Saturday, April 6th
It’s funny the things you think about when you are in the middle of a crisis. I need to concentrate, but I keep thinking about Cher singing “If I Could Turn Back Time,” with Papa’s voice. Oh, Papa! Papa sure does love his Cher. I’m pretty sure he is her number one fan. I think I can honestly say I’ve heard him sing this one song just about a billion times, if not more. I know the lyrics by heart, even though it’s really not my cup of tea. It was before my time, and that was a long time ago. And still, there’s Cher, in my head, singing with Papa’s voice at the top of his lungs. Funny, I know. Normally, I would have laughed, but not today. Today, there is nothing to laugh about.
I turn my attention back to my younger self. I…,I mean, she is only 14 here. I watch her writhing in pain on the bed in the middle of the room. She is hurting, and it’s my fault. She keeps changing, fluxing as it’s known amongst Time Flyers, from one age to another in no particular order. A moment ago, she appeared as a 5-year-old; before that she was 10. Ugh… Time! I try not to let the tears come, but it’s no use. They fall freely in the face of her suffering. Time is what got me … us, in trouble in the first place. Actually, to be honest, it was the abuse of time travel (or flying as we call it) that caused all of this. It’s the reason why I’m here, and why she is stuck in this awful condition. With me are the other 23 Elders of The Council of the 24, hovered around the edges of her bed. Papa is here, also, but just barely. He keeps coming in and out of focus. He doesn’t look so good. He looks like he’s about to… cry? Oh, no! I’ve never seen Papa cry before. He looks at the girl on the bed, and stretches out his arms as if to scoop her up into his protective arms, but he knows he can’t; not with her in this condition. Instead he softly whispers, “Loxley.” What have I done?
“If I could turn back time,” continues Cher, still belting it out with Papa’s voice. As weird as that image is in my head, it only deepens my sense of shame. “Papa, I’m so sorry!” If I had known it would have led to all this, I never would have stolen it. I didn’t know Grandpa’s pocket watch could cause so much trouble. “What can we do to make things right?”she and I think simultaneously. It is strange to have someone else’s thoughts in my head, even if the someone is a younger version of me. It just isn’t right and never should have happened. I know that all too well now.
The light flickers, and she screams. The sound echoes throughout the universe, and nearly splits the Earth in two. The clock on the nightstand by the bed jiggles across the surface and topples onto the floor. I grab hold of the nearest Elder to steady myself so I won’t fall over. He looks at me as if to say, “Concentrate, Loxley!” I shudder, knowing we can’t afford another earthquake like that. I must make the effort to pay attention. We have to keep her stable. We have to keep her from fluxing. I have to go now. I’ll be back again in two weeks. Hopefully, I and the other Elders will have this situation contained by then, and I will still exist. We can talk more about my time flying experiences then.
Oh, it’s gotten quiet all of a sudden.
She isn’t screaming anymore… for now. Thank God.
©Norine Acevedo and Norine’s Notebook, 2013
Camp NaNoWrimo April 2013