The Battle of Time
Posted May 15th, 2017 by rchallman
in The Universe
I slid past the shed.
“Hello?” I called out again. The crickets around me continued their soft chirping.
Something clattered to the ground behind me and I yelped. I spun around and peered into the darkness. The black swallowed up anything that I had hopes of seeing, the edges of my vision growing blurry and fuzzy from the strain. I let out a heavy sigh and shook my head.
It was nothing, I told myself. But my thoughts to myself couldn’t stop my heart from hammering in my chest. Stop it! What a chicken, I thought.
I turned around and started to head back to the greenhouse. A chill passed over my bare shoulders and I shivered, wrapping my arms around my prickling arms. The moon above started to darken as dark, ominous clouds drifted in front of it. Its beams were blocked from reaching Earth and the chill increased around me.
I let out a breath and then my heart stopped beating. My breath came out in a gray puff. It couldn’t possibly be that cold. No, not possible.
I took longer steps towards the house. As I passed the greenhouse another clatter came followed by a loud crashing, like something had smashed onto the ground. I jumped off the ground, another girlish cry escaping my mouth. My instincts told me to keep walking, just go into the house. Ignore it and if you remember in the morning, check it out then. Every nerve in my body pulled me towards the warm and inviting glow of my window.
I took a step and proudly walked towards the greenhouse. No amount of crashing was going to spook me. I stepped in the fallen structure, avoiding metal frames that reached out with rusted, sharp points. The inside looked worse than the outside did. Flower pots cluttered the floor of the dark greenhouse. Black shrivelled plants and dirt were sprawling from the pots. Jagged pieces of clay were on the ground underneath a tall shelf. That was what I had heard. It was just a stupid pot falling from too high of a perch. I growled at how foolish I had been by acting like a scared rabbit.
I turned on my heels and started to head out of the greenhouse when a shuffle of something pricked my ears. I stopped, my hand resting on a cool metal rod. I turned around again, slowly. I took a hesitant step towards the back of the building. My legs brushed against wooden table legs, and dead plants reached out their dead, skeletal leaves out to grasp onto my pajamas.
The back door of the greenhouse was tilted in on itself. The hinges creaked as a mysterious cool breeze came through the building. The whole frame of the greenhouse creaked under that small breeze. The hair on the back of my neck stood up as I got a sick feeling in my stomach. This greenhouse is about to collapse, I thought with panic. But my curiosity was fighting against that panic.
The two had an inner fight inside my brain. Curiosity managed to get on top of the panic and shoved it down until it popped out of existence. Curiosity got full control of all my limbs and I took three more confident steps towards the tilting door. Panic tried to subdue my curiosity, but it was just swatted away like a common house fly.
The door’s green paint was peeling back, exposing shredded wood underneath. The door was tilted and left about a three foot gap underneath. Perfect for my small body to squeeze through underneath, I thought.
I crouched down and peered through the dark space. I let out a deep breath before bending down onto hands and knees and I crawled through the space. My back knocked on the doorknob underneath as I stood up again.
“Ow,” I winced at the sharp pain.
I looked around the room as I rubbed the tender spot on my back. I felt a hole in my thin cami. Darn it, I thought frustratedly. The room had clearly been an old office before being wrecked. Old, metal file cabinets were lining the north wall. Papers were strewn across the floor, exploding from the open drawers. I took a step forward and my heel crushed glass. I bent down and looked at a broken frame, a black and white photo wrinkled under the shattered glass. I gently lifted the piece of paper up and lifted it towards the light that flickered through a crack in the ceiling.
The picture showed a woman, she looked like, well, like me, I thought.
“What the heck,” I whispered, starting to get freaked out.
The other part of the picture involved two men, standing beside the sitting version of my look alike. But both of their heads had been strangely burned off the picture. The picture was browned where the flames had eaten away the faces and then
The air shifted and I got a strange feeling I was being watched. I flinched and my eyes flicked up to the window, but it was all boarded up with two-by-fours. I pocketed the picture in my pajamas pocket. I had to ask Grandma what it was. Better yet, I need to ask her what this place was.
On the east wall a desk stood with a large leather armchair in the back. This room resembled what I had always had imagined what a mob boss’s secret office would look like. I prayed Grandpa wasn’t a mob boss. But that would make his story a lot more interesting, and also, it would be completely understandable.
“Stop it,” I shook my head angrily at my crazy thoughts. “You know Grandpa wasn’t a mob boss.”
No, but maybe he was a kingpin, my thoughts jumped excitedly at their ingenuity.
“Oh my gosh, shut up.”
The desk was old mahogany. An antique. As I walked near the desk, a faint humming began. I looked around, trying to find the source of the humming. I walked around to the side facing the front of the desk. The humming increased and from the bottom left drawer, a glow grew.
Don’t touch the creepy drawer where something strange started to glow, I ordered.
My hand reached down and the glow increased. The humming increased to a buzz. I gasped and raised my hand to shield my eyes as the glow grew brighter. As soon as my hand lifted up, the glow dropped, and the buzz went back down to a hum. I wanted to know what it was.
I bent back down and opened up the drawer, ignoring the shrill and the painful glare that now filled the small room. I closed my eyes and put a hand into the drawer. My hand felt the bottom of the drawer. My fingers slipped over a warm, smooth surface. The shrill ceased automatically. The glare dimmed. I blinked, spots dancing in front of my eyes as they adjusted again.
I was suddenly flung forward by an invisible force. An explosion roared in my ears and dirt and debris flung in every direction. Bricks, dirt, wood, rained down around me. I screamed as I watched a giant wall fall down towards me, threatening to crush me under its bricks.
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