"Teleportation"

A 2016 Flash Fiction Contest Winner: Cowley Student

My best friend Tal was the first human to attempt it. He jumped at the opportunity to test out the teleportation device we’d spent the last ten years developing, working day and night, calculating equations, running test after test. You see, the device works just like the science-fiction movies I grew up with; an object is placed on the teleportation pad and the machine copies the object, digitalizing it and destroying the original before rematerializing it on the other pad. No harm done.

The first object we successfully sent through was an apple. Then after several more attempts of fruit and vegetables, we tried mice. Each test proved successful, with no abnormalities to either food product or animal. After the mice was a dog. My dog, Tibby. According to every test we ran, fruit, mice, and Tibby were physically sound traveling the five-foot distance from one teleportation location to the other, although Tibby seemed somewhat wary of me afterward, not quite herself.

Tal’s eagerness to carry out human teleportation was contagious and so a few short days after teleporting Tibby, we set up the device, following every regulation created for attempting testing on people.

Tal stepped onto the pad, a nervous grin plastered on his face and blue eyes alight with excitement, and I began the process of dematerializing him and sending his digitalized matter through the buffers so that he returned only seconds later on the other pad. Success! I grinned and ran to the teleportation pad, grasping Tal’s limp hand and shaking it, congratulating him on being the first human to be teleported from one location to another.

He smiled slightly, more of a strange smirk, and stepped off the pad, brushing past me, gazing about the room with disinterest. I furrowed my brow as I watched him.

“Tal?”

Tal turned to me, black eyes filled with a strange look. Almost… hungry. He tilted his head, calculating, and I stepped back.

This was not Tal.