|To Save A Life
Author: AnotherKilljoy PM
In the near future when time travel becomes successful, Anna goes back in time to try to stop the two boys from murdering her cousin several years earlier. It's not as lame as it sounds, I just suck at descriptions. This is my first story, so reviews would be highly appreciated.Rated: Fiction K - English - Sci-Fi/Hurt/Comfort - Words: 2,888 - Reviews: 3 - Published: 02-10-13 - Status: Complete - id: 3099805
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Anna parked the car in front of a desolate grey building. She picked up her purse, which was in the back seat and began rifling through it. Finally, she thought, when she found her phone. There was so much space in her bag. It made finding things next to impossible. She quickly glanced over at Kevin, her travelling partner, to see if he was looking her way. Anna felt relieved when she saw that he was staring out the window with a blank expression on his face.
Anna turned slightly to the right, so that her back was, to a certain extent, facing away from Kevin and turned her phone on. She had a picture that she wanted to take one quick look at. Her phone vibrated loudly as it turned on. She clamped the phone tightly in her hands, trying to muffle the sound but it was too late. Kevin turned and faced her, with a stern look on his face.
"Put the phone away, Anna," He said "You know the rules."
Kevin had black hair that had a single streak of blue. The strange colour combined with his thick rimmed glasses and usually bubbly personality made it hard to take him seriously at times. So naturally, Anna hesitated.
"Anna," Kevin said firmly, "Phone. Away. Now."
He seemed so kind and friendly when they had first met, but he had made one thing perfectly clear to her: He took his job very seriously. As a Time Pilot, his job was not only to help people operate time machines, but also to make sure his clients obeyed the laws of time travel. Failure to do so would result in a lengthy time in jail for both of them.
The rules of time travel were very strict. Just the smallest of actions could completely alter history. That couldn't happen. In fact, most people just hired Time Pilots so that they could see what their neighbourhood looked like twenty years ago. Small, simple things like that. But not Anna. She had things she wanted to sort out.
Irritated, she placed her phone back into purse. She had a back up source though. A picture that she had printed up the night before of two high school boys. Both had deceptive smiles that made them look like they could be friendly, likeable people. But Anna knew better than that. She hid the picture from Kevin.
"Hey, Anna," Kevin said, "What day did you say it was today?"
"July third," Anna said casually. It wasn't really a lie. July third was when Kevin had picked her up at her house and brought her here to the high school.
"Interesting," Kevin said, "Because your request papers are telling me otherwise." He pulled a crumpled piece of paper out of the pocket of his black hoodie. He handed her the request paper. It was a form that every uncertified time traveller had to fill out. It consisted of only a few short, simple questions, but there were important ones were where and when are you going.
"Well that's weird," Anna said, "I'm pretty sure that-"
"Don't even," Kevin said.
Anna waited for Kevin to look away before she put the picture back in her purse. Finally, he turned his gaze back to grey building that they were parked outside of. She slowly tried to slide the picture back into her purse, but Kevin looked at her again. He caught sight of the picture and grabbed it from her.
He looked at the picture with a disapproving frown. Then he looked up at the building that they were parked in front of. "So this is what you're up to?" Kevin snapped, "Or do you always carry around pictures of murderers in your purse." He ripped up the picture into tiny little shreds then threw them around the car like confetti. "Do you not think I know who these guys are? I'm not stupid, Anna. I never doubted for one second that it was an accident that we came here on this day."
"Kevin, please listen to me," Anna begged, "It's not what you think it is."
"Unless you're about to go and strike up a casual conversation with them, it's exactly what I think it is," Kevin said, "However, if you did want to talk to them, they'd probably kill you before you got the chance to open your mouth."
"I just want to save my cousin," Anna said softly, "She's supposed to die today."
Anna remembered the day her cousin died. She was seven. Her cousin, Natalie was only fifteen. Far too young to die. She remembered coming home from school that day, only to see her mother on the phone. She was crying, which scared Anna because she had never seen her mother cry before. When she was young, her mother was something of a hero, and heroes never cried.
Anna just stared at her mother, until she got off the phone. When she finally hung up, Anna waited for her to speak first, since she didn't know what to say to her mother.
Her mother wiped tears from her eyes before saying, "Natalie died today."
The words hit Anna like a bullet to the chest. She didn't say anything. It was too much to process. Despite the eight year age gap between them, they were very close. Natalie used to babysit Anna, and it was always fun for both of them. They'd play endless hours of board games, watch movies. It was so fun. But on that one day, it was all over.
