Discovering Her Past Revealed Her Future

Catarina Williams
 
It was one of those days. The day looked darker than the night, and thunder was rumbling in the far distance beyond the mountainous region of the terrain. Was it day or night? She couldn’t decide. Rain had been falling furiously for some time now. Maria rubbed her eyes in confusion; where was she? Why was she waking up here? What happened? As she came to her senses she began to look around to discover she was in some kind of small bedroom. It was lavishly decorated with a cozy atmosphere. The four poster canopy bed in which she had been lying had its curtains drawn so she could see her surroundings. A large, decorative, embroidered tapestry depicting a medieval type of farmland hung above the hearth directly in front of her bed. The fireplace cracked softly as wooden logs burned. The embers danced happily in unison. There were two small doors on the wall on either side of the fireplace. The dark wooden walls and floors only enhanced the darkness that was increasing outside. She breathed in deeply and captured the smell of burning wood as she pulled herself up quickly from the bed. She didn’t remember how she had gotten to this location, or anything before it. What happened? Her entire body began to shake in utter terror. She began to breathe rapidly, her chest rising and dropping as her pulse quickened. Her eyes darted from one wall to the next as fear entered her. As she looked beside her, beads of sweat were falling from her forehead and she wiped them away as she studied the tiny objects on the bedside table beside the bed.
 
On the table sat a small antique lamp, a little clock, and a decorative silver platter. She glanced at the clock which read 6:35 p.m. The tray had a cup of tea, a sandwich, and a letter with fancy, intricate calligraphy. Upon further inspection, the calligraphy spelled out her name on the front. Upon seeing her name on this letter, she felt her heart sink into her stomach. She was hesitant to open it, but thought that it might give a reason for the events that might have led her to being here. She knew she had to open it. Rather than opening the letter, her mind drifted toward the sandwich as her hunger got the best of her. She sat in her bed and debated the countless number of possibilities that may erupt after eating a foreign substance in a room so unfamiliar to her. She finally decided that things couldn’t get any worse, since the predicament that she was currently in was so overwhelming and scary; she might as well play along. Besides, she was starving. Her stomach growled as she glanced back at the sandwich. It felt as if she hadn’t eaten for weeks.
 
She wiped away more beads of sweat from nervousness as she picked up the sandwich to inspect every side and the inner contents. She took a small bite and found herself quickly devouring every morsel. As she picked up the cup of tea her hands were shaking from fear. It was still warm in her hands, and she took a sip. The soothing tea entered her throat and calmed her senses for a moment. She closed her eyes. Her body slowly began to stop trembling so harshly and the sweating died down some. After breathing in the smell of fire again, she decided it was time to face reality and picked up the mysterious letter.
 
The paper felt handmade; there were pressed, muted pink leaves interwoven in the pulp. The entire letter was also in the same calligraphy, with the same handwriting. The upper right hand corner of the page had the date: June 14th. Was it June already? The first paragraph read:
 
Dearest Maria,
 
You do not remember how you came to this bedroom. In fact you do not remember your life prior to this room. Everything that you have done, every decision you have made, everyone you knew was your past life. You have left that behind now. Your life was a series of events which led up to this exact location. We understand your uncertainty at this moment and the fear you may be having regarding who we are, so let me explain.
 
You are different than everyone else. You were born with special powers that normal humans do not possess, but there are others like yourself. We are here to help you. You are expected to join us now.
 
Meet me at 8 o’ clock tonight next to the Egyptian obelisk statue on King’s Cross High Street in the center of town. Catch the 7L train and transfer at Victoria Station. My name is Avalon, and I will be your mentor.
 
Did you enjoy the sandwich?
 
Sincerely,
Avalon.
 
