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Rated: ASR · Short Story · Sci-fi · #857315
Hold infinity in the palm of you hand and eternity in an hour
‘To hold a World In a Grain of Sand
And Heaven in a Wild Flower
Hold Infinity in the Palm of your Hand
And Eternity in an Hour.’

“This has to be my greatest invention yet Kit!” The old professor smiled with pride and joy. “My Eternity Machine. My journey through Time itself. And you’re going to test it for me.”

Kit nodded. The scientist knew that he had no choice but to obey every instruction. After all it was this or the Underline Jail.

“First take the red sand bag and tie it around your neck. Hold this iris in your left hand and then tuck this quill into your pocket.” The old man passed the items to the juvenile teenager.

“What are these for?” Kit quizzed.

Professor McCoy frowned, “The quill was your great- great- great- great- great- grand uncle’s he made it at about your age. In exactly three minutes he will have finished it in 1593. You said you were doing a Tudor Project and this will let you into their world. Your ancestor will show you around in his own life because you will be an invisible spirit.”

“Yes i am sir but...”

“All right then. Step into that machine and don’t worry.”

Worry. That was the understatement of the year. Christopher was petrified of being the test subject in any of McCoy's tests but time travel! This had to be the worst. And quills of peacock feathers were unlucky.

“Come on inside. And to get back use the sand.”

One big step.

Christopher stroked his pen. It was beautiful, the colours shone in his hands. A quill like no other lay there. It was cosmic. The whole room felt far away. The quill the only thing clear. Something was tugging at his essence. Then he fell through a door way he had never seen before. A shiny glistening door.

“That was quick Kit. How were the Tudors?” said a strange old man.

“Our monarch is of good health sir.” Christopher said. “Our Britain is at peace and so is life. Who...”

“Shut the clap trap boy. The machine worked?”

“The Machine worked?”

“Oh good. This is good.” The professor did not see the strangers answer as a question.

The stench was what hit Kit first. It reeked of animals and manure, rooting foods and human sweat. He staggered to his feet and noticed no one was about. He looked at his hands and they looked solid. Confused the boy sat down again. He knew in his head what had happened. But it made no sense. He needed fresh air.

Outside was even worse. The smell was intoxicating and he remembered that the Tudor civilians had thrown their waste out of their windows into the streets. He gagged on the air. Bile formed in his throat and he ran for an alley where he retched violently.

“Christopher Marlow!” A deep angry voice rumbled from behind him.

Kit turned slowly, “ Hello.” He murmured to the bulk of a man before him.

“Thou art in debt to me. Thou promised me five pounds if my dog defeated the bear and thou didst not pay.”

“Huh?” He knew he was in trouble. He obviously looked like his ancestor and he was being mistaken for him or... The Reality in this time had changed for him to be here. He needed to escape and fast.

“And if thou remembers thy secret then thou will know what i will do.”

“What secret?” Kit said innocently.

“Blasphemous documents. My friend. I have them and i will use use them.”

“I don’t know what you’re on about.”

The man stormed away. Christopher stood shaking in the alley.

Christopher Marlow stood shaking on the pavement. Where was he? What was this world? This was too clean and clear and the invisible horses pulling the zooming carts were too fast. He attempted to cross and the velocity of a cart threw him backwards so he crouched on a doorstep and fell asleep.

Kit turned down an invitation in the pub from some of the rowdy Tudors and sat alone in the house where he had begun. This time was so slow but loud. Louder in voice than he remembered in his own time was with traffic and air mobiles.
He held the peacock feather in his hand and lifted a piece of parchment onto the desk. He started to write.

‘It lies not in our power to love o hate,
For will in us is overruled by fate
When two are stripped, long ere the course begin
We wish that one should lose , the other’

He was cut short. A knock at the door turned to bangs and a loud voice accompanied it, it told him everything. Maybe when he found a way to travel home he would write a project on crime and punishment. He opened the door of his temporary dwelling. He allowed rough hands arrest him and lead him away.

Christopher Marlow awoke from troubled dreams. He had seem himself or another version of himself being taken away. He stood and timidly rapped on the door of the old man he had met earlier. The door banged open but before the pofessor could say anything he raised the hand of silence.

“I believe there has been a confusion. I am Christopher Marlow and i was born in 1564.”

He had changed the fate of Christopher Marlow by refusing that invitation. Marlow was not to be murdered in a tavern brawl in this Reality of 1593 he was to be hung for Blasphemy. Christopher Marlow born in the twentieth century was to die a Tudor death. A Fatal Drop and a Sudden Stop.

The Eternity Machine was nearly ready. Five minutes.

A course rope was looped over Kits head. A black hooded figure stepped towards him.

Four minutes. Could Time Last Long Enough.

A sack was placed over his head and in the darkness he started a chant from Augeries of Innocence by William Blake. The crowd was silent and grim but he could feel jeers and cheers welling their bodies. He felt far away then he dropped. STOP.

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