Friday, 1 February 2013

Friday Flash Fiction - Traveller

This will be the most difficult Travel I have made so far.

A few weeks ago, a kind of blimp floated into the sky above my home town. It's fairly unremarkable, except that it's relatively small, it doesn't seem to have a pilot and it's got a platform attached to the side with a door that leads into the body. I've seen this much through my telescope. It seems obvious to me that it's meant for Travellers like myself - people who can teleport at will - because there would be no other way up there.

Well, maybe you could shoot it down, or a particularly skilled helicopter pilot on a very calm day could lower someone on a rope, but nobody has been trying that, as far as I can tell. It's meant to find me, and others like me.

I dress warm, about three layers should do it, and pack a little food and some tools in case I have to force my way inside. I take some last-minute measurements with my telescope, estimating speed and distance as best I can, then I take a deep breath and Travel.

The world twists beneath my feet, like I'm spinning on an axis that doesn't fit in the world. There's a sound of rushing wind and the shapes don't make sense to my eyes. I have to concentrate to make sure I go to the right place. Keeping the blimp fixed in my mind, I feel for the platform in this swirling space and suddenly I find it, tumbling out and rolling towards its edge. I put out my hands to brace myself and my left goes off the edge, overbalancing me. My foot slips and I am dangling for a second, several kilometres up. The sharp metal cuts my fingers as I strain back up and pull myself onto my back, and I rest. The platform sways in the wind and I hold on until I catch my breath.

A little closer to the door, the platform has a handrail, but I decide not to trust it with my weight. The whole platform is a bit rusty and creaks as I crawl forwards. I can push the door in a few centimetres before it stops on the rusted hinges. Lying on my back, I kick at it until my feet hurt, and it opens just far enough for me to squeeze inside.

The room is even smaller than I thought it would be. There's a bit of broken glass on the floor, probably from a porthole on the wall. A gas lamp hangs on a chain from the ceiling, but I don't need it, and couldn't light it anyway. The walls are covered in photos and note paper in several different styles of handwriting. I see one section written in German, too. There are dozens of different faces, and the notes don't seem to follow any kind of pattern. At a guess, I'd say this place has been used by dozens of different people over a long period of time. As I take out my camera to start snapping pictures, the floor lets out a long, creaking groan, then breaks open under me and I'm falling.

Before I build up too much speed, I Travel to the local pool and startle some kids as I splash down. My camera's going to be ruined, and I don't know if I can - or should - go back to the blimp. Whoever made it is long gone, obviously, but the others who used it might still be around. Maybe I can find them, if I can figure out where to look.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - I'm late with this because I was a bit busy today.
PPS - And now I'm going to bed. Goodnight!

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