Ten seconds

Ten seconds. Nine seconds.

There was silence in a room, broken only by the noise of the running machine. Jason glanced at himself in the mirror, zipping up his protective clothing. He drew a wavering breath and tried to calm down, but his trembling hands betrayed his nervousness. The room in which he was staying contained the most advanced equipment in the world. Suddenly, the enormous machine made the sound like “di—di—di” which gave him a fright. He returned to the seat in a hurry and strapped himself in.

Eight seconds. Seven seconds.

He looked at the clock on the wall and was gradually lost in thought. Ten days ago, he was chosen to participate in a secret program called “Return to the Past”.  Scientists in this program devoted themselves to finding a way to go back in Time. After years of work, they built the machine. If the multi-billion-dollar program becomes successful, he will become the first man in the world who can be transported back in time. A smile touched the corners of his lips at the idea.

Six seconds. Five seconds.

His eyes fixed on the machine again. These experts told him it was dangerous, because the process of going back requires a lot of energy. They were not sure about whether the machine could run properly. What’s more, going back is a painful process. He was deeply worried about his tolerance. Anyway, there wouldn’t be a chance for any do-overs. The laboratory was locked one hour ago, and other experts were waiting outside. It would only open at the end of the experiment.

Three seconds. Two seconds.

He closed his eyes in fear and prayed. At this moment, his whole life experience passes like a movie in front of his inner eye, in great detail, in a split second. He thought of his family and his friends. Everything happy, sad, excited, or upset he had experienced almost reduced him to tears.

The last second. Time’s up!

At this time, his whole world was surprisingly quiet. The enormous machine began to work. Then suddenly, he gave a low, choking moan and began to tremble violently. Through the nausea and dizziness, he struggled to get free. Actually, he failed. A white light flashed, he fainted.

For a timeless time, he woke up. He was happily surprised to find himself alive and well, indeed without even the smallest scratch on his body. He didn’t know whether the experiment was successful or not. The only thing he wanted to do was to get out. Unfortunately, he couldn’t open the door. Suddenly, he was quiet. He turned back slowly to look at the clock. It was ten seconds ago. The experiment was successful. It made everything go back ten seconds ago. That meant he had gone back to the beginning of the experiment. The thing that really scared him was that the machine was still working. He would suffer the same pain he went through ten seconds ago again and again until the energy is used up.

 “Oh! No!” He cried despairingly.


Sharon  丁含章