Rift

By Robert Lynch

It was at the edge of the cliff, which is why nobody had ever found it before. People generally steer clear of cliffs, but Andy was twelve, and twelve-year-olds have an incredible talent to find danger.

Andy Strauss found the first stable wormhole. He found it by walking straight through it and being transported to an alien world. I found it because when Andy didn’t come home, we set up a search party.

You can’t see it. You’re in one place, then another. I was on a cliff; then I was in a field of purple grass beneath a red sky. Andy wasn’t far from me; he was crying.

“Andy,” Yelled out to him, “You had us worried.”

He turned and ran to me. Tears streamed from his eyes with greater intensity; he wrapped his arms around me. “I don’t know where I am.”

“I don’t know where this is either.” I turned to look for where I had entered. Andy happily consumed a power bar I had in my pack and took a good long drink from my water bottle. “We’ll have to find where we came in.”

“It’s over there,” Andy said, “I followed my footprints back, but it doesn’t go back home.”

I walked over to a circle of pushed down grass. Andy had been back and forth over this spot a lot, but he’d also trampled any tracks that he’d followed. My own footprints did indeed seem to start there. “Well, I guess we wait until someone works out how to help us.”

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Three hours later, Darcy walked in. I explained the situation to her. It only took 15 minutes for the next arrival: this time, a phone. Using the phone and Darcy’s arrival points, I marked very carefully where the wormhole exit point was.

Darcy picked up the phone and saw it was recording. She scrolled back through the footage to find a message from the team that they saw her disappear, and they also assumed that whatever happened, she couldn’t get back.

That night I studied the stars. I’m not an astronomer by any means, but I couldn’t find any stars that l recognised.

The next day a rover drove through the wormhole. It was still connected to a wire that abruptly ended in mid-air.

“Thank god you’re safe!” Officer Maxwell said through a speaker mounted on the rover.

We had two-way communication back to Earth. Soon they sent food and other supplies we needed to build a camp.

It’s been four years, and no one has worked out how to go in the opposite direction back to Earth. It isn’t just Andy, Darcy, and I anymore. Hundreds of people have made the one-way trek to our little planet, including Andy’s parents.

We were able to use telescopes and find galaxies that we recognised, including the Milky Way. The first off world human colony was founded because a young boy was up to mischief.

END

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