Her high heels made the usual clip clop noise as she paced back in forth. The wide hallway she was pacing between had somehow seemed to shrink or maybe it was just Meg who was getting use to the wide space. After all she had bee pacing the same stretch for at least two hours. Another rain drop fell from the ceiling to the ground; they seemed to be ticking away the time she had left, if she had any. No you must not think like that Andrew needs you. She paused giving herself a little shake.
Meg began to pace again running over the day’s latest events in her head for only the hundredth time. All the confusing thoughts all of the regret led her back to one thing, the gun! Meg swallowed, shaking herself again. No matter how hard she tried the tiny object never seemed to go away. Oh why Collins, she pleaded with her twin brother, though he was nowhere to be seen. A shiver ran up her spine, no Collins would probably never be seen again. Her hands dug deep down to the bottom of her coat pocket rapping around the gun. It felt cold in her grasp, like he was already gone. No he’s fine, Andrew is a fighter. She smiled maybe that was why Meg was so taken by Andrew, why she loved him.
An image played across Meg’s face of a young man no older than seventeen with short brown hair that flipped out at the ends, high cheek bones and gorgeous emerald eyes. Anyone would have married Andrew Johnson in a minute if he had asked them, he was perfect. All the things that gentlemen should be considerate, kind, wise, and handsome. But no one in the high society of today would have been caught with Andrew Johnson, oh no. No one except for Megan Clark daughter to the richest business owner in all of the country and a rebel.
Andrew hadn’t been scared at all to ask Meg out to dinner, but Meg had been scared to agree. Her brother Collins had a mean temper everyone knew that. Everyone also knew that it was against the rules for someone of high upper class like Meg to be caught with someone of such low ranking class as Andrew. Meg sighed in frustration, if only things could have been as they use to be. Back when everything was mixed and people were allowed to talk and mingle with whom they wanted too. Collins had always told Meg that that would never happen, that blacks would always be blacks that Jews would always be Jews, and that the aliens would always be aliens. “Especially stay away from the aliens,” her brother and father had always told her.
Meg didn’t even know how the aliens got their name only that they weren’t really aliens. They were just different; most thought that the aliens were bad, Meg had until most recently, until she had met Andrew. “I guess you could call us aliens,” he had answered when she had asked him, “but isn’t the definition of aliens a being who is foreign to the homelands, someone from somewhere else?”
Meg nodded her head, “I guess so.” They both stopped in their tracks, Andrew was staring into Meg’s eyes, and Meg was staring back with little less intensity. “So where are you from then,” she challenged picking up the conversation.
“I’m from the future,” Andrew answered matter-o-factually. Meg froze, she had expected him to say that he was from a distant continent like Antarctica or from one of the colonies on Mars, or Jupiter, not the future. Now that was unrealistic. But when Meg looked back into his eyes his honest eyes she couldn’t help it, she believed him. Maybe it was because she had already risked so much to be with him, or maybe it was because there was a certain aura to his appearance and in how he thought, he did after all seem very sophisticated.
“Why are you hear then?” she demanded.
“Because we want to help,” he paused looking up at the sky. The sun was directly above them signaling afternoon. There was certain dimness to the sun; it wasn’t as bright as it use to be.
“Meg believe it or not this isn’t the first time I have visited the past, no I’ve been further back than this before,” he looked at the sun again pointing at it, “and the further back I go the more bright the sun shines. Does that make sense?” He let his hand drop to his side, watching her every expression.
“Yes,” Meg murmured.
“You see where I come from the sun is as bright as the moon and sometimes you can’t even tell the difference, and you know what I’ve been further then just your future I’ve been to my future. Meg do you want to know what I found there?” he stood patiently awaiting her answer.
Meg looked into his green eyes, seeing for the first time the despair, and she felt that she did not want to know. “What then, what did you see?”
“Nothing?” he half whispered. Meg’s expression was blank, her breath caught in her throat.
“What?” she half whispered.
“It’s all gone Meg, there’s nothing left!” Andrew said thronging his hands up in the air. Meg jumped back not knowing at all why this frightened her so. The fact still frightened her even after a week of planning; she wondered if Andrew had known, known that they were bound to fail. A small tear clung to her eye as she was brought back to the present.
