Every few weeks I shall post a free read here – either a chapter of one of my books or a short story.
April’s free read is the first part of a short story from my latest book – TimeLabs Inc
by L.V. Lloyd
Copyright LV Lloyd 2017
“Welcome, Mr Reese and Mr Connor… I trust your special day was all that it was cracked up to be? And what better way to compliment your union than with a honeymoon across time, eh? We here at TimeLabs are the premier time travel company and our guides are highly trained. Anything you want, anywhere you want to go… The possibilities are very nearly endless…”
Sam tuned out the mellifluous voice as he stared wide-eyed at the ever changing holograms around him. He had always wanted to take a Time Tour, but even the shortest one had always been beyond his reach. Until now. Until he married Zak. Not only was Zak the most gorgeous man he had ever met, but he was rich. How lucky could you get? He still found himself wondering occasionally what Zak saw in him.
“This week’s Special Offer is our Six Pack.” Sam’s attention was drawn back to the salesman’s pitch. Six pack? He smiled secretly—Zak had a pretty good six pack but he didn’t think that was what the salesman meant.
“You can create an individually tailored time journey, from six different periods. The options are fixed but we do have quite a wide variety for you to choose from. You can make up your own package. There’s a thirty percent discount, so you get six for the normal price of four.”
Sam’s face lit up with excitement. He turned to Zak. “What do you think? Six periods would be pretty amazing, wouldn’t they?”
Zak smiled at his enthusiasm. “Can we have a look at the options?” he asked the salesman.
“Of course, sir,” beamed the salesman. He waved a hand and the holograms changed to a prehistoric scene. “Here is the first period, sir. We have five options here, ranging from early human civilisation, where people began to wear clothes, to around the end of the last ice age, which saw the end of the mammoths and sabre-tooth tigers. A very exciting time I might say.”
Zak put his arm around Sam’s waist as the salesman continued to show them the time periods on offer. “What do you think?”
Sam’s eyes were still fixed on the display, “Wow, the first Olympics! How cool would that be?”
“I think that’s a ‘yes’,” smiled Zak. “We’ll take the Six Pack, please.”
An hour later, they had their package. Day One, they would travel to 170,000 BC‒the furthest back they could go. Day Two, would be spent at the very first Olympics. “You just want to perve at all the naked men,” teased Zak. Sam blushed. Then, on to almost modern times with 1174 and the defeat of William the First of Scotland at the battle of Alnwick. Zak hadn’t been so sure about that one but Sam could remember an old film called Braveheart and he thought it was the same thing. Day Four would find them in 1783, witnessing the eruption of the Laki volcano in Iceland—or at least, the beginning of it, as the eruption lasted for over eight months.
Zak was looking forward to Day Five when he hoped to meet Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein. And finally they would end up in 1962 where they both wanted to catch a glimpse of Marilyn Monroe. Zak wanted to arrive on the fifth of August so he could discover the truth about her death but Sam was eager to attend the party where she sang for the President. In the end, Sam got his way and then they were ready to go.
The salesman beamed. “If you’ll follow me, gentlemen, I’ll introduce you to Marcella, your guide, and she’ll take you from there. The package includes transport in one of our luxury time machines, complete with five star meals and beverages, plus the latest in light-bending suits for you to wear when you leave the machine.” Sam and Zak followed him down the passage until they came to a closed door. The salesman opened it with a flourish.
Although the room was lined with shelves piled high with colourful packs, the couple’s eyes were drawn immediately to the large blue box in the middle of the floor. A young woman stood nearby.
“Ah, here is Marcella, with your time machine,” said the salesman.
The fit looking young woman with a shaved head ran a professional eye over both her new charges. “Welcome to TimeLabs Guided Tours, gentlemen,” she said. “I’ll be your guide for the next week. Please call me Marcella.” She glanced at the time machine and smiled. “And by the way, it’s bigger on the inside.”
The salesman shook Sam and Zak by the hand. “I’ll leave you now in Marcella’s capable hands. I’ll see you again in a week, when you return. Enjoy!”