Continuing from yesterday’s post…
The owner said we were not allowed to take photos, but Gloria had her Iphone with her and managed to sneak a couple of shots.
The owner of the hotel (who prefers to remain nameless) said she had no idea how the contraption worked. I moved closer to the console, which looked like something out of a fifties sci-fi movie, and glanced across it, noting some of the buttons.
Given there was no electricity in the basement, I did not see how the thing could work. At the right side of the main console, a large red button seemed to call to me. I’m not sure why I did it, but I pressed the darn thing.
The machine came to life immediately. A whirring sound, from somewhere in the guts sounded loudly. Gloria backed away toward the basement door.
“Mom! What did you do?” she yelled over the cacophony of sound that ensued. The owner of the hotel bolted out the door, shoving Gloria and nearly knocking her over.
I stood there looking at the thing, wondering what was going on. The whirring was now eclipsed by a kind of loud hum and a vibration directly under our feet.
“What is that?” I asked.
We exchanged a look. “Mom, we gotta get outta here.” She motioned for me to come with her, but I couldn’t. I had to know what the old master had done.
I know he wasn’t the most sound of mind, especially in his later years, but I’ve always thought it would be great if we had a better idea of some of the things he worked on. Especially the material and equipment the government confiscated after his death.
I looked back at Gloria and shook my head. “I’ve gotta know Honey. You go.” I waved her away. “I have to know…”
She must have thought I had gone insane. The look on her face, something between shock and curiosity was quickly replaced by anger. “Are you nuts? This thing is doing something–”
She was cut off by a sudden whooshing that came from the wall behind the machine. A wind blew through the room, hitting me full in the face. The metallic taste and smell was almost sickening and though I spit and wiped at my face, I could not get rid of it.
“Mom!” Gloria, her voice shrill, and visibly shaken, pointed to the wall behind the console. The wall appeared to be fading in and out. It was there, then it wasn’t. Replacing it was a large, dark hole. The darkness impenetrable and complete.
My immediate thought was that Tesla, in all his wisdom had created a black hole. Could he have? I felt sick with the thought, but knew I had to get out of there quick.
Then the wind stopped. The room grew silent but for our heavy breathing and the whirring of the console in front of me. I looked back at my daughter standing near the entrance, clutching the door frame, as if afraid she would blow away.
I held up a hand, to indicate I needed her to wait just a moment. Obviously the thing had stopped working for some reason. But then a motion in the hole caught my attention and I panicked. I meant to hit the red button again to shut off the machine, but instead hit a white button next to it.
Suddenly, the hole lit up and I realized it was not a hole at all, but a tunnel.
Behind me, I heard Gloria’s exclamation. “My God! What is that?”
I moved to the other side of the room, not wanting to get too close, but needing to get a better look. There was no ‘light’ at the end of the tunnel. In fact, it appeared to be nearly a re-make of one of those carnival fun house tunnels, with light panels imbed into the side. It also appeared to be rotating.
“Hel–looo–” a weak voice called from the tunnel.
“What the–” Gloria appeared even more startled than before. Her eyes grew wide as we both saw a tall figure emerging…