The time machine
Author, Stefan from Germany
I met sometimes strange people telling me curious stories.
But this story, I heard last week from a young woman, did break the mold anyway.
It was a story about a time journey, about Berlin, desperately try to change the history and, of course, about long and short hair...
I was in a café in the inner-city. It was nostalgic, cozy and the ambience was all right.
Then that young girl came to me. She seemed to know me anyway or she simply felt, I'm a good listener. By the way, I didn't know her at all.
She was very pretty and gorgeous. About 5' 3" hight, gracefull.
Her beautyfull face, a little bit exotic: african full lip mouth, mysterious asian eyes with long eyelashes and a cute european snub nose.
Her hair was shorn down to her scalp.
Because of the dark stubbles on her head I thought about a beautyfull long black mane if she would let it grow longer.
"Excuse me, but I have got to tell someone, what happened to me. It is almost unbelieveable."
I didn't stop her at all and accepted it.
While she is talking, she nervously waved her hands around to get attantion to her words...
(And now, what she did tell to me...)
I don't know why it did happen, but that all was surreal to me.
When I wake up in the morning two weeks ago, something was strange. I didn't know what, but I felt something. I went into the bath room to wash my face with cold water to wake up. I wanted to get some clarity of thought.
I opened the door, went into the bath room and looked into the mirror. I wor short hair like I do actually. I used to cut it short with the clippers, nearly bald. I thought –It's about time- , took the clippers and started to cut it all off I used to do once a week.
It happened while I turned on the clippers:
I hurtled through a bright diffused tunnel and suddenly I was on an unknown location.
I wor old fashioned grandmothers dresses, my hair was unbearable breast long.
In other words:
I looked like a frump!
I stood there outside, without knowing where I was, and looked around.
I recognized two well know buildings: the "Reichstag" and the "Brandenburger Tor".
So I still was in Berlin, but it was not that Berlin I used to know.
All the people were old fashioned dressed like me and all the buildings looked like 19th century architecture.
I thought through:
I was in Berlin, I knew now. But all was in another era.
The question should not be WHERE I was, but WHEN.
"Breaking news! Brutal murder in Sarajevo. Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria killed by an assassination." A boy shouted, probable 12 years old and newspaper with a curious font in his hand (it was german fraktur font, usual in germany untill world war 2, similar to latin font, but not easy to read for an untrained eye).
-Who is Franz?- I thought. My knowledge about history was not very good.
I went to that boy and wanted to buy a newspaper, with hope to be able to read the old fashioned german font.
"What the hell is that kind of money? Play money or what?" he refused my euro coins I gave to him.
The euro was not accepted I knew now. The money transfer did obviously not work on my time travel. I gave it up to buy a newspaper.
"What day is it today?" I asked him.
"It's june, the 29th, so what?" he answered.
"Well.... what year?" I asked further.
"1914! It about half a year now. Did you sleep the whole time?" he answered with a back answer.
"No, sorry. Just a little bit scatterbrained." I apologized my confused questions and he looked a little bit blank.
"Sorry?" I told him that word 'sorry' in english, sometimes usual in Berlin 2011, but not in 1914, so he didn't understand.
"Entschuldigung!" I translated in german and left him alone.
The question, -WHEN I am- had an answer.
I searched in my brain, with my possibilities, to find out what happened in 1914.
What happened there, almost 100 years ago???
Suddenly it occured to me. The world war 1. That "Franz" of Austria, killed by a few serbs and than it began...
I knew, what the others didn't know, that this war became a complete flop for the germans and millions of people died there in the whole world. I had got to do something, to warn someone to avoid that war!
Without waste of time I wanted to go to the big boss.
In 1914 germany was a monarchy and had an emperor I could remember from my history lesson about first world war.
So it was a simple solution: to warn that emperor, war is stupid, because it's absolutely mindless and there will be only losers.
That should be enough!
But where is he now?
I asked around: "Where is the emperor?". It caused laughters as may be imagined.
But a coachman called from his seat, that he is just on the way to the emperors residence.
I'd never been with a coach, so it was a nice adventure for me and I didn't say no to it.
"Why do you want to go there?" he asked me.
"I have got to tell him something!" I answered by ignore what.
"I think you'll not see him because of the security." he said.
After a while we arrived at the emperors residence. I got out the coach, I enjoyed, and runned to the entrance gate, security men stand around.
