Wormhole Part Two

Wormhole part one left off with El clarifying that he had ended up in the past by driving through a wormhole or timewarp.

Wormhole
By Timothy Price

Part Two

“A wormhole or time warp,” he explained to the Captain. “No, sir, I’m not crazy, sir. Everything he has with him is nothing like I have ever seen before.

“Hold on a second!” El interrupted as he pulled out his wallet, took out his driver’s license, and handed it to Sergeant Prescott. “Hold on Sir!” He said as he looked at the license with furrowed brows. “Sir. He just handed me a New Mexico driver’s license that looks like nothing I have ever seen. It has a clear coating on it, it’s in color, and it shows that it was issued on 10/15/2015. It expires 10/25/2023. No Sir. I’m serious. You need to come to Building J and look at his things. He told me we should get a scientist and mathematician to come here and see these things. Yes Sir. We will be waiting, Sir.” He hung up the phone and stood up. “We will go back to the conference room and wait for Captain Fremont.”

They walked back through the gray/green hall to the conference room, which was more spacious, with natural light from several windows on one wall, a large table in the center, and chairs sitting neatly around the table except for the four chairs they had pulled away from the table on the side that faced the window wall.

Sergeant Prescott was still examining El’s driver’s license. “What does ‘Donor’ with the read heart mean?” He asked. “I’m an organ donor,” El answered. “If I was killed in an accident when I was in the future, the medics would remove my organs, kidneys, heart, etc., and transplant them into a person who had renal failure or heart disease and needed more healthy kidneys or heart.” He stared at El for a while trying to arrange his thoughts. “Are you telling me they can transplant organs from one person to another in the future?” El answered in the affirmative. “There is much greater demand for organs than there are organs available” El continued. “There is a global black market that deals in organs illegally harvested from people in the 21st Century. Sometimes people are drugged and one kidney is removed, and the person might survive, but mostly, people are murdered for their organs which are worth a lot of money on the black market.” Seargent Prescott looked at El with a puzzled shocked look in his eyes. “That is horrible. I don’t understand all your talk about the future. I can’t imagine such things.”

They stood in silence for a few minutes as Seargent Prescott tried to process the strange talk he’d heard from El. “I could sure use a cup of coffee or something stronger to clear my head listening to you talk about the future” Sergeant Prescott stated breaking the silence. El picked up his Nissan Stainless thermos and shook it. “It’s about half full. Go get that cup that’s sitting on your desk, and you can try some of my coffee.”

Prescott looked a little weary at the offer but turned back and walked through the door. Less than a minute later he walked back through the door with his coffee cup in hand. “I will probably regret this…” he said as he held out his cup, “but I’m really curious about your coffee from the future.”

El poured a little bit into his cup. “It’s very strong. You should try just a taste to see if you like it before I give you more. It’s probably only lukewarm, and since microwave ovens haven’t been invented yet, we can’t heat it.”

He rocked his cup, making the coffee swirl at the bottom of the cup while he pondered it. “Microwave ovens? I’m not going to ask, but your coffee is very dark and black. It looks thick.” He sniffed at the cup. “It smells like coffee. Here goes.” He took a sip, and his eyes widened. “Wow! That is very strong, but the taste is very good.” He held out the cup, and El filled it about half full.

“It’s Italian Roast, “ El explained. “The beans are roasted until they are very dark and oily. I grind the beans to a fine powder before brewing the coffee, which makes the coffee strong. The finer powder runs through the filter, making the coffee ‘thick’ before the sediment settles to the bottom of the cup.”

“I don’t believe I have ever seen coffee beans” the sergeant replied. “Coffee comes in a can already ground.”

“People still buy ground coffee in a can in the future, but there are all kinds of ‘designer’ coffees available as whole bean or ground. There are ’Starbucks’ coffee shops on almost every corner, with drive-through windows. Coffee is a big deal and big business in the future.”

“Coffee is rather scarce here, as most commodities with the war effort.” The sergeant explained. “I don’t understand most anything you say. Did you say ‘drive through the window’? You can drive through a window and get coffee?” The sergeant asked.

“They are really ‘drive up’ windows, where you drive your car up to a window on one side of a building, you pay the clerk for your order, and the clerk hands you the order.”

“How does the clerk know what you ordered?” Prescott asked.

“Generally, several car links before the window, there is a two-way speaker or screen on a kiosk where you place your order. “Key-osk?” Prescott interrupted. “You have the strangest words for things. What does a ‘key-osk” look like?” El thought for a few seconds. “I don’t really know how to describe it. They are like the posts that have the speakers on them at drive-in movie theaters or a TV on a pole” El looked at Prescott to see if any of his explanations made sense. “I’m trying to imagine it,” Prescott answered El’s look. “Continue with ordering coffee.” “Where was I?” El continued. “Oh yes. I think people can order coffee using apps on their mobile phones, also. Since I make my own coffee, I don’t know all the ins and outs of the coffee culture.”

“Can you get other things like food from a window in your future?” Prescott asked.

