I am surrounded. People of all shapes and sizes are pointed at me like beams of light. The lights bend only slightly when they reach me and then continue, as if they never felt the glitch. I am making my way up some famous street near Times Square. It is almost dark now and the lights begin to wake up for their evening show just as the crowds thicken and deepen. I don’t know why I am here. I felt alone, I suppose. I needed to escape my humming cold-blooded space that allowed any old thought to enter. Feeling the warm bodies brush by me, reminds me that I am not alone here. There are others. I miss my family and so these embodied souls will have to do.
I try to look into the eyes of those who pass me. I offer a warm smile. Some reciprocate, some do not, as if they are too busy to turn up the corner of their mouth. I don’t mind, it makes me laugh. I continue on my mindless path, staying within the crowds and oddly feeling secure there. Every now and then a paper is shoved my way by some fast talker on repeat. I politely decline. I am focused on an adorable little boy ahead of me, whose squishy face is agape at the flashing lights. As I wonder the meaning behind his questioning eyes, I vaguely hear, “Free ticket to where ever you want to go!” I hear it as I would background music, hearing but not really comprehending. It is the jolt of electricity as the paper skims my mid-section, that brings me to the present. My eyes follow the hand connected to the paper and stop at a face that doesn’t seem to belong here. He repeats his mantra while our eyes connect. By some force I can not explain, I accept the paper as the momentum of the crowd pushes me forward. I dismiss the unusual event and slip the paper in my pocket, not wanting to liter.
I am home now. I feel spent. My body is ready for sleep and my mind has raised the white flag in defeat. As I slip off my jeans, I hear the crinkle of paper. I remove the culprit and gently smooth it out between my fingers. It reads only, “Free ticket. Where do you want to go?” I flip it over expecting more, but it is blank. It’s so odd that I am unable to look away. I feel cold now standing here in only my t-shirt, so I quickly tuck myself into bed and under the billowy covers. As I lean back and gently mold into the stack of pillows, I stare at the paper still in my hand. I read it over and over. I feel it almost hypnotizing me; challenging me with its question. Where do you want to go?
Ok, I’ll play along. Where do I want to go? Hmm, Italy sounds lovely. Rolling vineyards, architecture, food so unbelievably fresh yet you can taste its centuries old origin, it is endless and intoxicating. As inviting as that sounds, what would I learn? How would it change my life? There are hundreds upon hundreds of beautiful places I want to visit; I would never be able to choose. Maybe, I should meet a famous person from long ago. I’ve always had a fascination with Henry VIII. Einstein, perhaps? Ghandi? Can I meet Jesus? I can read about them and know their life lessons, so maybe not. How about the future? The future seems frightening; I don’t think I want to know the future. If it’s horrible, how could I enjoy each day knowing my fate, or the fate of the world? A past event? I’ve always felt a deep connection with American Indians. That would be fascinating! But, I can read about that too. I’m feeling a bit frustrated. What is wrong with me that I can not think of a single…wait, I know. I know where I want to go.
I want to be where I will go when I die. If I have lived before, I have actually already been there, but I just don’t remember. If I go to this place, I am everywhere at every time, all in one moment. It is the most perfect choice. I want to remember this place. This place will remind me to have no fear. Remind me that I am never alone. Remind me that all my lost loved ones are still with me. Remind me that I am beautiful and perfect as I am. I can feel it. My tears tickle my nose as they find their path down my face. I feel love. I feel so much love. Am I there?
I posted the above awhile back but I wanted to add these other great responses to the challenge:
- A Random Short Story | Musings | WANGSGARD
- Second Time Around: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn | Never Stationary
- Housecleaning 1900′s Style | The Library Lady and Rosie Bear
- I grew up on an island. How did I never read this? | Andrea Reads America
- Weekly Writing Challenge: Time Machine | The WordPress C(h)ronicle
- The Day Before the Snowdryft | Project eXa
- My dream trip | Myriad Notions
- Weekly Writing Challenge: Time Machine | In my world
- One Night In Summer | Fish Of Gold
- Hallowed Canaries | field of thorns
- Labor Day Weekend, 2011 | Simple Heart Girl
- Memorial Day Weekend, 2011 | Simple Heart Girl
- On the Steps of the Lincoln Memorial | Lead us from the Unreal to the Real
- Going Back at Birth | Navigate
- DP Challenge – The tale of the Hiry Mammoth | Properties for sale in Cuba
- DP Challenge – The tale of the Hairy Mammoth | Properties for sale in Cuba
- Day 280: If I Had a DeLorean | Writer’s Desk
- To go back in time… | adventuresofaneverydaywoman
- The free ticket. | chey4412
- Weekly Writing Challenge: Time Machine | Ramblings of a Midwest 20-Something
- Weekly Writing Challenge : Time Machine | Simply about Life
- Time machine | Icezine
- In Our Hands | risingrave28
- A Peek Into My Past | Ninjas In Stitches
- Time Machine | Thinking Languages!
