Bridge To Terabitha 2: Another Time


It's been a week since Leslie died. Jess has tried everything to forget about his late friend, yet nothing seems to succeed. Terabithia has remained unchanged so far. May Belle doesn't seem fazed at the fact that Leslie died. But Jess is. If Leslie was still alive, now would be a good time to help Jess...

Adventure / Fantasy
Age Rating:

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Hey everyone! Before you read this, you should either watch the movie “Bridge To Terabithia” or read the book! I personally would rate this story Teen because, well, spoilers huh? But in all seriousness, I don’t know where I am going to take this book. I have the first few chapters planned out, which will definitely be rated teen. After that, I have no idea what will happen to this book, but I will try to continue it as best as I can while being faithful to the book and movie. Also, I do not own any of the characters or Terabithia, that all belongs to Katherine Paterson. This will be almost a direct continuation of the movie, taking place a week before the one year anniversary of Leslie’s death. Using IHateSnakes logic, he deduced that the time period of her death is anywhere between April 2nd-6th, say April 5th, 2007. That means that this book starts on March 30th, 2008. If you need any clarification, feel free to ask questions to me! I have decided to make Leslie, at the unfortunate time of her death, the same age as the movie, approximately eleven. The same goes with Jess, ten going on eleven, May Belle, seven, and almost all other characters. One more thing, you will most likely see many ElleFred and IHateSnakes, two very well known Bridge to Terabithia authors, references in this book. They are both major inspirations and if either of them read this book, hi! If you see a reference, well congrats! Well, now that that’s all aside, have fun reading, and keep your mind wide open!


“Jess, are you there?” Leslie yelled aloud.

His mouth wouldn’t talk. His eyes would not close. It was the same nightmare that he had been having for the past week. It never changed, never stopped. Jess was scared that they would never.

“Jess where are you?”

He tried everything he could, but his body stood still, nothing moving. Prince Terrien was in her arms. He already knew what would happen. There was no hope left in him.

The nightmares hadn’t stopped for a week, today marked it. They were nonstop. They were always the same. In the past week, Jess had brought May Belle back to Terabithia multiple times, almost everyday. But that didn’t fill the hole that Leslie had left when she had gone, just up and left. Janice Avery tried everything and anything to help him, but it never worked. They had never been that close anyways. Leslie befriended her before, well, he didn’t want to think about that right now, did he?

Leslie was smiling from ear to ear. She was probably thinking of what Jess was doing in Terabithia. She grabbed onto the rope. Jess’s body was aching from how hard he was trying to move, to prevent her from swinging on the rope. But it was useless. Leslie’s weight shifted onto the rope and she began to move through the air. Disturbing was the correct word to describe it, seeing her blonde hair change in motion from sideways to completely downward while rotating. The rope snapped and she fell, her head hitting a stray rock. She fell completely unconscious. And Jess couldn’t do anything. Just like the first time, or the past twenty times. Her body flew down the raging rapids of the river, but time seemed to slow for Jesse. It was almost as if his body was telling him to look at what he had done. Look at what HE had caused. Unfair.

LESLIE! DON’T GO, PLEASE! he screamed in his head. She was floating, but was face down. Ironic; dead man’s float. Her body reached the territory of the bridge, or, at least where it was at present time. And just like that, it was over. He was waking up. No saving Leslie for Jess. No being a hero. No preventing something that he knew, no, everyone knew, he had caused.


His body felt as if it weighed a million pounds, although he knew that wasn’t the case. He had unbearable strain upon his body in his dream trying to reach Leslie that it had basically reset itself, something that had happened repeatedly. He would have to wait a while until it returned to normal, but that was fine with him. It was morning, but he had disregarded his morning runs soon after Leslie died; it just didn’t feel the same anymore. Like a piece, not just of him but of the world, was missing, gone, vanished. Came, stayed for a few months, and then left him. He missed her with his entire heart, and nothing seemed to fill the gap that she had created.