How many good people had died tonight, because of her mistake? It was definitely going to be a big number that was for sure. So many people had risked everything to save their present time, had come here to make things right. And everyone had discarded their notion like a piece of paper being thrown to the wind. The tear dribbled down her tan skin. She glanced over towards the door, which still stood locked. Meg had to use all of the self control that she possessed, she could not break into that room, and she would not! If she even knocked Madam Teesly would throw in the towel. “No disturbances I need quite!” the elderly women had ordered.
Meg clenched her fists as she paced. It’s been to long. Well at least for her it was to long, Meg knew she would do something reckless if she was left to herself for to long. She felt guilty for what she had done, and stupid. Why did you go to him? She wondered to herself. Another rain drop fell from the ceiling causing Meg to jump. The noise sounded like something else that was far too familiar. Meg looked down and was happy to see that she had remembered to change before coming to this place.
The old castle had been at the edge of the cities thoughts, everyone wanted it demolished. Only that couldn’t because the owner still lived on Silvia Teesly has owned the house since her older sister’s death long ago. A nurse from World War III who had been living in the old castle ever since. Meg had only thought to go to the old hag for help due to the fact that Andrew trusted her. Meg glanced back down at herself again remembering that she had thrown the bloody clothes into her hamper in her room. And the gun! Meg’s fingered the small gun at the bottom of her pocket.
She didn’t even know why she had taken it from him; her reactions were probably due to the pure shock that she had felt at seeing her brother inside of her room. He knew never to come in her room it was simply not allowed, boys were not allowed in girl’s rooms. That had been a very simple rule that they had all learned at age three. Meg shivered again rubbing her sides as she paced, drip drip. The rain pounded down on the window pains, she was surprised that the old castle didn’t collapse under the water’s weight.
The door was still closed when she chanced another glance at it. Madam Teesly’s words echoed in her head, “I’ll come and get you when I’m finished deary.” Meg started out into the day, she felt fear grip at her where are you sun? Ever since Andrew had told her what had finished the sun off why there was no sun in the future Meg had been scared. The sun was the only thing that could create life and just as easily it seemed to be able to take it all away. Even if a small cloud covered the sun Meg felt the fear claw at her insides. Why? She wished that she knew why. It could be that she was scared for Andrew what he would go back home to, maybe it was because she was scared what her children and children’s children would have to face if they had a future.
Meg drifted over the door sliding down onto the dirty stone floors. She shut her eyes tightly trying to block out the noise, the silence. All that she could remember was what Andrew had told her the previous night, what he had told her about the wars. For so long he had refused to even think about that, Meg knew that the wars played a big part in the end of the world.
“Why were there wars?” she had asked him as they sat under the sky near their favorite tree that had been a clone of another therefore not really making it a tree.
She could hear Andrew’s breath rush out as he thought whether to answer her or not, “The wars were over,” he paused oh so he was going to answer, “Water.”
Meg couldn’t help it a small giggle escaped her lips, water why there was so much of it. “You may laugh now, but imagine this Meg… a world with only one ocean, one very small ocean. No rivers no lakes just an ocean, and land lots, lots of land,” he seemed almost mad at her for how she had reacted.
“I’m sorry, but can’t you clone in the future I mean we can clone now,” this seemed like an excellent solution she thought.
“You can’t clone water.”
“How do you know?” Meg challenged
“I’ve tried!” he snapped, Meg sat silent.
“Isn’t water recycled through the water cycle?” she finally pointed out.
“Yes!” he answered curtly.
“So there you have it reusable water, and it should be a snap to filter the salt out of it if we can do it now,” she added enthusiastically.
“No Meg you misunderstood me, there use to be a water cycle,” he said with a suddenly grave tone.
“What happened to it?”
“The sun, it grew week from all of our use of it from the fumes that our factories gave off, it grew cold, the water stopped evaporating either it froze or just sat there growing more and more polluted day after day, because of our continuous experiments,” his brows pulled together.
“What were you experimenting?” Meg questioned lightly.
