As his aged, wrinkled fingers weaved through the long beard flowing from his face, that noise came again. Only this time, it was louder.
There he sat, hunched over the stained oak table that had arrived years ago with no explanation. It had come whilst he slept; absent one night, and there the following morning. Probably from the people above, he deduced. That’s where he got everything. In this room with no windows. The only room he’d ever known in his eighty-four years on this earth.
Again the sound reverberated off the four thick walls of his home. So much so that the candles scattered across the table shook with ease, their yellow candlelight dancing off the glazed old eyes of a man who had come to know them as friends through the passing years.
A sudden lurch thrust him from his seat and onto the dirt floor below. In a mad scramble, it dawned on him quickly that this room with no windows, his room, was moving. Objects that had remained idle for ages now found themselves scattered across the interior, and the candles themselves proved no match for the tumultuous forces that knocked them level.
He staggered to his feet. Instinctively, he felt for the table’s edge to support himself, but his hand met only pain in the form of hot wax. It scoured, but nothing could deprive his attention from the jostling of the room.
Another lurch, and he was again thrown to the ground. But unlike the first, this force kept him pinned, and he had the sense that he was moving up. The oak table quivered on its four legs before surrendering to this mysterious influence, and the last of the candles was extinguished. He found himself draped in darkness.
And then suddenly, it was dark no more. The ceiling was lifted off, and following it came a bright light, brighter than any he had ever seen before. The people from above, he thought to himself. As his eyes adjusted, the bright light became blue, and he could see that there were puffs of white moving briskly across this blue firmament.
And it became only stranger. Two men, who very much resembled him save for their younger and broader shoulders, reached down for him, each grabbing beneath the old man’s underarms. The people from above. They wore plastic, yellow hats and bright reflective vests. He found himself hoisted into the air and dropped on a wooden platform that stood adjacent to his room. Only now, there was far more to see than the mere confines of his quarters.
He appeared to be on a beach, or at least he thought he was. All his life he had been told of places such as these, and the word beach was the first that came to mind. In every direction, people of all ages surrounded the area, expressions of vast wonder and hysteria lining their faces. For the first time ever, he’d been granted a new perspective he’d never imagined in his wildest dreams. For the first time ever, he was able to see his room for what it truly was.
It was a box, and judging from the deep depression in the adjacent sand, it appeared to have been buried there for eons, not once seeing the light of day until its violent removal mere minutes ago. The crowd roared abruptly, encouraged by another individual who had leapt onto the wooden platform next to the old man. He was a middle-aged man wearing a pinstriped suit and black top hat. Like a deranged ringleader.
“Welcome one and all,” he bellowed, “to the world’s first ever human time capsule!”
Credit : Peter Bowman
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