Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: The United Kingdom (01/22/09)
TITLE: Regretful discovery
By Charlie Comerford
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“Lords and Ladies, beggars and peasants, I thank you all for coming here on this momentous occasion. How fitting that our great nation, which has been the spearhead of modern society for generations, is now leading the world into a place no man has ever dwelled… well at least not yet anyway! And so I bid you farewell - as I travel over 100 years into the future.”
The crowd roars while Huthbert climbs into his invention. Thoughts begin to flutter through his mind as he expertly fiddles with the many buttons, switches and levers: ‘I wonder what kinds of incredible things I’ll see… how far will we have progressed in the ways of science… how much more of the world will we have claimed as our own… perhaps Our Lord God will have already come and gone…’ As his mind races the sounds of puffing steam and grinding metal fill his ears, and with a resounding WHAM! he is hurtled into a realm of blinding light…
He feels a powerful force that makes his skin pull hard against his bones, for a horrifying moment he thinks his flesh might tear off his face; until suddenly, with a loud CLANK! the pod comes to an abrupt stop. The Professor’s head and his invention rattle in sync for a good while before reality begins to settle in. “Has it really worked? Where am I? Am I in the future?” The Professor’s mind whirls as he struggles to open the door. And as the light from outside flashes into the pod, Huthbert is not prepared for what he sees…
His mouth hangs open as he surveys his surrounding. Structures that are as complex as they are enormous stretch out for hundreds of yards in front of him, and in the middle of the streets strange objects carrying handfuls of people whoosh past him at impossible speeds. Ideas that he knows he could never achieve in his own time were now being exhibited right before his very eyes. ‘Magnificent’ he thinks.
Unable to contain his joy any longer he triumphantly leaps out of his pod and grandly introduces himself to his gathering audience: “Greetings! I am Professor Kevin Huthbert, I have come from the past to witness the wonders of the future!”. He looks around and gradually becomes aware that despite there being a large number of people, no-one is paying him any notice. ‘How bizarre‘, he thinks to himself. ‘Surely my very presence should astound them?’. Puzzled, he begins to explore the now foreign land.
Several hours pass.
Professor Kevin Huthbert, a man whose mind is usually more than capable of processing vast amounts of information, now finds himself clawing onto his last few threads of sanity. “This is what has become of our Nation!? A pacifistic, mundane, obese island of underachievers!? Where’s the ambition? Where’s the pride? Where’s the sense of purpose? We were once a land that thrived and led as an example to others. Now we’re a dry, withering land not fit for a Queen to lead it - and apparently she doesn’t! I simply can’t stand another second of it!”
And with that the Professor goes back to his own time, where Great Britain still remains a place where greatness lives in abundance. Upon his return the local press gathers around him, dying to hear of his adventures in the future: “Professor! Tell us all about what you discovered?”. Huthbert doesn’t raise his head, he simply murmurs: “I have nothing to say. The experiment was a complete failure.”
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