“Ways to clone the sun, to clone water, I don’t know, we were desperate, we still are desperate!” Andrew suddenly sounded angry, not with Meg, with himself, “by the time we figured out that what we were trying to achieve was nigh impossible, it was far to late, so many people had already died, suffered more like.”
Meg wanted to comfort Andrew to tell him that it wasn’t his fault, what he was trying to pull off whatever it was would pull through and all would be alright in past, present and future. She couldn’t bring herself to say this. Meg still wished that she could have comforted him, that she was like all of those writers who knew how to talk, who could use soothing words. She wanted it to be like in one of her story books the ones that always had happy endings, or maybe a comedy one where she would wake up and this would all be a nightmare. Where the world wasn’t messed up, there was no segregation between everyone, there was such thing as outsiders, and you didn’t have to have your own clique. You could afford to be different. People would actually listen to others; people who couldn’t afford care wouldn’t be cast aside, like a bruised apple.
The one noise that Meg had been waiting for going on four hours to hear finally came, the only noise that could bring her back to her senses. The creaking of a door being open, or rather being forced open. Meg immediately jumped to her feet as soon as she heard the elder lady’s squabbles on the other side of the door way. “So-sorry,” she stammered as she reached her footing again. When Meg looked into the Madam’s mysterious eyes however her face expression was wiped clean. The woman looked like she had been crying, but why would she cry only if… Meg fought to regain control of her thoughts. This could not be happening!
The woman and the young women started at each other for some time as the rain drops ticked away time, each one bringing them closer to their futures bit by bit. Meg finally got up the courage to break the silence, “How-how is he?” she asked shocked to her the ghost whisper that was her own voice.
The old lady graciously stood aside to allow Meg into the large bedchamber. Meg felt chagrin appear she probably only mistook the woman’s tears, they were really happy tears not sad ones. “Shall I leave you two alone?” she asked suddenly suspicious.
“Oh yes please,” Meg said respectfully. Madam Teesly simple turned on the spot and closed the large door. Meg now regretted not asking for at least some form of light. Her hands scoured the room until they found a candle and some matches. She was reluctant to light it after all candles were barely used only in those homes were people couldn’t afford electricity. Or when the power went out, though Meg had always had a small generator in her room in those cases. When she had lightened the candle she let her eyes readjust and then let them wonder over the grand bed.
This castle must have been very old, Meg could tell for the walls were cold to the touch and the bed looked to be made out of wood, what a waste of wood. A small bubble of hope rose inside of her chest when she realized that someone was resting in the bed. He was a lump, a lump that Meg was very pleased that she could easily tell that he was breathing. She sauntered forward until her thighs were brushing the edge of the bedside. She could hear his breathing now, which made her even more excited and thankful. Meg set the candle carefully down on the nightstand. She hesitated before reaching out one of her cold hands to touch his cheek. When her hands did touch with his warm cheek something very strange happened. A kind of serge of electricity went through them causing Meg to jump back in alarm and Andrew to simply wake up.
She shook herself once again, and came to stand at his bedside. Andrew stared up at her a questioning look in his eyes, what happened? Was one of the many that she could read. “Oh Andy!” Meg sobbed surprising herself as she broke down in front of him, especially when he was the one that needed her. What was more shocking was that he still had the strength to comfort her, which made her feel even more weak.
“Shh…” he whispered soothingly. The rain continued to fall outside the draped windows and for once that night Meg was thankful that she could use that noise to block out her own cries. The bed shook as she shook raking in the sobs that she had held throughout the entire day. The fact that she had not known whether the wound in his chest was going to be the death of him or not scared her. The fact that she didn’t realize until now that she cared this much about this one single man scared her even more. Never before had she felt this way about another person as she did for Andrew Johnson, not even for her brother who had only just… no no no don’t! Meg squeezed her eyes tightly together, when she opened them she found to compassionate ones staring back at her.
Andrew’s head lay on a fluffy pillow his hair spilling over his sweaty face; he wore that same expression that he always wore how can I take your pain away? She imagined he would ask her. He seemed egure enough, Meg couldn’t help but feel guilty, and after all, the night’s events were her fault. The truth was somehow worn upon Andrews face, she could see a certain dimness in his usually bright eyes, you betrayed me.
