Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Doorway to Heaven

The TSA has released details today on an experimental form of travel that it plans to implement in the next 12 months. TSA spokesman states, "Since the collapse of the internet in 2010 and telecommunications soon to follow, our global presence has all but disappeared and communication has been reduced to letters and face-to-face communication. We have no choice but to fast track this project. We are now looking for volunteers to help secure final approval."

The sweat dripped slowly down his unshaven face. The line was moving a little more quickly now and Elliot's stomach seemed to churn at the same pace. He glanced down at this ticket, number 876. The news stories that had flooded the media in the last week played again in his mind as he ran the three numbers through his mind and the possible finality that lay within them.

"This is Laura Jennings reporting from what some are calling the Doorway to Heaven. Heaven or hell, are you willing to glance at the possible doorway to your demise? That is what this once highly sought after technology has proven to be for some very unlucky travelers. The odds are simple, one in a thousand."

Elliot took another step forward. Was this deal really worth the risk? Did he really have a choice? He could have driven but with the price of gas now reaching $100 a gallon, neither he nor his company could afford it. And with the government imposed moratorium on all air travel there was only one choice left, Alternative Travel. So now here he was, number 876, standing and waiting for either the most amazing experience of his life or his final one. Reaching for his wallet to take yet another look at the photos of his wife and son, Elliot's mind drifted back to his home, back to his room, back to his bed, back to his wife.

"Number 873, please step forward."

Three more people to go. His odds were decreasing with every successful trip. The news stories echoed in his mind once again.

"The death toll now reaches 100. One hundred people, now dead. Is the trip worth it? I am here onsite at Alternative Travel, Inc standing in line with many people that seem to think so. With more than a thousand people in line, it is clear that despite numerous warnings from the government and the fact that one person in line will die, the crowd still gathers. One in every one thousand fail to complete the transition phase and will find themselves facing whatever is on that great other side. I have asked several people waiting what is their motivation and the answer has been a simple one, it's my job. Seeking that next deal, meeting with clients, or maybe even looking for a better opportunity, the end reason always is a job. I do believe that some are here for other reasons, too – but I haven't found any. We have reached number 678 in line and number 678 is about to take the trip. OH MY GOD! The sight is horrible! I have never seen anything like this. It is as if her body just dissolved into drops of blood and tissue. Are you fucking seeing this, this is barbaric! But the people don't even flinch. And now the count starts all over and the odds are back in their favor. I think I even see smiles on some of their faces. I have to get away from this creep show. This has been Laura Jennings with E666 News."

Number 876, please step forward. Elliot stepped onto the glass disc. A nice looking brunette with her dress just a little too high and her blouse just a little too low handed him a clipboard.

"Please sign here indicating your full understanding of the risks involved." She handed him a pen. His hand was shaking, but he signed. She flipped the page. "Please sign here waiving all rights to any kind of legal action form either you or your family should anything happen during your trip." Again he signed. "And lastly, please remove all of your clothes and place them inside the bin next to you." Elliot unbuttoned his shirt and took off his shoes. He slid his pants down and took off his boxers. There he was standing there in front of over a thousand people, naked except for his socks. He bent over and removed those, as well and turned around to face the glass wall before him. A mist sprayed over him cleaning his body of any potential bacteria or germs that could hinder the transition phase. He turned back around and a glass tube descended over him. If all went well, he would be instantaneously transported to his destination. Two speakers located over his head spoke. "Where are you headed today, sir?" It sounded almost casual and completely void of any emotion. "I am headed to sector 687." There was a pause and he heard almost what sounded like a moment of recognition from the voice on the other side. We will start the ten second countdown in 1-2-3. Ten, nine, eight – Elliot's heart began to beat wildly. He suddenly panicked. He thought of everything and nothing. "No!" He screamed. "Get me out!" He pounded the glass tube but no one responded – Five-Four-Three. "Please, he begged almost sobbing now. Two –One! A light flashed and the tube shook slightly.

"Number one, please step forward."

Submitted by Dan

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