by Regina Evans
Interactive Novel with my friends...(the symbol ****Name****=author who wrote the section)
I stared at a fuzzy Theodore Roosevelt. It was actually a legitimate Teddy Bear. It had the glasses and everything. I looked at the box I'd taken it out of, surprised that the bear was so clean after being buried in the ground for so long.
This box couldn't be just a time capsule. I t was regularly updated. There was memorabilia from everything. I shone my flashlight into the box, checking over my shoulder every now and then. It was three in the morning, but I was still worried someone would find me and my secret.
I closed the box and filled the hole back up. I was glad the grass still hadn't grown back from where we'd had our inflatable pool. It made it easier to conceal my digging.
I stood, sweating and leaning against my shovel, to survey the flat, seemingly untouched ground. I dusted off the box to bring it inside. I wrapped a towel around it so I wouldn't trace its dirt around the house.
This was my weekend alone and I wasn't about to waste it.
When I reached my room, I put down the box, reopened it and pulled out a pile of letters. But the letters weren't what caught my eye. It was the paper. The ink. The handwriting. And the only thing they had in common was they were dated. All they had written on them was a year and I've never seen so many different years in one place before. They stretched from the Renaissance to The World War to fifty years from now. I quickly flipped through the envelopes as something occurred to me. There were fifty letters in the pile. I pulled out the second pile and counted fifty also. I was about to count all the mysterious and random items in the box, but something within me told me to recount the letters. I flipped through the delicate paper. Forty seven, forty eight, forty nine...That was it. There were a total of ninety nine letters that ached to be one hundred. I opened up the first letter, dated 1914.
"Dear Trista the canal, though questionable at first, is ready for use. Teddy is a splendid president. I miss your presence so much already. Think of me as you hold this bear and treasure all the surprises in the box. Never forget the rules. After this, you won't hear from me and I must bury the box. You will keep it until it's your time of need. Thank you for helping me through mine. Never disregard what makes you different. I know there are times of doubt and how hard it is to choose the one person and then not tell anyone after that, but as always there's a reason for everything. Enjoy our future, our past, but most importantly, your present. Have fun in 2034, from you eternal friend, in 1914, Florence.
P.S. I love that really old quote you told me about. Well, I suppose it's old for you, but hasn't even been said according to my time. Through the quote is what we must follow in our lives. So in the words of a man in my future and your past, "Live and let die."
The James Bond quote hovered in my mind. It seemed to have a fatal ring to it, but I didn't know why.
I held the rest of the letters and an overwhelming sense of maintaining privacy told me not to read anymore. I was hoping they'd explain the deja vu of the things I know I've never seen before.
I was mindlesly opening and closing another letter when my eyes focused suddenly on the words. I skimmed the letter and a few words popped out to me: green eys, 2010, 1762, Ethan, and Anna. I stopped and stared at my name.
The words seemed to swirl before me, graceful cursive connecting into lines of flowing text as my blood pumped a cold red. My mouth didn’t seem quite sure what to do, laugh at the utter insanity or let out a shrill cry that would rattle the walls of the empty house. It remained silent as my pale hands shook, grasping the letter with tightened finger tips as though holding onto the strangely intact paper would keep if from turning to dust in front of my all but believing eyes. This could not be happening, I was not the person mentioned in this letter, there was just no way. A bit so sweat trickled down my back and a few tears welled in my sleep deprived eyes.
My breathing increased with the frantic heart that skipped in my panting chest, my eyes following the long text written in a strange style that was neither like the Old English plays that we had read in English nor like later texts of the present, filled with common slang like “awesome” or “cool”, but more of an unbalanced mixture of the two. The words didn’t register in my mind, as though I were reading an official document or a rather wordy text book, like one of the many I forced myself to read to learn more about the subjects my teachers so diligently neglected. These words flowed over my head, tired eyes not able to read them, or not wishing to know exactly why my name was included in a letter I had obviously never written.
Letting out a deep breath releasing the tension that had built up in the back of my neck and shoulders like the longing for freedom behind an iron curtain, the relaxation it provided was more than I imagined. Placing the letter down on my bed I glanced over at the flashing green numbers on my clock, it was nearly midnight. Another relieved sigh escaped my mouth as the wave of sleep slammed against my chest, I must be simply deranged. Helping Mom and Dad pack for the weekend trip had been quiet a chore, not getting to sleep until the wee hours of the morning did take a rather large toll on my body.
“See here Teddy,” I said as I peeled back the covers that neatly folded around my bed slipping off my glasses and placing them on the nightstand as my feet crept into the warm sandwich of blankets and mattress “you better not have your fuzzy butt here when I wake up.” I spoke to the unresponding bear before turning off the light, the world and my troubles dissolving into a stark black.
My eyes were forced open when the glowing numbers of the clock read a rather depressing 2:00 a.m. Letting out a slightly more rested sigh I rubbed my eyes and flicked on the light next to my bed, placing the thin glasses over my eyes. Teddy and the Letter were still resting on my nightstand, watching me sleep.