Maria looked up from the letter and into the flaming fire. How could this be? What kind of letter was this? Was this someone’s idea of a funny prank? If so, she wanted someone to say “April Fools” already or at least wake up from this nightmare. She pinched herself. No, this was real life and she was fully awake now. She pulled away the soft white sheets as she quickly jumped up from the bed and read the letter again. Her cheeks turned bright pink and her chest rose up and fell in a rhythmic pattern as she began to pace back and forth from the bed to the window, from the window to the fireplace while reading it. Her body began to tremble again as anxiety engulfed her thoughts. She felt totally flustered and exhausted even though she had only recently woken up. After reading it for the sixth time she felt like she was beginning to get a headache just from thinking about the situation. She wanted nothing to do with this Avalon person. She crumpled the letter up and threw it in the fire. What was she supposed to do now?
 
She walked over to the window. She crossed her arms as she looked out at the mountains which were partially hidden now under a thick fog that hugged their peaks as the rain was beginning to slowly pass. The heavy downpour now turned into a light drizzle that only pattered at the window and resembled smeared tears. She suddenly closed her eyes as a memory of water came to her. The feeling of being submerged in a flowing, gushing body of water came vividly to her senses. She gasped. She remembered how her lungs filled with water and the frightened feeling of being close to death. She opened her eyes. She suddenly came to the realization that she had to meet him. She couldn’t run from her problems now. Now that she had no past. And maybe these people, whoever they were, could possibly help her get back to her past life. What if she didn’t want to join them? What would happen to her then? Either way, she needed an explanation. She needed information. She had to meet Avalon in person in order to do this, despite her fear. She looked at the clock again on the bedside table. It was now 7:10 p.m. She still had time to meet Avalon but she didn’t have time to waste.
 
She walked to the small door that was next to the fireplace and turned the knob. The door turned out to be a small closet which had a long red pea coat, jeans, shoes, socks, and a umbrella. She quickly got dressed, grabbed the umbrella and after slowly turning the knob, poked her head out from the other door which led into the corridor. Was this someone’s house she was in? This long corridor had a decorative rug along the floor, and there were numerous portraits of people dressed in what looked like eighteenth century clothing. After looking from left to right and noticing no one else in the hallway, she ran out of her room and down a spiral staircase that she saw at the end of the hall. The staircase led to a study filled with two floors of books, a second room which housed more rows of books and a wooden step ladder. Without having much time to look around her she ran directly to the next door and opened it. She found herself in the kitchen with a large antique stove, pots and pans hanging from hooks in the ceiling, and windows which opened to the outside. She knew this last door led outside and quickly ran over to unlock it.
 

As she stepped outside and looked around, she noticed the dirt road that led to the gate before her. The rain had completely cleared up now and left small pools of water on the dirt road which reflected the starry night sky. There were no other houses on this street, but in the distance she could see a lighted train station, which was peculiar since she hadn’t heard any train engines roaring before while she was in the bedroom. The rain had cleared up, and the sun had already set, but Maria could clearly see the train which was quickly coming to its stop before her. She knew she had to speed up her pace to catch it. As she began to pick up her pace she glanced back to look at the house she had just left. To her amazement she saw that the house was in fact a gigantic mansion in the rococo style with several acres worth of land behind it. She turned away and focused on making it to the train. When the train arrived she was so tired she stumbled inside. “I must be get more sleep,” she thought as she spotted an empty seat inside a compartment directly in front of her. She opened the compartment door and found a businessman inside wearing a suit reading the daily paper. He had a buzz cut and was wearing a white button down shirt with a red tie and black slacks.
 
“Is this seat taken?” she asked, in a much higher voice than usual. She was completely out of breath and frazzled. Her hair was now all over the place from running and she felt scared. He looked up at her with piercing bright blue eyes that seemed unnatural. “Not at all,” he responded as he put down the finance section next to his briefcase and picked up the weather section. “Do you think I could see the front page?” Maria asked. “Certainly,” he replied. As she sat down she looked at the front of the page and read on the headline, “June 14th.” Why did this date sound so familiar to her? She looked out the window at the mountains that were now moving away from her as the train began to pick up speed. Rain drops were slowly crawling their way down the glass like snails as the train continued to accelerate forward. Her thoughts were so scattered. What would she tell Avalon when she finally met him? She tried her best to remain calm as it took only a few minutes for her to transfer at Victoria Station and arrive at King’s Cross High Street. She had a strange feeling as she walked from train to train; it was as if her feet knew where to lead her and her mind had to do no thinking whatsoever. Her body was being drawn to this location intuitively. It was like she had been here before, walked this path before, been to this train station before. She put the thought behind her as she continued to walk past other faceless people in the station.
 
