Today’s Sharing Sunday is by one of my gorgeous online friends who resides in the U S of A! Woop. Danni is a true gem, her writing is always so good and I know that whatever she comes up with is nothing short of amazing, even if she sometimes doesn’t think so! So over the next three Sunday’s you’ll be getting a snippet of her work, only because this piece is huge and I wouldn’t put you through the pain of sitting down and actually reading it all in one sitting, it’s worth it though! Here’s a little bit about the piece from Danni’s own fingers: Dead on Time originally started out as an idea, sparked by an assignment not given to me, but to one of my younger brothers for his creative writing course. It was supposed to be centered around time and space, but once the idea of time travel came into the mix the story grew on its’ own. This is the first story I had ever written with the undead creeping their way into it, and it was written almost specifically for this reason. Zombies and time travel… what could be a more perfect match?
So without taking more away from you, here’s the first part. Leave Danni a message on what you think, in the comments below.
Dead on Time
A soft drizzle of rain ran along the entire glass wall of the building facing the street, the occasional flash of lightening illuminating the usually dark and dingy city. Though the pollution crisis of 2068 had been fixed and everything ran on efficient energy to eliminate the old waste, it would still take years before the constant dark clouds that covered the earth to dissipate. Even longer still, for the climate to come down from the extreme hot and colds that had begun to take effect back in the year of 2021. If it weren’t for the birth limit of two children put in place in 2018, the population of the world would have been so overwhelming that people would have been living on top of each other; like the Philippines had been before the United World Order migrated some of the natives to a more unpopulated area.
Rae shifted from one foot to the other, a well-shaped eyebrow raising slightly as she wondered how her train of thought could move so quickly from the rain, that steadily came down harder, to the once overpopulated Philippines. A shake of her head sent her black, nearly waist- length dreadlocks to slither and dance around her shoulders. Her quick thought process meant that it was almost time for her next dosage of medication; something the scanners were most likely pick up if she didn’t get strapped into the machine within the next hour. She didn’t feel like being medicated her first time, Rae wanted the entire experience to be in crystal clear detail for her to remember later on.
Bright green eyes glanced quickly toward the large clock ticking away the seconds above the reception desk across from where she stood. Her appointment had been set for 15:30, and the block numbers glared a neon red 15:56:03. Rae’s thin lips twisted, a grimace settling over herfeatures as she wondered what the hold up was. Things ran smoothly, so the fact that she had not been called back for her appointment twenty-six minutes past her allotted time caused her to worry.
As if someone had read her mind, a tall, thin man, holding a silver device in his hand, stepped through the locked door by the receptionist’s desk. His hair was styled in a high and tight military cut while the pale peach jumpsuit that anyone in the medical field wore hung off his frail shoulders.
Letting out a huff of breath, Rae uncrossed her arms and moved swiftly over to the man, her vintage converse sneakers nearly silent on the fake wood floors that decorated the waiting area. She barely let him move out of the way before slipping past him into the stark white hallway beyond the door. Her name was a bit of a sore spot, something that she didn’t like, so the fact that he used her full name after she had already told the receptionist to use Rae instead of Raegan, put her in a bit of a bad mood. That, and the fact that she was almost a half an hour behind schedule, would have made anyone a little less than friendly.
“We are so sorry for the delay, Raegan,” the man spoke, while rushing past her to show her the way. “One of the machines had a malfunction so we had to run a few diagnostic tests for your safety before we could okay it for use.”
The man stopped in his tracks, eyebrows furrowed together in confusion as he angled his shoulders towards her slightly. “I’m sorry?”
“Rae, my name is Rae,” she repeated, jaw clenching in frustration. “I detest the use of my full name and I would like it to be noted, again, that it shall not be used when addressing me.”
Blinking a few times, the man look slightly taken aback at her tone of voice toward him, obviously not use to be treated in that manner. A quick look at his hands showed his fingers mottled with white spots from the tight grip he had on the silver device he held in his hands. The device that held all of her personal information, medical records, and request for the machine that they were headed towards now; or would be heading towards, if the man ever snapped out of his confused state. Rae shifted all her weight on one leg, hip cocked to the side as she placed her hands on her hips a little impatiently.
“Well, are you going to show me the way, or just stand there and stare at me as if I just grew two extra heads?”
