Ethan sprinted around the corner, slipping on the gravel as he bolted. As he fell, his knee and elbow both copped a battering. There was no time to dust himself off, and no time to lose. If his two assailants were to catch up with him, his life would surely be over—these two mean business.
Finding his feet, Ethan ran for his life. He knew there was a tunnel under the roadway somewhere along this street. But they were so close, and it became increasingly evident that Ethan was on the losing side. Nevertheless, he jumped the fence at around the place he thought the tunnel would be located. He slid down the dusty concrete embankment grazing the other leg as he did. There it was, the tunnel. With everything he could muster, Ethan ran for his life. Pushing hard with the trailing leg as his leading foot found its ground. As he peered down to the end of the tunnel, it was surprisingly dark, and he couldn’t see the other exit. This is not how he remembered this tunnel. With just the faintest light and as his eyes adjusted quickly from all the adrenaline surging through his body, he could barely see that there was no exit. This tunnel was sealed with a wall. A dead end. The end of the road.
“Oh, Shit!” Was pretty much the only words his mind could find as the panic set in.
As he turned to face his assailants, and weigh up the likely hood that he could fight his way out of this, he remembered why he was in this mess in the first place.
Earlier that day, Ethan visited a local watch repair shop when the horologist made him an offer. A substantial sum of money to look after a timepiece that the horologist described as “precious”. All Ethan had to do was keep this watch safe until the horologist was ready.
“Easy money and a simple task,” Ethan thought to himself.
The horologist gave him the timepiece, a small bronze ball, about two centimetres in diameter. It opened up into two, half-hemispheres, one of which contains what looked like a clock’s workings with one single hand slowly moving in a clockwise direction. On the inside of the other hemisphere was a single raised sterling silver button. He warned Ethan that whatever he did, not to press that button. This is a magical timepiece that will transport the person that presses that button through time and space. Anywhere at any time.
Of course, Ethan knew this was codswallop. However, the watchmaker was so adamant that he was willing to go along with it. What harm could it do? Who was going to get hurt? And the pay was good.
It would appear that the horologist wasn’t the only one who believed in its magical powers. Ethan realised his assailants also believed in the artefact’s magical powers, and it also appeared they would stop at nothing to get their hands on it.
Ethan looked at his assailants closing in on him, they were close now. He quickly weighed up his options, and for a brief moment, he started to wonder about the power of this magical timepiece. Reaching into his pocket where earlier he had placed the watch. Ethan pulled it out, opened it, and wished as hard as possible as he pressed the button.
Suddenly, he was freezing. When he opened his eyes, and with just enough time to look around and comprehend. Ethan realised that he was suspended in nothing. His lungs began to expand, and he could feel oedema in his limbs as his cells also grew from the lack of air pressure. He gasped for breath, but it was a pointless effort. Ethan had found himself in the vacuum of space and in less than two minutes, he would be dead.
Where else did you think he would end up?