Time Jumps

The people were traveling on motorized vehicles, that had round pieces that spun against the ground. I couldn’t tell how it was propelled, but it was loud. The air stunk. It was rank, and I lifted my hands to cover my nose. The air was thick, and held a orange tinge, and my lungs could taste the expulsion from those vehicles.
Where had I found myself this time?

Was it the future or the Past?
What never changed was the sensory overload. The different scents, sounds, sights, it all hit me like a ton of bricks and I staggered under the immense change.

I head a scream and felt a tug. A man had pulled me out of the way of one of those motorized vehicles… on rubber? The machine squealed to a stop where i had been standing, the mechanisms still whirring and sounding much too loud. I lifted my hands to my ears to tried to remain standing. Falling to my knees usually meant people fawned over me trying to figure out what was wrong, if I stayed standing, they just think I’m dumb.

I had my hands over my ears, trying to hear my thoughts when I gasped as the taste of the air hit my tongue. I gagged. It was awful, a taste so putrid and nauseating, I almost brought up the contents of my stomach. Though it probably would have tasted better. The stench once again hit my nose and I continued reaching, the man who had pulled me to safety now backing away.

I opened my eyes to the sting of the tears that filled them, and finally saw where I was. I appeared to be in a street, well to the side now. The street was lined with shops, selling all kinds of things. Nothing looked like what I had ever seen before.

I took a few steps, my senses adjusting to the new sensations, the noise slowly recoiling into a dull roar, the stench slowly imprinting into my memories. The taste lingered, and I dug into my pocket for what I hoped was currency here. No luck,empty as always. I wandered down this unfamiliar locale, trying to take in what I could. Trying to decipher what time period this might be. Before or after the Event?

I looked at my wrist, the time piece missing from my arm. At least I wasn’t naked.
I continued down the street and found a place to lean back and watch.
Those mechanized vehicles were all shapes and sizes. They appeared to billow out smoke from the rear. They made more noise as they accelerated. I also noticed, only the one that had nearly hit me squealed. I looked at the people. They were wearing some strange fashion, and yet it did nothing to tell me when I was.

Everyone wore something different, and they didn’t wear it for the weather. It was cool, but there were people whose legs and arms were bare to the elements. There were those who wore longer covered, but lightweight material, and those who wore a thick baggy material that appeared to be warm, that had extra material to cover their head.

Hair colour was vivid, all colours of the rainbow and natural were visible. I could not tell the genders of the people who passed me by, they could have been androgynous androids, but if the vehicles mechanics were any indication, androids would be much louder,and spew more polluted air. I did not see any obvious exhaust ports on them, so they must be human.

I saw a metal box with writing on it, I could not read it, the writing was so distinctly unique that it was not any language I was familiar with. I could not decipher a thing. A person confidently walked up, pulled the handle and retrieved the item inside. It appeared to be a very thin material, like a disposable fabric. I opened the handle and pulled out the strange fabric. It was heavier than I expected, and much more rough. It looked like an ink was applied to the surface, and had the same markings as the box. Their language, I traced my fingers along, feeling the ink and the words that made no sense.

Then I felt it, the shift that would bring me back home. Back to my time, my universe.
For how long? I was never certain. But the doctors and scientists would meet me, ask me questions and demand all the details. The little details. I squeezed the inked fabric tight, hoping it would make the trip. If I brought a piece back, they would ask less questions, and study the piece instead.
This had their language on it. They distributed it freely, and it was something I’d never seen before.
I’d heard about written language before, but the elite hoarded it. Keeping it in storage to be studied. I ripped a piece of the fabric, the language and a picture. It shred easily, and I tucked it into my pocket. At least I could try and hold onto it myself.

The tugging finally pulled me into the void. I gasped as I woke up in my bed, an alarm sounding loudly above my head, lights flashing.
The doctors would be here soon, to take my account. I searched for the fabric, not feeling the inky roughness as when I held it. I turned over my blankets and sheets.

No.. no. No. It can’t have fallen. I need this! This is proof! I do travel! I… I’m not crazy.

I slumped to the ground, and cried. The doctors came to ask the questions. They asked and asked and asked some more.
Then they sent me back to bed, my head full of lies and truths and medication to help me sleep.

I climbed into bed and stuck my hand in my pocket. There, crumpled up, was the piece of inky fabric, their language and an image of the motorized vehicles, all wrinkled up, but it was real. I wasn’t crazy. I’m not crazy.

I’m not crazy.

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