Another Thursday, and we’re back with another part!
Last week, we got to meet our main character and the time traveller who smashed into her car. And this week, we can hopefully figure out a little more of what’s going on.
If you missed last week, here’s the part:
Aaaand enjoy the next part!
(collages and other goodies included at the end)
Part 2: Midnight Guest
“So this guy… smashed into the back of your car. And then when he passed out, you just decided to pick him up and bring him back to my house.” Chase’s eyebrows pulled upwards like he was trying to use them to prop his eyes open as he looked past me to my car. Even against his dark skin, I could see the circles under his eyes.
I folded my arms over my chest, frowning at him. “Well, you weren’t exactly picking up your phone and giving me any other ideas.”
Chase groaned softly and leaned against the doorframe, rubbing a hand over his face. “Zoey, this is nuts. It’s two in the morning. What were you thinking?” His voice was quiet and shuddered just a little bit as he shivered from the cold outside. I was wearing a coat and boots standing out here and he was just in socks, pajamas, and an old flannel shirt.
I felt a twinge of guilt in my stomach, but stood my ground. “Seriously, I think this guy needs help and there’s… there’s something weird about him. I couldn’t just… leave him.”
“Yeah, you should have taken him to the hospital or something. Someone gets in a car crash, then they’re talking crazy and pass out? That’s called a concussion, not some Scooby-Doo style mystery that you have to solve.”
I glared a little. “Chase, get your boots on and come look at him, okay? Just give me a minute and then you can go back to sleep or whatever.”
“Or whatever? What else do you think I’d be getting back to doing at this hour?” He heaved a sigh and shook his head as he went back inside, but reappeared a minute later with his boots and coat on over his pajamas.
I nodded and motioned for him to follow me as I hopped back off the small porch and went back to my car. Chase’s slow, even steps crunched on the frozen ground after me.
Thoughts bounced around in my head, second-guessing everything Chase would say when he saw this guy. I was still pretty solidly sure this guy was a time traveller. At least a time traveller, if not like… an alien or something. His whole vibe was just different and otherworldly and almost scary.
But when explaining things to Chase, Mr. Mechanical Engineer, placing your faith in “vibes” didn’t really work.
I just hoped that the weirdo’s clothes, face and hair would be enough to sway him over to my side.
I fumbled my phone out of my pocket with my half-numb fingers and clicked on the flashlight function. The bluish glow from the streetlight above us wasn’t going to be enough for the dramatic reveal. And my interior car lights weren’t working that well.
Chase glanced down at my phone and raised an eyebrow.
I raised an eyebrow back at him as I yanked the car door open, shining the light beam inside.
The guy who’d rammed into the back of my car still lay in a heap in the backseat. Some of his hair fell across his unshaven face, his eyes were still closed and his mouth hung slightly open. His long coat and scarves splayed out around him and one booted foot hung limply off the seat. The dinged-up pocketwatch dangled from his pocket, spinning a little on its chain.
Yep, he still looked crazy.
Not as crazy as when he was awake, but it was probably better to ease in to the craziness anyway.
I looked sideways over at Chase.
His mouth was clamped shut and his eyes were wide as he looked the man over. After a couple of seconds, he hesitantly leaned forward, looking closer. He reached in and grabbed the guy’s hand, feeling his wrist for a pulse.
“Still alive at least,” Chase muttered. He pulled back again, rubbing a hand over his own short cropped, curly hair. His expression was much more awake by now. His gaze flicked up and down the figure in the backseat, lingering on a few details. The buttons on the coat. The many scarves. The dangling pocketwatch.
He frowned, narrowing his eyes.
“And unless concussions give people wacky outfits along with crazy talk and passing out… I’d say we have something bigger here.” I gave Chase a look and raised both my eyebrows, waiting for him to say I was right.
“Yeah,” Chase shoved his hands in his coat pockets. “Probably means he’s actually crazy. Driving around without headlights on the wrong side of the road and dressing like…”
I huffed out a breath. “Well I want to talk to him. So either I’m gonna wait for him to wake up here, or I’m bringing him back to my place.”
