This is my second chapter of “My Super Awesome Time Travel Novella” (Yes, that’s that actual name). I’m a little iffy about this chapter, because usually my second chapters slump compared to the surrounding ones. Also there’s a part at the end that I feel is a little too out of left field, even for me.
Keep in mind that this novella is comedy/drama, that references Doctor Who, Looper, The Terminator series, Back to the Future Trilogy, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, 11/23/63, Superman, Artemis Fowl: The Time Paradox and much more. Feel free to critique this as much as you want.
Chapter 2: The Fortune Cookies
This part of the story still confuses me.
My time traveling adventures started off as a normal Saturday afternoon at the mall with Chloe and two other friends. Because we were all either fifteen or fourteen years old, we rarely went to restaurants or any type of traditional date other than the movies. We mostly just wandered around the mall, eating free samples in the food courts and jumping off random stuff. And occasionally someone does something illegal. Usually Jake.
Jake Edelson is the type of kid you don’t trust with your phone, wallet, or any sharp or potentially explosive objects. He’s known for doing stupid, dangerous things without thinking about the consequences.
It was originally just the three of us: Chloe, Rachel, (Chloe’s best friend, who was sort of a know-it-all), and I sitting at the food court, Rachel texting someone and Chloe and I sharing some fries. We didn’t have any idea what we were planning to do that day. Then Jake came, running over like he was being chased by the cops (which could very well be the case), holding an almost empty bag of fortune cookies in his hand.
“Hi guys!” he said, grabbing the seat in front of Rachel.
“I take it those are stolen,” said Rachel.
“Technically, yes,” he said. “But seriously, the guy was asking for it to be stolen.” When no one said anything, he further explained. “The idiot just left it on the bench near Best Buy. And I thought, ‘Well, there’s four of us at the mall, and there’s four fortune cookies left in that bag,’ so I decided to steal it.” He then shouted out “YOLO!” loud enough for everyone in the food court to hear.
“Never say yolo again,” said Chloe, once everyone looked away.
“Yolo!” He shouted again, though not as loud.
“That’s it! Five minute time out,” Rachel scolded him, taking the bag away. Treating him like a five year old had become a fairly normal thing for Rachel. It was hilarious.
“No! But I–”
“Fine,” he grabbed his own fortune cookie and walked over to another table.
I reached into the bag and grabbed the first one, then handed the bag to Chloe, who handed it to Rachel. I bit into mine and took out the little piece of paper that tells you your “fortunes.” I almost threw it away because fortune cookies usually have a vague, worthless sentence that doesn’t even tell you your fortune. But then I caught a glimpse of my name on it and my heart stopped in its place.
“Yeah?” He called from the other table.
“Do you know who you stole this from?” I asked, gripping the paper in my hand.
“No, I just sort of grabbed it and ran. Why?” He walked over and I showed him the piece of paper where, in tiny blue font, read, “Joshua Blitz: You’re being watched.” I might have thought it was just a joke fortune cookie that could be meant for anybody, but it said my name, for christ’s sake! I noticed writing on the other side and flipped the paper. “Don’t panic. Go to Sterling Park now if you want to live.”
“How is that even possible?” asked Rachel. I showed the back of it to everyone else.
“Are you making this up?” I asked him, but I didn’t believe he would. Although this is the type of prank Jake would pull, he didn’t have the tools or intellectual capability to pull it off. For one thing, he was a crappy liar, (which is really bad when it’s combined with a shoplifting habit), so his face would probably have given something away by then. Plus, how could he have know which fortune cookie I would pick to begin with? How could anyone know that?
That left the unsettling question of whether or not I should go to Sterling Park. Sterling Park is a quiet little playground half a mile away from my house. I used to go to camp there until I turned 12.
“I wouldn’t go,” said Rachel.
“I’d go,” said Chloe, clearly worried. “If you want to live.” She pointed at the last five words on the paper, printed in professional tiny blue font.
“Yeah,” I said, thinking it through. “Anyone who’s willing to send a message inside a fortune cookie clearly knows what they’re doing.”
“Plus, there’s the whole “not-dying” thing that’s a huge advantage,” said Jake, as if we were discussing whether or not to see a movie.
“I’m going, then,” I said, standing up abruptly. I was just halfway up when Chloe stopped me.
