Time out of Mind

Time travel - with a twist

The smell of disinfectant was so powerful that it jolted Violet out of her drug induced stupor. She opened one eye by a little slit to get some idea where she was. The glare of florescent lighting assaulted her vision so badly that the eye closed involuntarily.

An almost inaudible groan escaped her cracked and swollen lips. A half hearted attempt to move her arms met with stiff resistance. She moved her head slightly to one side to avoid the glare, and opened both eyes enough to look down the length of her body. Confused, dizzy, she didn't quite understand what she was seeing. She shook her head as best she could to clear the fog, and looked again. She laid flat on her back on a gurney, with thick leather restraints buckled over her upper and lower body.

Cold sweat covered her face as her breathing became stressed and laboured, with the onset of a full panic attack. Frightened tears poured down her cheeks while a heart monitor set up beside the bed clamoured an alarm, indicating a heart rate well beyond safe levels. Two people wearing white lab coats and face masks approached the side of the gurney. One of them held her head still while the other roughly emptied a syringe full of black fluid into her neck.

Her entire body shook beneath the restraints, then calmed. Her eyes opened wide, long enough to see the two people blurred into one, like rubber masks that have been exposed to great heat. Then her eyes rolled up under her eyelids until just the whites showed. Her hysterical screams reverberated off the sterile white walls until she lapsed into unconsciousness.

She woke hours, or it could even have been days later. The gurney, people, and smell of disinfectant were gone. In their place was one huge room, with wooden desks joined by wrought iron filigree work. They were arranged in five short rows, to accommodate eight grades. An ugly large salmon pink desk stood at the front, with two heavy slate blackboards that filled most of the wall behind it. The teacher stood with her back to the twenty five children that filled the desks, as she wrote a geography lesson on the board for grade four. On the right hand corner up near the top, in white chalk was the date, November 22, 1963.

Violet sat along the left wall of the room, as one of the five grade seven students. She looked out the high window beside her, at a grey early winter day. She could see her reflection in the thick paned glass, and what she saw was a twelve year old girl, not the grown woman she believed herself to be. She ran her fingers through the medium brown hair that hung down her back, almost to her waist. It was real, she was real, and yet it couldn't be.

A rounded blue plastic radio played on a small shelf in the left hand corner of the room, beside the blackboard. It was tuned to the local news station for the grade eight Social Studies and Current Events class. The usual whispers and quiet discussion of a classroom surrounded her, until the teacher suddenly turned around to face the students.

“Quiet class. Listen!” she shouted.

The children obeyed, more out of surprise, than anything else. The radio announcer spent the next half hour describing the scene in Dallas Texas, where the motorcade of President John F. Kennedy had been fired upon. The President had been shot, and rushed to the nearest hospital. The final announcement sent shock waves through the class.

“The President of the United States is dead.”

The sound built slowly in Violet's chest until it came full throated out of her mouth – an ear splitting scream that reverberated off the painted plaster walls of the room.

The End

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