The Land of No Land

Dávid Csáki

Having gone far into the future, Sarah stepped out of the time machine. As she’d expected, she found herself in a huge, modern city. The streets were full of people but very organized at the same time. She immediately walked up to a pedestrian and asked: “What’s today’s date?”

“August 14th, ma’am.”

“Okay, but what year?”

The man looked very confused, but answered. He also added as a joke: “Why, you a time traveler or what?”

Sarah didn’t even hide the grin on her face, which made the guy even more confused, almost scared. Then she went on with the basic time traveler questions: where am I, who’s the president, what are the current countries, and stuff like that. The man—realizing the situation he was in—went, “And what about you? What year did you come from?” After that sentence, she left with the same grin on her face. Later that day she asked the receptionist at the hotel (which the guy had recommended) if she knew of any sights nearby. She listed a few, but Sarah looked unsatisfied with them.

“What’s wrong?”

“Why are all these artificial? Is this city so enormous that nature is far away?”

“You could go look at the Ocean, I guess.”

“Oh, why didn’t you tell me about the beach earlier?”

The receptionist looked just as confused as the guy she had asked all those dumb questions.

“The what?”

“The beach.”

“I have no idea what you’re talking about, but we have free tours to the Glass Wall, which marks the edge of the city, since you seem interested in water for some reason.”

“And on the other side of that glass wall is water, right?”

“Of course.”

“I want to see it.”

Ten minutes later, she was on a vehicle that flew just a few inches over the ground. Although she was literally in a flying bus-like vehicle, she wasn’t surprised at all. She’d expected flying cars; what she really cared about was the fact that she’d been traveling for such a long time without seeing any form of nature. No trees, no bushes, no grass, no parks, no dirt. She thought that this was just a “modern thing.” Five more minutes passed, and they finally arrived at the Glass Wall. She’d been told that this was, indeed, a glass wall and across the wall was water, but she didn’t know it was this high. She’d imagined it as a decorative wall, with the ocean at her level on the other side. She asked the tour guide, “How tall is it?”

“It’s not tall, it’s closed so the water doesn’t flood us.”

Only then did she realize that she was under sea level. She was in shock. She went closer to the wall of glass, just to stare at the water. She couldn’t see much, as they were very deep and the water was dark.

“So we’re trapped here, aren’t we?”

“Not at all; you can go up to the surface anytime you want to. I’m sure you’ve seen that big tower over there. That’s the Elevator. It’s so fast you’ll be up there in a minute. Now go, see it for yourself, but be careful not to touch or get too close to the water. It is so acidic it will burn you alive the moment you get in contact with it.”

It was the longest minute of her entire life. She was very excited to finally see the sky. Before this moment, she could only see artificial clouds that were made to cover the ceiling, so it felt more natural. When she finally got up with the Elevator, she was surprised to find nobody there. There weren’t that many things to look at either. Not a single island or the smallest piece of land. No matter where she looked, she found nothing except water. That is when she finally realized that the Ocean was everywhere. It was not just an ocean, it was the entirety of the planet.