Most things had returned to normal a few weeks after Leslie died. It was almost as if his family wanted him to forget the Queen, although he was almost certain that he could never do that. The Burke’s had moved away a few days after the memorial, and he had built the bridge to Terabithia using planks borrowed from the Burke’s and nails from the Burke’s and his father. Looking back upon it, he wished that he never needed to build that.

He soon regained control of his body, and began to walk around. Based on the clock in his and May Belle’s room, it was around 7:30. He gently shook May Belle awake. “Hey sleepyhead, it’s time for breakfast,” Jess said once her eyes had fluttered open.

“Jess, you were talking in your sleep again.”

“I know I was.”

“You were saying Leslie’s name over and over again. You said to not go, so I said I wouldn’t and hugged you.” How innocent.

“I know, May Belle. The nightmares haven’t stopped yet.”

She rubbed her eyes. “What day is it?”

“It’s Sunday, I think. Now hurry up or we’ll be late for breakfast.”

Jess and May Belle hurried down the stairs. “Morning, Mom!” Jess called out once they had reached the kitchen.

“Good morning, Jess. Morning May Belle. Why are you so cheerful?”

“No reason, really.” It was true, he was feeling fairly bad, as he had become used to over the past week, when the nightmares started up again. He had escaped his first batch of nightmares a month after Leslie died, much to the delight of May Belle. However, they reappeared out of the blue last week, with, to Jess, seemed to hold no significance.

“Well sit and have breakfast,” Ellie said. A few months ago, Ellie, driven by one of her classmates since she flunked all of her driver tests, was arrested on their way to a school dance. The classmate she had been riding with had been distributing less than legal substances throughout Ellie’s school. Ellie had not known this before hand, but this caused her a real scare. The classmate who was arrested would not say anything to help Ellie either, leading to Ellie needing to stay in jail overnight. Eventually, evidence came out that Ellie had not been involved with the driver and was let go. Afterwards, Ellie became much nicer to all of her siblings, including Jess and May Belle, not like either of them complained. May Belle now had the older sister that she always wanted.

The other had died.

Jess and May Belle sat down, both children just noticing their rumbling bellies. “So Jess,” Ellie began. “has anything changed with, um, Leslie and you?” It had almost been a year and she was still afraid to say her name in front of him. Not that he didn’t appreciate it, he did, as it wasn’t a constant reminder of her, but his mind was always on Leslie. Nothing could change that. Nothing would ever change that.

“No, not really. The nightmares haven’t stopped or anything.” The words rolled out of his mouth as he was used to having to tell his family about the issue.

The rest of breakfast was silent after that. No one dared to say a word, but Jess’s good mood didn’t seem to pass just yet.

“Jess, it’s time to go,” May Belle said.

“I’m waiting for you! You’re the one who has to say bye to all of your barbies!”

“They’re nice! And I’ve been ready!”

“Okay then let’s go.”

Jess and May Belle took off down the road to wait for the bus. It would be any second that the bus was supposed to arrive.

He didn’t dare look at the Burke’s house. Old house technically, yet no one was really going to move into it anyways. Every potential buyer had heard the rumor of a ghost girl haunting the town, which scared away most of the buyers. The ones that remained then either found a better house or said it was not a good house to raise a family in, which was probably true. Jess wouldn’t want to raise his family in that house either. It was a tradition that he had fallen into. He felt that if he looked at it, he would break down again. He would not let Scott Hoager or Gary Fulcher see him like that.

Their consistent torture had almost stopped. Being friends with Janice Avery had been the cause of that. Whenever Janice saw Gary or Scott talking to him, they always somehow ended up with some part of their body bleeding afterwards. Janice blamed it on magic.

However, once they were passing the Burke’s old house, May Belle’s face lit up in surprise and confusion which was almost enough for Jess to break his unwritten rule. However, he didn’t and trudged along. If May Belle wanted to tell him, she would. However, she didn’t seem interested in doing that and continued with her brother.

