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The first time it was cold. We had a block party full of games and unhealthy options. Our parents brought us home before it was over because winter had crept over into fall. I was mad, as I found the party preferable to bedtime. Being a rebellious 6 year old, I chose to slip outside to enjoy the party. I was not, however rebellious enough, as I did not make it to the street before the shadows casted by street lamps grabbed hold of my imagination. I could not reach my windowsill, so I tried the backdoor, which was locked. I shivered, afraid of the bad things I could not see in the dark, but must lurk in the shadows. I got tired of knocking and slumped by the door, the cold biting through my thin pajamas.
I sat for over an hour before my body got too cold. I began to feel a pressure inside of me, a muscle connected not to a part of me, but to a reflex to defend myself, a reflex I had never felt.
I flex my newly found muscle and Click.
It is warm. The leaves are gone, and the grass has regained its color. I hold myself there for 5 seconds before the strain exhausts me. I regain my strength and do it again, to push against the cold. The next time, I try the lock on the door and it works, because the door was not I slip inside before I am pushed back from the past into the present.
It has been 8 years since the first time.
I walk the sidewalks with my little cousin, returning from the park. In his imagination cracks in the concrete become chasms and crevasses, to be carefully traversed. He is a heroic adventurer in our journey across the urban badlands. I tell him to stop at a street corner, but he continues across, I after all, am the sidekick and he is the decision maker. My heart leaps in my chest as he dashes across, but he makes it safely to the other side. I rush across after him because I don't want to leave him to his own devices. As I stride across, a car rushes towards me, just a pedestrian the driver didn't see.
Have you ever been told time goes slower during an accident?
As the car advanced I used my one protection mechanism. My mind strained to fit a pice in to a
puzzle it did not belong to. I focused harder and harder until beads of sweat appeared on my forehead, until click.
The car is gone. The sky overhead is not clear anymore, it is full of clouds, and my cousin has disappeared. The new skyrise across the street is replaced by a crumbling flat. My headache pounds as I run toward the sidewalk, straining to fit in a puzzle I don't belong to. The strain becomes greater and greater when click. The cars reappear in the now busy street, it is no longer overcast and my cousin-
“Where were you?” He questions.
“In the street silly.”
“No, you disappeared” he says.
“You just- Weren't paying attention.”
He tires of conversation and begins to walk the next block.
In truth, I never disappeared from this street, just from this time.
I don't travel often, as it is hard work and dangerous, I fear to think what people would do if they caught me. I have gotten better at it since the first time. I still have no idea how I do it, but I always go back to around half a year before. But something has changed. When I practiced in my room a week ago, I was focusing on my new lamp, and I brought It back with me. But because the dresser had been in a different place half a year ago, the lamp shattered on the ground. When I come back, It comes back with me, under my dresser in pieces. I am afraid because I enjoyed destroying it.
It has been 12 years since the first time
I was Taking a walk when I saw a squirrel crossing a street, slowly, without fear, not a car in sight. I focused on its agile body, its fluid form and click. The road was very busy half a year ago, and the squirrel was unprepared. I am afraid because I enjoyed destroying it.
It has been 23 years science the first time
There are bad people. Bad people that will pay you to get rid of people they claim are just as bad. And when you have a gift like mine, they will pay you even more. I am out today, in the biting cold, and so is my target. He is enjoying ice skating with his family, as it has been cold for days and is nine inches thick.
I convince myself he is bad, and I focus on him. I am safe on the shore while he glides across the placid surface. Click. He falls like a lamp off a dresser into the warm water of June. His reflexes kick in and he begins to swim, but click.
Ice is harder to swim through.