“Come up here and help me move these books from the attic!” my mother called.
It was very early that morning, and my mom had woken me up. I was not happy. I trudged up to the attic, and the mess that met my eyes sent a wave of despair over me.
“Do we have to clean all this up today?” I demanded.
“Yes, but it’s not that boring,” she said with a look of deep knowledge.
This was not how I wanted to spend my morning. My limited time edition tournament was going to be over in a day, and those tournaments are rare in the video game I am talking about. What a waste! I picked up an interesting looking book, with a tattered gold cover. This was clearly an elegant piece once upon a time. I opened it up, and an enormous wave of light blinded me.
“Arrggghhh!” I yelped in surprise.
I felt myself falling into a deep hole as the air was sucked out of me. I landed with a thud on a soft damp area. I felt my arm twist beneath me. Suddenly, my body was overcome with a wave of tremendous pain, and then everything went black.
“Argh!” I woke with a start.
A young man with a revolver and a tattered blue suit was kneeling next to me. I tried to get up, but my right arm collapsed, and I fell back to the ground, defeated. I looked at my surroundings, and gathered that I was in a forest with tall, dark trees and beautiful streams.
“What are you doing, lying there in the middle of a war?” he questioned angrily.
“There is no war going on right now, it’s 2020.” I said, confused.
“You hit your head hard, I think you’ve gone cra–” But I never heard the rest of that sentence.
BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!
“What is going o–” I stopped short as I saw the horrible sight in front of me. The soldier was lying face down, his leg bent at an awkward angle, and a gaping hole in his back from which blood was spewing out rapidly.
“What the heck!” I screamed as I reached for my phone to call an ambulance.
I turned it on, but there was no Wi-Fi. What was I supposed to do? I was never able to think about that, because some women with old fashioned gowns were carrying a man who was clutching his stomach, a bloodstain rapidly spreading over his shirt.
Where in the world was I? I walked over to them, trying to keep my eyes away from the man, and asked them where I was.
“Is this your idea of a joke?!” one of the women snapped at me.
“No!” I said, taken aback. “I don’t know where I am.”
“You’re in the middle of WW1!” she snapped at me angrily.
Deciding not to pursue the topic, I asked if I could help her. She allowed me to help, grudgingly, and brought me to a camp, filled with wounded soldiers.
“Are you filming for YouTube?” I questioned.
“What’s YouTube?” she asked curiously.
I was so fed up with this act. “It’s 2020, WW1 was over long ago, so can I please borrow your phone to call my mom to come and get me?” I shouted in desperation.
“What are you talking about? What is a phone? It’s 1917 right now.”
“Ok. I don’t know what you’re trying to do here, but I’m leaving.” I turned and walked away.
I walked into an area that wasn’t so thickly wooded and went straight. The sight I saw was one I will never forget. I realised that the woman wasn’t lying. I was smack in the middle of WW1.
The movies always did a pretty good job of recreating the war, but it was nothing like seeing it in person. There were cannons firing into the streets, as kids and adults screamed, and ran for cover. Soldiers were firing guns blindly into the air, and some people and soldiers fell to the ground. The air was polluted with dust, and it was hard to see.
I turned and ran as the reality started to sink in.
I had traveled back about a hundred years in time. It was 1917. The Spanish flu was about to kill millions, and WW2 was coming. I had no way to get back home. Did my mom know about this when she said moving books would not be that boring?
I went back to the nurse, apologized, and I explained my situation to her. To my surprise, she believed me. She said she was sorry for being so cross with me, and was coming to apologize to me herself. I accepted, and asked if I could stay with her for a while. She said yes, and I felt an instant wave of relief. Maybe I could survive here after all!
We walked for about a mile. It was like walking through a war. A bloody one too. How did I get here? After some walking, we reached a house that was one story, had a small garden, and a patio. It looked about 20 years old and like something out of a movie. The nurse picked up the wooden knocker, and gave the door three taps. A little while later, it creaked open a little, and a man in his 40s peered out of it. Upon seeing his wife, he stepped into the foyer, and opened the door wider, allowing us to pass.
“Why hello, my beautiful wife,” he said.
“Hello, dear husband,” she said.
“Who is this girl with you?” he questioned.
“I met this girl in the forest, as I was carrying an injured man,” she replied.
“What are you wearing?” he asked, “those clothes are not from around here. Are you a spy?”
“Calm down, dear, she is not a spy.”
“Then who is she?”
“She is a girl from the future.”
At this, the man gasped, but then burst out laughing. “Okay, I’ll humor you.”
“It’s true,” the nurse insisted.
“How do you know?” he questioned skeptically.
“I- I just- I- I don’t,” she finished lamely. “Yes, how do we know you are from the future?”
“Prove it,” the man agreed, his face suddenly full of fear.
How could I possibly prove it? It hit me in a flash— my phone. Those weren’t invented yet. I whipped it out of my pocket, and turned it on. I went to a mobile game that did not require Wi-Fi, and played it in front of them. The nurse’s face was filled with wonder, while her husband looked at me with tremendous fear.
