ᴀ ʙᴏʏ ᴀɴᴅ ʜɪꜱ ɪɴᴄʀᴇᴅɪʙʟᴇ ꜱᴛᴏʀʏ
ᴀ ɢɪʀʟ ᴡɪᴛʜ ᴀɴ ᴜɴꜰᴜʟꜰɪʟʟᴇᴅ ᴅʀᴇᴀᴍ
22 ᴄᴀꜱꜱᴇᴛᴛᴇꜱ ᴛʜᴀᴛ ᴛᴇʟʟ ᴀ ꜱᴛᴏʀʏ ᴛʜᴀᴛ ᴍᴀᴋᴇꜱ ᴛᴡᴏ ʜᴇᴀʀᴛꜱ ꜰᴇᴇʟ
Sometimes a single secret is enough to turn your world upside down. One little secret that the wrong person finds out about, and nothing is ever the same again. But what if it's not just one secret, but 24 secrets about you that haunt you until you die?
We humans are funny. We don't worry or think about what is the truth and what was a lie. We believe each other without questioning anything. Mostly even because we are afraid of the truth and would rather be satisfied with a lie.
I would say that this is just one of those things of humanity that we are all powerless against. I mean, look at yourselves. Have you ever tried to know the truth? Have you ever thought that it could be a lie? Or do you always assume that everything is right?
I have recorded these tapes for a reason. Each one of them has a reason for existing. One of them is just an emergency product that came about because I was bored. Some of them have a reason why they are so excellently bad. But each of them tells a different story. A story that is true.
And if you're smart enough, you'll know what I'm talking about here. This is not some joke I made up. No. This is just the beginning of a series of sad events to get to the truth. And I beg you. Take the time to follow things. Be willing to listen to the stories and follow them to where they will take you.
When you hear these tapes, I will no longer be alive. Maybe because something happened to me that was not foreseeable. Or maybe because I have become too old for this world. And maybe also because it was time to go and now a new life is beginning, which you will be the first to know about.
Or maybe because I am capable of something that is inexplicable to science.
Wandering through the world as a spirit is not easy.
Another reason why I have recorded these tapes is so that you humans can listen to them.Unfortunately, I can't connect with you - although I could, but then you would start shrieking and running away, thinking something dangerous and scary was about to happen.Pity really.
When Julie entered old Mrs Patterson's house, she was no longer sure whether she belonged here or whether she should rather leave again. People always avoided the Pattersons. But Julie was here for a very specific reason. She had read in the newspaper that the old, single Mrs. Patterson was selling all her things for a bargain price. That was the only reason she was here. She hoped to find something she could use for her project at school. While it wasn't exactly according to the rules of the project, Julie was just out of ideas and didn't know what to do with them. And this project was very important.
"Hello Julie.", she was greeted by old Mrs. Patterson. She always felt sorry for the old woman. She had lost her husband Mitch only a few years ago and over 25 years ago she had lost her son. It had to be very hard for her to give away all these things that reminded her of her son and her husband.
"Hello Mrs Patterson.", Julie's voice was soft and more like a whisper.
"Feel free to look around, you might find something you can use," she said, smiling at Julie.
"Over there, one room over, you'll find my son Luke's things. I think there will be things you might like. He was your age when he died," she said, pointing to a closed door at the other end of the hall.
"Actually, I don't want anyone to go in there, but because I know you, you're welcome to look around and take something too," she said and Julie thanked her before the old woman ran off to the next visitors, leaving them alone. Julie had a strange empty feeling in her stomach, and although she wanted to ignore it, she strode towards the room and opened the door. In all the years, Mrs Patterson had kept the room standing and left it as it looked the day Luke disappeared. Julie remembered the article she had found in the library. There it was reported that Luke Patterson disappeared forever one day. Years later he was pronounced dead, although it was not known for sure if he was dead or alive. How terrible that must have been for the family to lose their only child. Julie entered the room and looked around. There were not many things here. Luke probably hadn't had that much back then. She looked around for a while without moving. Her eyes fell under the cupboard where she could see a small wooden box. She ran to it and took out the box. Slowly she opened the box and looked at a row of old cassettes.
"Too bad, I would have expected something else by now.", She flipped the lid of the box back shut as a false bottom opened at the end of the box and a note flew to the floor. Irritated, Julie picked up the note and turned it over. In almost unrecognisable handwriting, something was written on it.
"Only suitable for those who can handle an unbelievable story and are not afraid of the truth," Julie read and looked at the note questioningly and confused at the same time. What was that supposed to mean? Julie pocketed the note and took the box with her, then, with one last look around the room, she left the room and closed the door behind her. She hid the box in her bag. Mrs Patterson didn't need to know about it. On the other hand, whoever she knew about the box certainly wouldn't have left it there. So Julie assumed she didn't know about the box and took it with her. When she arrived back home a little later, she went straight to her room and put the box on her bed. After a few minutes of searching, she found her old walkman and opened the box again. When she looked more closely, she saw that there were exactly 22 cassettes in the box. Each with an A and a B side that were numbered and labelled. She wondered about this, but then took out the cassette with the number one and put it into her walkman, then she put on her headphones and pressed play.
Hey you, whoever you are and for whatever reason you put this cassette in your walkman.
What you are about to hear has more to do with reality than you can imagine.Maybe you won't believe me yet, but once you understand what this is all about, you will believe me.Because what if I told you that I can jump through time?Would you believe me or not?
Tuesday, August 4, 1995, 12:15 p.m.
"How far back do you want me to go?", I asked Alex. We kept enough distance from the large group of children clustered around the polar bears.
