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The Traveler by George McVey, Sr.
“Who are you? Where am I? How did I get here? More importantly, who am I?”
With more clicks and whistles, the tribal doctor plunged the quill end of a feather into a gelatinous invertebrate, then began to trace the pattern that was on the traveler’s chest with the quill. The spiral pulled and twisted the Traveler, drawing him back in again. The darkness took hold, and the Traveler was gone.
The Traveler woke to the sound of tinkling bells and girlish giggles. He opened his eyes to the vision of a naked, angelic-looking girl with small silver bells woven into her long, blond braids. The sight would have been perfect if not for the red sun and two moons that were visible over the girl’s right shoulder.
“Who are you? Where am I? How did I get here?”
Again the same questions and again no answers; just a giggle. The young lady leaned forward and kissed him on the forehead. Then, as her pointer finger traced the spiral pattern on the Travelers chest, he once more felt the twist of the spiral, and he faded back into the blackness.
The Traveler awoke again and again in a new place. No stop lasted long enough for him to even realize where he was before the spiral drew him back into darkness. He saw different worlds and stars, places that were obviously on Earth. Nowhere for longer than a few minutes and no answers at any of the stops. Just as he began to feel completely out of control, the spiral drew him back into the darkness once more.
Test pilot, astronaut, and traveler, Greg Stewart awoke to the sounds of medical monitors’ beeps and blips. As he became aware of his surroundings, he overheard his buddy, Doctor Inez, lecturing someone.
“I don’t care what the formula said. You need to do your math again. Something is very wrong. Greg transported out four weeks ago and still has not arrived at the landing zone. I want to know what happened to my friend and your test pilot. Doctor Langstrum, we need answers that I can give his family to let them know where their husband and father is.”
“I understand your concern, Doctor Inez, but, we don’t know where he is. According to the formula, the spiral transporter should have been straight forward. Commander Stewart should have dematerialized here and rematerialized on the landing pad in the next building. The computer says his pattern is still in the transporter. We don’t know why he hasn’t materialized.”
Greg cleared his throat and watched as the two men in lab coats jumped and turned towards him. They looked completely stunned as Greg said “Honey, I’m home, and you aren’t gonna believe what happened to me at work today.”