Sentience Of Time – Chapter VI
The following story is a work of fiction and is 100 percent original work. I will be publishing a chapter per week on Saturdays, which can be viewed right here on redOrbit Blogs / Sci-Fi Saturday. I have always been interested in writing science fiction and this is a step toward realizing my dreams. I hope you enjoy this serial novel a chapter at a time!
Chapter VI: Future Shock
(June 7, 2020)
Jack Grissom was a tall, thin man with short, grayish hair. Even though he was only in his early 40s he could be mistaken for an older gentleman – late-40s to early-50s was the usual assumption. He was not muscular by any means but was athletic and considered himself as healthy and fit.
He stood in line at the local Maxi-Mart waiting to check out. An elderly woman ahead of him was just putting the last few things from her cart. Jack reached into his handheld cart and pulled out a loaf of dark bread and placed it on the conveyor behind the small divider the elderly lady had just put on the belt. Jack reached back into his cart and pulled out a jar of mayonnaise and placed in onto the belt, followed by a box of saltine crackers, and a quart of milk.
As Jack bent over to place the cart in the tray under the conveyor a bright light filtered in from what looked like the windows. He shielded his eyes as he pulled back to an upright position only to see the light was in a small spot near him. He watched as the light danced up and down from the floor to the ceiling. He stepped back only to see what looked like a figure pulsating within the light.
As he pushed backwards against a rack alongside the checkout lane, he caught the elderly lady and the clerk out of the corner of his eye running away. The light continued to dance around with the figure pulsating inside for what seemed like a minute. He wanted to run but was too intrigued to find out what was happening. He inched forward and held his hand out almost touching the light, but was forced backward against the rack as the light pulsated outward one last time and began to fade.
Jack breathed heavily, trying to take in what had just happened. As the light dissipated it left in its wake a younger girl of about 20, he gathered, standing back-to to him. She was pale and had long black hair tied back by in a ponytail fashion. He watched as the girl stood there illuminated in some type of inner light. It seemed as if the light was racing through her. Jack was not sure what to do, as he was unsure if what occurred was even real.
The girl lifted her arms up looked at them as if she too was unsure of what was going on. She then dropped to her knees and shoved her hands into her face. Jack started to lean forward once again, but halted when the girl hollered out. She then began to cry. Jack looked around and noticed a small crowd of people had gathered in line behind him, equally in awe and shock of what had just occurred. The clerk and a few others had also flocked back to the scene.
Jack reached forward, hoping that what he was about to do was not out of place. He put his hand on the young woman’s shoulder and was about to ask if she was okay. But before he could say anything the girl’s hands came away from her face and she turned to look up at him.
“Are you alright?” Jack asked in a shaky manner, still unsure of what he was doing. The lights within the woman had appeared to diminish as the girl began to shutter. He pulled away then reached out to assist her to her feet. But, as he reached out, the girl jumped back away from him and stood up on her own, stepping backward a few feet. She brushed some debris from her legs and began walking slowly backward. She then turned and after a brief moment darted out towards the door.
Jack stood and watched as the girl raced out the door. He still doubted to himself that what had just happened was real; it had to be a dream. He pinched himself, only to realize he was still in the store looking out toward the girl, who had now stopped and turned back looking onward toward him. He started to move forward toward the doorway. He kept his eyes fixated on the girl but then stopped as he felt warmth start to pour over him. He kneeled forward and clutched his fists.
“What’s happening?” Jack called out. He began to feel himself slip to the floor. Light began filtering again around him. “Oh God, what’s going on here?” Jack hollered out. He tried to move his head forward and up to find the girl but a weight came over him and he dropped to the floor. Light surrounded him and in just an instant he vanished into thin air.
Jack felt like he was floating. He had no sight and could not hear anything; all his senses had lost him, yet he could feel that he was conscious. As he felt the warmth dissipate he wondered if he was dead or dying. Almost as immediately as his senses were robbed, they began to come back, and he could sense a wave of energy drive through him. “This is it,” he thought to himself. “This is the end.”
But as he tried to grab a few final thoughts before the end took over, he felt something pulling at him. Then in an instant he was sucked back into reality and found himself lying on a cold floor in a large white room. His senses were back and he felt as if he was anew; almost like he was just being born.
“Is this how it ends?” Jack hollered out to the empty room. “Is this how death works?” He was able to move his head but not his arms or legs. He peered around the room; nothing but white. Not a single shred of color except for his own being. He began to sweat.
Jack tried to calm his nerves but being in this unfamiliar setting and not being able to move made it difficult to keep his heart from racing. Under the stress of the situation Jack closed his eyes and fell into a state of unconsciousness.
What may have seemed like an instant to Jack was actually roughly an hour. As he awoke from his slumber he found himself still unable to move. The stress immediately began to build back up. His heart began to race yet again. He tried to fight it.
“Somebody please! Please!” He began to tremble and then stopped almost immediately as he heard what sounded like footsteps. His eyes raced around the room. A doorway began to appear beyond his feet. He tried to steady his breathing. “Hello? Is there someone there?”
A figure began to take shape in the doorway. At first it appeared as if the figure was paper thin. But as the figure entered into the room beyond the doorway, the light shifted and Jack could tell it was an elderly man. Jack began to feel uncomfortable as two armed men also appeared behind the elderly man.
“What’s happening to me?” Jack began to shudder again. “Am I dead?” He felt his body tremble though he remained paralyzed. “Who are you people?” Jack demanded.
The man put his hand on Jack’s chest and he immediately began to calm down. Almost instantly he felt at peace. “Am I in Heaven?” Jack thought for a moment. The armed guards were at attention nearby. “No,” he thought to himself,” if this was heaven there wouldn’t be armed guards.”
The elderly man pulled his hand away from Jack. “Well Mr. Grissom,” the elderly man spoke wisely, “you are in a state of shock. But don’t be afraid, it will pass soon. But I need to ask you something.” The man paused for a few seconds. “There will not be a problem when you come out of it will there?” He pointed to the armed men.
Jack looked at the men than returned his glare on to the elderly man. “Where am I?”
The elderly man chuckled. “Well Mr. Grissom. It’s not where you are, but rather when you are.”
“Who are you? How do you know my name?” Jack began to feel panicky but was calmed again by the man’s hand upon his chest. “What’s going on?”
The man stood up to his feet. “My name is Raphael Asterim. And I apologize for what is happening at this moment. But it seems you have become the victim of a misfortunate accident.” Asterim held his hand up in the air and a large pillar began to descend from the ceiling.
“You are suffering from what is called future shock Jack. It happens when you interfere with time travel. As I am sure you had no intention to interfere, and did not understand the scope of what was happening; unfortunately you did interfere and paid a severe price. For that I am sorry.”
Asterim held his hand over the pillar that had now dropped to the floor. He pushed a few buttons before turning his attention back to Jack. “Do you have any questions so far?”
Stay tuned next week for Chapter VII
Image Credit: Nik Merkulov / Shutterstock