Darren made me go to school. I mean as much as I love to see my friends at school, after what I found out this morning and after what happened with Sam (plus, Darren thinks I need to see a doctor because he thinks I’m cray-cray (his words, not mine)), I didn’t really want to go to school. I thought Isabelle might understand if I told her but she’d soon find out a way that it wouldn’t be true because of her book-loving, I’ll-always-find-an-answer ways. Although, that might come in handy trying to figure out whatever the hell this curse thing does, did, will do- whatever.
For some weird reason though, Sam was there, his normal self and acting like that whole episode this morning never happened. A chill ran over my spine and with my conscious in a daze I stepped towards him. Sam gave a slight shake of his head and I stopped dead, realising that the unsettling feeling in my stomach was fear.
We had sport first in the hall (or gymnasium, I mean, whatever you feel comfortable with saying.) and Riana was talking to some random dude instead of us. I didn’t mind. I wasn’t really in the mood for talking to her. I was still kind of shocked over this morning.
After a while, Riana re-joined us. She waved at the dude and then seemed to forget all about him. He stood there and stared at me. I tried not to notice it but after a while I stared at him too.
He was tanned with dark brown eyes which seemed to know everything. He was wearing a dark blue t-shirt and grey skinny jeans- well, as skinny as the jeans that guys wear. His arms were crossed and so I crossed mine. I didn’t know his name, I didn’t know him, but he looked at me like he knew me. A shadow passed over me and he looked surprised so of course, being nice, I gave him a tentative smile. The shadow disappeared and his face relaxed. I felt self-conscious. Was my orange bandana out of place? Was there something on my face?
The stare of the strange boy went deeper than that. He recognised me. Some sporty kids passed in front of us and when he was in my view again, I stopped looking. I could feel something inside of me and I started to panic.
Somehow I knew this was the feeling you got before you Time-Jumped. Somehow I knew that it was going to happen and according to the curse book, if you jumped three times, that was the beginning of your life as a Time Jumper. Riana and Isabelle were playing a fun game of basketball in the corner.
I was lucky no one was noticing me too much except for the strange boy. He didn’t matter. I tried to hold it in but it felt like I was about to explode.
And then, for the first time that I had knowledge of it- I Jumped.
I was in no place that I recognised. People jostled past me with a certainty that made me feel out of place. But when I looked at what they were wearing- that was another story. Girls wearing long gowns of silk and lace which were both tight and flowing filled the room with their musky scents of perfumes. There was another scent that I recognised as cigarettes. That must have been the scent of the men who stood in bands of about three or four. They looked bored and for that I pitied them. Most had top hats on which matched their formal suits. It also looked as though bow ties were in fashion.
“Excuse me, milady- I must ask- what ARE you wearing?” A lady wearing a corseted white silk gown with a lace trim asked me. Half of her bright red hair was piled neatly on top of her head while the rest was curled out in unnatural ringlets. I didn’t answer her. I was in shock because she had the exact same colour eyes as me.
“Are you a Time Jumper? I asked faintly. She rolled her eyes. I looked around and realised that everyone had the same green eyes. “What is this?”
“We’re all Time Jumpers, honey. That’s why you’re here, isn’t it? It’s the 700th annual Jumper Ball. But you seem different. You didn’t mean to come here did you?” I shook my head and sniffed. I felt as if I was about to cry but I really didn’t want to in front of all these people when I was already the strange Time Jumper who’d Jumped into their party.
“I don’t even know what I am anymore.”
She smoothed down her white corseted dress and grimaced at me.
“Oh honey, this is only your second jump isn’t it?” She held out a white-gloved hand and patted me lightly on the back. “’Come on, we have to get you to Chester. He’ll know what to do.”
She took my arm and pulled me along, ignoring the stares from the other Jumpers as we passed. I hoped that Chester was a nice person and that he could help me. Maybe, he might even know how to reverse or end the curse for me.
“So, what is your name, Hun?” The Time Jumper asked me.
“Elodie,” I answered.
We reached a silver door with an Indian elephant styled knocker. She rapped it twice then after a pause she rapped it sharply three times in a row. She was awarded with two knocks back.
“Kaylee and Elodie to see Chester,” She said. The door opened inward to a man who looked like Slender Man except I could see that it was similar to one of those morph suits. He inclined his head to me and I turned to Kaylee who still had her arm on me. She shook her head.
“Don’t look at him.” She whispered. The Morph man’s shoulders slumped and my heart went out to him. “They’re of the Faceless People. Stare at them for too long and you’ll go mad.”
“I just found out that I was a Time Jumper. I think I already am crazy.” I mumbled. Kaylee let go of me. A black leather chair seemed to appear out of the shadows in front of us.
“Why are you here?” I tried to place the familiar voice but I couldn’t. The black leather chair the man was sitting in turned slightly and I could see a tiny bit of his profile. I still could not identify this man.
“Chester is the only Time Jumper to have never found his Double in his 450 odd years.” Kaylee informed me. She fiddled with her gloves before taking them off in one swift movement. “Chester, I want you to meet someone. She accidentally Jumped here of all places as her second Jump.”
I saw Chester nod in the shadows. He stood up. He was the only man that I had seen wearing a white suit.
“Well, well. Welcome to the Ball, Elodie.” Chester said.
He turned around.