Charlie took a deep breath, verified the return coordinates for the trip home, and without letting himself think about what he was doing too hard, hit the button.
The room around him began to shimmer like a heat mirage, though the temperature remained steady. The shimmer grew in intensity, the effect blurring and streaking the room, dimly lit walls blending with the future versions of themselves, which appeared to be unlit. After a period of time that could have been an instant or an eternity (for in actuality it was both and neither,) the effect snapped off. The room was nearly dark and the few sparse furnishings that had occupied it in 1940 were gone, leaving it empty.
He slowly let out his breath. He felt okay, as he had on each previous trip he’d taken through time. Maybe his body felt a bit warm, but … “Can’t let it get to me. Either it’s hurting me or it’s not, but either way, there’s nothin’ I can do about it right now.” He kept his voice low, not knowing who might be near to hear him. He quickly packed up the equipment into a shoulder-slung bag, then pulled his usual 2042 attire from his pack and changed.
It’s strange how changing clothes can make you feel so much better, he thought, the familiar feel of his native clothes calming him down, making him feel more like himself. Time to get a move on.