"Stop! Young lady. Where do you want to go?" the policeman stopped me.
"I have to got to the emperor!" I said shortly and went away.
"No! It's forbidden!" the man took me and escorted me to a room where they interrogated me.
That got on my nerves and I runned with my fingers through my hair, I wanted to get rid of.
"Are you a french spy?" he shouted at me. But I was neither a spy nor a terrorist.
"Do you have got a passport?" he asked.
I found my identity card in that horrible old fashioned handbag, I got with me and there could be seen my birthday: march 12th 1990 < so I'll be born 76 years in the future.
"You read too much Jules Verne (most famous science fiction outhor of 19th century)?"
the policeman moaned to me.
"Who is that???" I didn't know what he was talking about.
"You play the fool? I'm still waiting for an answer!!"
"I don't know what you mean. I've got to google in network for it." I thought loud because I didn't know anything about it.
"Did you escape from madhouse?" he asked very abusively and discourteously.
"I've forgotten, that this is not available here. Sorry." I apologized.
A few of my hair hanged around loose, chaotically and was not pinned up and got on my nerves, so I loosed the whole mane and pinned it up again.
To pin up the hair was very modern in 1914. Very inconvenient! I damned!
"Don't care about your hair. Just answer my questions!" the policeman began to turn sour.
"I've got to get to the emperor!" I answered defiantly.
"No!!!" he shouted and banged with his hands on the table.
It was hopeless, but I got help by chance.
The emperor came out of his "cave", probably for an important meeting with important politicians to make big policy.
When I saw him with a freaky hat, distinctive with his "Kaiser Wilhelm" beard, I did remember, I runned away. I was very fast, too fast for the policeman.
I think he was afraid I would kill the germans emperor. It was just a dangerous time.
But I didn't want to. I runned, as fast as possible, untill I stood in front of him.
"I don't know how to call you, I think 'Majesty' or something like that, but listen to me! The war! It's got to be avoided. There will be millions of people dying because of that war! I beg you! No war!" I shouted, before the policeman caught me.
The monarch looked at me and turned around to a coming coach and got on it.
Probably for an important meeting in Berlin.
Whatever, I hoped he did understand me.
Two policemen took me back in that room I had been before, the other policeman, who interrogated me, waited there.
"Arrest her!" he ordered.
I'd been escorted to another room for arrest and they closed the door behind me.
Now, I stood there. I was hungry and those horrible dresses and the long hair made me look like a frump!
Suddenly I hurtled through that tunnel again and I was outside.
Now I was aquainted with the locality. The cars, the streets, modern buildings and the people. I probable was in Potsdam in the year 2011.
I just wore skivvies, I had before my time travel in the past.
It was a problem outside, but it was worse, that I kept my hair long during the time travel, just as 1914, breast long and pinned up. Be sure I looked strange to the others.
A man came and covered me with his coat. What a gentleman. I was almost naked!
"Who are you and where do you come from?" he asked me.
I didn't told him the whole story, I thought it was too strange to understand for him, but gave him my name and my adress.
He was very nice and took me home.
Just arrived at home, I dressed me and read in network about the era I just had been before. The first world war had still taken place in history.
My action caused no change.
I thought about, how the world would be if that war had been avoided.
Would women be dressed in grandmothers old fashioned clothes and wear inconvenient long hair styles?
Would womans elective franchise (in germany first in 1919) and emancipation be existent?
With a shake of my head I thought, it would be better to change nothing in history.
In the bathroom I looked into the mirror. My face looked just nice as usual. My tattoo on the left upper arm was still on place.
What about the hair? That damned hair was still on my head after my time travel.
I wanted to change it now from long to my usual hairstyle: bald.
I took the clipper out of the rack and wanted to turn it on but stopped, because I thought about, what happend the last time.
-Doesn't matter!- I thought and turned on the clippers. It happened nothing but all my breast long hair was gone in a few minutes and only a few stubbles left on my head.
-Lot better!- I thought and felt conentedly with the hand on my bald head.
She had, while she told me her story, she ordered several cup of coffee. That made her more nervous. But I felt, that it did good to her to tell me her story without, the others would do with the first words, to think her crazy.
"You should write down this story" I suggest her.
She was amazed about my comment, but it was too interesting, that it should not be read...