"Thirty minutes?" suggested Alex. "Hey, let go of that!" Athena grabbed the candy bag one of the boys had swiped from a little kid's stroller and looked at me reproachfully. "Be nice if you actually supervised your group, too." "Sorry, ath." I took Hunter in my arms before the little kleptomaniac could do worse. "Hold your hands up," I said to him. With a toothless grin, he opened his chubby child hands in front of me. "See. Nix." "And I want it to stay that way, do you understand? You don't need other people's stuff." I lowered him back down and gently nudged him towards the others, who were now streaming into the large meadow in the middle of the zoo for a lunch break. "Athena Monrose," I said, taking her hand. She whirled around to face me. "You like to turn a blind eye to the little predator, don't you?" I grinned at her and shrugged. "I guess so." Her face relaxed and she pulled me towards her by my shirt to press a kiss to my cheek. "Say, what are you doing tonight, anyway?" "Uh ... I've got a date with this good-looking blonde girl." Except I couldn't remember what our date was. "It's a surprise."
"You really do have a memory like a sieve." She shook her head with a laugh. "How can you forget that you promised to spend a whole evening with me reciting Shakespeare, in French .... backwards. And then we were going to watch Titanic and Notting Hill."
"I must have been drunk when I said that." I looked around and then kissed her quickly on the mouth. "But I won't say no to Notting Hill."
She rolled her eyes. "We were going to see that band, with your friends, remember?"
A little girl from Athena's group tugged her arm and pointed to the toilets. I made a brisk exit before my inability to plan anything two weeks in advance and actually remember it two weeks later could become an issue.
"Hey, Luke, over here," said Alex, pointing his chin at a tree.
Time for precise and accurate time travel planning. "Are you coming with us to see this band tonight?", I asked. Actually, I just wanted to know if he still remembered.
"Uh, hold on. You want me to spend an evening with your friends from school, these characters that could have come straight out of Gossip Girl? Not to mention blowing my entire paycheck on a measly appetizer and a few drinks?" He shook his head and grinned. "What do you take me for?" "I see. Then how about we do something in your and Athena's neighbourhood tomorrow?"
"Alright, let's do it. I can't get anything down anyway if everything smells like camel butt, so we might as well keep experimenting now."
Alex tossed my journal into my lap and a pen on top. "Set yourself a goal. After all, time travel without a destination is ..."
"... pure recklessness," I finished the sentence for him and suppressed a groan.
"Right behind us is the gift shop. I kept my eyes peeled during the last lesson and it was the same girl behind the counter the whole time."
"Got the hots for her, huh?"
Alex rolled his eyes and pushed his blonde hair out of his forehead. "Okay, set your stopwatch and jump back thirty minutes. Then you go to the shop and do whatever it is you do to make a girl remember your name."
"It's called flirting," I said quietly so no one else could hear. Then I concentrated on my notes before Athena came back from the toilet.
Aim: Check theory against someone who has no idea they are part of an experiment.
Theory: All events and occurrences, including human interactions, that happen during time travel into the past have NO effect on the present.
Translated into non-nerd language: I jump back thirty minutes in time, flirt with the girl in this shop, jump back to the present, go back in there and test if she knows me.
But Alex Mercer, drummer by passion and worshipper of disgusting school food, won't consider this conclusion substantiated until we've checked it out from every conceivable angle. To be honest, it doesn't bother me either. Sometimes it's fun, and until a few months ago, no one but me even knew what I could do. Now that the number of people who know has doubled, I don't feel so much like a freak any more.
And I also feel a little less lonely. But I've never been friends with a drummer before. Although Alex is more the kind of nerd who cares more about the music than about himself. Which I think is incredibly cool.
"Are you sure you can skip back exactly thirty minutes?" asked Alex.
"Yeah, I think so," I replied with a shrug.
"Just remember to write down the time. I'll time you while you're sitting here like you're dead," Alex said and pressed a stopwatch into my hand. "Do I really look like I'm dead when I jump? How long do you think that will take?", I asked. "In a twenty-minute excursion that takes you thirty minutes back in time, you'll sit there paralysed in the present for an estimated two seconds."
"Where was I half an hour ago? Just so I don't run into myself."
Alex pressed his stopwatch about ten times before answering me. Total OCD, this guy. "There you were inside looking at the penguins."
"Well, I'll try not to end up there."
"We both know you can choose your destination if you concentrate properly. So don't bug me with this 'I don't even know where I'm going to end up' bullshit," Alex flattened.
Maybe he was right, but it's hard to think of nothing but a specific place. Just a tiny half-second thought of somewhere other than where I'm going, and I end up there instead.
"Yes, yes. You do it if you think it's that easy."
"I'd love to if I could."
I understand why someone like Alex is so fascinated by what I can do, but I don't exactly consider it a superpower myself. More like a bad joke of nature. And a creepy one at that.
I looked at the clock, 12:25, then closed my eyes and focused on thirty minutes before and on this exact spot, although to be honest I actually have no idea how I do it.
My first jump was about eight months ago. It happened in my first semester of college, in the middle of a class on French poetry. I dozed off for a moment and woke up to a sudden cold wind blowing in my face and a door slamming in my face. I was standing in front of the student dormitory. But before I could panic, I was already sitting in the class again.
And then panicked.
Now it's mostly fun. Even though I have no idea what day and year I travelled to on that first jump. As it stands today, my record is forty-eight hours. Jumping into the future has not worked so far, but I will keep trying. The familiar feeling of being torn in two set in. So I held my breath and waited for it to pass. It's never pleasant but you get used to it.
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