I watch the horizon, waiting for the figure I know is going to appear. The pine tree I'm sitting in is hard, and it smells funny. I'm cold and tired, and if I fall asleep I will fall out of the tree and die. But it's worth it. Yes, it's all worth it.
I'm in Germany, in the year 1957. I am up a pine tree near an American army base, waiting for a single soldier to take a walk. When he does I will meet him, and by doing so, I will change history. Who is this soldier, you ask? Elvis Presley.
I was born years after Elvis died on August 16th, 1977. But still, here I am, because I have a secret power. I can travel through time. I can rewind and fast forward, standing still while time rushes past me. It began when I was four, and I turned back two hours to relive an exhaustingly fun birthday party. Since then I have practiced and practiced, and my skill has increased tremendously.
I got this idea a year ago, when I first fell in love with Elvis, a man who was long dead. I read all about him, watched Elvis documentaries, memorized all his music, and put pictures of him everywhere. I decided to take a trip to meet Elvis before he died. And then it hit me-why not save him? I knew I could do it. I began taking bigger time leaps, and more precise ones. I practiced moving physical locations as well as through time. I had to be perfect; I had a mission.
On December 10th 1957, when Elvis was twenty years old, he was drafted into the U.S Army. He was posted in Germany, where he met fourteen year old Priscilla Beaulieu. Ten years later they would marry. Sixteen years later they would divorce, beginning the downward spiral that eventually lead to Elvis's death. I was going to stop that from happening. Elvis would not fall in love with Priscilla here in Germany. Instead, he would meet me.
Just as I expected, a figure appears around six o'clock. Elvis is out for a walk, and when he returns to the base he will meet Priscilla, the daughter of a German officer. Except he won't fall in love with her, and he won't marry her. Instead he is about to meet me, and he will marry me someday. I will keep him from falling into depression, from getting addicted to prescription drugs, and from dying early at age forty-two.
As he gets closer I can see him more clearly. My heart beats faster and I feel vaguely sick. Can I really do this? But I must. I've come this far, and I'm not turning back.
Elvis nears, and I begin to sing "If I Can Dream", my favorite Elvis song. A song that, in 1957, hasn't been written yet.
"There must be light, shining brighter, somewhere." I sing. "Got to be birds, flying higher, in a sky more blue." I know he can hear me, and I see in his face that he has. "If I can dream, of a better land, where all my brothers walk hand in hand..." He stops walking.
"Hello?" he calls nervously. I shiver. Elvis Presley, The King, is calling to me. I keep singing.
"If I can dream of a better land, where all my brothers walk hand in hand, tell me why..." Elvis is walking toward my tree now; he knows someone is there. "Oh why..." He stops at the base of the tree. "Oh why can't my dream come true?" Elvis looks up and sees me. I look at him and I cannot speak, I'm so afraid.
"Hello up there." he says, cautious but friendly. "That's a real pretty song." My throat feels completely dry and I doubt I can say a word. But when I try to speak, words come out.
"Thanks!" I am speaking to Elvis Presley. "Thanks. I love it."
"Is there more?" he asks, and when I nod he continues. "Will you sing it for me?"
Elvis Presley is asking me to sing for him. He wants to hear me sing! I can feel myself blushing, and I don't say a word. I must looked concerned, because he grins and says, "Don't be nervous. I'm a nice guy." How can I refuse? I sing.
"There must be peace, and understanding, sometime. Strong winds of promise, that will blow away, the doubt and fear. If I can dream of a warmer sun, where hope keeps shining on everyone, tell me why, oh why, oh why won't that sun appear?"
Elvis stands looking up at me for a moment. I wait nervously.
"That was truly beautiful." he tells me. "You sing beautifully." Elvis says I sing beautifully! Beautifully! Oh my.
"Thank you so much!" I reply proudly. "I love singing." This is working. I can tell he likes me.
"I love singing too." he informs me. "Why don't you come down from there, Miss-?"
"Buckles. Erma Buckles. And I'm coming down, so stand back!"
He steps back. I jump down from the tree to stand in front of Elvis. At six feet he is four inches taller than me, and amazingly handsome. He sticks out his hand.
"Elvis Presley." he says with a grin. "Do you want to have dinner with me?" I shake his hand.
"I'd love to, Mr. Presley." He laughs.
"Elvis." he tells me, still holding my hand. "I'm Elvis."
Erma Presley writes poetry, short stories and novels. Her hobbies include singing (with her husband) acting and reading. She has two dogs and a snake. Mrs. Presley lives in Memphis Tennessee, with her husband Elvis and their daughter, Liza Mary.
Ha! No way. I wish.
So, didja like the story? I sure do hope so!
Now review, please!
Oh, and by the way, if you don't know, Elvis's daughter is named Lisa Marie. Get it? Lisa Marie, Liza Mary? Ha ha...