The Timeless Anniversary

The day was finally here. Sofie was excited. She loved going on holidays, even if it was just for the weekend. Roan, on the other hand was more of a ‘yes man’. He usually gave in to the wishes of his wife. “As long as she’s happy, I’m happy”, he’d say.

Sofie and Roan were the ideal married couple. They fell in love in college, had high paying tech jobs and shared five blissful years of marital life. They decided to drive to Gumtala – a nearby hill-station for their 5th wedding anniversary, instead of the usual trip abroad.

Gumtala was a quaint mountain peak waiting to be discovered. Soft winding roads, tall, thick forests and overcast skies was how Google described the place at this time of year.

The couple woke up to a golden sunrise that hinted at a perfect day ahead. Excited and eager to get on the road, the duo had a quick breakfast and set off on this much-anticipated trip.

Their car, a sparkling white sedan with not as much as a scratch on it, was quiet representative of their picture-perfect life.

It was not long before the landscape around them gradually changed from bustling city streets to tranquil countryside. They drove through rustic towns, open farm lands and curvy, winding roads, eventually guiding them deeper into the heart of the wilderness. The hills were covered with lush greenery, and the occasional waterfall cascading down the rocks created glistening water trails. As they got closer to the hilltop, the scent of eucalyptus permeated the air. Sofie and Roan rolled down their windows, allowing nature’s aromas to fill the vehicle. They were completed immersed in the beauty of the wilderness.

Yet, there was a subtle transition happening around them.

They had been driving for a while now, and should’ve been near their destination. Maps was showing otherwise. There was still a good 4 hours to go. “That’s odd” Aaron whispered, “It’s starting to get dark, and we’re nowhere close to our resort”. Have we taken the wrong turn, maybe we’re on the wrong route” Sofie chipped in as she zoomed into Maps.

Something was very wrong. Maps showed that they were on the right route. But, they were still at the very same spot they thought they’d crossed 4 hours ago. Maybe Maps was glitching.   

Sofie took a closer look at her surroundings.

A strange sensation crept over her.  Her body recoiled as she realised the world around them was morphing and shifting. The leaves on the trees seemed to grow, age, wilt and fall all at once. The forest was transitioning from green to amber, grey and brown hues in a rapid cyclical flow. The seasons were changing in moments. Also.. the roads, the shops and the few odd people they came across rapidly changed in appearance. It was as though they were rapidly moving from one decade to the next, and the next in a matter of minutes.

Sofie and Roan exchanged astonished glances. They blinked and gulped in shock. What was happening? Did they fall asleep? Were they in a hypnotic trance? Could this all just be a weird dream…

But it was all real.

The world around them was moving in fast forward. Or were they in slow motion. The two couldn’t make any sense of it. They were experiencing something that was out of this world. It just couldn’t be.  

Sofie and Roan had entered some sort of wormhole, a sort of time warp where time stands still.

Decades were passing by, but Sofie and Roan had the same youthful glow as when they had stepped out on their holiday. The sedan was still sparkling white with the fuel gauge at half-full. And Roan’s mobile still showed the date and time as 25th July 23, 5:15 PM – the exact time they entered the wormhole. They were unable to escape the unyielding grasp of the time wormhole. Their voices echoed in the void of silence that enveloped them, unheard by those who walked by.

Overtime, the townspeople noticed glimpses of the white sedan at random instances  – the same car, the same couple onboard, the same number plate. But no one was ever able to get close enough to stop it.

Sofie and Roan, and their sparkling white sedan became a story of legends.

The story of the ‘Timeless Anniversary’ was whispered around campfires and shared among generations. Travelers from every corner of the world visited the ‘Gumtala’, hoping to catch a glimpse of the mysterious couple trapped in the spinning top of time, forever bonded in their love and forever etched into the fabric of history.

While this story is a complete work of fiction and with several creative liberties, here’s the original science article that led to the exploration of the concept of time warps.

Read the next story here –Max’s World