Tuesday, 16 April 2013

The Teleporter (Part One)

Susan sat on the back step of her parent's house, smoking a cigarette. It was a quiet May evening, bright and cool with only a slight warm breeze. Perfect illicit smoking weather. Her folks would kill her if they found her with a cigarette in hand but they wouldn't be home for hours yet.

Her new found love for smoking had started as a stress reliever for her upcoming final exams. She'd quit as soon as they were over, she promised.

She carefully stubbed out the cigarette, made sure it was extinguished and flung the butt over the wall into the field behind the house. No one would ever find it there amongst the long grass and occasional sheep. She took a sandwich bag from her pocket and sealed the contraband inside to keep them from getting damp.  She walked over to the rockery and hid her smokes, now secured in the plastic bag under a rock.

She dusted off her hands and returned to the house. She'd gargle some heavy duty mouthwash when she got upstairs and her parents would be none the wiser.

"What you doing?" asked Ben as soon as she stepped into the kitchen. Ben was her eight year old brother. He was annoyingly inquisitive. He stuck his fingers in electrical sockets just to see what happened and pestered their parents for chemistry sets and tools every Christmas and Birthday.
"I was...meditating. Zen. You know?" said Susan.
"You were smoking." said Ben accusingly. "Smoking causes cancer and impotence." he warned.
"You're eight. You shouldn't know half the words in that sentence."
"Just because you don't doesn't mean I shouldn't." Ben replied.
"What are you doing? Spying on me?"
"Because your life is so interesting? I was looking to see if Mum left any cardboard in the recycling bin. I'm making something."
"Another base for your army men?"
"A teleporter! I was awake half the night drawing up the plans."
"Yeah, right." Susan replied. Ben was always coming up with crazy ideas. They never came to anything.
"I was! It took me an hour to solve the flux capacitor problem. Sometime this week I'll be able to send this house to another dimension."
"And for this you need cardboard?"
"Just for the prototype."
"Right. Well make sure you ask first before you teleport us."
"I will."

Ben was like that. He was always coming up with crazy plans to entertain himself. The family had moved to the countryside a year ago and they now lived miles away from anywhere interesting. Susan had become addicted to social media to compensate. Ben had turned inward and used his limitless imagination to keep occupied.

Susan went upstairs and left Ben rummaging in the bin for the inner tubes of toilet rolls. She used some mouthwash and returned to her bedroom and the study of French verbs.

Ben was quiet for an entire hour, working away on his project. Susan finished her French study and went downstairs to grab a coke.

Her brother was sitting cross legged on the floor of the dining room with a sheet of A3 paper, a half dozen toilet roll inserts and a determined expression. Susan got her drink and went back up to her room.

Fifteen minutes later Ben tramped up the stairs and entered their parent’s room across the hall. He spent about five minutes inside and came out dragging something. Susan sighed and did her best to ignore him.

After an hour Ben walked to the hall, stood at the bottom of the stairs and shouted up at Susan.
"Susan?" He said.
"The prototype is ready. Can I test it?"
"God, Ben. I'm trying to study."
"I know. Can I test it?" he pleaded.
"If I let you, will you shut up?" asked Susan.
"Then test it and stop annoying me."

Ben ran back to the dining room. After less than a minute, Susan became aware of a humming noise. It was just on the edge of hearing but it was there. She left her bedroom and headed for the stairs. Suddenly the humming nose increased in volume and pitch. Susan's stomach flip flopped and she felt queasy. She nearly fell down the stairs but managed to grab the banister to stop from crashing onto the floor below.

Suddenly the world returned to normal and Susan felt fine again. Ben was running around the dining room in circles and dancing.
"I did it! I did it." He said in a sing song voice.
"What did you do? I almost puked all over the landing!"
"I teleported us! Look!" said Ben, pointing out the picture window to their back garden.
Except it wasn't their back garden. The green grass and hedgerows had been replaced by sand and scorching sun. An unknown mountain in the distance belched smoke ominously.
Susan took it all in. She almost fainted from shock.
"You idiot!" she said as she recovered. "Send us back home."
"I can't. I said I'd teleport the house to another dimension. I didn't say I could teleport it back. You really should listen to what I say more carefully."

Susan grabbed the front of Ben’s shirt: “You little teabagger! Mum and Dad will kill us! Send us home.”

“You were told to stop calling me that. And I can’t send us home. I need a power source.”

“There must be something.”

“I guess I could tap into the geothermal energy of that volcano over there.”

“What volcano?” asked Susan.

“See that mountain over there that’s smoking almost as badly as you were earlier? We call it a volcano. You are going to fail your geography exam; you know that, don’t you?”

“Shut your dumb mouth, Ben. Can you send us home or not?”

“Dumb mouth? I just invented the Teleporter! And yes; I can send us home. Maybe. But we need to get there first.”

“What about the house?”

“It’s staying. I’ll never be able to send that back too. I must have burned out half the circuit breakers in the county by sending us here.”

Susan put her head in her hands. Her evening plans had involved another smoke and an “X-Factor” marathon, now she had to go on a trek across a strange land with her idiotic genius brother. The French verbs would have to wait.


To be continued!

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