Traveling Faster Can’t Be Bad, or Can it?

Jake and Carl were discussing traveling and the frustrations that often accompany visiting other countries. Carl complained that every time he took a trip, he wished that he could have gotten there faster, having more time to experience all that each place had to offer. But nearly every trip to Europe that he can afford takes 16 to 20 hours of air travel. If the trips could be  shortened considerably, then he could add nearly a day more on each end of the trip.

Imagine Carl’s surprise when Jake told him that he knew a guy, Maximilian, who was among a group of wizards at computer programming and who believed that he had found a way to create shortcuts for long journeys across the universe. Max was looking for a volunteer to travel through one of his experimental wormholes to a European city, maybe Paris. He believed that if his calculations were correct that he could cut the nearly 9 hour trip from New York to Paris to 2 hours.

Carl jumped at the chance to arrive in Paris with more time. The last two times he went to Paris he missed seeing  the Palace at Versailles because he could only afford to leave on Sundays and arrive on Monday mornings, when the museum was closed. But, if he could leave early on a Sunday morning and arrive in the afternoon in Paris, considering the 6-hour time difference, he could get tickets for late afternoon visit, for Versailles is open until 6:30PM on Sundays.

So, with only a pithy explanation of how the wormhole worked, he volunteered for the experiment. The day arrived for the experimental trip. Carl walked confidently and unafraid into the Wormhole Traveling Machine, and in no time at all he was off into the adventure of his life. He would be famous and see the Palace at Versailles. There was no downside!

But, as often happens with newfangled technology, something went awry, and the wormhole collapsed out in space. It’s two days later, and Carl is still stuck somewhere between New York and Paris in some colorful dimension that he would like to visit and see if he can find some food, but he can’t get out of the machine to explore it.

Max is trying his best to either get Carl back to New York or on to Paris. If he can do either, Carl will be so happy to be home-bound once again, whether by Max’s machine or the old-fashioned way, by airplane. For now, Carl is absent from everything and everybody meaningful to him. He swears that if he ever gets back on solid ground again, he will never complain about long hours of traveling  or even the food again.

Fiction written for August Writing Prompts:Wizards and Wormholes.

Ragtag prompt is Absent. Fandango prompt is Bound. Word of the Day Challenge is Pithy. Daily Addictions prompt is Awry.

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