When All the World Dissolves
by Jeff Baker
Danny stood and stared at the ocean, the sand under his sneakers the old wooden school desk a few feet away.
Where am I now, he wondered.
He shook his head. He’d been hired to clean out the old storeroom at the top floor of the old warehouse. That’s where he’d found the old desk. He’d seen pictures of them, right down to the hole at front where a student could put an inkwell or in more modern times, a cup with pens and pencils. Hed been full of nostalgia and had managed to squeeze into the desk, six-foot-two, twenty-five years old wasn’t too big and he’d been reading the names scrawled into the desk and wishing he was somewhere other than working a nowhere job that had been nothing like what he wanted to do when there was a rush of air and the room seemed to blur and swirl around him and there was a feeling of forward motion and suddenly he had been just outside the city but it was midday not early morning.
He had about freaked and had slapped himself in the face. Not dreaming. It hit him suddenly that the desk might have something to do with. He sat down again and for an instant thought of wishing he was back at the warehouse. Then he had another thought. If this wasn’t a dream or even if it was he wasn’t going to just go back. But forward.
He thought of a beach and wished. Hard.
The world had dissolved and he’d been on the beach.
He stared. It wasn’t dusk yet. Where was this beach? Was he traveling in time as well as space? He looked upward, relieved to see a jet, not a pterodactyl.
He was on the opposite coast. Probably in the present. Probably. He could test that, sit in the desk and try to go back to 1776 in Philadelphia or something.
He thought some more. Where was somewhere he really wanted to go? Norway, to see the Northern Lights? No, he hadn’t brought a jacket. London? No, it was probably after midnight there and he didn’t have any money.
But there were places he wouldn’t need money. Someplace to start out small.
He smiled. He knew exactly where he wanted to go.
(Note: Title is a quote from Christopher Marlowe.—–jeff b.)