‘The Mandela’ – a section

I’ve been working pretty hard on my school and my book lately, so I haven’t had a lot of time to post. I do, however, have a section of ‘The Mandela’ for you to read. After some amount of writing and plotting out (plotting a time-travel story is a pain in the rear) I finally came to a story line that works out pretty well.

The Mandela is Copyright 2017-2020 Margaret Bell All Rights Reserved



Everything was set. The beginning of a new era quickly approached; the era of time travel.

Kris Johnson stood front and center of the operation. The head of his field for the last forty years, he’d been preparing for this moment his entire career. A tall, thin man with an air of elegance, Kris looked more like someone you’d see on the back of a detective novel than breaking scientific barriers. His pale eyes scanned the scene.

For a brief moment, he watched the thousands of scientists in the amphitheater-like lab, not unlike the mission control at NASA, talking and bustling about, typing at computers or rushing around with equipment.

Sitting at the very center of the massive room, behind a wall of bomb-proof glass, was the time machine. It was the size of a small jet plane and had a similar cockpit. The energy radiating from the machine could be felt even from Kris’ distance. He could see the man chosen for the mission, Steve Hardfield, being suited up for the journey.

Everyone knew that this was most likely the riskiest venture in all of human history. If Steve brought to the past any sort of modern germs, he could end the human race long before it began. He basically had every vaccine known to man stuck into him over the past few years, and was placed in a special suit for the last few months. Steve had been pretty miserable, but considering the journey ahead of him, there was no being too careful.

Rodrick Biles, one of the older techs for the mission, was pounding away at a blue laptop, muttering under his breath at a nearby desk, occasionally cursing. Getting back to his own, impeccably clean desk, Kris inspected the mission log once more. Everything seemed set.

One hour more and every scientist was in position. Carol Hemmingway was recording the event on camera and Rob De’Pitre continued to keep an eye on Steve’s vital signals as they appeared on the screen in front of him. The heart monitors beeping rhythmically.

Steve took a few minutes to clamber into the cockpit, various oxygen masks and tubes of all sorts were attached to him before the glass dome was closed once again and the scientists retreated back to their seats.

There was a quiet moment, and finally the countdown began.

“Egress in T-minus ten….”

Ten minutes later….


Kris knew the moment that the time machine began to glow that everything was going wrong. Horribly wrong. An unpleasant, loud humming sound filled the room and everything began shaking.

The scientists and workers ran screaming for cover. Some made it out the room, a few didn’t. Rodrick knocked over his laptop in haste, shattering it on the floor. Years of paperwork were overturned and scattered like confetti in the groups’ mad haste for the exit. Kris had no time to reach the door, instead, he made a mad attempt to run and try to get under a desk before the ceiling collapsed.

Covering the back of his head, Kris heard the screams of Steve as the time machine (or was it time itself?) began to tear itself apart in a jerky, shaking motion as if it were having a seizure. Chunks of ceiling were crashing down around him, and the time machine was buzzing so loudly that Kris wondered if he’d hear anything else again.

Then, as suddenly as the shaking had begun, it stopped.

He waited a moment before climbing out from under the desk.

The time machine was still in the room, but at the same time… it wasn’t. Impossibly, It seemed to flash in and out of existence before his very eyes. As he approached the machine, he peered into the cockpit and realized with a start that Steve wasn’t in the machine. There was an empty set of clothes sitting on the seat in the machine, though. Where was Steve?

Kris leaped back as the humming started again at a much higher pitch than before. He tried to turn and run, but he’d only made it a few steps when the massive contraption blew apart behind him, knocking him to the ground and hurling him into darkness.


He was being ripped apart, atom by atom. The pain was more than anything he’d ever felt in his life. Blinding lights and crushing darkness seemed to surround him at the same time. One second he was sure he was flying, and then he was falling, falling, falling, falling.

It seemed as if the pain would never stop, but the sheer pressure that seemed to crush him kept him from breathing, let alone making any sounds. After a second the darkness seemed to fade away.

He was surrounded by what looked like stars; they seemed to form and explode and form once more before his very eyes. Colors he couldn’t even name danced in front of his eyes. It was as if he’d stepped into a Van Gough painting, with everything intangible swirling around him at once.

Then it stopped and everything swirled into a peaceful darkness.


50,000 years later….

He opened his eyes and found himself staring up at a clear, blue sky. A bird soared on the wind far overhead. Tall grass rose up around him and danced gently in a cool, salty breeze.

Dazed, he sat up and fought off a wave of nausea.

He found himself on the top of a tall, grassy hill that overlooked the ocean. A grey, rocky beach stretched far in both directions, beyond his line of sight. Behind him rolled another sea; a sea of grass. Rolls and rolls of grass disappeared towards the horizon and the rapidly setting sun.


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