They waited there for thirty minutes before realizing that it was a Sunday, leaving both adolescents embarrassed. “Why didn’t you tell me?” May Belle asked, half exclaiming.

“I didn’t realize! Terabithia?”

“Obviously. Jess, I think I figured out your nightmares, or why you have ’em.”

“Oh yeah, why?” he asked, half amused. If he couldn’t figure it out, he doubted May Belle could, yet wouldn’t say that to her. It’d hurt her, and he couldn’t do that. She was his sister, his younger sister.

“Well,” she said, obviously nervous. However, she quickly straightened up and said, “Well, just look at the date. It’s March 30th.” Seeing her brother’s confused look at the date, she continued. “It’s a week before she died, Jess.”

Silence fell. “Oh,” he said. He had not thought about that, although he was sure that his family would have. They most likely had avoided the subject around him, the anniversary being considered a sore spot in his family. The one month anniversary had not been handled well, resulting in Jess sending a lousy letter to the Burke’s, asking how they had been. It must’ve been lost in the mail, as he had never gotten a letter back, although he did see the letter magically appear a few days later in his parents room.

“Yeah,” he said after another few minutes of silence. “That’s probably it.”


May Belle, I’m sick of it,” Jess said, and then continued after seeing her confused face. “These nightmares sucks, and I’m over it. If you’re right about the nightmares and the anniversary, I’m over with it all. I’m happy from now on, okay?”

A smile spread across her face. “Really? Thank you, thank you, thank you!” She hugged Jess tightly.

“Now I’m not gonna forget about Leslie or anything. I just have to focus on other things and let her spirit live on through Terabithia.”

“Jess, thank you! Do you want to fight squogres and hairy vultures now?” May Belle asked, glistening with happiness.

“What kind of question is that? Of course I do!”

For the next hour, Jess and May Belle fought off different creatures of Terabithia. “Jess, what was that shadow that flew by us?” May Belle asked.

He must’ve forgotten to tell May Belle about the Dark Master. The Dark Master had not been in Terabithia since Leslie’s death, so he hadn’t seen a need to tell May Belle. His reappearance could not have been a coincidence. “May Belle, the squogres and the hairy vultures are all controlled by one being. That being is known as the Dark Master. He’s that shadow you saw. There really is no way to fight him, or at least we haven’t been able to yet. But I’m sure when the time comes, we’ll win. The King and the Princess are unstoppable! And we’re the fastest in all of Terabithia!”

“Nothing crushes us! Let’s find and capture the Dark Master!” May Belle exclaimed in excitement.

“Now hold on for a second. We have to be better prepared. Tommorow, we’ll come back and we’ll ask the Terabithians if they know where the Dark Master lives. If they do, we’ll send an army and us to the hideout. If they don’t, then we’ll just have to figure it out for ourselves, won’t we?” Jess felt like laughing because of the look on his younger sister’s face. It was filled with excitement, the most he had ever seen on her face before.

“Why not today?” May Belle asked anxiously.

Jess nodded his head towards the sun. “See that thing? It’s getting low, and I’d say it’s getting close to dinner.”

She rolled her eyes. “Fine,” she said after having a small argument with herself in her head. “but first thing after school, we come here.”

“Deal. Now let’s get back before we get in trouble. Race to the bridge?” Immediately, May Belle took of sprinting, leaving Jess far behind her. “Hey, no fair!” Jess yelled and hurried after his younger sister.

Jess always won their races no matter how much of a head start either of them got. The near five year age gap was the probable cause for that. And this race wasn’t any difference, Jess had reached the bridge about a minute before his sister did.

Jess stood on the bridge, waiting for his sister. He was still hurting from Leslie’s death, but he decided to keep that feeling internal from now on. No reason to hurt his loved ones for his problems. No reason to hurt himself by thinking about her.

Leslie was floating under where he was standing almost a year ago.



Leslie must’ve said that repeatedly.




If only that tree fell faster.

If only there was another way to get across to Terabithia.