Meg wanted to scream wanted to somehow get her point across to him that she hadn’t mean for this to happen. Andrew just started at her; the look somehow hurt much worse then any words that he could have possibly expressed. Another tear, damn it, damn it. Her father had always told her to be strong, and “if you didn’t feel that way at least look it!” he had stressed. Meg had never felt so weak in her life! She was lost, what had she done wrong? She shut her eyes tight again as the rain continued to pound down on the windows showing no mercy on the flooded Earth.
A memory played across her mind as she tried to block it out. Meg opened her eyes again and was surprised to find herself in a different room, her room. A loud bang went off, then a thud, oh God no! Meg looked down at her feet, Andrew was sprawled on the ground covered in blood, he was unconscious. She bent down to check his pulse, it was only just beating. Meg heard footsteps and looked up into two eyes so much like her own, but somewhat darker. “Collins,” she breathed.
Collins was tugging at her arm, “Come on Megan we have to get out of here, I saw them there’s more!” Meg almost mistook the tone in his voice for fear, and then she looked back into his eyes. No not fear, greed. She knew that Collins wouldn’t dare go get help, wouldn’t even confess to his crime. He would go straight to the authorities, and tell them what she had relayed to him. No she couldn’t let that happen, she had already lost too much.
“Collins no!” Meg said fiercely as Collins grabbed at her arm again, this time with a little more force behind the gesture. She put an arm up to block herself and somehow shields Andrew in case Collins decided to finish him.
“Listen Meg, I know that you think that by helping this guy your saving the world, but…” the fake pain showed again, “you’re wrong.” Meg shook her head, looking directly into Collins cold black eyes.
“No, it’s you whose wrong, this-this way of life is the only thing we know, this division that we have between us and others its…wrong, and we both know things should be different,” Meg had mentioned the different social classes before and how it was wrong, but never with so much passion behind her words. And she felt that too, somehow right then Meg knew that Andrew was right, being divided was the wrong way to go. A person was a person no matter their race, their color, their ethnicity or their religion. Everyone was the same, in some matter of speaking. This problem that they all had created was never going to stop unless something was done about, it would continue to affect them all until there was nothing left.
Collins started at his sister for a long time; with a new look in his eyes, disgust. He glanced over at Andrews motionless body, “You know I thought you came to me because you wanted my help,” he kept his eyes on Andrew.
“Oh but I do want you help, Collins we could all use it!” Meg said shaking her head sadly
“You mean you and those freaks?” he raised an eyebrow.
“Their not freaks Collins their all actually very decent people if you would just give them a chance!” Meg’s voice rang out, though she could already hear Collins disapproval.
“I’m sorry Megan, that’s just how they are to me, and how they always will be,” finally Collins glanced up at his sister, “and your one of them.” BANG!!! Meg looked down at herself in shock, but there was no blood on her, she looked back up. Two bodies were lying on the floor one of them was still alive the other one dead. Meg had been such a state of panic that she hadn’t even realized that she had withdrawn the silver pistol that lay in Andrew’s limp hand. Collins had been to busy staring at Andrew’s face to notice, and now he was dead. Meg froze, he was dead! She had killed her only brother!
“Meg?” a familiar voice brought Meg back to the present, Andrew’s caring eyes were still staring up at her. He looked calm, and tired. “Is there something you want to tell me?”
Meg shook her head, “No, well just that I’m happy your okay.”
He smiled up at her bringing a white hand up to stroke the side of her face. Meg knew that Andrew would probably never forgive her if he found out the truth, that she had gone to her brother and told him everything hoping that he would understand and try to help them. But she had been wrong, she seemed to be doing that a lot lately. As Meg started into Andrew’s honest eyes another thought clicked into place. This was the future right here right now, and it was her job to save it. Even if this one plan wasn’t seen through exactly, there would be other chances. Andrew would no doubt be able to come up with a new plan, a better one. And Meg knew one thing for sure, that she would give her all to try and see that it this one would change everything!
Many years from now our world could be possibly gone. Sometimes drastic measures have to be taken for drastic situations. Sent back in time a young man, known to us as an alien, must change the future with a little help from a young woman, who has her head stuck in the clouds for to long.