Lost In Time: a short story by Stewart Forthofer

Part One

   I was in my lab when it happened. A spark of light, an electric shock, and I was gone. Poof! Out of existence. That is how my story begins.

    My name is Ralfo Ikumenov. I am, or at least I was, a scientist in a small, unknown little town in the American state of Nevada. My home is in the year 2046, but after my accident, I do not know where exactly I am. Right now, all is in the dark. But I hope that by relating my story to you that I can learn why I am here and what my purpose is.

   So there I was in my lab, experimenting with a new atom I had just discovered. It’s atomic number, I had discovered, was 138 and it is highly radioactive. I had named it Juvlenium, just because that sounded like a cool, random name for it.

   It was a beautiful day that day. It was April 15, my birthday. I was anxiously awaiting the end of my workday so that I could go to my wife and two kids at home, but at the same time I wanted to learn more about my new atom.

   However, as I began to study my atom, I began to see that something strange was beginning to happen. The atom was throwing electrons and protons all over the place, but none were coming back. I grabbed a metal probe I had nearby and probed the atom to return the protons to their rightful places. There must have been a tear in my glove or something, because as I probed the atom a tingling electric sensation tickled my spine. Then there was the aforementioned spark of light, an electric shock, and poof! I was gone.

    Though I was gone from my own world, I appeared to be flying through a strange portal to some other world. I found myself flying through a dark, empty void that expanded as far as I could see. It was too dark for me to see very far, but I could tell that I was moving at a considerable speed. It was silent, so silent I could hear my own thoughts zooming around in my brain. Despite all of this, I felt an inner calm.

    I was suddenly knocked out of my dreamlike state and back into reality when I collided with solid pavement. I felt the skin on my palms scrape away as I put my hands out to stop myself. The gloves I was wearing ripped to shreds, my goggles fell off, and my lab coat began to rip at the knees as I slid across the hard pavement.

    I slid until I came to a patch of grass. As I adjusted to the sudden brightness, I looked around at my surroundings. While looking around, I blinked in surprise. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I appeared to be in some futuristic world that just couldn’t be my own. There were flying cars with no wings, trains zooming by on tracks so fast that they became just a blur, and giant towers and skyscrapers spiraling into the sky. The sun gleamed high in the sky, reflecting its light from the monstrous windows into my eyes.

    I looked even further around me. I could see no one except one man who was walking a gigantic dog. The man looked strange to me. He was wearing a dark cap, dark sunglasses, and a glowing suit. The dog he was walking was so huge, it was almost a bear. The man walked straight towards me as I gawked at him.

    As they strode towards me, the man and dog began to intimidate me. The dog walked right up to me and began sniffing my neck. That’s how tall it was; it was able to sniff my neck and nearly lick my face without lifting its head. But I had no time to fear it for soon the man pulled it back to himself.

    “Halloa!” he said, raising his right hand into the sky as some sort of salute. “I am he called Urgaon. Who may you be?” I was suddenly speechless, for I did not know what would happen to me.

   Finally, my speech returned to me.  “Erm-” I stammered. My voice, it appeared,was still lost temporarily and I was rendered speechless yet again.

    “Erm?” Urgaon, the strange man, questioned. “What kind of a name is that? No man here is called by that odd name. It’s a general rule around here to have a name of at least two syllables. Tell me, what are you called?”

    Clearing my throat, I said, “My name is Ralfo. I did not mean to say ‘erm’. I only said it because my fall knocked the wind out of me and I couldn’t speak.”

    “I see,” Urgaon said. “ How did you fall? Is there a hole there? I can call the Repair Crew immediately and they will fix it immediately. Then you can go to the mayor and file a complaint. They will take you to the hospital and give you medicine for free. It will clear you up in two seconds, well, you know how well it works, you’ve probably had a broken bone that they healed. It’s simple really, just-”
    “No, no, no,” I interrupted. “I don’t want to go to that much trouble.”

    Urgaon stared at me as if I had three heads. “Do what?” he asked. “Did you just say you didn’t want to get in trouble? But if you don’t report it then you may get in trouble yourself. You will be reported and could get put into Timeout. You don’t want to go to Timeout. It’s terrible. I went there once and nearly lost my mind. I-”
    “Um, excuse me,” I interrupted. “But the reason I fell is that I came through some sort of portal. You see, I’m not from around here. I fell out of the sky and landed here. You saw me here, and now you are telling me all sorts of things I know nothing about.”

    “Are you ill, man?” asked Urgaon, looking concerned. “You need to go home and rest.”
    “That’s the problem, I don’t know where home is,” I said.

    “Hmm,” Urgaon said. “You say you are not from here?”

    “Correct.”

    “Where are you from then?”

    “Nevada.”

    Urgaon looked as if he had swallowed a chicken bone. “Nevada?” he gasped.

    “That’s right. What about it?” I asked, shocked and scared at his reaction.

    “You’d better come with me,” he said. “We need to see Bossman right away.”

Copyright 2018 by Stewart Forthofer and We3Boys. All rights reserved. 

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