“But it says you’re being watched,” said Chloe. “So act natural.” She then looked around in the most unnatural way possible. “And I’m coming with you.”
When Chloe says she’s coming with you, there’s no way to stop her. We ended up casually buying a soda as Rachel called her mom to pick us up. We exited the mall, trying our hardest to not gain any suspicion. By the time we got out, Rachel’s mother was already driving up to us in the parking lot. She gave a suspicious glance to Jake and then the looked changed to a nervous, fake smile. She drove us to the park and didn’t bother to make much conversation.
Roughly a block away from the park, the car stopped at a red light. The van behind us, however, sped up.
“Look out!” Chloe shouted.
Rachel’s mom saw what was happening a half-second before it did and stepped on the breaks–not enough to get away but enough to lessen the hit.
The glass shattered from behind me. The car was small and compact, but not that strong. I covered the back of my head with my hands and felt the glass cut into them. The van driver just kept on stepping on the pedal. Rachel’s mom screamed, and with the airbag covering most of her face, she floored it, panicked, and jerked the wheel to the left and the next thing I knew the car had flipped over.
Me being in the seat closest to the ground, I felt most of the impact. Chloe and Jake fell on me, along with all the glass that somehow survived the first crash. My hands and neck were covered in blood, the right side of my head was screaming, all I could hear was a strong buzzing in my ear that didn’t want to go away.
I somehow managed to turn my head and found that I was able to look out the back window. The van had stopped moving. I heard the sound of a van door slamming shut, and inhumanly heavy footsteps walking towards the car.
The car was lifted upright and the door on my side was flung open with the man’s bare hands. He was wearing a black leather suit, wore shades and held a shotgun in his hand. He looked at me.
“Is that Arnold Schwarzenator?” asked Jake. If I hadn’t know any better, I would not have guessed that he had just been in a potentially fatal car accident.
The weird thing was, the guy did look exactly like Arnold Schwarzenegger. “I think it is,” I said.
“Why the hell did Arnold Freakin’ Schwarzenegger run over our car with a van?”
“I am not Arnold Schwarzenegger ” the man said. “I am a cyborg sent from the year 2020 to protect Joshua Blitz, Jake Edelson and Chloe Brooks.”
“What about me?”
“Shut up, Rachel,” said the cyborg.
“So why do you look the Terminator?” I asked.
“It was my creator’s idea of a joke,” it replied. “I am here to insure that you get to Sterling Park by 6:18 PM safely.”
“So why the hell did you crash into us?”
“Computer glitch. I never meant to hit you.”
“You’re a pretty crappy cyborg,” said Jake.
“I was built in 2020. You should be amazed that technology has gotten this far in just seven years.”
“Yet you still have computer glitches?”
“My programmer was forced to use Windows Vista.” Jake nodded understandingly.
“Is this some type of joke?” I asked. At this point, I had never done anything that would make someone want to kill me, and at the time I certainly did not believe in time travel, let alone time-traveling mercenaries.
“I am incapable of humor. Come on. They will be here in forty five seconds. Rachel, you and your mother may stay here. They aren’t after you. Josh, Jake, Chloe: come with me if you want to live.”
Before we could ask who “they” were, he started running around the corner. We followed him, running down streets and cutting through yards until we finally made it to the park. It was empty, as it always was at this time of the day and this time of the year. The cyborg stopped at the slide.
On the slide lay what looked like a giant wrist guard. On a closer look, I could see that there were hundreds of buttons all over it. You could just tell it did not belong in 2013.
“That’s a Wrist-worn Chronivator Mechanism,” the cyborg said. When it processed the confusion on our faces, it explained, “It’s a time travel device. Joshua: Put it on.”
I was about to refuse when I saw a worn-out black van crashing through the gate. I put it on as quickly as possible. It fit perfectly. “What do I do?”
“There’s a number pad on the wrist guard. I have been programmed to tell you to travel to 1969.”
“I am programmed not to tell you. Jake and Chloe must grab onto the device as well.” They did. There was a loud gunshot and the cyborg dropped to the ground. He was bleeding and clutching his stomach like a human would.
“I thought you were a cyborg!”
“Not a very good one.” He started coughing up blood. I heard another gunshot, panicked, and pressed the enter button. Two seconds later I found myself in the woods, in 1969.