When she arrived at her final stop and walked off the platform, she immediately saw the plaza that appeared to be the center of town. “This must be what Avalon was talking about,” she thought as she walked to the Egyptian obelisk. Skyscrapers enclosed the square and there was a walkway from the square that led to a large garden filled with stone sculptures of people, tall cypress trees and bushes of flowers. Various stars twinkled overhead as if winking to her, telling her that they knew something life changing was about to occur. The lamp posts appeared sleepy as they hung about the sidewalks and encircled the plaza. She saw an antique looking church across the statue and glanced over at the clock which was on the facade of the building. She realized she was a little late; it was 8:15 p.m., and there were no other people in sight. No one was on the streets or sidewalks. She walked over to the statue and sat on a bench that faced the front of the statue. The statue was a 7 foot rectangular structure with a golden pyramid atop of it and a small gate around the bottom of it, encasing it in the center of the plaza. Ancient markings of hieroglyphics and drawings of Egyptians were carved into the stone in a spiral going upward towards the night sky. As she took a moment to catch her breath, she smelled fire once again. Where was this burning wood coming from? She closed her eyes as she took a quiet second for herself. She heard a man’s deep voice behind her say her name, as if commanding her. “Maria.” The voice was husky and wise, which reminded her of a grandfather who always knew what advice to give at the right moment. She was startled and stood up promptly.
 
Avalon stared down at her with eyes that appeared to be filled with concern and knowledge. His dark brows were furrowed and seemed cemented in that position. “You’re late,” he said in a monotone that reminded her of a guardian who was disappointed with their child’s behavior. He was wearing a long black trench coat, black slacks and a monocle. In his left hand he held a thick brown cigar, which he then put to his lips and deeply breathed in the spicy rolled substance. He blew out white smoke, creating floating spirals in the air. The monocle sat in the crevice between his cheek and right eye. His brown mustache reminded her of a moon during the waning crescent phase. He looked to be about 100 years old but still had the energy of a man in his late 30’s.
 
“It’s a pleasure to finally meet you,” he said in a manner that sounded purely formal. “As you already know, my name is Avalon and I am your mentor. I know you have a lot of questions concerning how you arrived in the mansion earlier today, who I am and what exactly you are doing here.”
 
“Of course I do,” thought Maria. Avalon walked from behind the bench and sat down on it. “You might want to sit down,” he advised her. “It is quite a hefty explanation and is a lot to take in at once.”
 
Maria sat beside him. “You see, Maria, you will enter into another dimension in time. There,” he said as he pointed to the stars which were now twinkling brighter, “are two universes in this world which sit parallel in the galaxy of planets that divide the line between the two.” He dropped his hand and took off his monocle to clean it with a handkerchief from his coat pocket while balancing his lighted cigar with ease. He continued: “When you were born, Maria, you were a human with special characteristics who came from that universe, that dimension. The Universe of Moons, Maria. This is where you were originally born. We are currently on planet Earth but we will soon enter the Universe of Moons together through a portal. We have been around since this Egyptian obelisk has been created. We send each and every one of our species off to planet Earth to learn the ways of normal humans. To grow in a society where people possess no power. This gives you the option of choosing to be one of them, or one of us. When you are around seventeen to twenty years old you are ready to come back to our planet and learn our ways of life. The businessman you met on the train earlier is also one of us. He works with me. His name is Samuel. The mansion that you woke up in was the mansion you grew up in as a human. The room that you woke up in used to be your room. The reason why we had you go on the train is because we wanted you to make your own decision if you wanted to join us or not. Those who choose to not join us remain in the human world forever without their powers. I knew you would make the right choice, Maria.”
 
