Cassie and Kell slept for a few hours, then got up and dressed.Â Cassie packed a few necessities in her backpack.Â Kell had noticed that she always carried the pack but had never paid attention to what she put in it before.
“Prepared for emergencies?” He asked.
“I learned after a few jumps to try to have a snack and some clean clothes with me all the time.” She grinned as she stuffed a tee shirt for him into the bag.
They locked up and walked down to the coffee shop where they saw the computers for public access.Â While Kell logged in, Cassie went to the counter and got them two coffees.Â She held out Kell’s coffee and asked him what he had found.
“Look at this!” He said.Â “I knew I had seen this before.Â It’s like a twisted figure eight.Â It’s the symbol for infinity.Â There’s more here.” He said as he clicked another link.Â The next site told them about a man named Mobius that the Mobius strip was named for.Â It showed a strip of paper, twisted, then formed into a loop with the ends taped together. If you were physically able, you could run your finger all the way around, touching both sides of the paper strip without ever taking your finger from the paper.
“That’s cool.Â So do you think that’s how time works?”Â Cassie asked.
“I have no idea but maybe? It makes sense doesn’t it? We think of time as a straight line, moving in one direction with a beginning and an end.” Kell said thoughtfully.
“The next question I would ask is did your mom know?Â Did she ‘jump’?”
“If she did, why didn’t she tell me?Â We never made any jumps either.” Cassie said.
Kell cleared the history and logged off.Â “I don’t know Cass, maybe she thought she would have more time.” He stopped, thought and for a moment.Â “Have you ever jumped to a specific time?”
“No.Â It seems like a portal opens when there is a need, like when you were in danger of being killed by the explosion at the center. I don’t know what will happen next…or when.”Â Cassie said as they walked out the door.”
They walked along thinking and talking, not really paying attention to where they were going.Â The sky was clouding up. Kell realized they were standing across the street from the Community Center.Â “Look at the poster Cassie!”
She turned and looked at him and followed his line of sight.Â In the front window of the Community Center was a poster showing a large picture of the cold eyed man who was cutting a ribbon on a new facility.Â “We have to get close enough to see what it says.” Kell said.
“We have to be careful though – according to the newspaper date we are only two years into the future and we have no way of knowing if you are still involved with the center or their reaction after the explosion.”Â Cassie said.
“I know, but I think it’s important.Â It’s about to start raining.Â I’ll put up my hood and keep my head down.Â Just a fast look!Â You walk down this side of the street for a few blocks and I’ll meet you.”
“Kell…okay. Just be careful!”
Kell put up his hood and strolled across the street.Â There was a light drizzle falling now.Â Cassie forced herself to stop watching him and walked up the street.Â She pretended to look in store windows as she watched his reflection as long as possible.Â It was hard to keep going without looking at him but she didn’t want to attract attention to him.Â As she started up the next block Kell came up from behind and fell into step beside her, taking her elbow.Â His mouth was set in a straight line and his eyes were blazing.Â “What did it say?”Â Cassie asked him.
“Just keep walking for a few minutes while I try to calm down!” he said.Â Kell was walking rapidly with his head down and Cassie was having trouble keeping up.Â She pulled him down a side street into a doorway.
“Tell me. Now!” She said.
Kell took a deep breath. “That man, that Jack Maxwell…he is buying the Community Center! They are renaming it The Maxwell Center!”
“He just keeps showing up!Â Kell things are looking a little weird…” Cassie said.
It was raining harder and now there was some lightening and thunder.Â “We’re going to have to get inside soon.” Kell said.
“I don’t think so” Cassie said pointing a little to the north.Â There were birds all whirling together, trying to stay in one place in the wind.Â “I think we better head that way.”
“Oh man, not really ready to do this again!” Kell said. but he let Cassie pull him towards the spot under the birds.Â They were getting soaked but they kept going.Â A man called out as he ran down the street from the direction of the center.
“Run!” Cassie said and they took off.Â They ran up some concrete steps and the wind was getting stronger.Â “Have you ever done this in a storm before?” Kell had to yell now.
“Doesn’t matter!Â Let’s go!”Â The air was doing the shimmery thing again and they held hands and just before the guy following them came around the corner, they jumped.
The heat and humidity hit them like a cloud of steam.Â They weren’t near the Community Center anymore.Â They weren’t any where Kell recognized at all!
“I have no idea where we are!” He told Cassie.
“I do.” She said.Â “We’re near my gran’s house.Â We’re in New Orleans.”
Oh, my: New Orleans: when will the sewing machine make its entrance?
I like how effortlessly you handle the subtleties of time travel, the kinds of considerations that are put into play. It’s the kind of math that could give my sloshy left-brained head fits.
Lovely mysteries still lurking. Yummy.
The sewing machine may appear. It was almost lost on that bus ride – it could very well have made a journey to the future or past…
Apparently is you are not FROM Louisiana Homer and Houma can sound remarkably alike!
I spent a few wonderful daze in Homaluzzana my senior year in high school at a regional student council convention. The residents slurred their location into the aforementioned one word. I is from Tres Leches, but like Homer/Houma’s Mr. O, I spent some time lookin’ around, before I sunk my oar back here in the lovely droughtlands.