Ravenwood, Chapter 15 [fiction]

Changing the Future, a Story, Part Three:

The next day, Vree and I sat in lawn chairs behind her house on Myers Ridge. I shivered from the unseasonable forty-degree weather despite a rich July sunshine that hurt my eyes as it glared off the back of Vree’s house. I turned away and rested my gaze on her. She wore the same white sweatshirt she had worn the night a hellhound pushed her from Myers Ridge.

“Every drugstore test has showed positive,” she said. Her voice was hoarse from crying. “How? How can I be pregnant? You have to have sex with someone.” She wrung her hands. “I’ll get an abortion,” she said matter-of-factly.

I shook my head. “Your parents will find out. You have to have their consent.”

“They’re going to find out whether I get an abortion or not. I can’t hide pregnancy from them.”

“There has to be a mistake.”

She was quiet for a moment. Then a sob erupted from her. “What am I going to do? I’m too young to be a mom.” She shook. I leaned close and embraced her. She wept against my shoulder. I held her tight and stroked her hair. Strange warmth of brotherly love and sorrow for her cocooned me. I wanted to protect her, to help her find a way out of her predicament. But how?

“I need to think,” she said. She pulled from me and stood. I followed and looked at the sky filling with a low front of rain clouds coming fast as if they were alive and late for something important.

“Do you think Nancy has told my parents?” she asked.

“They wouldn’t believe her.”

“She has the book.”

“Did you read it?” I asked.

“It shocked me.”

“Me too.”

Vree frowned for a second. Then she looked at me wide-eyed. “Do you believe time travel is real?” she asked, then laughed and called herself stupid. “Of course it is. The old woman is my daughter from an accident that sent me to the past.” She laughed again, louder, and paced in front of me. “This is all crazy. I’m crazy. How can my so-called-daughter be here when she hasn’t been born yet by a girl who is pregnant and has never had sex?”

I had no answers.

Raindrops fell on us.

“She said I fell into green light.” Vree stopped pacing. “What does that mean?”

“I don’t know,” I said.

The rain quickened.

“I’m going in now.” Vree headed to the backdoor thirty yards away. A moment later, the ground vibrated. I stumbled backward against my chair, which kept me from falling. Vree had stopped walking. She held her arms out, like a surfer riding a wave. The ground trembled again, harder than before, and opened beneath her.

She scrambled to get out of the ground swallowing her.

I ran, lunged, landed on my stomach, and missed one of her outstretched hands by inches. The hole widened and threatened to take me too until I crawled backward.

Thunder boomed where storm clouds churned and rumbled.

Heat blanketed me as a bolt of lightning struck the center of the hole. There was an explosion in my skull as a plume of green light erupted from the hole. Electricity filled the air. My head throbbed; fire tore inside my lungs. Heavy rain fell and cooled the air. I fell to my hands and knees, scrambled to the edge of the sinkhole, and called Vree’s name.

I did not care if the hole widened and I fell in too.

Green light emanated inside, far at the bottom.

Vree had fallen into the green light.

“We have her,” a deep voice said.

“Who are you?” I asked.

“She is not yours to have. She will forget you.”

“Why? What’s going on?”

The light faded. The hole went dark.

I called out to the voice, demanded it to answer me.

It did not.

To be continued.

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