THE TRAVELLER Part Four, a short story by actung. Date added: 2012-06-14. Times viewed: 496.
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- Intro: Fourth and final part.
Ollie found himself standing on front of a funeral home. Not only that but Ollie was also standing in a rather strange moment as he could not for the life of him remember any of the recent moments in his life or even the most recent moment he experienced prior to this one. To add to that, being outdoors Ollie felt slightly disturbed by his surroundings.
It wasn’t the fact that he was standing in full view of a funeral home that ruffled him or the fact that he had no recent memory or recollection prior to just standing there, but rather how quiet and calm his surroundings were. It was bright so it must be day time but nothing in the vicinity was moving. In fact there was nothing at all anywhere. No people walking nearby. No cars or vehicles moving on the road a few metres behind him. No birds in the surrounding trees, not even a breeze.
How Ollie got to where he was didn’t worry him. Obviously he thought he had travelled. Out of the many times he had travelled over his life, this was the first time he ever felt disorientated in this way. Of course not knowing when he is or where he is can be at times be a discombobulating experience, it would never be a moment of worry. So if indeed he had just travelled then he is where he is for some reason or another so the logical thing he thought would be to enter the funeral home.
The front doors were closed but not locked so Ollie turned the handle and entered. The door closed behind him and he stood in the darkened reception area of the funeral home. With a lack of windows Ollie would be standing in total darkness if it weren’t for a light coming from a room not far up ahead of him. Ollie turned back to the door behind him and found that it was now locked. He could not understand this. He had only just come through those doors and there was no key in the lock. So for now there was just one thing he could do and that would be to head in towards the room with the light on.
Slowly and cautiously Ollie began to walk for he was unsure as to just what would be awaiting him when he would pass through the next set of open doors. A spot light shone down on an open casket. A body was laying inside that casket. Ollie did not want to go any further than the room’s doorway but once again that feeling that he was there for a reason made him go further. The body in the casket, it was him. Ollie was looking at what appeared to be himself, dead and laying in a casket.
This time the other version of himself, the dead version of himself looked no older than what he is at this point in his own life, an eighteen year old young man. After a moment or two of staring at his other self Ollie looked up and was more than startled to find that he was not alone. He stepped back and watched as a couple approached the coffin from the far side.
‘What is going on here? What is happening?’ asked Ollie.
He received no response; in fact he didn’t even receive an acknowledgment. If was as if the living Ollie was not actually in the room at all but he was, and also was capable of touching and feeling any object in his surroundings, though to the couple, who also just so happened to be the same couple who strangely showed up at his birthday party, the living Ollie may just as well not be there.
‘This cannot be right’ spoke the man. ‘This is not meant to happen’.
His partner was crying.
‘He must not be dead. It will change everything. Was it us that did this? We only came back to see him, the man who began it all, our presence could not have changed anything could it?’ she asked.
‘Changed what? And what have I begun?’ asked Ollie but he would get no reply as the other two could not see or hear him, well the living him that is.
‘No we did not do anything wrong. We could not have altered anything. We did not interfere in any moment or event in the past’ spoke the man.
‘But we did go see him. Maybe we should not have done that’.
The man comforted his partner and the two walked off to a dark part of the room and vanished. Before Ollie would or even could react in any way Clinton Adams appeared out from that very same darkness.
‘Oh what did you do my friend?’ asked Clinton addressing the body that lay in the coffin as he too seemed to be unaware of the living Ollie in the room. ‘We were supposed to do this together. I do not know if I can go on and do this alone. Rest well my friend and I am sure we will meet again one day’.
Clinton would also return to the dark area of the room and vanish; the visits were not done just yet. The appearance out of the darkness of Aunt Vicki and Jean just added to Ollie’s confusion. The first three visitors are all obviously travellers so it would be of no mystery how they could appear and vanish into darkness but being who he is and if indeed he is actually dead then there would be no surprise that aunt Vicki and Jean would come visit him at a funeral home.
Vicki cried and Jean comforted her not knowing what to make of the situation for she had seen Ollie as a much older man, so if Ollie is dead at just eighteen years old then how could the much older version of Ollie have come back at all?
Ollie being back alone with himself began to feel movement as if the room itself was moving. This feeling soon altered until it appeared that it was he who was moving, spinning round and round with everything around him appearing as a blur. This did not last very long and when it did stop Ollie awoke in bed.
