Jacob walked down the street to meet up with his dad to go to work. Today was bring your son to work day and no matter how much Jacob fought it, his dad wouldn’t relent.
On his walk there, it gave Jacob time to sort through his own thoughts. He had always lived with the fear of being around people, but also just wanted some friends. He never knew why his parents were so scared of people and why he couldn’t leave the house often to go to school like every other kid. Was there something wrong with him or was it the other people?
Jacob finally made it to their meeting place and sat down on the bench. His dad arrived moments later and tapped him on the shoulder.
“Hey, Jacob, you ready to go?”
“No, I already said I didn’t want to go to this and you know that,” I stated with rancor dripping from my voice.
“Well you are going, just this once we are letting you do something outside the house. Enjoy it while you can.”
With that, his dad strode off towards the car. He followed suit and swung the car door open with maybe a little too much force. It made a popping noise and his dad glared at him.
“Get it and quit acting like a child. We are going to meet my colleagues and its at a pristine office and lab building. You will not act like this there. Jacob you are almost 17, you need to learn how to act your age.”
Jacob just sat quietly in the passenger seat staring at the trees as they passed by his window. No more words were exchanged between the father and son until they were pulling into a parking spot at Lixbon’s Laboratory and Law Office. It was quite a weird combination, science and law in the same building. The guy that founded it had mastered in both degrees, or so that’s what’s what Jacob’s dad had told him.
“Jacob, I want you to stand up straight and look decent. No saying anything unless spoken to and definitely no curse words. Do you hear me?”
“Okay, go ahead and treat me like a child. These rules are unfair and they sound a lot like rules from older times. Dad, it’s the 21st century, teens have the rights of speech.”
“Not unless the parent gives them to, so just listen to me and don’t talk unless spoken to.”
Jacob opened his mouth to respond, but stopped himself when he saw his dad rubbing his temples like he had a headache. How could I be so rude to my dad? He only wanted to look good for his colleagues. I need to listen to him, all he has ever done for me is try to give the best life he can give me. I'll listen to his rules and act good in here. Jacob thought as they walked into the building.
Jacob was met with an overpowering aroma of chemicals. That made sense, but that still didn’t make it any better. His nostrils felt like they were on fire. He scanned the room for something to sit in while he waited for his dad to get done signing himself and Jacob in. All around him was white furniture. Everything seemed to be very pristine, just as his dad had said. He eyes finally fell upon a comfy looking sofa in the corner with a small stand next to it. The stand was loaded with comics and Jacob decided to take this time to indulge in his most favorite thing to do in the whole world, read about superheroes.
After about 10 minutes, Jacob’s dad strutted over to him and handed him his ID card.
“You are going to need this. It will check you into my office, the lab, the cafeteria, and the bathroom.”
“Wait, hold up a second, you have to check into the bathroom?”
“Yes, they clock what you are doing at all times and they also need to make sure no one sneaks these chemicals out of the labs.”
“O...kay. I will just act like that is a normal thing.”
Jacob’s dad chuckles and motions for Jacob to follow him. He lead Jacob to his office and they both checked in before entering the famous office. Jacob’s dad was the manager of the Quantum Physics scientist, so he had the best office. It overlooked the laboratories where he could see all the other scientist in their lab coats running around gathering up the supplies they would need for the hours to come. It looked a little chaotic down there, but it also looked like fun.
Jacob saw a small smile creep onto his dad’s face as he watched his son watch the people in awe. Jacob pivoted on his foot and looked his dad straight in the face.
“Can we go down there?”
“Of course, I was hoping you would like that area.”
Jacob’s dad led him to the lab in the basement. There was so much to look at that Jacob had no idea where to start. He was looking around like a kid in a toy store. His father grabbed his wrist and pulled him to one of his colleagues.
“Hello Marcus, meet my son Jacob.”
“Hi Jacob, I’m Marcus. It’s a pleasure to meet you,” the tall man stated as he shook Jacob’s hand.
“Marcus, where’s your son?”
“Oh, he’s trying to round up all the other teens so that we can start the tour.”
“Oh okay, anyways Jacob, Marcus is my right-hand man. He helps me with everything.”
“Including putting his lab coat on,” Marcus puts his hands up to his mouth and whispers, “Jeremiah is very uncoordinated.”
Marcus and Jacob chuckle, while Jeremiah just glared at his best friend and son. Just when he was about to respond with some snarky response, he felt a tap on his shoulder. He turned to be met with 20 pairs of expecting eyes.
