I ignored the mumbo jumbo and enjoyed my antique hourglass, until the sands ran backwards.
I sat at my desk, finishing up an essay for my English class, when I noticed movement out of the corner of my eye. My mom dragged me on her quests for antiques up in Payson and at one of the shops, I'd actually found something I wanted. The clerk promised the unique hourglass would bring good luck or some other weird stuff like that. I didn't care about that mumbo jumbo. I just liked the way the worn wood beams curved around the delicate glass spheres and begged my mother to purchase it.
Here it was, letting the sand run through the tiny center of the two spheres, exactly like it was supposed to... except for the sand was dribbling up instead of down. I pushed my chair away from the desk and walked over to the bookshelf where it rested. I turned this way and that, trying to see anything that could be causing the grains to run the wrong way but everything looked normal.
Maybe it was defective. Sometimes, old things were.
I reached my hand out to flip it upside down but the moment my fingers touched one of the wood support beams, I knew I'd make a mistake. Electricity cackled in the air and I could feel the hairs along my body standing on end. I tried to let go but my fingers were stuck. My room spun, forcing me to shut my eyes and open my mouth in a silent scream.
Moments later, I heard a deep voice bellow, "It worked. Look, it actually worked!"
Another voice, definitely female, chimed in, "And when have you ever known one of my creations to fail, Baxter? Hmmm? Can you give me an example?"
I opened my eyes and balked at the change in scenery. I was in a small wooden room and there were three figures standing on the other side of a small table. One had to be the source of the deep voice. He was tall and broad shouldered, more like a mini man mountain, and he wore so many furs and plaids I wondered what sports store he raided.
The second figure was a short doughy woman with light brown curls framing her face. She wore tan trousers with a tool belt around her hips and a leather vest over a button up shirt with more tools shoved into every available pocket. Her curly hair was swept from her warm, weathered face with a set of elegant safety goggles.
It was the last figure who held my attention. He couldn't have been much older than me. He wore a soft brown leather jacket over a light brown button up shirt. His cargo pants were like the lady's, every pocket bulged with something stuffed in it. His eyes were a deep brown, so dark they were almost black, and he had not looked away once. His gaze made me suddenly wish I wasn't in a pair of comfy cupcake pajama pants and a scruffy t-shirt.
"Who are you? Why am I here? And this thing," I blurted and realized I was still hanging on to the hourglass for dear life. The sand was no longer trickling but I didn't want to be touching it any longer. I set it on the small table and turned my attention back to the mysterious people for answers.
"We need your help. Our people are being destroyed in a war against the Channels and we sent this hourglass to another dimension to bring back our savior," the woman explained, her curls bouncing with every word.
"Oh no," I threw my hands up in protest, "You've got the wrong girl. I'm not a savior and I... I don't want to be in your war. I just want to finish my homework."
The mountain shook its gray bearded head, "I promise you, we did not get the wrong person. That there contraption thingy only activates when the right person is near it."
"Well it activated at the wrong time. I'm telling you, I'm not the right person," I said defiantly, crossing my arms and jutting out my chin to get the point through.
Finally the mystery man moved away from the wall, almost slithering as he unfolded and he moved so that he stood in front of me. He reached a muscular hand out and slipped it into my right hand, "My dear lady, no matter what you believe, I promise you are the one we need. That hourglass was our last attempt at reaching you."
I stared into those piercing brown eyes and found myself stammering out, "Well, if you think I can actually help." What in the world was I doing? I knew nothing about wars and strategy and being a savior. I was just a freshman in college, working on getting my bachelor in English. This was way beyond me.
The woman smiled, "That's exactly what we wished to hear. My name is Grimelda, welcome to the resistance." She walked over and looped her arm around mine, "Now, let's get you out of your noticeable clothes and into something a little more, common."
She led me through a doorway they'd been standing in front of and trailed down a narrow dark corridor. Staring at the antique oil lamps hanging on the wall, I was filled with the sense of deja vu.
When she opened up yet another door, I saw a window with a heavy black curtain hanging over it. I walked over and she didn't protest when I lifted the corner and peeked out. My breath caught in my throat. A large streamlined blimp patrolled the air, its lookouts scanning the roads for any wayward citizens.
I knew this place. I dreamed of it once before. I looked at Grimelda with a newfound understanding, they were right; I was meant to be here. I was the savior, even if only in my dreams.