The Drive In Time

Submitted into Contest #209 in response to: Write a story about someone going on a life-changing journey.... view prompt


Adventure Creative Nonfiction Fantasy

This morning I woke up, the same as every day, stretching my legs off my bed and onto the floor, my arms raised up grazing the ceiling. As any other day, I got out of bed and waltzed into the kitchen to make myself some freshly brewed fragrant coffee. I grabbed my leather bag and black coat from the hanger, while chewing hastily on a toast of fresh, brown bread I walked out my old-fashioned house and got into my tiny old green car.

The endless stream of daily work calls kept coming in as I gently drove towards the empty highway road. “Hey Richard, this is impossible to finish. Papers keep piling and piling. This never seems to be ending!” That was William, my co-worker at the office. These days, cases keep on piling about the controversy in human rights. Women want more rights; racism is going out of hand, and it is only getting worse. While I gently accelerated, I could hear the rusty engine groan in exhaustion as it pushed itself under the radiating sun. Oh man, how I wish I could make this car fly to work. “Just imagine Richard, if there were to be a car looking like a bird that can fly. I would never need to be late to work!” William daydreams on the call as I make a turn.

The azure sky was overlapped with white fluffy clouds, bouncing along the sky as the blazing sun mocked me. It was all quite serene and pleasant, until I realized that something was drastically not right.

 From a distance, I began to notice a change in the atmosphere. The mist thickened as the wind howled violently from all directions. It began with a slight drizzle, and gradually the clear sky was engulfed with dark gloomy clouds, with droplets of rain pouring down hitting the car with its sharp glass-like droplets, and streaky lightning emblazoning the sky. “I think I am going to be later than usual today. The weather isn’t that nice today” I said worriedly. “You will be fine, just keep your eyes at the road. Richard, you know- Hello? Richard?” Suddenly, a strong bright flash of light blinded the windshield, and in the spur of a moment, I was thrown off the edge of the highway cliff into the deep dark ocean. The sea swelled and throbbed with woe, as the mutinous waves grew wild under the raging storm like a ferocious tiger being possessed by an evil spirit. Struggling to escape from the sinking car, I managed to break open the door with the last strength I had left. Despite my efforts to stay afloat, I was instantly devoured by the waves that pushed me deeper into the blue emptiness. Cold salty water stung my eyes and compressed my ribs, and eventually it entered my lungs giving a strong unbearable burning sensation in my muscles. Slowly, as I began to lose consciousness, the blurred vision of an unconscious young man appeared in front of me. While I made efforts to keep alive, I painfully stretched my hand to reach the young man, but my vision disappeared, and everything turned dark.

As if a miracle had happened, I somehow regained consciousness and while gasping for every bit of air, I weakly pushed myself out of the water and swam towards the shore. While rapidly gasping for air, I noticed how everything around seemed quite different. Far out to sea, streams of pulsing light saturated the surface with a golden haze. As I feebly stepped into the bedraggled dry, golden sand, dragging myself away from the creeping sea, I noticed how the secluded scrublands swayed and rustled silently as the wind whispered among its delicate strands of grass. The light airy clouds overlapped the pastel blue sky while the wild black birds soared high above towards the evening setting sun.

Suddenly, the sound of loud shots deafened my ears, as a group of soldiers ran towards me. They were dressed in long black pants and wore long sleeved shirts with heavy copper batches on them. Carrying long rifles, they grabbed me and started questioning me seriously in a deep stern voice. “Who are you and who do you stand for? Speak up young man or else our army will shoot you dead with our rifles.” The old soldier asked with threat as he pulled the trigger in his long, unusual weapon. “Uh, I am Richard. I am not sure what you meant, but may I know where exactly I am?” I asked feeling confused and lost in the situation. The soldiers looked at each other with a stern, yet confused look. “We are at war zone with the Germans. Our British Army is fighting against the Nazis to save our nation.” He replied. “Wait what? We are at war?? When did this even start? Liverpool is such a calm place for anything of this sort to happen.” I asked back with great panic. “Liverpool? Calm? Youngman you must have gone mad. This war has been chaotic and huge since 1939! It has been going on for over 5 years now.” He replied in a strange and concerned manner. “Wait wait- you mean I am right now in 1944?? How on earth is this possible? You are lying!” I shouted back in great fear and panic. The soldier demanded the others to bring me to their camp and prison me until I agree to become part of their army, and soon, I found myself in a base camp surrounded by hundreds of soldiers running around with their ‘rifles’ onto the battlefield.

My heart throbbed faster and faster, as wild thoughts and questions ran through my mind. Where am I? Did I travel back in time? But this is not possible because a war against the Germans never even existed in our history books. And what these strange weapons? Did I really die? Is this my afterlife, or is this all a dream? And who was that young man I saw in the water? I pinched myself several times and even thought I was going crazy as I witnessed the situation.

