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Time Travel Creative Story
I struggle to wake up, wanting to stay in bed but prodded to arise by the sense that something is awry. I stretch to shake out the last bits of sleep and realize that my bed is hard, cold, damp, and uneven. It is this recognition that gets me up. I rub my eyes and bring my hands down to see them covered in filthy, old leather gloves. The gloves now peek out from a large, tattered green overcoat that has seen one too many washings. I stand up to reveal even more scruffy clothes- a once white t-shirt, filthy overalls, and boots missing the laces. What is this? I wonder. Where am I? I scan the landscape before me, just lighting up with the horizon, and see nothing but gently rolling hills and imposing mountains in the distance. No barns, no pastures, no animals, no homes, only an overgrown wagon road.
Having no idea what to do or what to think, I sit down with a desperate sigh and shove my hands in my pockets. Something’s in there, a paper. I pull it out and have to unfold it several times. Whether it was originally yellow or whether it has aged that way, I cannot tell. All I know is that the handwriting on it is so faint; I can barely make it out. And even if I could, it wouldn’t matter because it is a different language. I do see a name on it though, French or something. So glad I was able to find something that was of no use to me, I throw it on the ground and start to walk away.
I don’t know where I’m going; I just follow the old road. I walk for a full day, and when night falls, I crumble into an exhausted heap on the side of the road. Morning comes and for a moment I think it all was a dream, the tattered clothes, the yellow paper, the loneliness and despair. But I am quickly brought back to reality when I feel something hover above me. I open my eyes to a huge black bear peering into my face. I am petrified, not knowing what to do. The bear rises up on its hind legs, while I am at its mercy, trembling on the ground. It lets out a massive roar, something like a furious Chewbacca on steroids. I close my eyes, trying to savor my last moments of life.
BAM. A gun shot. Close, and somewhere off to my left. Eyes still squeezed shut; I hear a resounding thud at my feet. And then, voices, drawing nearer. My whole body quaking, I force my eyes open, hoping for the best. There, approaching me is a man and a beautiful lady. The man speaks first. “Well that’s a pretty good shot, I’d say.”
“Isn’t that what you married me for?” says the woman.
“That and your chicken dumplings.” came the reply.
“If that’s all you love me for, I can use this gun for more than a bear.”
Not appreciative of this light banter since I’m half dead on the ground myself, I clear my throat to draw attention to the real problem here.
“And how are you fairing young lady?” asks the old man.
“Um, well, besides the fact that I just had the most terrifying experience of my life, and will probably never be the same again because of it, I’m fine really, thanks for asking.” My fear was overridden with annoyance, even though I should have been extremely grateful to these people since they just saved my life. But then again, I can be annoyed at the old man, he wasn’t holding a rifle.
“Well you poor thing, let’s get you home and cleaned up.” Yeah, I definitely liked the lady with the gun better.
I quickly agreed, and she helped me get up and on my feet. We started walking to their house, or at least I assumed that’s where we were going, and the couple started telling me of another man they had just recently added to their household. They said he wouldn’t be staying for long; just needed some help for a day or two. The man said they had been trying to help him turn his life around, but with no success. The guy winked when he said this, I don’t know why. But I didn’t think much of it, couldn’t think much about anything to be truthful.
So I definitely wasn’t listening when the old man went off about some new horse he had bought and about how he was going to name it Herald.
When we finally get to their house, I finally realize I should ask their names. When I do, the talkative one, the old man, says, “I’m Logan, and this is my wife, Marina. Oh and our other house guest is Jean ValJean.” Jean ValJean…that was the name on that yellow paper! But of course I didn’t have too much time to think about that either because we were promptly seated down to dinner, and I dove in hungrily. At first we just made small talk around the table, but soon I learned the real story of this Jean ValJean. Theft, convict, serving almost two full decades, recently let go, and fighting between the natural man and what was right, looking for a better life. I didn’t know if he was the same guy on the paper, but I felt guilty that I had tossed it. I wondered if I should go back for it, just in case, when…there it was, in my pocket like it had never left!
“Jean, “ I said, “I have something that has your name on it.” He looks curiously as I pull out the yellow paper. His eyes widen.
“Is that really for me?” he asks, acting dumbfounded.
“Well, I don’t know, I guess if that’s your name.”
He reaches out his hand hesitantly, yet somewhat greedily, and takes it. “Finally... oh, yes... at last, the power of the Dragon Scroll shall be mine!” He unfolds the paper, and stares at it. “It's... it's nothing!”
“It's okay.” Says Marina “We didn't get it the first time either. “
“What?” questions Jean.
“There is no secret ingredient. It's just you.”
“Don’t you see?” presses Logan. “It doesn’t take silver or gold or any manner of riches or fame to become that person you want to be. It just takes what’s inside of you, that’s all.”
“Oh,” says Jean. “All this time I was waiting for something to come along, when all along my heart was waiting for me to make a change.”
“You got it.” says Marina. “Now go out there, and make a change.”
Wow, I thought, this is weird…ly deep…ish. Yet, Jean gets up from the table with a resolute look on his face. “Thank you,” he says, “though I am ashamed you know of my past, because of you, my future is bright.”
“Well,” says Logan, “’A character, as well as a rock, may have holes worn into it by drops of water.’ But those holes may be filled with time and by good deeds.”
“Then that is what I will set out to do.” Says Jean.
So with tears in his eyes and one last tip of his hat, Jean ValJean walks out the door, and into the sunset of a better life. I don’t know why I was there that day, or why things happened as they did, or how I was going to get home, but that didn’t matter as long as a positive change was made in someone’s life. To quote the last lines of a famous book, ‘The thing came to pass simply, of itself, as the night comes when day is gone.’