Traveling through time was always a tricky thing. For a long time everyone said it was impossible. Then the scientists came out and said they found out how. They asked for volunteers, to test the effects on people, I signed up immediately. I mean come on. Who wouldn’t? Everyone has dreamed of traveling through time at one point or another, for me that was a huge fantasy of mine, I grew up as a fan of the Back to the Future movies, so time traveling looked awesome. But, if there’s one thing anyone who’s ever seen a time traveling movie knows, it’s that you have to be careful, small actions can cause ripple effects though time and something can get seriously messed up. Anyway I signed up for it; they did a lot of tests before we got to the actual time traveling. Physicals, blood tests, so many more tests, endless it seemed. Days of testing, after all the tests I was approved, millions of people sign up and I was one of 30 people to get chosen, probably because I had little family, just my dad and one sister. We signed paperwork sating we couldn’t sue in the event something goes wrong, blah blah blah, we were told that in the event if something did go wrong our family would get an insurance payment. I didn’t care I just want to time travel, inside I was like a happy little kid on Christmas. Time travel, it’s been my dream. A dream I’ve held on to since I was 8 years old. It was going to be amazing.
There’s one thing you need to know about time travel, that no matter how magical and amazing the thought of it is, you have to remember one thing; it is the single most terrifying thing you will ever go through. They took us into a room, a completely dark room and told us to wait. We waited, we waited for what I could of sworn was hours, but I don’t know because they took our watches and cell phones, anything that was electronic or used batteries would be completely destroyed they said. So we waited and waited and waited. Then suddenly, this time ball of light, no bigger than the tip of my pinkie finger, appeared in the middle of the room. They told us it would happen, but no of us were prepared for how suddenly it happened. It wasn’t there one moment and then the next, POOF!; there it was. The light grew bigger and brighter. It blinded all of us so naturally, we turned around. The light slowly crept up on us, slid past us until the whole room was enveloped in it. Then all of a sudden, you’re not in that room anymore your somewhere else, like a void. It’s completely white all around you and it’s just you, no one else, just you, and it is the most painful thing I’ve ever felt. It feels like everyone of your limbs is being stretched and yanked on. Your stretched, like people shouldn’t stretched, until your stretched body fills the entire void as far as you can see; and then you’re gone.
Screaming. That was the first thing I heard when I came into consciousness. I opened my eyes slowly and immediately shut them due to the intense light. After a few seconds I slowly opened them again, squinting against the intense light, sunlight I thought, and saw a figure rolling on the ground a few feet away, obviously in terrible pain. I crawl my way towards the strange person, realizing from the brown shirt, on which I could barely make out an Aerosmith label, that it was one of the men from the test. I reach him and grab on to him telling him it was going to be ok, but no words came out, just a grunt. Confused I tried again and still no words, but this time I realized what was wrong. I reached in my mouth hoping to feel the familiar squishy pink thing that helped me pronounce, but there was nothing there. Panicking I freaked out for a moment, mourning the loss of this important, but unloved up until now, tool before trying to help the screaming man again. I turned him over and held him down and flinched in horror at the sight of him. He was missing half of his face, like it was scooped clean out by a giant ice cream scoop. I could see the inside of his skull and blood was gushing out, I didn’t know what to do. I watched as that man, whose name I didn’t remember and still to this day do not know, bled to death in front of me. I sat in stunned silence before getting up and slowly walking away, not knowing what else to do. An hour, that’s how much time they said we had before we got sucked back into the present, or I guess it was technically the future at that point. The only things that would get sucked back were us and any items we were holding at the time, as long as that item wasn’t electronic, and people couldn’t come back. I walked through a field, just a plain boring field, for about 10 minutes until I came across a small town. I walked through the town to the single gas station and got a newspaper out of one of the free newspaper stands they have. Front page: October 2, 1998. Holy hell…it worked. At that moment I felt it again, that horrible agonizing pulling and found myself back in the featureless white void. Then it was over, and I felt the cold floor on my face. A light turned on, I was back in the room, everyone was dead, except for me. I clutched onto the newspaper.
People ask me if I would do it again, and without ever thinking about it I always say yes. My name is Jonathan Britten, I am 28 years old, I was born in Chicago, Illinois and I am a time traveler. How many people can honestly say that?