While I dug myself deeper into this whirlpool of questions, a young soldier whispered loudly through the iron bars. “Hey, I know you are confused, but we really don’t have any choice because we have to fight.” he said as he started explaining the entire situation about the start of the war. “It’s called the World War 2. It all began when a Serbian Nationalist terrorist group sent troops to attack Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary, which was what began the World War 1. Ever since the assassination, more than fifty countries have involved in the war. We, British, are allies with France, the United States, the Soviet Union, and the army of China. Our enemies are the Germans, led by Adolf Hitler, who has allies with the army of Italy and France, but the list really does not end.” he continued to whisper in a worried manner. “So, you mean we are fighting against the Nazis? Soviet Union? Is that a country? How did I even end up here, I am supposed to be at work!” I started asking feeling all petrified and perplexed. The young soldier looked back at me with a strange, concerned expression. “The Soviet Union is a group of countries together, which young man, did you hit your head somewhere when you were on the beach? From what you’re wearing and saying, you sure don’t look like someone from here though.” He said with one eyebrow higher than his forehead. “So, are you in or out?” he asked as he walked away from the iron bars. Millions of thoughts crammed my head as I thought about everything that had happened. It was so intense that it felt like I was having a stroke. I didn’t want to die! And I never wanted to be here in the first place!

“Wait! I will do it; I shall become a soldier and fight as well. Please don’t kill me!” I shouted without a choice as the only words that came out of my mouth were filled with fright and anxiety.

Countless hours, days, weeks passed slowly. The soldiers trained me to fight with strange and perilous weapons, called rifles and pistols, something I have never ever seen in my life. Every now and then, the scary sounds of high-pitched screams and terror of people awakened my mind, in which I wanted to run far away from everything but was dragged down to the bottom of reality.

“Was it the water that made this happen? Was it some weird supernatural power from the lightning that made this happen? Will I ever be able to return to where I was?” The thoughts were endless. One night, I escaped from the camp and ran towards the beach, where it first all began. Leaving all my equipment and suits aside, I dove into the blue waters and stayed underwater in the blue darkness multiple times with my eyes shut tight, hoping that I would return. However, the efforts were in vain as nothing changed.

The incessant screams and cries of the panicking army of soldiers echoed in my ears, sending cold tingles down my spine, as fear arose. As the guns shot fire, chests of bodies jerked and began bursting out blood, as the bodies collapsed on to the floor, gradually losing movement. Clutching tightly on to my loaded-rifle, I ducked behind the wheels of a colossal, metal barricade. Another solider dressed in a tropical jungle uniform covered with a bandolier, crouched, and fortified behind the blockade nearby for cover. His arms were pierced as if he had been flagellated, with the blood oozing out rapidly from his arm.

“Hey Brian, you seem to be in pain my friend, are you alright?” I asked him worriedly, trying to create a friendly atmosphere. With sweat dripping from his forehead and feeling exhausted, he turned to me cautiously, as he nodded his head gently, before he went back to full alert mode. He was the soldier who explained everything to me the day I was prisoned. The gunshots endlessly attacked our barricade, as we dodged the bullets while making a target.

Suddenly, at a distant, an enormous, weird bird soared above making its way towards us. As it approached closer, a group of other unusual birds followed it with incredible speed. But as I blinked and cleared my blurry vision, I noticed what it was. Before I could even react, a group of jets swarmed and zoomed across the sky like an army of mad buzzing bees. As the angry, heavy clouds attacked the jets with streaky lightning emblazoning the sky, the jets showered the endless fields with raging bullets.

A darkly tinted capsule was rocketing towards us! From a paralyzed state of being shocked, I glared at the soldier. “RUNNNN!!!” I screamed as a massive force blew us away. Everything was indistinct and my vision faded out constantly. I didn't feel any discomfort. Instead, it felt like intense heat, which quickly developed into a searing tingling numbness. With a hazy vision, I could see the strange soldier fall to the ground, unconscious. It was slow; it seemed to suck out all the sound around us. I opened my mouth to scream the pain, but all I could hear was a deafeningly silent screech, travelling the dense air.

As my vision cleared once again, I could see Brian being dragged away by our rivals. Using all the strength I had left; I fired my rifle twice at the soldiers dragging him away. The soldiers immediately fell to the ground with blood oozing out from their chests, almost in slow motion as they cried in pain and eventually lost consciousness. While limping hastily, I dragged him away from the zone as fast as I could but was instantly cornered at the edge of a cliff by the German army. I turned back to view the bright-yellow sun spilling dazzling amber paint into the horizon of the giant expanse of the blue ocean. The cold wind howled mercilessly while tides clashed on to imperfect rocks. With no other choice, while holding Brian, I dropped myself down to the deep blue sea, before the rivals could pull trigger, and as we slowly descended, my thoughts slowed down. Everything felt like it was in slow motion as we crashed into the waters and sunk deeper into the abyssal depths of the lonely ocean.

