Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Write for the FANTASY and/or SCI FI Genre (10/16/14)
- TITLE: Beaming Mathilda
By Milly Born
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Matilda chuckled as she hobbled to the driverless taxi. "CRAT," she said into the receiver. Suppressing a moan as pain shot from her back to her right leg, she sat down and waited for the mask on sign to be switched off. With a sigh of relief, she removed the air-purifying respirator and smoothed her grey coiffure.
CRAT spent years searching ways to reduce the environmental impact of transport, but every vehicle they invented created more pollution. Until now.
Matilda had always been a Star Trek fan. Her imagination ran wild when, about twenty-five years ago, “beaming up” became reality; information in subatomic particles had been teleported over a distance of ten feet.* New technologies pushed beyond what was considered possible—she followed the developments with fiery interest.
As soon as the CRAT lottery was announced, she bought a ticket.
When she claimed her prize, everyone asked, "You'll be the first person to be teleported—aren't you afraid to die?" She answered, "No. The monkeys returned alive, didn't they?"
Not that she had anything to lose. Henry, the love of her life, had died some years ago, as had most of her friends. She had no children.
At first, she had some doubts, so she prayed for guidance. Although any public display of faith, including religious meetings, had been prohibited for more than ten years, Matilda still clung to her Lord. He answered through His Book, “Come up here”.
She had been at CRAT yesterday, rehearsing procedures, signing waivers. The main concern was that no one was sure of the destination. CRAT hoped that Matilda could provide details upon her return.
The taxi stopped in front of the research center. A giant virtual poster covered the building’s façade, picturing her face above her nickname, “Beaming Matilda.”
Ignoring the countless cameras, she limped to the entrance.
She felt her body tingling. Then all went black.
When she awoke, it was still dark. Had she gone blind? I wish there was light.
The next moment, she found herself amid lush trees, a sparkling pond with pink water lilies, and a wooden bridge. She recognized the scenery immediately. Countless hours had she gazed at Monet’s Nymphéas in the Orsay Museum in Paris, drinking in the hallucinating beauty of his paintings. Now she was in one.
The sweet tones of a piano ballad caressed her ears. Chopin. Henry and she had often enjoyed his music while relaxing in their orangery, savoring a cappuccino.
The aroma of freshly brewed coffee reached her nose, and she looked around to locate its source.
She gasped. "Henry?"
The man smiled and handed her a cup of steaming coffee. When she realized who He was, she almost dropped the cup.
"Am I dead, Lord?"
He smiled. "You are alive. But you have not come to another place—this is a different dimension. The Kingdom dimension."
"You mean...all people can be teleported into Your Kingdom?"
"No. Scientists think they know everything, but in your dimension, you can only know in part. Many things need faith. Here is the Kingdom in its fullness, where those who delight in Me find the desires of their hearts." His face sobered. "Those who deny Me go elsewhere."
"Can I stay here, Lord?"
"No, I need you to go back. Although you won't remember meeting Me, your faith will be stronger than ever. I will bring you before rulers and kings and speak through you."
To her dismay, her vision blurred; His voice faded—she felt her body tingling again.
“Look at her face. It's beaming!”
“Is she radioactive?”
“Get the Geiger counter!"
Startled by the frantic voices, she opened her eyes.
"Are you okay, Matilda?"
"Never been better." She stretched her body, her pains gone. "I feel like a young girl."
"Matilda, can you describe where have you been?"
She wrinkled her forehead. "Well…I know it was as good as heaven…but I don't seem to remember the details.”
A phone rang. Its owner, wide-eyed, gave it to her and whispered, “It’s the President. He asks for you.”
For a moment, Matilda just stared at the phone in her hand. Then she felt a gentle nudge inside.
She cleared her throat. "Mr. President, good morning."
This article refers to the following Bible verses (ESV): Revelation 4:1; 1Corinthians 13:9; Psalm 37:4; Matthew 10:18-20.
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