A Different Vacation – July 1, 2014


Rome, December 5th, 1941

“When did you know you were lost?” he asked.

“Well, actually about a half an hour ago…I realized that everyone looked sort of strange and I didn’t understand the language and … ” her voice drifted off as she looked at the policeman in an evident state of confusion.

The policeman asked her to sit down.

“Why don’t we start with your name, signorina.” he looked at her carefully, she’d said she didn’t understand the language, but she’d spoken to him in Italian.

“Wilma Cummings,” she replied, again in Italian “My name is Wilma Cummings. And you officer, what is your name?”

“Mario Velasco.” he informed her.  There was something a little strange about her, both in her phrasing as well as in her appearance, she looked like she’d stepped out of a history book. When did you arrive in Italy?”

“Oh! Last week.  April 1st. Yes of course you’re right, we’re in Italy!”

“Yes ma’am, but we’re not in the month of April.  It’s December.  Do you remember if perhaps you’ve had an accident?” he asked but she didn’t look injured.

“No.  I was going to visit Turin’s World’s Fair, that’s why I came in the first place.  I got my ticket in March, my universal translator was installed the day before I left, and I’ve been having headaches ever since.  Not to speak of a strange deja vu feeling. Maybe that’s the problem! Sometimes the translators do strange things”

Now he was feeling lost.

“Excuse me signorina Cummings, but there will be no World’s Fair as was planned, and of course it was to be held here in Rome, not Turin, but alas, the war … and I don’t understand what you mean about a universal translator.”

“Oh my … but this is 1911 right?”

Velasco shook his head, of course the woman had had some sort of accident or maybe she was just crazy … but on the other hand, she may just be a cunning spy for the English.  He thought he’d better call his superior officer. And he began to pick up his telephone …

“Oh damn that agency!” she shouted suddenly “They’ve made a total mistake.  Now I understand! Damn, damn, damn!  I knew I should have gone to Malibu this summer!” She clapped her hands hard, activating the emergency re-entry mechanism, and she dissolved in shimmer of light.

Velasco stared at where the woman had been sitting, then lit a cigarette.




37 thoughts on “A Different Vacation – July 1, 2014

  1. Really interesting premise, unique story. Interesting read. Time travel tourism. Huh. Although the potential for disaster as everyone’s going around altering history all the time is really great.


    • I’m imagining that as usual it’s the profit that would hold priority not silly things like paradox and possible disaster 😉 Glad you found the story interesting enough to comment! 🙂


  2. I’m glad she figured out the problem and got out of there in time! I do wish that translator technology was more widely available. Fun story!


    • Don’t you know it … it’s been around for awhile … since Star Trek days …they had to have it, seems everyone understood English! 😉


  3. That would be fun! One of those translators could come in handy… I like to drive faster than I should, so I could just clap my way out of there 🙂 I love the ending with the officer. I have a feeling he won’t be telling anyone about that encounter, or everyone will think he’s nuts!


    • Hahaha! Could be interesting to transport out in a jiffy, except what would happen with the car … I think you’re right that officer never saw a strange English woman.


  4. Wow, that Velasco is pretty calm, given the circumstances! 😉 Then again, I suppose the cigarette could be a coping mechanism. I love the nonchalance of the time traveller – she’s so matter-of-fact!


    • Maybe a little too glib, we tend to take our technology for granted and I suppose she did too … I think he lit up because he was a little shook actually 🙂 Glad you enjoyed the story and thanks for the feedback!


  5. I got the message don’t worry I’m a pretty patient person (part of that comes from the fact that I always forget everything so I usually forget I’m waiting for something until I need to remember) ^.^
    Nice take on the prompts! this translator reminds me of Doctor Who, there’s the same thing and once one of The Doctor’s companions tries to speak Italain to a Roman guy and he understands it as English (or whatever English was at the time) 😉


    • Love Doctor Who! I saw that episode … too cool, I’d forgotten about it. Glad you’re not in a big hurry, I’ve got a few things rolling here. Summer is not always what we expect! But I’ll be back to you soon. 😉


        • 4 weeks of no internet? Is that a sort of suvival course or something … the our brave BW survive 4 weeks without internet? We are sure she will, but we’ll miss her perkyness!


          • That’s sweet, I’m going camping, first two weeks of scout camp then I come home for a few days before leaving again with my family this time (and some cousins) to l’Ile d’Oléron where we have our camping spot with a shed that has a shower, a loo, an oven, a stove and a sink. And sometimes no hot water.
            There will definitely be no hot water at the scout camp though, if we’re lucky we’ll get a hose in a not-completely-uncovered place…
            I might get a bit of Internet when we do our “raid” and “source” but I won’t have the time to write anything anyway.
            I’ll miss you too ❤ 😉


          • Ah so it is a servival event with not hot water!!! I think you will have a splendid time! You’re lucky to have your own camping spot at l’Ile dOlèron! It sounds like you’ll have a wonderful summer … I presume all went well with your exams too! Bon Chance! ❤ 😉


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