That was why Anna wanted to save her. She missed her, and Natalie deserved better.
"That's against the rules," Kevin said in a smug voice. He opened the glove compartment and pulled out a piece of paper. He waved it in front of her face. "You signed this, promising that you would abide by all the laws of time travel no matter how silly they might seem. They are here for a reason, Anna. I cannot let you do this. Trust me, you don't want alter history. It's a real mess. I may not look like I've been in the time travel business for long, because I haven't, but I know a thing or two. I've had to deal with this before. It's not something I want to deal with again."
Anna raised an eyebrow. "You've dealt with this before?" This was interesting information. "One of your clients tried to change history?"
"It seemed like a good idea at the time," Kevin said. His voice was distant, as if he were trying to recall a fading memory.
"You mean you let him do it," Anna asked, "Or her?
He sat up straight, then added, "It won't happen again."
"No one will notice," Anna said. She tried to sound more convincing than desperate. She smiled sweetly at Kevin. She didn't think he would agree right away. No, it was better to keep talking to him until he finally gave in. She would just have to keep at it for a long time.
"Anna," He said in a serious tone, "I'm pretty sure that people would notice if people who were supposed to be dead were suddenly alive."
"Can't you make an exception," She asked, "Just this once, Kevin? Please?"
Kevin gave an exasperated sigh. "I've already made an exception and it was the worst mistake of my life," He said, "So no, I won't bend the rules. Not a second time. I don't care how badly you want to do this."
"I'll give you a huge tip," Anna said, "The highest tip you've gotten in your entire career."
"You'll have to top ten percent," Kevin said, "I've had this job for less than a month." He kept his gaze locked on the grey building. He obviously knew what was about to happen. It was like was waiting for it so that he could react if Anna tried to stop it.
"So you'll do it then?" Anna grinned. Who knew that all it would take was more money. Time Pilots had high paying jobs. She didn't think a higher payment would make a difference.
"No," Kevin said firmly, "And don't try to get me to change my mind again, because I won't. No amount of bribery can get me to sway my decision. You should probably just save your breath for something that matters."
"This does matter," Anna protested, "To me."
"You know what matters to me, Anna," Kevin asked, "My job. Keeping my ass out of jail. Not repeating my mistakes. I get that you want to save your cousin, but some things are meant to happen. It's better just to let them happen, because you never know what the consequences will be."
Kevin definitely sounded like he knew what he was talking about. Anna knew that he was referring to his other client who tried to alter the future. Anna wanted to ask him what had really happened, but she was under the impression that Kevin would be reluctant to talk about it.
"You know," Anna said, "I don't think you understand what I'm asking of you."
"I understand perfectly fine," Kevin said, "The answer is still no."
"I meant I don't think that you know what it's like to lose someone you love."
Kevin looked taken aback. He seemed surprised that she would even suggest such a thing. "I know exactly what it's like, thank you very much," He snapped at her. He looked back at the building, visibly angry with her.
Now it was Anna's turn to be surprised. She could tell by the tone of his voice that he was serious. But she could use this to her advantage. "Good," She said to him, "So you'll understand what I'm about to do." She put her hand on the door handle.
"If you open that door, they'll kill you too," Kevin said, "You don't even have a weapon. You can't kill them. Even if you could, you know what that would make you? A time travelling murderer."
"It's for the greater good Kevin, and you know that," Anna said, tossing her copper curls over her shoulder.
"Yeah, but you're still killing two guys," Kevin said, "I know they're murderers, but they have families too."
"You say that like I'm doing a bad thing," Anna retorted.
"Because it is," Kevin said, leaning back into his seat, "If you kill them before they walk into that building, they'll never go through with their plans. "
"Exactly," Anna said.
"That's a bad thing," Kevin scolded, "You can't alter history. Even little things can completely mess up the future. Unfortunately for you, this is not a little thing. Whether you like it or not, we have to make sure this happens, because this is history and we cannot change it. Do you understand?" His voice gradually crescendoed as he spoke. By the time he finished talking, he was screaming louder than a scared child on a roller coaster.
Anna nodded. She understood completely. She didn't like it though. All she wanted was to save her cousin.
"They'll be dead within the next hour anyways," Kevin muttered.
"So will my cousin," Anna reminded him in a bitter tone. She pushed slightly on the door, opening it just a tiny bit.
