Out of Time: A Time Travel Novel Chapter Excerpt
Copyright 2008 Cliff Ball
They had to escape from this period in time. The people they were visiting in the 1600’s thought they were witches and the spawn of the devil. Historians had warned the schoolteacher about visiting Salem, Massachusetts, during the Salem Witch Trials, especially with a dozen twelve year olds in her care. The teacher had Doctor John Hawking and Captain Erickson with the class, but the villagers were chasing after them, and there was no way to get to the shuttle without significantly changing history. Through the Interactive History program, Mrs. Hanson only wanted to show her class what made these particular Puritans so paranoid, and what happens to people when they were accused of witchcraft. Well, they got more than they bargained for.
Hawking was loudly complaining, “This is stupid. We should have had a military backup when we go to these particular time periods. With all the threats to us from the Puritans and the Native Americans, neither of which tolerate strangers on their lands, we’re in constant danger. I’m going to file a protest with the President, and insist we get some military backing,”
“What about interfering with time by bringing advanced weapons, armor, and everything involved with a military operation?” asked Erickson.
“We have the technology to make our weapons appear to be muskets, so why not? We can then have the soldiers wear whatever uniforms from whatever time we’re in, and that will solve that!” insisted Hawking.
“Well, let’s worry about that when we get back.”
After leading the witch-hunters through the forest for over an hour, the time travelers managed to finally lose them. The school kids thought this was cool, while their teacher was frantic. Erickson led them all back to the holographically disguised shuttle, which was disguised to look like a small house. Once they were back inside, and everyone was accounted for, Erickson piloted the shuttle back to the USS Einstein, which was waiting in orbit. On the ship, Mrs. Hanson and her class went to the room that was a temporary classroom, while Hawking and Erickson went to the bridge. On the bridge, Erickson was asked by Yeager, “How did it go, Captain?”
“It didn’t go well. One of the villagers got it into her head that we were more than just strangers, so we were accused of witchcraft. Mrs. Hanson tried to argue that we weren’t witches, which made them even angrier, especially since it was a woman who was arguing with them. So, within minutes we had the whole angry-mob-with-fire-and-pitchforks coming after us. After our little disappearance, we might as well be witches to them. Remind me never to let any historian or schoolteachers convince us to let them travel to Salem of the 1690’s. Now, we can return home and see what other adventures we have in-store for us.”