“What’s the matter?” I asked him.
“You are my great granddaughter,” he replied.
It was my turn to laugh. “What did you say?!” I laughed.
“You’re my great granddaughter. Or at least I think so. How did you get here? How old are you?” he questioned rapidly.
“I’m thirteen, and I opened this old book, and the next thing I knew, I was here.”
“Yep, you’re her,” he said.
“Excuse me, but we don’t even have kids,” the nurse stated. “What in the world are you talking about?”
And so the man began his tale.
“About 500 years ago, if my calculations are correct, the first book was written. This book was passed down from father to son, until a man named Simon had a daughter. Simon was a seer, which meant he could see the future. The daughter disappeared when she was thirty-three. The book was gone. Rumor has it the book had powers. Simon’s daughter had a daughter too. The book was one day found underneath her bed. Simon knew the book had powers the very moment he found it under his granddaughter’s bed. He asked the daughter, that when she turned thirty-three, and had kids, to open it. She was confused, but did so. She was gone on her 33rd birthday, and her ten year old daughter was left with an old and frail Simon. The book was then found under her bed three years later. He asked her to bring it to him. He told her if he disappears, to protect the book with her life. He opened it, and nothing happened. The ten year old daughter had kids and they had kids, and so on, all daughters. But there was one woman who had a son. The son was me. Simon had a vision saying that later in the family line, a girl is supposed to save the world from everlasting war. I am supposed to have kids, leading to a great granddaughter. “You are the girl. You are my great granddaughter. We are both descended from that family line. The females have the power to time travel by the book, about 100 years in the past. The males, I’m afraid, possess no powers.The females get the book when they are thirteen, have kids when they are twenty-three, and go back when they are thirty-three. You are the exception, and that’s why you came here when you were only thirteen.
“I- what- I am going to save the world?!”
“How?” I asked, shocked.
“There is a key, and the key will unlock a slot in the book, taking you back to your time.”
“Great!” I exclaimed, relieved that this will be over, “Where is the key?”
“I have it, but don’t forget, you were sent here because you have come to collect the key from me, and pass it down to your daughter. You are also the chosen one, here to save the world,” he replied.
“And how exactly do I save the world?” I questioned.
“As you know there is a war going on, WW1, to be exact, and you are here to stop someone important from dying. A man named Justin Peters is going to deliver a secret file to France, a key element of ending the war. You see, the battle of Amiens was the last battle of the war, and that file contained the German’s plans. The problem is Justin Peters was run over by a train on the way,” he answered.
“Wait, how do you know this, if the war hasn’t ended yet?” I interrogated. “Also how did the war end if I didn’t save Justin Peters yet? The war is over in my time and I did not save him.”
“Well that’s because you did save him. You saved him 100 years ago! And I know all this, because I am the deliverer. It was included in Simon’s vision, and this part of the future was written in the book.”
“Oh.” I said. “Well we’ve got to find out where Justin got hit, and when. How does he look?”
“Here is his picture”
“How-” I was cut off.
“Simon was a painter too,” the man replied.
“So let me get this straight,” I said, “I’m supposed to stop a man named Justin Peters from getting hit by a train, so he can deliver the files, the battle of Amiens will result in victory, and the world won’t be in war forever?” I inquired, shocked out of my mind.
“Correct,” the man replied. ”He gets hit 5 miles east of his destination in France, precisely in Lyon’s entrance. It is a freight train that takes his life. I will drive you there.”
“Okay,” I said, my voice shaking. ”Let’s get going.”
I arrived at Lyon in an hour, and I got out of the car. I saw a man identical to the photo.
Justin Peters!, I thought. I walked up to him, and he smiled questioningly down at me.
“Hello,” he said, “May I help you?”
Thinking quickly, I said “You look tired, let’s go have dinner.”
“Okay? Thank you,” he replied, pondering me quizzically.
“I’ll explain everything there,” I said.
A train, the train was passing by, and I yanked him out of the way.
“Thank you so much!” he gasped. “You saved my life!”
“No problem. Let’s go now,” I told him.
Upon arriving at the restaurant, I told him everything; how I got here, what I was supposed to do, and how I knew about what he was doing.
“So I’m going to end this war,” I said.
“Great!” He exclaimed.
“Also, please don’t mention this to anyone, it may alter time.” I requested.
“Do you think they would believe me?” he said. “After what you did for me, you have nothing to worry about.”
“Thanks,” I said gratefully.
I met the nurse’s husband at his old fashioned car, and I told him how it went. He gave me the key.
“Thanks, but I don’t have the-” I stopped, mesmerized.
The book had appeared in my hands, a shimmering gold hue still hovering around it.
“Bye! Thanks for all your help!” I said as I inserted the key into the hole. My voice faded as I landed with a thump on the attic floor.
“Did you have fun?” my mom asked.
I looked up startled. I was back home! That wretched war had ended in 1918, all because of me. The war is over, and so is that terrifying experience. What a relief!
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