Writing Prompt: Day 119

119.jpgDay 119 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: Bring your story to conclusion by talking about time.

Erin: “She’s not breathing,” she’s not breathing a young woman shouted from the front.

Without thinking I jumped off of the 10-foot-tall stage without thinking. I grabbed the even younger woman and brought her body down to the floor. I had been so extensively trained in CPR as a lifeguard that it came as second nature to me. “Call 911,” I shouted as I pushed on the passed-out one’s chest.

The ambulance made it. The girl made it. I was told that was because of me. That’s when I concluded that my life changing moment had nothing to do with giving big inspirational speeches about how I could never work for anyone. My life changing moment was realizing that I could.

I just needed to find a person who wanted the work that I wanted to give. I wanted to save lives. I save lives to this day at the children’s hospital. If you want to see being thrown into the trenches, don’t look to performers. There is a lot of views, but what is the real risk to them. The first time I had a little life in my hand is a moment no one can prepare for.

In that regard, I feel no more like an expert today than I did the day I saved my first life. Those 30 seconds were just as significant as the last 30 years. They made them possible. It’s funny how the weight of time is not always dependent on the longevity, but more what you fill it with.

Shannon: I was the last one to make it to the door, so that may have been the reason the hand abruptly landed on my shoulder, but then again, the strange voice did know my name.

“Jenifer, please wait. I won’t hurt you, please calm down,” the voice whispered, sounding nonthreatening, but I could feel my heartbeat throughout my whole body. A hand reached over me to push the door shut with a loud smack.

I turned around, to peak at who I was dealing with, and I had to blink a few time to believe was I was seeing. “Mr. Withers? But you’re dead”

“I know.”

“Are you a ghost?”

He shook his head and handed me a newspaper then pointed to the date. It was from next Monday, a date that didn’t exist yet, but it looked so real. Then he pointed to the top story. I was in the picture along with the group and we were standing next to a large machine. The title read: Local High School Students Build Time Machine.

I laughed. “Yeah right,” I shook my head.

“It’s my time machine,” he explained, putting the paper back into his large coat pocket. “I’m from the past, and I’ve seen the future. After this is reveal to the public it gets into the wrong hands. I’ve come to destroy the machine, but at its current power I can only stay here for so long. I need you to do it, and I need you to keep your friends away.” He handed me a piece of paper. “Here are some directions. You’ll want to follow them, since the materials are a bit dangerous. There’s a list on there that explains what will happen if you don’t follow through too. Quick, I’ll show you the machine.”

I nodded, thinking I would wake up from the dream at any moment. We walked to the room and he revealed the bright blue light was inside a large tube contraption. I searched for the record player and it was behind the machine, “What’s with the music? And how did you do the phone thing?” I wanted to understand.

“The music keeps people away, and I have this to turn off phones,” he held out what looked like a handheld clicker. “Some technology from the future.”

“So why trust me? I could easily tell everyone as soon as you leave,” I was still confused.

“I know you’ll do the right thing,” he smirked. “I’ve seen another future, and if you follow through we’ll meet again, and I’ll have some very important news for you at that moment. But only if we meet again.”

And now we end our week of the unexpected, how did your story turn out?

2 thoughts on “Writing Prompt: Day 119

  1. And so we stood there, frozen to the spot like an elaborately carved and abandoned ice sculpture listening to the arctic wind howl violently against the glass and snows drift like broken doves through the air. Surprisingly, the writer remained silent long into the night; the northern lights were just beginning to flicker their last, brilliant, shades by the time she made her first verbal appearance. Though I could feel her murky presence shifting uncomfortably in the deep recesses of my addled mind, I couldn’t hear what she wanted to say until she decided to speak. Time had slowed to a dull march, causing the snowflakes to shatter mid-fall and become irreparably scattered in the turmoil.
    “It must be time soon,” was all she stated in a flat, solemn tone that had none of her customary liveliness and rigorously combative nature. Instead of speaking in riddles or mind-numbing prose she let her true meaning float freely between our separate consciousnesses and become lodged in my own train, tagging along until it reached my current thought process. “The sun must be rising soon; this night has last eons and must end soon. Morning must finally arrive soon to release us from this cursed plain,” could have been spoken aloud by either of us as truth, but it felt as though speaking it into the world would make it suddenly truer.
    Instead, we just stood there, sipping what could have been awfully bitter or burning whiskey, but I couldn’t tell you which. Sometimes the writer was in charge when I just wanted to take a break from watching for the first signs of dawn light streaming over the mountains in the distance. But she either stared blankly at the aurora borealis as though in a trance, or mumbled gibberish against the frosty windowpane. Neither of us stoked the fire, but it continued to cheerfully chew through log after log of sweet-smelling lumber at a terrifying pace.
    Time seemed to slow and return to normal at random intervals; the lights above us would shiver leisurely for a time, glittering like a Christmas ribbon that ran away, before almost coming to a stand-still mid-air.
    When I spoke at all, it was to verbalize the time on the clock, hoping it would remind the world that time must pass and morning must come. But, even as the clock chimed an hour after sunrise, the world was still in total, blinding darkness with masses of whiteout smattered across the tundra for contrast. Above us, pretending the world didn’t exist at all below it, the northern lights went on. The writer sighed emphatically, pretending to ignore the panic that was slowly creeping around my heart; as our breathing became laboured and shallow, I attempted to calm us with more tea. “The morning has to come, the sun must rise and light our way,” I chanted, willing the writer to believe the thin lie and remain calm.
    But as the clock finished chiming the hour, after what could easily have been forty minutes, the sun still hadn’t risen and the writer woke from her silent reverie with a start and a final remark, “The morning won’t come in time to save us.”


  2. (there is stuff between 118 and this one.)

    August stands at the edge of a building, looking out at the expanse passed the town. “[Where are you going?]”
    “[Home,]” he tells the boy. Retali sits at the edge, looking at the street below.
    “[Where’s home?]”
    “[To her?]”
    August knows it’s been weeks since the team left. He’s wandered most of the time, unable to find anything to help him remember. But now that he does, he can go home.
    ‘I can’t just take a plane to New York,’ he thinks to himself, ‘I don’t have my passport. I was brought here, via SHIELD. …What was I thinking?’ He resists the urge to slap himself. ‘Okay, I need to find transportation and a map. If I can find a river or even the ocean, then I need money for a boat ticket.’
    He looks at Retali.
    “[Do you want to come with?]” August asks.
    Retali looks at him, then shakes his head, “[America is not home. This is home.]”
    “[Are you sure? You could have a family.]”
    Retali shakes his head, “[I don’t need family.]”
    August knows he won’t be able to change his mind. He sighs, sitting down, “[Take care of yourself, Retali. And find friends here. Everyone needs friend.]”
    “[I have a friend.]” Retali leans against August. August wraps an arm around his shoulders.
    “Yes, you do.” August looks out at the expanse again, ‘Heather must be back in the States by now. How long will it be until I’m back as well? Probably a month.’ He sets his mouth in a solid line, ‘No longer. A month is already too long. I will be on American soil within a month, and see Heather again not long after.’ He smiles, leaning his head onto Retali’s to watch the dusty sunset.
    “[Do you have a place to sleep?]”
    “[Where you woke up.]”
    August sits up straight and checks the purse. He still has a pit in his stomach about letting Retali keep the purse, but he knows he’ll need the money too. He counts and knows enough about the currency to know they can pay for a night at one of the crummy hotels.
    August stands and Retali follows. They climb off the roof and August leads them to the hotel for a decent night’s sleep.


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