The Trick Box: A Short Prose

180410120009/C

Summary: Time travelling is easier said than done.

Ever since I was a kid, I would travel to the Earth whenever I felt blue to freshen up my mood. Drifting above vast rice fields, dense forests, and rows of ragged peaked mountains never failed in making me feel better. Even though the sceneries were exquisite, my nose could only smell the damp cold air of my bedroom. The same thing applied for my body; I flew but I didn’t feel winds blew against my face, nor did I feel anything when I rubbed my face on a cactus. People call it time travelling but it is more like sightseeing. It is partly true that we go back in time a thousand years, but it is just the Trick Box creating images in our head. Creating the likeness of the Earth mankind left a long time ago. The place many of us long to be in; the place where we would be able to see a blue sky overhead instead of a dull colored metal ceiling.

The salvaged historical documents and ancient human remains provided information concerning the Earth only as far as 2004. Hence people can only travel there that far and no more. To make the travelling to the more ancient Earth possible means finding out more information about it which is currently carried on by historians and common people alike. There have been no significant findings for the last 20 years due to the fact that we cannot lift even a single scrap of paper; had it been possible, we would fly straight to a bookstore and read all we like and provide the scientists with as much information as necessary. Fortunately, when people began to lose hope, an unexpected development of the Trick Box was made. The nonexistence of sound exists no longer. Because now eavesdropping is possible, gathering information in order to construct the artificial Earth further back into the past would be a deal easier.

What queer is that although the Earth is created inside of the Trick Box users’ head by manipulating nerve cells, each inhabitant in the artificial world does have a consciousness. We could watch them make oral movements but we could not hear anything. It gives off the feeling that everything in that world is almost like how everything was in 2004. The government, each time they were asked to explain why such a thing even possible, never came up with a satisfying answer. I daresay that something very wrong is going on. People get curious and it leads to fear but the prospect of going back in time is too tempting to be ignored just because a thing or two is left unexplained. And for some people, this mysteriousness becomes their reason to put the Trick Box on their head and go on a journey. Why? It is because the government rewards heftily those who are able to collect valuable information.

As for me, visiting the Earth has never been a serious thing to do. My purpose is always either to relieve some stress or to slack off where nobody will scold me but even so my mother would shake my body and drag me back to reality if I stayed there for too long.

A fortnight ago, I had a talk with my father. He said now is the time I make a better use of the Trick Box, and as befit a university student, going back in time must be no longer just for fun but more academic. Not only I would learn many things, I would be earning cash if I am lucky enough to stumble upon some important information. He also mentioned that my ancestors lived in an archipelago called Indonesia. He suggested that I would be better to start finding out what happened to them before doing anything else for it would not be too boring if the thing I am doing is closely related to me.

As it happens, I have been wandering around Indonesia ever since the first time I put on the T-Box and am constantly drawn by some invincible thread towards a ten year old boy whose head emanated a soft bright light. I wonder who he is, and I have this strong feeling that he could be somehow related to me. This morning, I decided to test out the T-Box for the first time since the sound update was made. Right after I logged in, I was dazed by the sudden waves of so many different sounds that came from every direction. Trees rustling, birds chirping, winds gushing, people speaking, and more. My heart thumped very hard and fast from excitement. I took a walk around the neighborhood and then I heard a smack. Two smacks. Three smacks. When I went behind a wall from which the sounds were coming I saw the shining kid got smacked by a man.

To be continued.

Thank you to Irfan Reza Hardiansyah, Ronald Taufik Hidayat, and Muhammad Rizky Harahap for constantly giving me indirect reminders that the deadline drew near by reciting your poems loudly, writing right in front of my face when I was slacking off, and showering me with “have you finished it yet?”.

Word count: (811)

Link for work dramatization.

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2 thoughts on “The Trick Box: A Short Prose

  1. 180410110128/C

    The concept of time travelling is very interesting because time travelling is not exclusive, like some other time travel stories, but most people can time travel too by using the trick box (correct me if I wrong). The way the government pay time traveler if they gather information yet they are hiding something about the trick box seems like an important point in this story yet it is not mentioned again after that. Maybe it is because word limit that you must cut your works. Also I think it is more suitable if you stick with the name trick box than using another name T-box because it make me confuse or you can introduce it beforehand. For example: “It just trick box, or also known as T-box, which make the image.”
    Anyway, I like this quote “People call it time travelling but it is more like sightseeing.”

    Like

  2. Pingback: The Trick Box Part 2: A Short Prose | Creative Writing English Unpad

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