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A Short Story: The Snap

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It all started when I was visiting my family for spring break. I don’t even know how it started, it just kind of happened. One second I was there, sitting on the soft sofa, and the next I wasn’t.

We had been talking about heading to the amusement park a short drive away. I had an idea for one of the rides we could bring my younger sibling on, and opened my mouth to share it with my family. A split second later, everything was gone. The sofa I was sitting on disappeared from beneath me, making me fall on my back end, and I was momentarily blinded when the brightness of the sun filled my vision.

I was stunned. Just a second before I was in a house, but then as I looked around while my eyes adjusted to the brightness, I appeared to be in the middle of nowhere. It was like something out of a science fiction movie. I just… teleported. There was no other way to explain it.

I carefully got to my feet, making sure all of me was still intact. Sure enough, I had all of my body parts and my clothes were the exact same as before other than the fact that there was sand on them.

Wait… sand? I brushed the small particles off of my pants. There were no beaches or deserts anywhere near where I lived. Wherever I was, it was far from home. But how? How did I just pop up here in the blink of an eye?

My eyes started to adjust to the brightness more, and my breath hitched in my throat as I looked at my surroundings. Hills and hills of sand stretched out as far as the eye could see. Then I saw something poking up above the top of one of the mounds and I froze up, unable to comprehend it.

It looked like the tip of a pyramid, but there was no way that could be possible. There was no way any of this could be possible. That’s it… either I finally snapped or I’m just dreaming. Hopefully the latter. With a sigh, I started making my way towards the building in the distance. I didn’t see the point in just standing there waiting for something to happen, and if it really were a dream I might as well see what it’s all about.

Climbing up the sand dune was agony. The scorching heat bared down on me the entire time, and sand isn’t exactly the easiest thing to climb up. I could feel beads of sweat on my forehead and wiped them away with the back of my hand.

Finally, I reached the top and looked down at the slope below me. It would probably be fun to roll down if I actually had an idea where I was and had gone there willingly.

I looked straight ahead and was overwhelmed at the sight before me. The pyramid was huge, a lot bigger than I thought they would seem in person. It was really an amazing sight. So… I must be in Egypt then? How the hell-

A flash of color below me caught my attention. I looked down to see a person guiding two camels along with them.

I took a deep breath and shouted out, “Excuse me! Person! Where am I?” The person continued walking as if they hadn’t heard me. “Hey! Wait!” I stumbled down the dune as fast as I could, losing my balance and falling onto my face just as I reached the base of it.

I quickly got to my feet and ran directly in front of the person, so they would have to see me. “Do you speak English? Can you tell me where I-“

I froze mid-sentence as the person still hadn’t seen me and continued to walk. I had taken a step back or two, but I needed to figure out how I had gotten here, so I mostly stood my ground. Then they walked through me.

No, I don’t mean they pushed me to the side. They walked through my body as if it were air and showed no sign of having any knowledge that I even existed.

I stood there in shock for several moments trying to comprehend what had just happened. It was yet another thing to add to the list of things happening that weren’t physically possible.

I walked back up to the stranger and waved my hand in front of their face. No reaction. They continued to walk and my hand went through their head, which sent shivers down my spine. I held my hand up to their ear and snapped.

Then everything changed again.

I blinked and the desert disappeared, pyramid, person and all. The ground rocked beneath me and I fell to my knees. The ground had turned to wood, and was rocking steadily as if I were on a ship getting pounded by waves.

I looked up and realized my hypothesis was correct. I was indeed on a ship, but not just any ship. It was an old-timey one, like you might picture pirates sailing in. There were several siloed running about the deck, hoisting sails and doing this and that. It was raining hard, with lightning lighting up the sky, yet I was completely dry. The raindrops fell through me, and no one seemed to notice I was there. It was terrifying.

That was when panic really started to settle in, and I had to continuously tell myself to keep calm and take deep breaths. I had to clear my head and figure out what was going on. I let myself sit down so I wouldn’t have to focus on staying on my feet with the ship rocking as it was. People were yelling, but I blocked all of them out and focused on my thoughts.

I snapped my fingers, and the dessert disappeared. Now I’m on a ship in a storm, but ships like this aren’t even being used anymore. Did I rip a hole in the space time continuum or something? Oh well, not important. My main goal was to find a way back home.

Maybe I had some kind of weird superpower and I could snap and change locations… or time periods it may seem. With a shaky breath, I got to my feet, prepared to try my crazy idea in an attempt to find my way back.

Before I even lifted my hand, I spotted two men talking near the front of the ship. One of them turned and looked straight at me, not through me like the other sailors had been. I froze and gave him a small wave, but he seemed to shrug it off as some kind of apparition and turned back to the person he had been talking to.

Maybe there was still hope in getting help after all. I held my breath, closed my eyes, and snapped my fingers again.

The sounds from the storm and waves immediately ceased. I slowly opened my eyes to discover I was in what appeared to be a forest or a jungle. I started looking around for any indication of what time period I might have ended up in now.

A loud road answered the question for me. It shook the ground, and I slowly turned to see a giant reptile towering above me. A… a dinosaur…? I felt myself freeze up yet again.

The beast was headed straight towards me, and I momentarily forget I was most likely invisible to it. I panicked, and the only thing I could think of doing was snapping again. So I did.

This time I found myself in a grassy field, like a prairie. It extended farther than I could see. I heard a horse neigh nearby, and turned to see teepees with colorful markings and people riding horses in my direction. Instinct took over and I jogged out of their way, and they rode past without so much as a glance back.

The sound of gunshots echoed out, and I saw a second group of horse riders headed for the Native Americans. Gunshots meant I was closer to my goal, but I knew it wasn’t close enough yet. So I snapped again and braced myself.

The next transition had to be the strangest yet. Huge skyscrapers touched the sky overhead, and the highways were built like bridges. Several cars were speeding down them, but they weren’t normal cars. They hovered right above the road, never touching down. Hundreds of people walked along the streets nearby, all going about their business.

Is this… the future…? I turned to see what was behind me when I saw two tall, muscular people wearing suits. It wasn’t what they looked like that took me off guard. It was the fact that they were staring straight at me.

“Y-you can see me?!” I felt a spark of hope ignite inside of me. “Oh thank goodness, I have no idea where I am and-“

“Come with us,” one of them said as the second person grabbed onto me. “You know what you did.” They pinned my arms behind me and handcuffed them tightly, to where I could barely move my wrists without bruising them on the metal. Each person held onto one of my arms and started leading me down the street to an unknown location.

“Wait, w-what’s going on?!” I demanded. I asked repeatedly, but never received a direct answer. I don’t know what I did back there, I doubt I ever will understand how it happened, but it was something that these people didn’t like one bit.

© 2021 L Ryder