“Ah, Lukas, you made it back and it looks like you found everybody. Let’s start the tour by giving you all a couple minutes to meet each other,” Jeremiah claps his hands together and pairs up the teens with a buddy so that they will keep each other in check.
Lukas and Jacob get put together and Jacob blushes. Lukas was about 6” and had a lot of muscles. He looked Cuban based off of his skin color and they way his face was structured. He had dark brown, large, enchanting eyes. I could get lost in those eyes. Jacob thought. Wait, what am I thinking, that’s weird. He’s a guy. I was just nervous to meet someone my age, right?
Lukas snapped Jacob out of his thoughts by waving his hands in front of Jacob’s face.
“Dude, are you okay?”
“Uh, yeah, I’m fine. Just anxious.”
“Oh okay, I understand that. You don’t attend public school do you?”
“So then all these people all at once is probably nerve wrecking, right?”
“Yeah, a little.”
“That’s, okay. You will be fine with me, just calm down.”
“No problem, dude. What are friends for?”
“Wait we are friends?”
“Of course, anyways, come on the group is leaving.”
The boys sprinted to catch up with the group. When they got there, Jeremiah was just starting to talk about a big circular machine.
“This is our time machine. It hasn’t been perfected yet, but we are slowly beginning to fix some of the bugs. Please be careful though, if you fall into that, we have no way of knowing how to get you back.”
All the kids gasped as Jeremiah turned to machine on. The two spheres turned around each other for a couple second and then stopped with a purple haze in between the two. It looked so amazing. One kid was enticed to touch and took a hesitant step forward before a strong arm stopped him and put him back in the group.
After that, the group started moving to another station, but Jacob stayed back for a couple seconds. He watched Lukas walk ahead of him and thought about how hot he looked. Jacob was so distracted that when Lukas turned back and yelled his name, he jumped and tripped on a wire. He stumbled and fell into the portal.
Jacob fell to the ground, feeling his insides do flips and finally feeling the pain in his arms and legs. He looked around him, not recognizing a thing. He started to yell for his dad, but no response could be heard. He started to panic. Well this is just great, how am I supposed to get home? Where am I? How did I get here? Jacob thought as he just sat there stunned and confused. Finally he decided to analyze where he was so that he could try to figure out where he was.
Before him was many trees, so many that the sun could barely shine through to the ground. On some of the trees were signs that said “Beware” and “Don’t go any further”. Lastly he noticed a small glimpse every so often of something gray in the sky. He soon figured out that it was smoke, probably from a nearby house, but who uses fireplaces in this day and age?
Jacob tried to get up, but the stabbing pain in his leg made him topple over like a Jenga tower being knocked over. This was not exactly the greatest situation and Jacob wasn’t quite sure how he was going to work this one out. He started to pull himself along on his stomach, when he saw feet in front of him. He whipped his head up just in time to see them shoot something into his neck, then it was lights out.
When Jacob woke up, he was on a cot and his arms and legs had been bandaged up. He looked around the room and took in his surroundings. There was a small window above his head and a nightstand next to his head. A couple feet away from his cot was a fireplace with a rocking chair in front of it. In the rocking chair was a small framed girl wearing a nightgown. She had chin length hair the color of silver. Her mouth was agape and there was drool rolling down her chin and neck. She looked exhausted and completely knocked out.
Jacob stood up and tip-toed over to the fireplace. He was freezing and just wanted to warm up, but he also didn’t want to wake her. For all he knew she could be a murderer, but she looked so peaceful and she had obviously helped him. Even if she did do it by knocking him out.
He rubbed his hands together in front of the fireplace and sat down criss-cross applesauce. He noticed the bookshelf to his right and pulled out a random book. If he had to be here, why not warm up with a book. He turned to the first page, but immediately stopped. The words were unlike any other words he had ever seen. They looked like a jumbled mess, that is until they started moving before his eyes. After a couple seconds, the letters set into place and it looked like normal English. He started to read and realized it was a guide on how to set up a healing potion. What kind of witchery is this? Jacob thought as he kept staring at the book. He flipped through the rest of the book and realized it was just like the first page. He went to set it back when a hand grabbed his wrist, prohibiting him from moving any further.
“What do you think you are doing,” the girl that was sleeping questioned with a stern look on her face.
“I’m so sorry I w-was just trying to read a book. I didn’t m-mean to disturbe you or your um...personal things.”
“Don’t apologize. I just wanted to know why you were putting the book back?”
“Wait, so you aren’t mad at me for touching it?”
“No of course not, it’s yours anyways.”
“What do you mean its mine, I have never seen this in my life.”