Maria looked up to the stars as two fat tears began to roll down either side of her cheeks. How could this be? This was incredible. She became overcome with emotions of intrigue and sadness for leaving a life she couldn’t even remember having and entering into a new one filled with such excitement. She was in disbelief that this was happening to her and at the same time, she felt that she had finally found her reason for being alive in this world. She belonged with these people and she knew it, for there was a driving connection within her veins and a force that was telling her so. Another tear fell onto the arm of her long red pea coat and soaked through as she made this discovery.
 
“Now,” said Avalon as he passed her his handkerchief so she could wipe away her tears, “Explain to me why this date, June 14th, strikes your memory. What the smell of burning wood does for you. Why you have the memory of being submerged in gushing water. Think back. I know you know the answers. You must look deep into your subconscious now. It is after you find these memories that you can discover the memory of your human life and your parents.”
 
“I think that is private information,” said Maria. She looked at Avalon with an angry look on her face. She now became furious that someone could have taken her away from a life she couldn’t really recall at the moment. How could she believe this man whom she had just met? She felt suspicious about his words and yet was so ready to join him to enter into the other universe. The thought that she was torn away from a family, another life, another way of living and feeling made her feel besieged. She felt her headache resurface as anxiety entered her body again. Another fat tear fell from her eye and she wiped it away as she looked up at the sky. She got up from the bench and looked at the obelisk. She turned harshly to Avalon and looked at him, angry, asking, “Why should I believe you? Why where you the one who was chosen to be my mentor? Why should I even trust you?” She looked him up and down. “I don’t even know you.” She crossed her arms and looked away from him, brokenhearted.
 
“I came here to help you. I am not the bad guy of whom you should be afraid. Here,” he said as he reached into his coat pocket and took out a gold pocket watch. “Open this watch. It will help you remember.” The watch had her name engraved on the front case, and when she opened it the numbers swirled all over, counter clockwise, in a spiral motion. The clock spiraled faster as her body went from being beside Avalon to being sucked inside the clock. She was instantly transported to her memory of near drowning in the gushing water. She was drowning in that same pool. She couldn’t breathe as more water entered her throat and was swallowed by her lungs. She suddenly woke up, gagging and gasping for air. It was Avalon’s face that was looking down at her for a second. After she was done coughing she looked around her, and although she couldn’t find Avalon anywhere, she knew it was him that she saw. It was the summer of June 14th and she was ten years old again. It was Avalon who had saved her from near death. She could smell burning fire from the woods surrounding the community swimming pool. There was a drought and the wood was burning. That’s where the fire was coming from. She knew where she was. This was the swimming pool she would always go to with her family each summer when they taught her how to swim.
 
Her eyes closed again as her body was sucked back. She opened her eyes to Avalon, the starry night sky, and the Egyptian obelisk. She looked at Avalon and began to explain.
 
“I remember swallowing lots of water and being unable to breathe. This date. This date was my birthday,” she said. She looked at Avalon. “I remember drowning in a pool on my birthday, June, 14th, when I was ten years old. Trees were burning outside because it was the drought season. It was a birthday I would never forget because I was so close to dying. But it was you who saved me. It was this date that I realized that I had special powers because I could see far into the distance to know that the trees were burning. I could smell the fire that was burning in the woods from miles away. ”
 
Avalon nodded at her ability to remember. “Good,” he said. “Utilize this ability. It will help you when you reach the Universe of Two Moons. You’re given the power of five senses. You are given the sense of sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste in extreme depth. You can enhance these powers and even learn to control them to expand your manipulation of them for the rest of your life. The watch that you are holding in your hand is your pocket watch. It will help you travel between the two universes and back to your past memories as you need to. Keep it in a safe place as you will use it for the rest of your life,” he said as he handed her the small watch.
 
Then the businessman from the train appeared. He was still wearing his suit and had his briefcase in his hand. “Ready to go?” he asked Maria, a smirk on his face.
 
“I’m more ready than I’ll ever be,” she replied. She too was smiling now.
 
Avalon, Maria, and Samuel joined hands as they walked into the light which led them into the Universe of Moons.
 
With her small golden pocket watch, her eyes closed, the smell of fire entering her nostrils, Maria entered her memory of gushing water as her new life awaited, just galaxies before her.
 
 
 
 
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