You know, when I imagined time-travel, it was a lot more glamorous than this. I'd pictured myself creeping through the middle ages, sneaking into the Globe Theatre to see Shakespeare live... alive, that is. Disguising myself and taking a carriage down the silk road, keeping clear of war zones and otherwise hostile environments. It seemed like the ultimate travel experience.
That's how they advertised it: "The Ultimate Travel Experience"
I booked this trip months ago and have been preparing vigorously. All my vaccinations are up-to-date, I ordered period-era garb to make sure I blended in, I even replaced some of my meals leading up to my trip with a more acclimated diet of bread, pheasant, and ale. Do you know how hard it is to find pheasant in 2081?
The attendant at the transporter seemed absent-minded when I arrived. That was say, three days ago? There were many other travelers, some with children, and she seemed to just want me to load up and get gone. I told her, "I'm headed to England in 1620, to the Port of London." She nodded blankly. Port was a safe place to time-travel to because it was so busy and folks rarely cared what was going on around them.
I stepped up to the platform and began to feel a tingling sensation. "Is this normal?" I asked her.
"Mm hmm," she nodded. In a monotonous tone, she added, "Be sure to be back at your materialization space on your agreed-upon date. Keep your papers on you at all times, stay out of sight, and do not, under any circumstances, bring back souvenirs.
Thinking back to that moment, I wish I would've asked more questions. I wish I wouldn't spoken to a travel manager. Because here I am, bound and gagged, being jeered at by no less than forty very dirty, gangly pirates on a ship with no land in sight.
The sea of men parts before me and my heart jumps into my throat. I thought they only did this in movies. Two large, burly men walk up, each holding up one end of a long board. As the crowd jeers loudly, I can't help by think to myself... How did I get here? Where did I go so terribly wrong?