It felt like a nightmare when the briny ocean water gushed into my lungs, which sent flames down my throat and chest. The blood gushed out and diffused slowly and the muscles in my body tightened, as I wished for everything to end faster. With salt crystals piercing my eyes, I noticed Brian at a distance, slowly fading as he floated away. It was then when I recognized the man that I saw previously when I was drowning. I screamed and tried to move, but no matter how much energy I used, my arms and legs wouldn’t budge. I was shouting for help, but my voice wouldn’t pass sound. Eventually, everything become dark.

Beep! Beep! Beep!

The muffled noises of speech ran in my ears; there were indistinct figures walking patiently around me. Laying down on the clean-white medical bed, I could hear strange machines beeping rapidly around me. The turquoise-blue curtains beside me were motionless like a rock, and the fragrance of bitter, antiseptic detergent diffused in my nose. As I blinked with my vision slowly became clearer, a tall man dressed in a formal uniform approached in a hurry.

 “Richard! You’re awake! Its me, William Stuart, your Co-Worker remember?” he asked in a concerned manner, leaving me dumbfounded. “I- I don’t know…” I replied palely. “Where’s Brian?” I asked, which was the only thought that came to my mind. William raised his eyebrow with a concerned look “William i-i went back in time! Or something like that. I was in this war called World War 2 against the Nazis, and i-I had to save Brian, so I jumped off a cliff and-” I spoke nonstop as if I was traumatized and mentally ill. “Richard, slow down. What are you even saying? You have been in a coma for 10 years!” he spoke with great confusion. “Wait what year is this?” I asked feeling utterly shocked. “Its 2016 Richard! After you met with that accident and ran off a cliff, we immediately saved you, but your vitals weren’t that good.”

While feeling shocked, a couple of doctors rushed in to examine my condition, and they asked some weird questions that I couldn’t comprehend. “We have run some tests and strangely enough, it seems like he remembers himself being in World War two, which is impossible because that happened like 70 years ago, but he relapses memories of it. We predict that it is mostly due to shock." The doctor said with a concern look on his face.

William left the room with the doctors for a discussion, and soon William returned. With a promising smile, William said, “Hey buddy, okay so you will have to hang in there a bit longer, and don’t worry we will get back your memory soon.” “No, you don’t understand William! I was really there, there were all these bombs, rifles, strange weapons that we have never seen. I was even shot!” I rambled only making this worse. “Richard, I know what bombs and rifles are. And the World War happened ages ago, its literally in our history textbooks! I think you should calm down and rest for a while.” He replied. “But how is this possible? William, please believe me, I was really there! There was a soldier named Brian who became friends with me! At least tell me what the damn history book says.” I begged him to believe me.

“Richard. Well- I am not sure about any soldier named Brian, but the Nazis lost and surrendered to the British. I think there are still a few soldier survivors, and there are myths about two soldiers drowning in the Great Ocean with one surviving, and the other magically time-travelling, but I don’t think they are true.” “What happened to the survived soldier?” I interrupted. “Well, history says he was prisoned by the Nazis and was tortured harshly for many years. But after 15 years of facing the cruel lifestyle of being a prisoner, he was finally freed sent back to Britain, where he settled himself in a small house in Liverpool and began his career as a writer. His name is Michael Gosling, and he is pretty famous himself for his book series ‘War of Survival’, but people do say he has quite a lot of hidden secrets. I can bring it to you if you want…” William said as I calmly nodded.

A few days passed by, and I was adapting to the nature of the hospital. High-tech cool machines were pushed by every now and then. People seemed to be happier, and the nurses were awfully kind to everyone. Eventually, I was discharged from the hospital and William came to take me home. “You will be elated to know that our company has become quite successful with the latest investments.”

Apparently, I had a huge company that William took over after I fell into a coma.

As William drove the car, I quickly stopped him. “William, I need to meet someone before I go home. Can you take me there?” I asked willingly. “Yes, of course! Where to?” he asked patiently as he resumed driving. As I slowly took out the book, my fingers revealed the author’s name. “Let’s go visit my old pal Brian Gosling” I replied smilingly.


August 04, 2023 07:17

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Leland Mesford
22:10 Aug 09, 2023

"My old pal Brian Gosling." I love that ending. It was so good that I had to search the internet. It was a little heartbreaking not to find the author your story referenced. You had a great story Idea. It has so much potential, particularly due to the subject. It is something that could go well beyond short story length. It's just all about what you put into it. Maybe a novel? You never know.


03:09 Aug 10, 2023

Thank you soo much for your feedback. I am sorry i didn't directly reference the author i mentioned in my story, but i am happy that you still liked it. 😄


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07:50 Aug 04, 2023

This is a story about a man named Richard getting into an accident and travelling through time in a parallel dimension, facing new events and obstacles and in the end the changing history as he returns back to the present.


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17:37 Aug 10, 2023

This is so great, Hansi !!! Looking forward to future releases💗💗


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Yemiru Alwis
17:18 Aug 10, 2023

One of the best writings I've read. Looking forward to future masterpieces.


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Musa Mansoor
08:19 Aug 06, 2023

This is a very intriguing book. I really enjoy it. :]


03:14 Aug 07, 2023

Thank you


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