If on- No, not again. Jess would not feel sorry for himself any longer. Feeling sorry would not get him anywhere. Feeling sorry would not bring Leslie back. He would still grieve, just in private where no one would have to hear his whimpering cries.

“Jess!” called out May Belle from behind him. “Something’s wrong in Terabithia! Something’s different!”

“What do you mean? I don’t see anything.”

“It’s a feeling I have,” May Belle continued, now on the bridge with him. “Something changed and I’m not sure what yet. Jess please believe me!”

“If something did change, I’m sure that it’ll be here tomorrow, right?”

May Belle sighed. “Yeah, you’re right. Just hope we’re not missing something important though.”

“Yeah, we probably won’t,” he said, himself skeptical. “Now come on, we have to get home,” he said. He was about to suggest another race, but decided against it as he saw that his sister was out of breath. He took her hand and began to walk towards their house.


“Jess, look!” May Belle exclaimed.

Jess had to break his unwritten rule. How could he not? His own sister was telling him to! What laid in the yard of the old Burke’s house was a sign that had two simple words on it. ‘Fo SOLD le’. “They sold the house?” he asked, out of breath, although he was almost certain that his sister would not know the answer.

“They must have. I saw people in the front yard in the morning but didn’t know what they were doing.”

“Do you wanna go in?” Jess asked, catching both him and his sister off-guard.

“That’s illegal Jess! Of course I wanna go in!”

“You can’t tell anyone about this, May Belle.”

“I won’t. I’m excited, Jess! I’ve never been in there!”

Jess and May Belle approached the front door. Jess rattled the door handle, only to see that it was locked. “Locked. We’re gonna have to go through a window or something.”

“There’s one up there!” she said and pointed up to a room. A wave of sadness overtook Jess, yet he didn’t dare show it. It was Leslie’s old room. “May Belle, you know how hard it would be to climb up there? We’ll use that as a last resort.”

Sure enough, all of the other windows on the first story were locked. “Last resort yet?” May Belle asked.

“It’s our only chance, I guess. We’re gonna have to climb a tree though, and Mom would kill me if you got hurt. Are you okay with climbing a tree?”

May Belle nodded vigorously. “I can handle climbing a tree. I’ve fought servants of the Dark Master.”

“True, I’ll go first to make sure the window is unlocked.” Jess quickly ascended the tree. He banged on the window and then tried to lift the window up, which gave way easily. “It’s unlocked!” No one wants to go in a dead girl’s room, of course it’s unlocked.

“Okay, I’m coming!” she said. She almost slipped twice while climbing, which would’ve resulted in a few broken bones. Luckily, she made it up and into the house without harm. “Jess, this is Leslie’s room, isn’t it?” she asked.

“Yeah, I think so.” A fire was ignited from within him and, despite his tries, he could not extinguish it.. “I-I’m going to explore the rest of the house.” He stumbled around. He was having trouble walking, and speech did not seem likely.

“Jess, maybe you should sit down for a second. What even happened?”

“I’ll be fine. I don’t know what happened.” And the fire raged on. He recognized the feeling, it was determination, but why did he feel that as soon as he entered Leslie’s room?

“Maybe it would be best if we left. It is getting late anyways,” May Belle warned.

“Come on, you’re the one who wanted to come here! Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m heading downstairs for a quick minute,” Jess said. He exited the room and flew down the stairs. His mind was already set on where he wanted to go. He knew every turn to get there, and soon found himself standing in the golden room.

Why had everything changed?

Where was the furniture?

Where were the Burke’s?

Where was Leslie?


Where is Leslie?

All of the furniture had been removed, but Jess could still picture it. And for the second time in Jesse Aaron’s life, he watched the golden wall light fire.

“Jess!” called May Belle. “We have to go! we’re gonna be really late for dinner!”

“Coming!” yelled Jess back. Oh how much he wished that he could watch the sun set with Leslie again. He sighed. That would never happen. The only connection that Jess had to the family now was P.T. And the fire raged on.


“Jeez, May Belle, you’re an Aaron’s child, you should know how to climb a tree.”

