Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2270274-Time-Traveling-Adventure
Rated: 13+ · Fiction · Sci-fi · #2270274
A firefighter goes back in time. Written for the Bard's Hall Contest, March 2022
word count: 1,116

         I, Kevin Hancock, am a firefighter in Charleston, South Carolina. When not fighting fires, I enjoy social dancing. I once went back in time where I got to use both skill sets.

         One day in early 2022, I had the day off after a stressful few shifts. I figured it would be relaxing to paddle my canoe across the lake near my condo to decompress. The lake had a few houses surrounding it. After boarding the canoe and paddling out, I suddenly saw circles in the water. Maybe there's a storm coming. I should head back, I thought. As I tried to turn the canoe around, a sucking black vortex appeared in front of me. It was freezing cold, and as it sucked me in, it felt like the ride at the fair where you board an alien spaceship and it spins for a couple minutes and you're pressed against the walls. My heart began to pound, and my hands shook. I closed my eyes.

         When I opened my eyes, I saw I was still on a canoe in the lake, but most of the surrounding houses were gone. In their place was a huge building, white with pillars on the front side. I looked at the road and saw 1920's -era cars on it. I must be in the 1920's!

         After deciding to check out the white building, I paddled over to dry land, disembarked from the canoe, and approached the door.

         As I opened it, I heard the Charleston song playing. I saw a ballroom with wooden floors and a high ceiling with an elaborate, sparkling gold chandelier in the middle of it. The walls were white, with oil paintings decorating them. The ballroom teemed with dozens of couples dancing. All the men were in suits, and the women wore flapper dresses with feathers in their hair. I'm so out of place in my hoodie and jeans.

         I thought back to the swing dancing club I had joined in college. I have the knowledge to do this. Might as well use it. A pretty redhead in a back flapper dress sat on the side of the dance floor. I approached her and said, "Would you like to dance?"

         She looked up at me with a startled expression, which softened into a smile. "I would love to." As she rose, I took her hand and we did a few basic steps.

         "I'm Kevin. What is your name?" I said.

         "Anastasia, but I go by 'Nancy'. I have never seen anyone dressed like you before," she said. "It's an odd style, but I like it."

         "Thanks. It's typical clothing for my time." I guided her into a tuck turn.

         "Your time? What do you mean?"

         "What is today's date?" I said, pulling her into a side pass.

         "March 29, 1924." Her face had a bewildered look.

         "I knew it! I did land in the 1920's!" I pulled her to my side and started doing a 1930's Charleston. She faltered.

         "What are you doing? What time are you from?"

         "Oops, sorry. That move hasn't been invented yet. I just arrived from 2022." I was starting to feel too warm, so I took off my hoodie. I wore a t-shirt under it. As we continued the dance, I heard people whispering and snickering.

         "That guy is dancing in his underwear!"


         "What are people whispering and laughing about?" I asked my partner.

         "In our time, t-shirts are worn as underwear. They're never worn out in public, let alone to a dance."

         "Oh, I didn't know that." Blushing, I put my hoodie back on.

         Soon the song ended. Nancy and I thanked each other and moved on to new partners. I looked to my right and saw a scruffy, disheveled man approach Nancy. "Wanna dance?" he said.

         "No thanks, I'm a little tired." She wiped her brow with her handkerchief.

         The man's eyes narrowed. "You'll pay for this!" He then stormed off.

         "Who was that?" I asked Nancy.

         "Some crazy guy. I danced with him once. He spun me so much I almost hurled."

         We continued to dance with other partners. Later in the evening, I looked up at the chandelier and saw the disheveled man take a knife to the cords suspending it. "What is he doing?!" I said.

         Everyone else looked up as the chandelier crashed to the floor, starting a fire. They all panicked, but as a firefighter I kept my cool.

         "Everyone! Follow me and keep calm!" I led the frantic mob outside before rushing to the telephone. Of course, it was a rotary phone. "How the hell do you use this?" I asked the nearest person.

         A nicely dressed man replied, "It's common knowledge..."

         "No time for that! Dial 911 and let me talk to them!" I said. He dialed and put me on. "There's a fire at the big white building by the lake..."

         "We are sending a firetruck. Is everyone out of the building?"

         "Almost, just myself and a few others left..."

         "Just get everyone out. They're on their way."

         I hung up and got everyone else out. Soon, the firefighters arrived. I assisted them in putting out the blaze. Despite the help I gave them, the building was a total loss. One of the firefighters approached me after the fire had been completely extinguished. "Thanks for your help. Because of you, there were no casualties in this fire."

         "You saved our lives!" said Nancy. She kissed me.

         "Happy to help," I said. "It's been lovely visiting 1924, but I think it's time for me to go home." I hugged Nancy goodbye and headed for the canoe.

         After paddling to the center of the lake, I looked around, but saw no vortex. Am I stuck in 1924? I waited awhile, and just as I thought I would be stuck, I saw the familiar circles in the water. I followed them, bracing for the freezing, uncomfortable feeling that accompanied traveling through the vortex. Soon, it appeared and sucked me in once more.

         After the vertigo-ish feeling and the cold passed, I looked around. The white building was gone, and the familiar houses were back. I looked at the road and saw modern cars. I must be back home!

         I disembarked from the canoe and went home to my condo. All was as I had left it, except for the fact the cat's food bowl had become empty. After refilling it, I sat at my computer and began to type:

         "I, Kevin Hancock, am a firefighter in Charleston, North Carolina. When not fighting fires, I enjoy social dancing. I once went back in time where I got to use both skill sets..."

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