Chapter 3

Written by: Joe Labrum

My vision cleared and I began to assemble my wits. My guitar playing twin, a look of astonishment washing over his expression, started to speak. He reconsidered his words and closed his mouth again. All he could manage was, “Where did ya score those clothes?”

He did not enquire about my condition, nor show any curiosity about what just happened. All he wondered about was where I shopped for clothing. It was not until then that I understood how displaced I appeared in these surroundings. I knew any attempt at an explanation would have me committed to an institution for the confinement of lunatics. So I ignored the question. Let them think me eccentric, I thought. My strange attire was the least of it, a realisation that became more evident as the night wore on. 

My eyes were burning and I coughed from the feeling of peculiar smelling stale air filling my lungs. It was a putrid blue smoke-filled air that spewed from the exhale of the screaming throng and spiralled up from the glowing entertainments that everyone seemed to carry in their hand. What was this disgusting indulgence that was so prevalent in this century? Coughing frantically and struggling to catch my breath I wheezed a choking cough as I excused myself and turned toward the door I had entered not twenty minutes before. 

“What is ailing you, Man?” Patty’s voice faded in the din as I pushed my way through the laughing, milling mob. My eyes ran rivers down my face. I pulled a kerchief from the breast pocket of my grey tweed jacket and covered my mouth and nose as I made my escape from the lethal fumes filling the hall. Vapours that these people seemed to thoroughly enjoy, Heaven only knows why.

Something I hadn’t noticed before caught my attention. It was the sea. The crisp sea breeze, the squawking gulls circling overhead and the smell. That enchanting aroma of saltwater and seaweed that mixed such a delicious cocktail of smells. But why is it here? My mind went to the geography of the countryside and tried to imagine how The Old Ford could be in any proximity to the sea but I couldn’t. By any map the Ford is a couple of hundred miles from the sea. So, where have I been deposited by this contraption that is only expected to navigate time? It seems that we have travelled in both the dimensions, time and space. 

What is particularly alarming about this prospect is the absence of navigational controls. Clearly this is an outcome wholly unexpected. If the intention of Jeffrey’s design was to move from place to place he surely would have included some means by which to select a geographic destination. I became unnerved at the thought of being propelled to any of an infinite number possibilities on the surface of the planet in attempting to return home. Is there reason to assume the possibilities are limited to the surface only?

Comments

An extremely interesting chapter that brings up good points about Time and Space travel while still keeping us inside the story. I can imagine what a stranger would feel like if they were exposed to 'pot' for the first time. I think Joe has brought up good points and his use of some good adjectives, verbs, and adverbs was well thought out. They describe things accurately while keeping the writer in tune with a young man who has traveled from Victorian Britain to the psychedelic sixties. A really good chapter, Joe. The next writer can have a ball.
Thanks Ray, this was a fun chapter to write, and challenging. I am relieved that my interpretation of the story was understood.
I really enjoyed reading this. Yes, I think it would be a shock to arrive in the 1960s from Victorian England. You capture his perplexity at being without controls and not knowing how to get back to where he came from. I echo Ray's remarks. Yes, quite a conundrum. I'll be interested to see how the next writer handles the situation.
This chapter is a treat for the senses. Well done, Joe!
Loved it!