“That’s unfair, and I’m not the worst by any means.”

“You almost fell out of the tree.”

“Don’t tell Daddy. Or Mommy. Or Ellie. Just don’t tell anyone.”

“What if I told Alexandria you still suck your thumb and sleep with Mr. Blankie?”

“I thought we had a deal!”

“Calm down, I won’t tell anyone if you don’t.”

Jess was outside of his house with May Belle, and based on the smell, was on time for dinner. “Hey, we got spaghetti tonight! Yes!”

Jess ran into the house, barely remembering to take off his shoes first. Spaghetti was his favorite. “Did you leave May Belle in the dust?” asked Ellie.

“She’s coming in now, but I smelled spaghetti.”

“Where have you guys been anyways? It seems that you’ve been somewhere after school since it started.”

“We just race and stuff,” he said, once again having to lie to maintain the secrecy of Terabithia.

She laughed. “You’re lucky, dinner’s in five minutes.”

“Thanks Ell.”

Jess retreated to his room. Light was barely radiating anymore from his window. He could barely see Leslie’s house from his. His mind once again traveled to Leslie Burke. He began to cry the tears that had built up throughout the day, not very loudly as to not alert the rest of the house. The guilt he felt was unbearable. He couldn’t deal with the sadness anymore, every inch of his body missed her. He never said it when she was alive but now wished he did. He loved her. That thought was almost completely foreign to him. It was almost incomprehensible that he could love anyone else that wasn’t immediate family and the nice lady at the grocery market who gave him an extra slice of cheese, but Jess was entirely sure of it. Jess Aarons loved Leslie Burke. Jess Aarons loved a dead girl. And a dead girl used to love him.

In Jesse Aaron’s adolescent mind, love was a complex thing, but his definition of love was Leslie.

“Why did you have to leave me here alone Les? Why me? I love you, Les.”

“I love you too.” It was his imagination.

It shocked him. Did he just communicate with the dead? “Leslie, can you hear me?” He didn’t get a response, which made him chalk the earlier incident up to his imagination. After all, he did create Terabithia, so it would make sense for him to have a creative little mind.


“There’s a ‘Sold’ sign on the Burke’s front lawn,” Jess said.

“Oh,” his father said, having returned from work. “and how do you feel about that?”

“They already moved away, now it’s just official. And it wouldn’t hurt to have neighbors again, would it?”

“Yeah, just don’t go on planning a marriage with a girl if someone like that moves in.”

“Shut up, Brenda,” Jess said. Unlike Ellie, Brenda did not change, still patronizing her younger siblings, albeit by herself. “Does anyone know about the state of the house? Like when the people in?”

“I do,” Ellie said. “They’re supposed to move in soon, or that’s what I heard.”

“I saw them too!” May Belle said, obviously happy to have the ability to participate in the conversation. “They have a girl about Jess’s age, I think!”

“Well now, I wouldn’t get your hopes up just yet, May Belle,” his mother said. “That house is going to be hard to sell. It is huge and it’s beautiful but with its history, they would have to lower the value by at least half, probably even more to even get an offer, nevertheless an acceptable one.”

“Do you know where the Burke’s are living now, Mom?” asked Jess.

“One town over or something? I doubt it’s permanent though,” she said after seeing her son’s worried look.

Dinner was lively and chatty, but nothing noteworthy happened after that, at least to Jesse. So, as usual, Jess made his aloud prayer to Leslie before going to bed. “You changed my life, Les. Thank you for that. I heard there might be people looking at your old house. To like buy it. Me and May Belle went to Terabithia again. I told her about the Dark Master. Then we kinda broke into your house, but through your window since it was unlocked. I sat and watched the golden room just how your mother told me to. And I could’ve sworn I heard you tell me you love me, but that’s probably just me imagining stuff. That’s really it for today. Talk to you tomorrow, Les. Love you.” And with that, Jesse Aarons went to bed completely content.

But Leslie Burke didn’t.

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