"You're being selfish, Anna. Until they walk into that building they're just two misunderstood boys," Kevin said, glancing towards the high school. "If you try to kill them before then, people will hold sympathy for them. Is that what you really want? What's the plan anyways? You don't have any weapons with you. Are you going to strangle them? Good luck with that."
Anna actually had no intentions of leaving the car. As Kevin had already pointed out, she was unarmed. She didn't have a gun, or a knife, or anything else really. But she had a car. And there were so many hit and runs every year, what would be one more? She could make it look like an accident. She closed the door.
"That's better," Kevin said, "Now shall we leave, or do you want to stick around and watch?"
"I wanna wait," Anna said.
Kevin looked puzzled. "Suit yourself then." He leaned against the side of the car with his head against the window and his arms folded.
Anna reached for her purse again and began looking through it. She wasn't sure how much longer they had, but she could at least pretend to be busy until it all happened. It would be soon though.
"Anna?" Kevin said.
"Just promise me you're going to get out of here before the police and paramedics get here," He said.
"Of course," Anna said.
"And no phones," Kevin said, "Cell phones don't get invented for another few years. Can't let anyone around here see them."
Anna put her purse aside. No point in even trying with him. She just wanted to see their faces again. The faces of the two cold blooded killers that shot her cousin without second thought. She sighed, then looked out the window. She didn't need her phone. She knew their faces. She also knew they would be the only people with guns. That alone would make them easy to pick out.
She scanned the parking lot over and over again. Any moment now. People were already starting to flood out of the doors of the building. It wouldn't be much longer. Her heart started hammering in her chest. Was it wrong to be excited? She was going to save Natalie, but at the cost of two other lives. They're evil, though, Anna reminded herself, they're sick, twisted monsters.
It had only been a few minutes later when she saw them. Two teen boys wearing dark trench coats carrying guns at their sides, walking purposefully through the parking lot. It was sick how happy they looked.
"That's them!" Anna shrieked. She slammed her foot on the accelerator and speeded towards the two killers.
Kevin was immediately aroused from his seemingly tired state. "What are you doing?" He shouted. He grabbed the wheel and swerved the car away from the two teens. Anna screamed, then slammed on the brake. Their car skidded to a stop. They were inches away from hitting another car, but they had missed the two boys by a long shot.
"What was that for?" Anna asked furiously. She was in shock from Kevin's unexpected actions. Her heart was pounding in her chest, her entire body trembled, and her breath came short and shallow.
"You can't do that," Kevin seethed. He rubbed the back of his neck, trying to relieve the pain of whiplash. "You're damn lucky they didn't notice that! Did you not understand anything I told you? It's against the laws of time travel. You can't change history no matter how bad it's going to be. Don't get me wrong Anna, it's not like I want this to happen. I understand your intentions completely."
"Really, Kevin," She snapped, "I'm not so sure you do."
Kevin opened the glove compartment and pulled out a picture."That's my sister," He said, handing the picture to Anna. It was a photograph of a young girl, no older than eleven, in a pink sundress with brown curls that went just past her shoulders.
"She was my sister, anyways," Kevin said, avoiding eye contact with her. "She died one day when she was out playing with her friend. Hit by a car."
"Oh," Anna said, "I... I'm so sorry." She didn't really know what else to say to him. She wondered how Kevin felt right now. She had after all, just tried to hit two kids with her car. The same way Kevin's sister died. No wonder he was so angry.
"I tried to go back and save her. It was the first thing I did when I became a certified Time Pilot," Kevin said, "And I did. I stopped her from crossing the road, and I felt pretty good with myself." He paused before continuing. "I didn't stop the car that hit her though, so it killed her friend instead. Her parents were so upset when she died. I couldn't live with the knowledge that it was partially my fault. It wasn't supposed to be her that died it was supposed to be my sister. It tore the family apart. The parents split up, the father became an alcoholic, and it was all my doing. So one day, I went back to the day that she died. When my sister went to cross the road, I didn't stop her. I didn't want her to die, Anna, but it was how things were meant to be, and I had to accept that. You need to accept that too, Anna. Your cousin is supposed to die today. I know it's hard, but we need to let things play out the way they were meant to be. Do you understand?"
"Yes," Anna said, in a quavering voice, "I understand." A tear rolled down her cheek.
"Let's get out of here then," Kevin said.
Anna put her trembling hands on the steering wheel and gently put her foot on the accelerator. The first gunshot echoed across the scene as she slowly drove out of the parking lot of Columbine High School.