Short Stories

Boundless Horizons: Beyond Time’s Gate(Part I)

In the year 2020, the lingering grip of the COVID lockdown was finally released, allowing people to step out into a world filled with uncertain possibilities. Maxim, a young Nigerian engineer, was one of them. The ruthless grip of an economic downturn abruptly crushed his hopes for a promising career.

As the job market became desolate, Maxim found solace in the flickering glow of movies and the immersive realms of online games. It was within these digital landscapes that he sought refuge, seeking temporary escape from the harsh realities that surrounded him.

Determined to forge his own path, Maxim embarked on an entrepreneurial journey. Fortune smiled upon him when a client entrusted him with the task of building a home for their beloved family. Weeks into the project, however, chaos descended upon the nation as the EndSARS protests – a country-wide protest against police brutality, erupted, causing prices of construction materials to skyrocket. Due to the burdensome circumstances, the client was unable to continue with the project, forcing an indefinite pause.

In a fit of frustration and despair, Maxim’s anger welled up within him, culminating in an impulsive act. His phone, the device that connected him to both the digital realm and harsh reality, slipped from his grasp while tossing. But instead of hitting the wall or landing on the ground, it inexplicably vanished into thin air.

Intrigued yet bewildered, Maxim moved closer to the center of his bedroom, drawn by an inexplicable force. There, before his astounded eyes, a shimmering portal materialized—a gateway to another universe, different from anything he had ever known. The realm before him seemed strangely ethereal, resembling a world woven from pixels and lines of code.

As Maxim stepped through this blurry line, his surroundings transformed, and he found himself immersed in a game-like dimension. He discovered that his purpose in this digital world was to embark on a perilous quest—a mission to rescue a princess in distress. Legend whispered that the one who succeeded in this noble endeavor would be granted a single wish—the power to shape their own destiny.

Maxim’s heart became entangled with the princess’s fate as a result of her alluring beauty and grace. As he journeyed through the vibrant landscapes of this digital realm, his thoughts began to shift, reflecting upon his existence in the real world. His initial desire to return to his own life diminished as a result of a newfound desire to establish his own kingdom within this mystical realm, which was a testament to his engineering ingenuity.

Years passed, and Maxim built an empire within the digital universe, combining his architectural prowess with the boundless opportunities this realm offered. Yet, even as he reveled in his triumphs, whispers of jealousy and resentment grew louder. Enemies emerged, seeking to strip him of his newfound power and banish him from this extraordinary world he had come to call home.

And so, after what felt like an eternity of grandeur and accomplishment, Maxim was forcefully expelled from the game and thrust back into the confines of his humble bedroom. The shock of his abrupt return reverberated through his soul, mingling with a sense of bittersweet triumph. Despite being once again trapped by the restrictions of reality, he was aware deep down that the dreams he had created in the virtual world had permanently changed his spirit.

The memories of his adventures, the love he had found, and the empire he had established fed a flame of hope that burned in his heart. With newfound determination, he vowed to turn the echoes of his digital triumphs into the foundation of his reality. Armed with the resilience of a true adventurer, he set out on a new quest – to create a world where the boundaries of imagination and the resolute spirit of a Nigerian engineer could intertwine, shaping a destiny far grander than he had ever imagined.

And so Maxim embarked on his journey, his eyes alight with the radiance of infinite possibilities, forever carrying the lessons he had learned from the ethereal realms beyond Time’s Gate.