Ollie awoke and immediately felt relief. He had been dreaming though what he had experienced felt so real. Real enough that he was sure that it was actually happening. He was hardly awake thirty seconds when he heard a male voice that he did not recognise ask him a question.
‘You just had it, didn’t you?’
Ollie quickly sat up and looked across the room to see a man sit in a wicker chair.
‘Who the hell are you? And what was that you just asked me?’
‘You don’t recognise me do you?’
‘No. Should I?
‘I would say so’.
Ollie rubbed his eyes and looked over at the man again. He felt strangely calm with the fact that there was a man he did not recognise in his room.
‘I give up. Who are you?’ asked Ollie.
‘Can I ask you, where is your father?’
‘My father died when I was one. You are not going to try and tell me that you are my father are you?’
‘Well I can assure you that I am not dead but then again when I come from you are just that one year old little boy. Maybe your mum may just use that as a reason to why I may not be around much or at all I guess’.
‘Ok just hold on a minute here and back up a bit. First of all what did you mean that I just had it?
‘The traveller’s dream, all travellers have this dream. You dreamt that you were dead and wondered how this could happen knowing that it shouldn’t and couldn’t be. The only other thing that I can tell you about it is that it is quite a common thing so if I were you I would not worry about it’.
‘I thought that I was the first traveller in existence’.
‘Second actually. I am the first. I have not told your mother about this ability and to be honest with all the travelling that I do, I have been thinking of moving away’.
‘So you mean you abandoned us?’
‘I would not use that word and no I have not abandoned you’.
‘Yes you have. I am eighteen years old and I do not know you. I have absolutely no memory of you what so ever, so you left us. You left me and mum. You do know she is dead, right?’
‘I do. I have managed to figure that much out. You know for me I have only been travelling for about a year, that is to say from around the time of your birth’.
‘Yes. I missed your birth because of it. I was not there for your mother due to travelling for the first time. I did not know where I was or what had happened. I cannot go on like this, disappearing at key moments and then having to lie to your mother’.
‘So you have not left us just yet?’
‘No but I seriously can’t go on like this’.
‘Then tell her, tell mum. You wouldn’t really be changing history because as far as you are concerned you have done nothing yet that needs to change’.
‘I cannot do that; she won’t understand or believe me’.
‘Then why are you here? Why are we even having this discussion? Why bother me with all this if you are not going to do anything about it?’
‘Because you are my son’.
‘Mum is your wife, so what is the problem?’
‘Do you think she will believe me?’
‘Sure she will, she has too’.
‘I am about to travel back, I can feel it coming on’.
‘Hey take this, give it to mum. Tell her it is from my eighteenth birthday’. Ollie handed his father a photo of himself.
Even though it was Ollie’s father who said that he felt that he was about to travel it was Ollie who vanished first. He had travelled back to the day his mother was attacked and killed. He watched at his mother approached the atm machine where the attack happened. The only way Ollie reckoned that he was back at this moment rather than having both his parents alive was due to the fact that he travelled first, right before his father was about to travel.
Jackie placed her bank card into the atm machine and entered her number. A man with a hood on his head approached her and just as he did he was tapped on his shoulder, as he turned he was met with a punch to the face which knocked him alongside the atm.
‘Hi, sorry to bother you. I shouldn’t be long here’ spoke Ollie to his mother while hitting the man in the stomach and who then fell to the ground.
Jackie retrieved her atm card and moved swiftly away. Ollie smiled. At this moment he knew things would be fine although he had one more moment in which to travel before his life would be completely altered. He travelled almost seventeen years into the past and stood on the street across the road from his home.
The front door to his house opened and out into the garden stepped his mother carrying a child which obviously could only be himself. Seconds later also from out of the house stepped his father. He put his arm around Jackie and pointed across the street to Ollie. Jackie waved over with one arm while still holding on to the baby tightly with the other and she looked like she was explaining to the one year old child of who it was they were looking at. Ollie smiled the biggest smile that he had ever smiled and vanished.
Of course, when that one year old child grew up and turned eighteen his life was drastically different in many ways and exactly the same in many more. Both his parents were alive and well, as too was his aunt Vicki. Jean and himself were closer than what they had been first time round and Clinton Adams would be back to be that friend he was meant to be for he and Ollie had work to do. As for the couple who had travelled back to see Ollie well, they were glad they had gone back fifty years in time to go visit someone who was more than just an icon from their past but in many ways a celebrity too. What exactly happened in those fifty years, well that is another story.
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