- The Deep Time Society: Imagining Academia and Time Travel | THIS CREATIVE REALITY
- The Race. « Restawyle
- Sulfur Island | Speculative Paradigm Shifts
- Time Machine | jenniferannefleming
- Weekly Writing Challenge: Time Machine | imagination
- Dark? Ages | I’m a Writer, Yes I Am
- I’m Happy Being In The Present, Thank You Very Much! | Sammi Talk
- Weekly Writing Challenge: Time Machine | The Rambling Rose
- The Girl in the hammock | thejimmieG
- Among the Whispers
- Weekly Writing Challenge: Time Machine | Sarah’s World
- The Metal File | lostinthisdaydream
- The Conversation | The 253 in the 402
- On Train Tracks & Stopwatches | Hullabaloo and Susie Too
- My Time Machine | waltbox
- Long In Tooth | A lot from Lydia
- What if I could travel through time? | Okay, What if ?
- A Trip to the Doctor | The Seeker’s Dungeon
- Bali, 1938 | A Simple Note
- TIME MACHINE- 50′s Dance | The School Of Minds
- Looking Back: The Day I Should Have Left | Between Madness & Euphoria
- We Can’t Turn Back Time | I’m no stargirl
- Daily Post Weekly Writing Challenge | Christine Morgan River
- xyz | Layperson’s Outlook
- xyz | Layperson’s Outlook
- Weekly Writing Challenge: Time Machine | Old Glory | Shawn
- Royal Male | litadoolan
- What if we can Travel Through Time. | Free Thinkers Mag.
- Endure. Breathe. (Repeat) | MightWar
- Weekly Writing Challenge | Time Travel | Focal Breeze
- cycle lost | Just Thinking
- Time traveling to my younger self | MindBodyBreath Malaysia – Yoga in Shah Alam
- Time Machine | The Colours of Life
- Coherence Insults My Intelligence | Bumblepuppies
- Letter to My Future Self | the intrinsickness
- Turn Back the Time #fiction #addiction | Moondustwriter’s Blog
- Two Tone Memory | Notes of a Prairie Lotus
- Nature’s Second Chance | Wired With Words
- Weekly writing challenge | THE BIG MUNCH
- Thoughts Tuning Tim | A Nerdy Geek’s blog
- Urban Living in the Year 3000 | A Life with Limits
- The Future is Yesterday | cateritforward
- Creating Ticonae | Artfully Aspiring
- A no-brainer for every earth scientist: time travel! | EARTH SCIENCE SOCIETY
- Well, I’m Going to Hell. | meg lago
- Nancy: Weekly Writing Challenge | Ty
- How I Became a Storyteller | Pocket-Sized Musings
- the past and the future | whimsical mayhem
- The Never Know | Time Travel Writing Challenge | The Never Chronicles
- A Walk in the Past | Eclectic Alli
- Say That Again | Master of Something I’m Yet To Discover
- Weekly Writing Challenge: Time Machine | Reflections and Nightmares- Irene A Waters (writer and memoirist)
- Time Machine | Love is always there. Between the lines.
- Time Machine? No Thanks. | Laughing Through Life
- How to deal with bad managers: Life Skills | Your Well Wisher Program
- “The Contact” | Lekhikaa’s diary
- DP Challenge: Time Travel Free Pass | This Natasha Life
- Mental Time Travel | Psychology Muffins
- A Time to Every Purpose | Love, Support, Educate, Advocate, Accept…
- Pneumatic | Be Less Amazing
- Back in Time | itsmayurremember
- The Execution of Mary the Elephant: The 13th of September 1916 – Erwin, Tennessee | Forgotten Correspondence
- Time Travel is not what it used to be | An Upturned Soul
- Temporal Corrections Agency | Musings of a Soul Eclectic
- Back to roots | Scent of Rina
- Time Machine | Write Through Life
- The Badge – Compass & Quill
- Where am I? | A picture is worth 1000 words
- Conversations with a 5 Year Old | Getting DCK for Dummies
- I Know You Are but What Am I? « eternal Domnation
- Time Machine; A Trip Down Memory Lane | Insidethelifeofmoi
- Then or Now? | The Silver Leaf Journal
- Weekly Writing Challenge: Time Machine, 03.04.14 | Markie’s Daily Blog
- Land of Regret | Glorious Results Of A Misspent Youth
- Trippin’ | Glorious Results Of A Misspent Youth
14 thoughts on “The free ticket. (Time Machine Challenge)”
Nice piece of writing!
Beautiful. Such a powerful beginning and ending. I like the way you draw the narrative from internal feelings/emotions.
Smilin’. Thank you!
This is beautifully written! I took the prompt to mean a literal time machine, so I wrote a story about actually traveling through time–I love the idea of being where you are when you die.
Again, beautifully written. 🙂
I have noticed many different approaches on this subject. It is very interesting how we have each perceived this writing challenge. I have really enjoyed it. Thank you so much for your feedback. I sincerely appreciate it!! Happy writing!
Thanks for the pingback. Thoughtfully written.. Hope you have a great week!
Thank you so much! You too!