He was trapped at the bottom of an hourglass, the sands falling down on him. He was going to die in here! He looked around desperately for a way out, when he saw a little girl with short black hair with her nose pressed up against the glass. He forced his way through the rising sands and then pounded on the glass.
“Help me!!” he screamed.
The girl merely stared at him with her sad countenance. The sands quickly started to come up to his chest.
“Please!! HELP ME!” he cried. The girl continued to stare at him as a tear rolled down her cheek.
“HEEEELP-!!” he anguished as the sands came up over his head...
March 12th, 1896
Rick awoke with a start, feeling shaky and sweaty. His eyes darted around the dark room of his dormitory. It was only a dream… again…. He slowly laid back down on his cot, unable to shake the terrified feeling he felt-the sense that he was in danger… but he knew that was impossible. After all, what danger could he possibly be in at a boarding school for boys?
At that moment, he thought he heard something. He sat back up and squinted in the darkness. He had sworn he had heard a little girl laugh…
And there it was again! He knew he heard it that time. Silently, he crawled out of the covers and made his way past all the other sleeping boys and towards the door, which was slightly ajar. He looked out into the hallway, and to his surprise, there was suddenly a little girl a few feet away-the moonlight glimmering on her short black hair. She smiled at him and ran around the corner. Rick blinked. It was the girl from his dream. Again. She was always wearing the same clothes; a pink shirt and blue trousers, which were odd enough… He looked around to make sure no one was watching him, then he quickly tried to follow her as quietly as he could. But as soon as he rounded the corner…
“Wille!! What are you doing out of bed?”
The seventeen year old stopped dead in his tracks at the sound of his last name and slowly turned around.
“Professor Penegar! I didn’t see you there…”
The professor stepped out of the shadows and folded his arms.
“Seeing things again are we?”
Rick looked down the long dark hallway and then back at his mentor.
Professor Penegar sighed. “There’s nothing to your dreams. Stop trying to chase what isn’t there. These dreams about carriages that move on their own, and women in trousers, and a vision box-.”
“Television.” Rick corrected.
“It doesn’t matter. It’s not real. Pay no mind to these things.”
Rick dejectedly hung his head. “I’m just so confused… What does it all mean?”
“We can talk about it tomorrow. But for now, you have to go to bed.”
Rick let him lead him back to the dormitories, but he couldn’t help but look back over his shoulder to see if the little girl was still there.
It had been a wretched day. The next morning, Professor Penegar had made him meet with a doctor, who told him to simply ignore the little girl, which was easier said than done. But Rick did his best. When the little girl realized he was ignoring her, she pitched a fit. She stood right by his desk and stared at him for all of Astronomy. She wrote a message on the chalkboard in his Mathematics class that only he could see that said, “LOOK AT ME”, and in his history class, she threw his papers everywhere, burst into tears and ran out of the classroom. And as distracting as it all was, he was the only one who could see it. Now he simply stared at his reflection in the pond, throwing rocks in and watching the ripples distort the image on the water-a pensive boy with black hair and sad green eyes.
Rick jumped and turned around to see a young woman who looked to be in her twenties looking down at where he was sitting.
“Mind if I join you?” she asked, picking up the bustles of her dress in preparation to sit down. Rick mumbled something unintelligible and turned back to dropping rocks in the water as she sat down.
“I wouldn’t trust anything Professor Penegar says if I were you.” she said.
“Oh really? And what makes you say that?”
The woman paused and thought about it for a second.
“How do I put this delicately? Hmmm… Let’s just say he isn’t looking into your best interests…”
“And what would you know about my best interests?” he asked skeptically.
She laughed. “I know a lot more than you at this point in time.”
Rick let a larger rock plunk into the water, feeling agitated that this woman seemed to be toying with him.
“I doubt you really know anything about me…” he mumbled.
“I know that you’ve been trying to ignore your sister all day.”
Rick froze and then slowly turned to her. “Sister? I don’t have a sister!”
“Do you? It’s interesting you didn’t object to the fact that you are ignoring someone. You just don’t remember that someone being your sister. Think hard. Try to remember.Try really hard Rick.”
He looked back down at his reflection. He didn’t have a sister… Did he? His mind suddenly felt very hazy. Who were his parents? Who were his friends? It just seemed like a blank empty space.
“Wait-how did you know my name?”
The girl simply smiled and threw a rock into the water herself.
“This is the first time you’ve met me, but this is not the first time I’ve met you.”
“What’s that supposed to mean??”
“You’ll find out later… So about your sister…”
Rick folded his arms and sat back obstinately. “What about her?” he grumbled.
“Haven’t you noticed? She’s been trying to get you to follow her. And there are people trying to stop you.”
“You mean like Professor Penegar…”
“Yes. Especially him. I know you don’t remember, but you have some fears regarding him.”
“I don’t have time for this,” he said angrily, standing up to leave. But when he turned his back on her, she was suddenly standing in front of him.
“This is serious Rick.” she said placidly, her smile gone. “You are in danger. If you don’t listen to me, you are going to die.”
Without warning, he suddenly got a flash of pain in his head, which almost caused him to blackout. His nightmare of the hourglass danced before his mind, and then the pain subsided. The girl regarded him in concern.
“I’m here to help you…” she said gently.
Rick rubbed his head as he pondered on all the confusion. When out of the corner of his eye, he saw pink. He slowly turned to see that the little girl was staring at him from the edge of the woods. He glanced back at the girl in front of him, and then took off running towards the woods. The little girl laughed gleefully and took off running herself. Rick jumped over logs and ducked under trees, keeping his eyes open for the popping pink color. At one moment he thought he lost her, but then he heard the laugh. As he continued to follow the girl through the woods, it oddly enough began to snow. He got to a clearing and stopped to catch his breath. Everything was silent. He looked around, but the girl was gone.
“Hello?” he called out.
Frustrated, he kicked a tree, sending some snow cascading down on top of him. Then he paused.
This clearing looked familiar…
He had run through these woods before-with his sister…
“Get back here!!” a voice yelled angrily in the distance. There was rustling in the bushes, and to Rick’s astonishment, he was soon looking at a seventeen year old lanky boy with short black hair and a rather anxious, terrified look on his face.
He was looking at himself.
“Cadi!” the memory version of Rick called out in a whisper. A second later, the little girl that Rick had been seeing came out of the bushes behind him. She looked near to tears.
“I can’t run anymore!” she gasped. “He’s going to get us and-and.”
“Shh. He’s not going to get us…” memory Rick assured, even though he seemed unsure himself. “Get on my back.”
Gratefully, the little girl climbed onto his back. This whole time, present Rick, dressed in his boy school uniform, was getting very confused by the whole thing. It all seemed to be familiar, but what kind of things were his past self and sister wearing? And who was after them? He tried to recall the dreams he had often had about the cars, ipods, televisions…
Without warning, there was a gunshot, and the little girl screamed. Memory Rick began running again, this time with his little sister on his back.
Present Rick stepped back in a daze, his head slightly pounding. His world started spinning and spinning, and he felt himself falling….
Before he realized what was happening, he soon found himself in the passenger’s seat of a car, the sound of gunshots in the air. He looked over to the driver, who was wearing a stylish dress with fringe, and immediately recognized her.
The woman from the pond flashed a smile as her cropped hair blew in the wind.
“Glad to see you made it out of the 1800’s Rick. Welcome to the 1920’s….”