest clothes he had ever seen, looking at him like he was the alien!
"Alien. That's it! You're an alien, aren't you?"
"What? Alien? Are you joking? I'm not the one looking all trippin' like I just came from the future. Who are you and what kind of place?"
"Look, Lady, you're the one who showed up in my yard at my house, in clothes that I've never seen before in my life. You said you don't know how you got here. So, I'm not the one out of place. You are! Now, you better start talking or I'm calling Civilian Defense."
"Civilian Defense? You mean the cops?
"Cops? The only place I've ever seen or heard them called that is in our History Virtual Reality Classes." Donny's face grew longer and longer in shocked surprise. No way! You're from the past, aren't you? Where's your time machine?" Donny takes off running to the edge of the woods, looking in anticipation. He turns back to Susan, waiting for the reveal, but she's just standing there looking at him like he's a psycho on the loose.
"Look, Man, I don't know what you're talking about. I'm from the year 1977."
"Wow! 1977! Lady, this is the year 2057."
Susan stumbled backward her pant legs falling down slowly, one half-way up and one almost all the way down. Her face wore a shocked surprise. "How? How am I in the future? My house is--was right over there." She said pointing toward the woods from where she just emerged. "I was in my house, watching T.V, I just got up to get a coke from the 'fridge, when all of a sudden, everything around me just, POOFED up and vanished in a blinding white light. When I opened my eyes I was standing in the woods!"
Donny's mouth hung open in a wide 'O'. His eyes just as wide. Walking toward Susan quickly, he draped his arm around her shoulders, "Come on. You need to come with me."
"Where? I'm not going anywhere with you! I don't even know who you are. You already threatened to kill me."
"Look, I'm not going to kill anyone. That's just used to scare anyone away that I don't know. So was that loud noise in the sky. We just have to be careful, that's all."
"Why do you have to be careful and who's we?"
"Come on, I'll show you. I think I figured out how you got here."
Donny rushed her into his home. Surprisingly, the house looked a lot like a regular home inside. The colors were a bit brighter, with wild geometric designs all over the floor and art with the same decorating the walls. They made their way down the steps into the basement. Waiting to meet them were three other guys, all in their early twenties.
"Susan, these are the guys. Guys meet Susan."
"Aren't you going to tell them everything? Susan said while looking around at the huge laboratory. There were machines everywhere. Some she could vaguely recognize, others not at all.
"They already know the whole story. They could hear us."
"How in the world could they hear us from outside?"
"Through the recorder on my shirt, here." Donny pointed to one of the guys from a band singing. When he pushed a button, the voice of the singer echoed off the basement walls.
Susan jerked her arms up to cover her ears. "Okay, Hendrix, he's not." Shaking her head in disbelief.
"Hendrix? Oh, never mind. We don't have time for that. Come on, this is what I wanted to show you." He motioned her to follow him. He opened a door where an old refrigerator that looked ready for the scrap yard sat with wires everywhere.
"Why are you showing me an old refrigerator?"
"I think this is yours. We found it when we were digging around in the woods. A lot of times we'll take the equipment back there and dig around to see what we can find. You'll be surprised at a lot of the antique stuff we can reuse today. Anyway, that's where we found the refrigerator. We're using it for the entryway. I think it worked, just not exactly the way it was supposed to." Donny cocked his head to one side, grinning a crooked smile, while his cheeks slowly started to turn rosy.
"Wait. I'm not sure I'm following you. What do you mean an entryway? You think that's my refrigerator and it sucked me into the future?" Susan's head was shaking side-to-side, "There's no way. How in the world can opening a refrigerator door zap me into the Twilight Zone?"
"I don't know anything about a Twilight Zone. But yea, that's exactly what I think. We've been working on a time machine. That's why we have to be careful, because if the Government or Civilian Defense found out, they'd take it and probably us."
"Oh wow! This is a trip! Let me get this straight. You think that's my refrigerator. Okay. I know a way to tell. A few years ago, I was skateboarding in the house, I fell and the skateboard slammed into the 'fridge, causing a bad scrape shaped like an 's' toward the back. Right down here ... whoa! There it is, look! You can barely make it out, but that's it. That's where my skateboard hit the 'fridge."
Donny bent down, "Yea, I do see it. I knew it!"
"This is great! So you can get me back home now, right? I have a crazy date tomorrow night and I don't want to miss it."
Shaking her head, she brought her hand up to her forehead, "This is all too much. It's blowing my mind! But the important thing is now you can send me back. This is cool and all, but I'm just not ready for it. I'm just ready to get back to my pad."
"Well, it's not that easy. We think we almost have it. But you came to us, remember? We didn't go to you. So, somethings not working. Plus, we don't know if we'll be able to get you back home, you could end up anywhere in any year."
"Look, I just opened the door and I was here. In the same woods where my house was. So, if you just dial it back, instead of forwards, or whatever you do, I should go back to my house. Please!"
"Just a minute, Susan. Let me talk it over with the guys."
"Okay, look. It's too dangerous to send you by yourself. We don't know if it will even work, but if it does, I won't know where I sent you. The guys will stay here and I'll carry the communication device and go with you. That way if you make it back home, I'll just signal them and come right back. But if you don't, at least you won't be by yourself and we should still be able to communicate with them back here."
Susan started shaking her head, then thought better of it. "Okay, Donny. Thank you. But will you be able to get back?"
"If we're able to send you back, then I'll be able to come home. Okay, guys, you ready?"
The guys looked up from the refrigerator where they were messing with some wires in the back. The tallest guy said, "Okay Donny. We're ready. We're still not so sure about this and think you should let us do some more testing. But if you insist, we're as ready as we're going to be anytime soon."
"I know. Thanks, Dave. Give me extra batteries and the Satellite receiver card. If I have any problems, I'll call you. Go ahead and throw me my extra shirt over there with the extra sensitive satellite receiver, just in case I need it. Alright. That ought to do it, then. Are you ready, Susan?"
Susan nodded yes in agreement and took Donny's hand. Together they stepped into the refrigerator. Dave slammed the door shut. A blinding white light made them jerk their head down and squeeze their eyes shut, Donny opened his eyes and jerked Susan back hard, they both went sprawling onto the dusty ground just in time to get out of the way of the speeding horse and buggy.