“Y-yes, of course.” The man turned sharply on his heel, probably hiding a disgruntled expression as he marched forward down the hallway.
A few hallways and numerous passed doors later, the man silently opened a heavy metal door and stepped to the side so she could walk through. Pressing her fingertips against the door frame, an odd little habit of hers, Rae passed over the threshold into the large room. Right in the middle of the room, sat a metal semi-sphere with padded leather cushions, forming a comfortable seat on the inside where she would sit. Wanting nothing more than to take the machine apart and figure out how it ticked, her hands were shoved into the front pockets of her torn up jeans. She seriously doubted that they would allow her to take off its’ panels to figure out how their time machine would work.
The man walked past, pressing a hand against the small of her back to urge her forward, nearly causing her to elbow him in the gut before she stopped herself. She had already chastised him today, and she didn’t really feel like making him any angrier before getting into an extremely high-tech piece of equipment that he would be controlling. That spelled out all sorts of bad situations for her.
“I know you were briefed during your consultation, but for safety reasons, and so you are clear on all the rules, we have to go over them again.”
Nodding her head, Rae stepped onto the platform of the machine to sit down on the leather seat. She could feel the cushions forming to the curves of her back and bottom, though she couldn’t figure why they would make something that she would only be in for a few minutes so comfortable. Twisting her lips to the side, she shoved the thought away so she could turn her attention to the man’s overview of the rules.
“There are only three basic rules that you must follow; one of them will be handled by myself, another by whomever will be handling your return, and the last of which is the only one you have to worry about.” The man moved to a metal pedestal that was connected to the machine with large wires and began pressing buttons and turning knobs, which she could not know what they did since she hadn’t taken the chance to look at before sitting down. Then again, an every day sort of person certainly wouldn’t know how to operate a time machine.
“Rule one is that you may only travel ten years into the future; you may travel less if that is your wish but you cannot go any further.” The man glanced up, lips curling into a smile that she couldn’t quite figure out. “That is the rule that I must worry about.”
Stepping away from the pedestal, he moved on silent feet to stand in front of her, reaching above to pull down the wires and monitors that would be attached to her body. “The second rule,” he explained, while peeling off the sticky backs to some of the equipment, “is that you must return within thirty minutes of the point in time you left. You may not arrive before the exact time you left as that would create a duplicate of yourself, splicing your DNA and most likely resulting in abnormalities that would require both to be euthanized. That is the rule in which the return operator must worry about.”
Suppressing a shudder at the thought of what sort of abnormalities he could be talking of, Rae merely nodded and pressed her lips together in a tight line as he continued. “The last rule, the one that you must follow without question, is the most important. You many not, I repeat, may not, bring back anything with you from the future. To do so can result in major disruptions of the timeline set for this universe. I don’t want to get too technical, so instead I’ll just say that it could mirror exactly the timeline of a secondary universe, causing the two to converge and possibly rip each other apart. Think of rule number two’s consequences but on a much, much larger scale.”
Finished with setting up all of the equipment, the man stepped back with a less than sincere smile. “So, Rae, are you ready for your very first trip into the future?”
Rae tilted her head to the side, not particularly happy with the way he had put emphasis on the name she had reamed him about just a few minutes before. Her hands began to sweat, causing her to rub them along her jean-clad thighs. Perhaps she should have been nicer to him when correcting the use of her name; after all, it wasn’t his fault that she hated the damn thing so much. He probably hadn’t even been told by the receptionist that she had already had to correct
at least six different times while she had been waiting to come back to the machine. Though she couldn’t see him doing anything too rash over a few harsh words from someone that meant nothing to him…. Right?
Before she could answer, he had already moved back over to the pedestal, finger poised above large read button until she had moved her gaze in his direction. “Have a lovely trip, Rae.” Then, with a single movement of his hand, she was thrown into a flash of light and dizzying colors.
About the Dreamer:
Danni has been writing over ten years, mostly dribbling in short fictional stories and poetry. Born in the MidWest, she moved more times than she can count during her schooling years. This led to her spending most of her time reading piles of books taller than herself and filling just as many notebooks with various ideas. She now lives in the southern parts of Texas with her husband, two daughters, cat, and dog. Drinking copious amounts of caffeine and staying up at ungodly hours of the night, writing for her is now more of an escape than a hobby.