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Justin Campbell Justin Campbell
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'Sunglasses, Time-Travel, & Iced-Tea' Part 4

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Under the Double Star - Chapter One

4.– Jason

I had never been a fan of the more thrilling rides at amusement parks before, and the ride I’d just been taken on was no different. I should have realized what had been in store for me before jumping into what led to this situation, but I didn’t, which was uncharacteristic of me.

After John Wharton had activated the machine, I had suddenly been forced about in this whirlwind of scenes and places – a scene of a garden home on Meadowlands Drive, which had been my childhood home for thirteen years, another scene of myself, my mother and father getting a photo taken in a parking lot when I was six, a scene of Fisher Glen High School, my alma mater, and, most shockingly, scenes of my first ex-girlfriend, Mae, studying in a classroom at her school in Edmonton, plus a scene of my uncle James in Calgary . Not to mention my two old friends, Alanna and Shirley, meeting up for coffee at some place I didn’t recognize.

I’d woken up in a field with Paul Simon singing ‘You Can Call Me Al’ in my ears. It was all ridiculously messed up.

Leonard stood in a central point to us, asking questions and wondering where we were. We seemed to be in a green pasture of some sort, though it wasn’t that recognizable. I had no idea how much time had passed, and since The Johns had both talked about temporal displacement, I was beginning to wonder if the night we’d slept here was really the night after the day we’d watched Greg practice his skateboarding. Had we skipped across time? I didn’t know.

Then there was the fact that not just me, but everyone else, had woken up with a song playing in their heads. What did it all mean? Thank god the song played once, then faded away without restarting.

“I wonder if it had anything to do with the loophole we used,” John mused.

“Well what kind of loophole did you use, how did you find it?” Leonard asked.

John thought about that for a second. “That’s a tricky one. Essentially, it was something to do with particle reactions mixing with target areas of both the place and time of the destination, and the traveller.”

“Perhaps,” I suggested, “the target areas included the emotional and memory centres of the brain or something.”

“Maybe,” John countered thoughtfully. “Anyway, we need to get out of here. I’m going to text Wharton.”
“Good idea,” Brian said.

“Next time, I’d consult Imad,” I said, thinking of a co-worker who has a degree in engineering.

Then, suddenly, someone from behind us called out our attention. We turned around and saw a tall, thin man striding towards us. He was wearing a straw hat and black slacks, with a dark-brown button-up collared shirt. As he came closer, I recognized him – shockingly – as my childhood friend, Duncan.

“Duncan!” I yelled. “What are you doing here?”

“Excuse me?” he asked in surprise. “Who are you? And what are you doing sleeping in my pasture?”

“What? Your pasture? You don’t own a pasture!”

“Yes I do, this is my property. I want you to leave now, before I call the police.”

“How can you do that? I’m your friend!”

“How can I be your friend, guy, I have no idea who you are and I’ve never seen you before. Get moving, all of you.”

I was dumbfounded. I’ve known Duncan for over ten years. In all that time, he has never owned a pasture or threatened me with the police.

Leonard said, “Can you please tell us where we are? Is there a road nearby?”

“Damn hippies,” Duncan muttered. “Haven’t you got a brain in your head? Of course there’s a road nearby.

It’s that way.” He pointed east. “Now off you go.”

Feeling lost and like idiots who didn’t understand anything at all, we started walking toward the direction of the road, where I could already faintly hear the soft noise of wheels on the asphalt.

“What road is that,” Brian inquired.

“Highway 16,” Duncan responded sourly. “I don’t know what all of you got into, but trespassing is against the law around here. You can’t just mindlessly wander into someone’s pasture and use it as a place to pass out, smoking weed. You hippies went out of fashion ten years ago!”

“I thought hippie demonstrations had largely ended by the early 70s,” Brian wondered. “But I probably have that wrong.”

“No, you don’t,” Leonard said. “While I’m sure they still exist, I’m to believe the summer of love took place in 1967.”

“Then why,” I suddenly realized, “did you say they went out of fashion ten years ago? It’s 2012, not 1977.”

“You guys really tripped out, didn’t you?” said the guy I thought was Duncan. “You should know better than that at your age, Christ. Do you really think you’re living in 2012!? That's thirty-four years from now!”

“Excuse me?” John said. We all stopped.

“Excuse you,” the Duncan look-a-like pointed out. “Don’t excuse me when it was you who was sleeping in my pasture. What is the world coming to?” He gestured towards the road. “Come on, I don’t have all day.”

“What year is this,” John said urgently. As ‘Duncan’ gave us yet another look of both disdain and incredulity, we started walking again.

“What a bunch of idiots. You would know full-well that it’s 1978 if you participated in this rational thing we call reality.”

I stared at him. Everyone stopped, except Brian, who strolled ahead before the man’s words sunk in, at which point he stopped as well.

‘Duncan’ stared back at us, then scoffed. “Get out of here! I swear, you bunch are the most thick-headed people I’ve ever come across!” He knocked on his head mockingly. “Clue in to reality, people! You’re standing in my pasture in '78, and if I remember the rules of the time, it’s called trespassing!”

All of us dashed towards the road.

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