"What the hell!" Rose had apparently noticed this as well.
Before I could even think to free myself the vine had worked its way to my waist and I was being lifted into the air. Rose, rising along side of me. As the strange plant brought us closer to the eyes it began knitting together beneath us. By the time we were bought to a halt we were comfortably sitting in something resembling a wicker chair, some meters off the floor.
From the direction of the eyes came a serious of grunts and low growls. The noise was both soothing and yet startling. Then the room went quiet again. I had the strangest feeling we had been asked a question.
"Where are we?" I ventured into the dark.
As if in response to my question, a smaller vine grew out of the arm rest of our bizarre chairs. The new vine curled its way up our right arms then wrapped itself once around our necks.
"Woah, woah, hold on!" There was a panic pitch to my voice.
But before I could protest further the thin vines appeared in front of our faces and from their ends grew two flowers. Both of which were then forced into our mouths. I heard Rose gag next to me then go silent. The flower in my mouth had a rather sweet flavour and I began to realise just how hungry I was. The taste grew stronger and my sense of unease dissolved as I began to chew. Poison or not, the petals were delicious.
Once both myself and Rose had finished, we sat there in silence for a moment. Then the low rumbling growl from before began again. However this time I seemed to be able to make sense of the noises.
"Can you now understand my speech?" The deep voice was asking.
We both sat still, a little stunned before Rose offered the shadowy figure a reply.
"We understand." Her voice only quivering slightly.
"Good, the flowers you have just ingested work quickly."
"The flowers? That's how we can understand you." I asked.
"They are very useful when trying to communicate with various forms of life."
"Various forms of life? Who are you? What is all this?" There was a demanding edge in Rose's voice as she said this. A tone I would not have dared used.
"I will answer your questions. However I must have mine answered first. This time you will understand. How did you come to be here?"
"We came across a crop circle near where we live." I began, "There was a blue light, an explosion and we found ourselves in the past, prehistory..."
"Crop circle? I do not understand this term." The voice was some what similar to our English teacher, very proper.
"It was a pattern in the grass." I explained.
"Hmm I understand, please continue."
"We went in search of another of these energy domes hoping to get home. We found one just a moment ago and here we are now."
The figure in the dark made a deep thoughtful noise. Rose was still holding out for answers.
"Oi! Your turn, what is going on here?"
"I must apologise, it would seem that your current situation is my fault. It was however an accident that I will be happy to rectify."
"You fault? Why did you bring us here?" I asked.
"Yes, my vessel has been damaged and as such has not been functioning as per usual the last few years."
"So the patterns in the grass they are a result of your damaged vessel?"
"Not exactly, normally our vessels leave these patterns in their wake and normally they are harmless and would not have the effects you experienced. However, as I mentioned my vessel has been damaged."
"Yeah, I heard! For years apparently, why haven't you fixed the bloody thing then, if you have had all that time. We were almost killed on several occasions." Rose's temper seemed to be rising.
"This is a time machine, isn't it?" I interjected.
"Let me explain and things may become easier to understand." The voice offered, "Firstly, no this is not a time machine. Although I see why you may have made that assumption, given the location in which I just picked you up and the your original starting plane."
"You may understand this term better as, universe?"
"Hang on, we traveled to another universe? But there are freaking dinosaurs out there." I was confused now.
"These were creatures from your universe's past, yes?"
"You traveled to a universe where time moves slower then that of the universe you call home. The universe you just left has simply not reached the time frame you are familiar with. This is why my vessel has been broken for some time. Time dilation makes repairs time consuming and difficult. I do apoligise for the inconvenience." Whether some thing was lost in translation or our new friend could not sympathise, his apology seemed hollow. That really pissed Rose off.
"You almost got us killed! Our families are probably looking on the bottom of a lake for our bodies by now. How do you think they feel? How do you think we feel?"
"I know all to well how it feels. I have been trying to get back to my home for the past fifty years. Every universe I have had to pass through has suffered from severe time dilation. By the time I arrive home I will have been gone some five thousand years. We are a long lived species. But not that long." The low voice seemed filled with sadness.
"...I am sorry." Rose said.
"You were not to know."
Some thing the voice had just said had sent a chill down my spine, we are a long lived species.
"What are you?" I said quietly.
Slowly the faint phosphorescent glow in the sphere became brighter. There sitting in a chair, much like our own, was a gorilla. Although the figure looked very much like a large silver back there was some thing off with his appearance. Then it hit me, it was the way in which this gorilla sat and moved, carried himself in general. There was something very human about it all.
"You're a gorilla?" Rose asked.
"I do not recognise this title however I am aware that you have tribes resembling our forefathers in your plane."
"Wow. Like planet of the apes or something."
"This guy is our way home... so maybe try not to offend him."
"I doubt he has seen the bloody movies Matt."
"Good point. Good point."
"So are you able to take us home?" Rose queried the Gorilla.
"We are already here, I was on my way back through your plane when my vessel collected you." As he said this grass on the floor seemed to part and through the hole we could make out moon lit grass bellow. Slowly the vines began to lower us down. I turned to look back at the strange traveler.
"I hope you find your way home soon."
The Traveler smiled gently, "I am sorry you wandered into my vessels damaged wake."
"It's okay, some of us enjoyed the experience."I said and laughed.
Rose punched me in the arm as we were place on the ground, she was smiling. The vines retreated back into the round ship and we started to walk back in the direction of the road. We were so focused on finding the fence that we didn't see the departure of the ship just a bright blue flash that cast our shadows before us.
"There it is!" Rose had spotted it.
We climbed the fence and took to the road. In no time we could make out the lights of my house in the distance. We walked in silence most of the way, until I finally broke it.
"As first dates go, how did that rate?"
"You're a dick head." She said smiling.
"But impressive none the less right?"
She reached out and grabbed my hand, "Pretty impressive."
As we turned finally turned down my drive way the first light of the day hit my house. There was something odd about being home. The paper boy had already been and I scooped up today's news.
"Maggie is going to be pretty pissed." I said.
I twisted the door handle but it was locked. I knocked and we waited. Eventually the door was opened but it was not Maggie. A man who looked to be in his sixties was standing there staring at us, in his pyjamas.
"Can I help you? It is rather early." He said.
"Excuse me, but I where is my sister?"
"How should I know kid?"
"This is my house."
"If that were true, you would be the one answering the door."
"Maggie Bennett, she lives here." I was starting to panic.
The old man just stared at me for a moment, looking puzzled.
"Old lady Bennett? Maggie Bennett? Your sister?" He said.
"Yes that's right! Where is she?"
"That's ridiculous, Maggie Bennet died fifty five years ago. My family bought this house at the auction after she passed. I remember a rumour at school, back then, that her brother had gone missing when she was a lot younger. Just disappeared one night. How'd you know about that?" The old man just stared at me as I back down the path and out of the yard, stumbling.
"Matt?" Rose was trying to stop me, "The traveler made a mistake, that's all. We can fix it, we are just in the wrong universe. We can find him again and he can take us home."
I stopped moving eventually and my eyes locked with Rose's. I felt like I was looking through her. The Travellers own words were playing over and over in my mind. You traveled to a universe where time moves slower then that of the universe you call home. This was our home alright, we were back.
The events of October 5th 1998. As cliche as this may sound, I remember it as if it were yesterday...
Because for me, it was. For the world I left behind, it was eighty six years.