“Wait, are you serious, you really don’t know who you are? I thought you were just playing stupid to test me earlier.”
“I don’t know what you mean.”
“Okay, well let me introduce myself first. I’m Analise. I’m a witch and so are you, well you are technically a wizard, but that’s beside the point.”
“Um…you obviously have the wrong person. I’m not a wizard.”
“Were you able to read the words?”
“Yeah, but that doesn’t mean anything. Your book is just weird.”
“Fine, let me explain. About 30 years ago, I was sent here with a mission. I was to help a wizard discover his full potential. This was decreed by none other than your parents they had hoped to tell you sooner, but the prophecy said otherwise. We are in a May of 1693. I know that is about 300 years back from where you came from. You actually time traveled. Do you believe me now that this stuff is real?”
“I don’t know. I just met you and have no idea where I am. Also I have never experienced anything magical.”
“That’s because the prophecy said you wouldn’t discover it until you came here.”
“And where exactly is here?”
“Wait, this is when and where the Salem Witch Trials take place. WHY ARE WE HERE OF ALL PLACES? WE COULD BE KILLED!”
“Oh,so you do remember something? And you are starting to believe it.”
“Well, yeah, but I don’t feel like dying today, so can we leave?”
“Nope, I need to train you.”
“Fine, but let's hurry it up.”
“Okay, let's go outside.”
They head to the marketplace in the middle of town are met with hoards of people. All around them were strangers and wizard hating people. To say the least, Jacob was terrified. On the other hand, Analise walked with a free gracefulness in her step. She looked completely at ease.
“How are you so comfortable?”
“I've lived here for 30 years and no one has suspected me because I know how to cover my tracks.”
They continued to walk in silence for sometime until they reached a small shop crammed in between two bigger shops. The small shop read “Willa’s Crazy Antics”. They stepped inside and were greeted by a screeching bird. All around them were oddly shaped and colored antics. The sign definitely wasn’t lying.
A small woman sauntered out to the main lobby. She took one look at the two and then motioned for them to follow her. She lead them to a room at the back. This room was covered with shelves full of boxes. She pulled out a small black box and handed it to Analise.
“Here you go child, good luck on your mission.”
“Thank you so much Willa. You don’t know how much this means to me.”
“Don’t fret, just go child. You need to work quickly.”
They left the store and headed to the back of an abandoned church. For the next hour, Analise taught Jacob how to use his wand and how to be a hidden wizard. Everything was going great until they heard a twig crack. Both their heads whipped around towards the sound. They stood still trying to listen for anything else. Just when they thought it was probably just their imagination, a boy of 10 ran away screaming bloody murderer. They chased him, trying to stop him before he made it to any adult. He made it to his parents before they could catch him though.
“What is it sweety?”
“T-They are witches. They were going to kill me,” the boy points at us.
The whole town's population came barreling at us. They had nowhere to go and the townspeople ended up pinning them down and tying ropes around their hands and feet. There was no escape they were done for.
The townspeople stood them up on a stage and put a noose around each of tier necks. Next to them were the last people convicted of witchcraft. Their necks were snapped in half and you could see the bone. They had obviously been dead for awhile, because the dried blood that had dripped down their bodies was turning brown.
Jacob started to panic, but Analise was still at ease.
“How are you still so calm. We are about to die!”
“I am hoping everything will work itself out.”
“Don’t you realize, nothing can work itself out. This is the last straw. Nothing more!”
“Shut up both of you,”the hooded figure tying them up yelled.
They shut their mouths and Jacob closed his eyes, waiting for his end. The noose started to tighten, but then all of sudden he was falling. The rope had been shot through by Lukas and Lukas was now running towards Jacob. He scooped Jacob up bridal style and ran. The crowd was too stunned to react and that gave Analise time to use her magic to escape.
After running for a couple minutes, Lukas finally set Jacob down.
“How did you- I mean why did you- where did yo…”Jacob was interrupted by Lukas planting a kiss on his lips.
“Shh, its okay, I told you I would be there for you didn't I?”
Jacob just smiled and intertwined their hands. Lukas led them back to the portal and they stepped through it together.
Jacob rolled out of the portal and looked about the room. He was back in his dad's office. He jumped up with glee, but was pulled back down again by his hand. That’s when he remembered that Lukas was holding his hand. He helped Lukas up and then they headed to find the group. When they finally found the group, everyone engulfed them in a hug. Marcus and Jeremiah took one look at their sons interlocked hands, smiled at each other, and hugged their sons. Happy to have their sons back and alive.
Thank you for reading!