The Pool Of Chronos

Submitted into Contest #151 in response to: Write about a character who keeps ending up in the same place.... view prompt


Science Fiction Fantasy Thriller

The Pool Of Chronos

Tony and Marge went on their honeymoon, hiking along a trail that followed the mountain ridge, a fourteen day hike. It may have seemed a strange way to spend their honeymoon, but they were both enthusiastic outdoor people and spent many holidays in the mountains.

They had been on the trail for two days when they came upon the signpost. ‘To the pool of Chronos.’

“Let’s go look at that,” said Marge, and they set off on the trail. It seemed an eternity before the two exhausted honeymooners reached the pool, but it was worth it. It was a large pool with brilliant, clear waters. Luscious green bush and grass surrounded the pool, and it was enclosed within steep cliffs. The sun, setting behind them, shone into the little valley, activating all the colors in it. Tired and weary, the pair set up camp for the night.

Come morning, Marge suggested a swim after their coffee, and Tony agreed. They donned their swimsuits and plunged into the cool waters, frolicking around. Marge dived under the water and Tony chased her. When they surfaced, something wasn’t right.

“The trees are different. They look like large conifers and look at all the ferns.”

“Let’s get out,” replied Tony.

When they reached the campsite, the tent was gone.

“It should have been right here,” said Tony, then jumped when an enormous roar erupted within the trees. They froze in fear as two huge dinosaurs lumbered towards them.

“Run,” yelled Tony, grabbing Marge’s hand, and they raced for the pool with the monster so close the stench of their breaths almost overpowering them. Hand in hand, they dived into the pool, sinking. They had sunk quite a distance before they came back up, hearts thumping in fear.

Tony looked around in amazement. The trees had changed again and instead of bush; it was mostly grass, and the weather was cold. They pulled themselves out of the water and once more went to their campsite, standing shivering.

“What’s happening Tony?” Asked Marge, but before Tony could answer there were loud grunting around them and ape-like creatures surrounded, jabbing them with long sharp sticks.

“What do you want? Who are you?”

“Leave us alone, please.”

Tony grasped Marge’s hand and punched the creature nearest him, then they leapt into the trees. They crashed through the branches, ignoring the scratches on their bare skin till they reached the shoreline. The creatures were throwing their sharp-pointed sticks and rocks. A large rock hit Tony’s head and several sharp rocks bounced off Marge’s back, drawing blood. As one, they both dived into the pool, sinking down again.

When they emerged, bushes had grown between the trees and they appeared much taller. It was also quite warm. They crawled out of the water. Blood was coming from a large cut in Tony’s head, and Marge had several cuts on her back. Marge attended to Tony’s wound when they heard voices. They looked up to see several Indians on horses staring at them.

“Run,” shouted Tony and they both raced for the pool but one Indian, on horseback, intercepted then forcing them into the bushes. They forced their way into the bushes and the Indians followed, shooting arrows. Tony and Marge began climbing a rock face onto a ledge when an arrow hit Marge on her lower hip. She screamed, and Tony grabbed her hand.

“Hang on, please hang on.”

Marge maintained her balance, and they edged along till they were above the pool.

“Jump,” shouted Tony, and they both jumped into the pool. Down they plunged, then surfaced.

“Are you OK?” asked Tony.

“I think so, but I don’t think I can swim.”

“I’ll get you to shore.”

Tony helped Marge into the shore and she lay down on her stomach. He grabbed hold of the arrow and said, “I’m sorry, but this will hurt.”

He grabbed the arrow and pulled it out. Her screams attracted attention.

“Ahoy, who goes there?” a strange voice called out.

“Somebody’s out there, Captain.”

“Get the landlubbers and kill them.”

“Come on, Marge. We’ve got to run.”

Marge staggered up a hobbled for the water. There were shouts of curses, then a bang. Tony cried out as a musket ball hit him in the shoulder blade. He stumbled but made it into the water.

Both of them just sunk down, but with great effort, Tony gripped Marge and kicked to the surface. Looking around carefully, everything had changed again. There was a car parked in a clearing and men standing around it.

He held Marge as they stumbled ashore.

“Help, help us,” cried Tony, but a voice said, “who the hell are you?”

The men stood there with guns, and a body lay on the ground.

“Kill them,” said a man in dark glasses, and once more Tony and Marge hobbled to the water. There were two bangs, then Marge cried out as a bullet struck her in the back, penetrating her lungs, followed by a bullet that smashed Tony’s left arm. They staggered into the water and, once more, the bodies sank.

Tony struggled and crawled, pulling Marge’s body from the water. With his arm dangling uselessly, he knelt over her body and noticed his surroundings. Gone were the trees and bushes and grass. Instead, there was bare and rocky ground, the sky dark and ominous. Standing there were three very tall, thin people with large heads. One pointed a thin cylinder at him and all went black. The three aliens picked the bodies up and took them to a silvery sphere. They placed them in a hole, then disappeared.

“What have you got here, Mat?” the sheriff asked the Ranger.

“Same as the other ones, Bob. Two of them, man and woman. Just looks like they walked away. Joe tracked them straight into the water. No tracks out.”

“How did you find them?”

“Doing a routine check on illegal campers ever since the pool was closed.”

“How did they get past the locked gates?”

The Ranger shrugged his shoulders.

“So it looks like the pool claimed another two.”

“Afraid so.”

June 20, 2022 06:42

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