For the rest of the earlier chapters, click here. Remember: I want criticism. You can criticize my work all you want, and I won’t mind (as long as it’s somewhat constructive).
Also, try to count all the time travel references.
Chapter 5: Timey Wimey Stuff Happens
The world, for the second time in the last forty minutes, was spinning out of control. I didn’t even bother trying to stand up this time. I just looked up for a couple seconds, made sure there wasn’t anyone with any giant guns walking towards us, and put my head back down, waiting for the nausea to go away.
Three minutes later, we were both able to stand up. I noted that it took us a slightly shorter amount of time for us to do so.
“What year are we in?” Chloe asked beside me. I was expecting some smart ass comment from Jake, and then I realized he wasn’t actually here, which made me sadder than I expected. I had always considered Jake to be the annoying kid who tagged along with our group, occasionally making us laugh but much more often annoying us to death. But he was more than that. He was a crappy liar, frustratingly stubborn, and never thought through anything, but he still managed to be clever at times. He once started a surprisingly successful trade company where he started an illegal (school-wise) business where he hired a highly-organized chain of kids to sell candy he gave them for a certain price. In the end he gained way over a thousand dollars before finally being caught.
“What’s the date?” She asked again. I checked the chronivator.
“May seventh, 2020.”
“So does anything big happen on this particular day?” asked Chloe, and I immediately looked back at the chronivator’s screen, and searched the date.
“Nothing huge,” I said, looking through the useless trivia list, “Lindsey Lohan gets arrested again, the third season of Sherlock finally comes out, and… Mike & Ike finally get back together. They really dragged that out for a long time, apparently.” I continued strolling down the list for anything else that could be considered important.
“At least there’s some good news in our future,” she said. I could actually hear her smile. As she said this I scrolled down the news section to find the headline, ‘Impossible Girl Found Dead near Wappingers Creek.” and I exited the page before I could read more of it.
She saw my face and started walking over towards me to take a look. “Is it about Jake?”
I quickly went back to a new page and turned it off before she could see, and decided to lie. “Nothing,” I said, “It’s just… my uncle died today. A couple hours ago, apparently.”
“Oh,” she said. I guess she believed me, because she said, “I’m sorry,” and some other gooey condolence cliche, without knowing that she was comforting me from her own possible death.
“It’s okay,” is said, “He was a heavy smoker, it’s lucky it didn’t happen sooner.”
We discussed a game plan. How long would it be before L. Smith and his gang caught up with us? Why hadn’t they caught up with us already, if they had a time travel machine? They were clearly able to track us down somehow, all they’d have to do is figure out where we are, and set the time back twenty minutes later.
“I guess by the time they figure out where we are, they know we’ve already been here for a certain amount of time,” said Chloe, “So that makes us spending fifteen minutes or so in this time period sort of a fixed point; you can’t prevent the future once you’ve read it, right?”
And I may have just read about Chloe’s death.
What followed was a long internal argument in my head about whether or not that article was about Chloe. I saw a name in the section, one which definitely started with a C. That’s all I saw before I scrolled down, refusing to read the rest.
You didn’t see her name or anything. Besides, she’ll be twenty-one years old by this time.
Unless she dies here, at fourteen years old. Hence the “impossible girl” thing. If someone disappears for seven years, and is then found dead, at the exact same age she was when people last saw her. That would be impossible.
Maybe they just found Clara Oswald’s body.
Shut up. Not funny.
My bad. But seriously, all you have to do is avoid Wappingers Creek, and it can’t die. Besides, time can be rewritten. Probably.
But what if it’s a fixed point? I know she dies now,—
No, you know someone dies, whose name just happens to start with a C. It doesn’t have to be Chloe.
“Are you alright?” she asked me. I looked back up. “You look like you’re talking to yourself again.
Just then, Jake popped up right next to me, making the both of us jump.
“Hey!” he said, waving. It was definitely Jake, but his hair was longer and he was no longer wearing those stupid clothes. Instead he was wearing a magician’s clothes. He even had the hat and the fake wand.
“What? Where’d you even—”
“Nevermind that!” he said, waving the wand at us as if to cast a spell, and then he pulled out of his pocket a piece of paper and read it outloud. “I have come from some point in the future.”
“Can’t tell you that. Sorry,” he shrugged casually. “Anyway, I need you to come save me. Like, right now. It’s 12:42 PM right now, so you have about an hour to get me. Actually, you have exactly one hour and seven minutes.”
“Yeah, but where are you?!” asked Chloe.