I blinked a couple of times and rubbed my eyes, maybe I was still dreaming. Maybe I had heard my alarm go off, and then rolled to the other side of my bed and fell back to sleep. Teddy wasn’t really there, that was just my subconscious bringing my fears into my dreams. That frail hope, though, was broken by my mother yelling up the stairs “Anna, you’d better be up. We’re out of here in twenty minutes.”
I groaned, so this was all real. I swung my legs off the bed, maybe Teddy was real, but what about that letter? I could have just been misreading the date, exhaustion causing my mind to go into a state of temporary dyslexia. Did it really say 1762? Maybe my mind a swapped the six and the seven, and that six was really a nine that I had flipped upside down. I probably thought of this date because I had just finished a book that took place during the Seven Years war. Plus, I was pretty sure there was a creepy guy named Ethan in my Chemistry class, it was possible I was just thinking of him. All of these justifications I made to myself as I pulled on my most comfy jeans and an old school club shirt from a couple years back, all the while Teddy’s eyes bore into the back of my head.
My head turned towards him in a flash, it was almost as if I could feel his piercing glare boring into the back of my head. How did I know that Teddy wasn’t just one of my old stuffed animals that my mom had pulled out of my closet, and forgotten to put away? More excuses. I had so many of them, but they all felt flimsy, like a sheet of paper that had been lightly misted with water, it just felt like it didn’t hold up.
I finished packing the things that I couldn’t pack last night, like my toothbrush, grabbed my suitcase and headed out of my room, with every intention of going downstairs where my mom and dad were growing ever more impatient. Then I turned back. I wasn’t even sure why I did it, but I left my luggage sitting in the middle of the hall way, right next to the stairs, darted back into my room, and grabbed Teddy and the letter. It was unexplainable, unreasonable, but yet I couldn’t leave without the letter.
So, with the letter and Teddy safely tucked away in my carry on, I lugged my bag down the stairs and headed out to the car with my parents. “So the plane leaves in two hours, do you think we’re going to make it in time?” I rolled my eyes, my mother always said things like this, always worrying about being late, and then being thirty minutes early.
“Relax, we’ll make it in time” my dad retorted.
They continued on like this for a while, making useless early morning conversation, so I decided to find another way to entertain myself. I rummaged about in my carry on, looking for something to do that was non-electronic, I wanted to save the charge for the long flight. My hand ended up resting on my history book, which I had brought so I could study for my final coming up. Pulling it out, I unconsciously flipped to the chapter titled “The Age of Exploration”, also known as the 1700’s chapter. As I looked at the chapter timeline two things caught my eye the Seven Years War (also known as The French and Indian War) and the rise of Catherine the Great was the tsar of Russia. A chill ran through me, both of these events took place in 1762.
I looked at a picture of Catherine the Great and the oh so familiar deja vu rushed through me, but I'd never seen a picture of her before. So once again, I remembered something but had no reason to remember it. I sighed. We're not even on this chapter yet. I flipped back to the 1400s section that we were on, but my right hand held the page of the 1700s chapter. I stared at the 1400s chapter for five minutes. My lack of focus refused to let me read one word. I reluctanly flipped to the 1700s chapter again. I stared at the picture of Catherine the Great again. Then I turned the page to a 1762 town. My eyes narrowed as I looked into the picture. A small figure in the background had captured my attention. My face got closer and closer to the picture. A young girl with a simple blue dress was walking down the street, but I felt like I was looking into a mirror. As my focus grew more and more centered on the picture, a three dimentional feel developed.
That's when the girl with the blue dress looked straight at me. Her mouth formed the words, "Help me." And when I looked down, I was wearing the blue dress. I froze and found myself looking around the 1762 town. My first thought was that I had fallen asleep onto my book and was dreaming, but that was shattered when the girl's voice interuppted my thoughts.
"Hello there!" That was when I realized I was surrounded by British accents. "Welcome to England! It is the year 1762."
I shook my head and interuppted her, "Where are you?"
"Oh! Well I'm in 2010. I'm in your life and you're in mine. Welcome to the legend! We are a part of a Time Travel legacy! I have no idea how long this has been going on for and I'd give you the basics, but I must ask, where am I?"
I grew confused and I moved out of the busy street to the wall where I wouldn't be in anyone's way. I closed my eyes for a second and was back in the car, but the girl had controll of my body. I was just seeing through her eyes like she could see through mine. I was stuck in 1762 and I have to help her, but what on earth am I helping her with? I took a deep breath, which was weird because I could hear myself breathe and feel myself breathe, but I couldn't see it. I opened my eyes and was in 1762, closed them and was in 2010. I wasn't sure what to do, so I restorted to answering the girl's question, "You're in a car. With my family. Traveling to our family vacation."
"Oh." She responded simply and I opened my eyes to figure out my end of all this.
"Florence!" A boy about my age was making his way through the crowd toward me. He got in front of me and I froze staring at him.
"Ethan?" He looked just like the boy in my class... but different. For instance, this boy had shorter hair. And of course the clothing...
Ethan answered me with a confused glance, "Ethan? My name is Emory. Are you okay, Florence?"
I longed to tell him my name was Anna, but I had a feeling that would be like answering that I wasn't okay. My mind was whirling and all I could manage to respond was a weak, "I want to go home."