“Yes. Almost all fast-food restaurants have drive-up windows. You can get hamburgers, French fries, burritos, chicken fillets, and soft drinks from all kinds of fast-food restaurants without getting out of your car. Although, I don’t believe anything like it has been introduced yet. What year did you say it was?”

“1943!” answered Prescott. “You just listed off more words describing foods that I have never heard of. I hear you speak English, but I don’t understand much of what you say?”

Dawn was pretty in pink this morning.

41 thoughts on “Wormhole Part Two

    • The contrast would probably be much more pronounced than I’m making it. But I can only imagine so much of what it would be like. Thanks, Dawn.

    • We have a lot of clouds now. I’ll see if they clear up enough to see the moon. I hope its clear enough for the conjunction of Saturn and Mars. Thanks, Lavinia.

  1. Your story does a fantastic job showing the gap in lexicons and understanding between these two time periods. I’m enjoying it very much. Pic is beautiful too.

    • Thanks, Jeff. We would have the advantange because of old movies and a sense of history. The future is difficult to imagine much of anything outside of what you already know. That’s one reason economists say it’s so difficult for most people and computer models to predict the future and get it right.

  2. I’m heading straight for Starbucks in the morning. It’s a strange phenomenon to look back and imagine life in the past. I think it was a better time in ways. A shiver went up my spine to find us in 1943 . I’m enjoying this Timothy.

    • Enjoy your Starbucks. What do you usually order at Starbucks? Think about it. A half caf, decaf chocolate raspberry frappaccino (I assume you can get something like that) would really throw the Seargent for a loop.

      • Cappuccino with whipped cream is the best. When we were in Rome many years ago, the bar around the corner from our hostel had happy hour from 4:00 to 6:00. I was there every afternoon getting a giant cup of cappuccino for 50¢. It was Heaven.

      • That’s sounds wonderful! As a Teen age bride I was very put off by the super strong coffee in Germany. European coffee is quite different from American ( Folgers, as you know) that I was used to. Brussels coffee was even more pungent. I didn’t mind the Cognac though.

      • I never liked coffee until I figured out how to make strong coffee. When I was in Spain the Spaniards thought I was nuts because I drank my espresso black. No sugar, milk or cream. I had a student in Spain who was always tired. I told her she should drink coffee. She said she couldn’t drink coffee. When I asked why she couldn’t drink coffee she said it was because she was allergic to milk.

      • I’m not a fan of black coffee with the exception of a colada that is like an espresso with lots of sugar. Those are great for afternoon slumps. Never been to Spain but I kind of like the music 🎶

  3. TIM!!! You have had so many great posts lately, and this is another. You certainly didn’t rest on your laurels between the first and second parts here. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  4. I like where this is going. Suggestion: Maybe I missed something in Part One, but it’s not obvious to me when in time “El” traveled to. I mean, I know it’s pre-color TV, pre-microwaves, and pre-drive-thru and I’m aware that there’s a war going on, but a setting detail that tells us what year El traveled to would be really helpful. Also, while some aspects of the conversation are awesome (“You can drive through a window and get coffee?” – priceless) I’m struggling with the interest in the different roasts – coffee processing technology has changed, but hasn’t coffee also been around for a long time? Some details about how El and Seargant feel during this conversation would be helpful – is El concerned about the fact that he traveled back in time? Totally at ease? Frustrated by the number of questions from Seargeant? I really like where this is going though, Looking forward to part 3!

    • Thanks for the feedback, JYP. I appreciate it. At the end of part two, El asks what year it is and Prescott answers “1943”.

      El is not going to get too wound up about ending up in the past. He knows there’s nothing he can do about it. “Feelings?” Hmmm! Now your asking me to develop the characters. That’s a tough one. But you have legitimate concerns as the reader.

  5. Just as I was wondering what time he had “landed” in (thinking I had somehow missed it in part 1) you provide the answer! It’s amazing just how many things have been invented since that time today.
    Enjoyable part 2!

  6. Well, I see you have displayed my tree in her morning dressing gown!
    Anyway, I had to go back and remind myself of the story.
    I’m quite enjoying this tale, Tim!

  7. Wow what a story Tim, great writing. Funny how you made the things we enjoy today sound so interesting to Prescott. I loved the organ donor part. It is crazy how much we take for granted the things we get today that were not available or even heard of in the 40’s. Wow, nice work Tim. Not surprised in the least you multi-talented man you! Big hugs, Joni

  8. I’ve often wondered what people from the past would think if they were plopped down in present time. For sure, it would be confusing.
    Off to part three…

  9. This is why I like time travel stories ~ the comparisons, the ideas (and you do a great job with both with your storytelling), and then it is always the curiosity of the people in the story that end up hooking me. Also, when I speak to my nieces and nephews these days, I also say your final line “I hear you speak English, but I don’t understand much of what you say…” quite a bit 🙂

    • I hear a lot of people peaking English, but I don’t understand. I think people can say the same thing about me. Thanks, Randall.

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