“Well, I’m not there right now, but I was there in my past, which is your future. Time travel’s cool. Anyway, they got me trapped in this sort of underground hatch in the forest near Sterling Park. We’ve been there. It hasn’t changed a bit, by the way. Mostly because of the murders. Anyway, you know the neat little passageway over there that leads to Wappingers Creek?”
“Yeah, follow that, walk by the creek for a little bit, and then turn left when you reach the mini waterfall. You’ll find me.”
“Yeah, but what do we do after that?” asked Chloe.
“I can’t tell you. I’m required to only say these specific lines on this paper, unless I want to cause some type of paradox that will blow up the universe, which actually sounds pretty cool, but whatever.”
“Can’t tell you that. It’s not on the paper. But this line is. And this one. And this one.” He continued to read the paper, now hesitantly, “Bobbitty, dobbity, doobity-doo. I feel like you guys are just making this up to mess with me. Oh, look, I say that too. And this. That’s weird.”
Chloe tried to reach for the paper but Jake snatched it out of her grasp before she even moved. “The paper said you would try to do that. Look, it even says, ‘Now lift the paper in the air quickly so Chloe can’t grab it. and it also says to say that afterwards. And this too. And now it says to throw the paper at them and leave. Also, I have two chronivators. A helpful tip for the future.”
He threw the paper at us and disappeared again, using the other chronivator. Chloe picked up the paper. “Wow.”
“What does it say?” I asked, looking over her shoulder.
“Everything Jake just said is on this,” she said. Sure enough it was. Word for word. “This is a lot like that episode Blink from Doctor Who.”
“But not too much,” I said. “Because that would be plagiarism.”
Jake popped up again. This time, his hair was cut short again and he was wearing normal jeans and a t-shirt. “One last thing: That chronivator can travel to different places, not just through time.”
“If only you went back in time to when we were in 1969 to tell us that,” I said.
“Well, too bad.” He vanished again.
Chloe folded up the paper and put it back in her pocket. “Okay,” she said. “We have to get moving before those people come back. How long did it take them to find us?”
“Okay, and how long have we been here?”
“About fifteen minutes.” We looked around. Still no sign of them, but I could tell they would be coming by any second now. Why wouldn’t Jake tell us about this? I thought to myself. Then I had an idea. I grabbed Chloe’s hand as she was putting the note in her pocket. “Come on.”
“Where are we going?” she asked following me.
“We’re going to hide,” I said. “We’re going to hide, and then we’re going to take them by surprise.” For the first time, I took a full look at our surroundings. The deli had apparently been destroyed recently, and we were now in what looked like some sort of woods, but I could hear the sound of cars in the distance. Maybe the chronivator isn’t that accurate, I thought. What if it messed up our location?
“What about that tree?” Chloe asked, pointing at a large, bushy evergreen tree about twenty yards away from us. How the hell did I not notice that?
“Perfect.” We both raced towards the tree and I helped her get onto the first branch, looking back every five seconds to see if they materialized anywhere nearby. They didn’t. At least not until we both got up a decent amount into the tree. We waited.
Just as we were about to get out of the tree, L. Smith and the rest of his squad materialized just feet away from us. I admit it; I made a lot of mistakes when trying to sneak up on L. Smith. The first of which was positioning myself halfway up the tree, above several branches. The second of which was expecting them not to immediately look up the tree in our direction and spot us.
“We’re time travelers who can track that chronivator of yours!” shouted Smith. “You think we wouldn’t know where you’d be hiding?” He took out his weird bulletless gun and pointed it exactly where were sat. “If you know what’s best for you, you’ll get down from the tree and let us arrest you.” I knew that wasn’t an option, but apparently Chloe didn’t thought so.
“Where would you take us?” she asked. I gave her a baffled look, and she shrugged back at me.
“Do you have a better idea?” I looked at the chronivator. Still charging. We still had three and a half minutes until we could use it. I shook my head.
“We’d take you back to our headquarters,” he said.
“The one near Sterling Park?” asked Chloe, and Smith’s stupid smirk immediately disappeared.
“How’d you know that?” he asked. Chloe saw the confusion on his face and raised her eyebrows at me. We knew something they didn’t. Well technically, they knew about Wappingers Creek too, but they didn’t know how.
“Yeah, right. Get down here right now or we will shoot.”
“What if we waited two minutes and forty-five seconds?”
“Two minutes and forty two seconds?”
“Stop playing games, and get down. Now.”
“Or what?” I asked. “You’re not going to kill me. If you could, you would have just killed me when I was a baby or something.”
“The paradoxes would—” he shrugged. “Why am I even bothering discussing this with you?” he clicked something at the top of his gun and then pointed it at me so I could see the inside of the barrel. Then he pulled the trigger.