“Oh no you don’t,” Chase groaned. “I’m not letting you take home every nut you find on the street and then spend the night alone with them.” He shook his head, looking tired again. “Come on. We can haul your time traveller in and put him on my couch.”
I relaxed a little and nodded. We both moved around to the other side of the car so we weren’t yanking him out by his boots, and opened the other door.
Definitely a more interesting November night than any I’ve ever had. I squinted at the top of the man’s head, trying to work the right angle we could each take to get him out again without hurting him. I hadn’t really done a great job of getting him inside the car in the first place.
And this was awfully late for Chase. He’d been losing enough sleep lately without me busting in on his weekend. No need to rub the fact that I was ahead on studying in his face.
I glanced down at my watch as Chase started to get under one of the man’s limp arms.
The light on my digital watch face flickered a little before the numbers came up again.
I frowned. That wasn’t right.
I needed to replace the batteries on this thing.
Giving the watch face a few annoyed taps, I shook my sleeve back down over it and went to help Chase.
I was still running on adrenaline and plenty of coffee, so I was wide awake to sit, waiting and watching for our mysterious guest to wake up.
Chase only tired himself out more, getting the guy inside, so he only sat up with me for about fifteen more minutes before heading back to bed. And telling me to come get him the second the man woke up.
I reassured him that I would, and then kept up the vigil as the small house went silent.
Only the quiet, slightly ragged breathing of the guy on the couch and the ticking of the clock on the wall made any sound.
I knew it was creepy to just watch people while they slept. And I mean… I sure wouldn’t like that. But with someone as weird as this, it was hard to help it.
I studied his boots and his coat, piecing together some details and making a few internet searches on my phone to pinpoint what time periods they were from. Looked like I was right on the revolutionary war coat. The best guess I could make for the boots was around seventeenth century Spain. And they were in incredible condition for their age.
Either that or very, very well made replicas.
Which would be kind of stupid.
He’s definitely a time traveller. Definitely.
But from the past or the future? What does he use to time travel?
I stood from my chair and moved a little bit closer, watching his face. Or what I could see of his face under all that hair. It was a very angular face. Almost aristocratic looking. The hollows in his cheeks were shadowed by stubble and looked sort of skeletal in the light from the window. There were faint creases furrowing his brow, even as he slept. Worry lines.
My current guess put him either in his early-forties or immortal, from what I’d gathered so far. Probably immortal. But he looked like he’d been a bit lazy in trying to look young lately. Too busy and too worried looking for that girl he had a picture of…
I pursed my lips and dug my hand back into my jeans pocket, carefully pulling out the wrinkled old photo. That weirdly familiar face smiled back out at me.
I shot another glance over in the direction of the couch, then quietly made my way over to the kitchen, flicking on the small light over the sink. I studied the picture. Studied the woman’s light colored hair, her pale face and her wide smile.
There wasn’t a lot to go off of in just the tiny snapshot. But just by the photo quality and the woman’s hairstyle, I would probably put her around the late eighteen hundreds. Maybe after that. After all, the photo was kind of beaten up, and she might not have been working to keep up exactly with the styles of the time…
I blew out a breath and propped my elbows against the counter, flipping the photo over in my hands.
There was something written on the back.
I tucked my hair back behind one ear and looked closer at the flawless cursive script inked on the worn paper.
Jane, it read. I will find you.
So Jane. Jane was missing.
You’d think that if anyone had a good shot at finding a missing person it would be a time traveller. But how long had this guy been looking? Could he have anything else useful in all those crazy pockets of his?
I looked up again, watching him.
Okay digging through someone’s pockets felt kind of wrong. But I was really curious. And there was the end of a folded paper visibly sticking out of one of his pockets. I could just look over that really quickly, then stick it back.
Putting the photo back in my pocket, I tiptoed back over to him and extracted the exposed paper from the pocket. The man moved a little bit and I froze. But he fell quiet again and I edged back into the kitchen as I unfolded the paper. It felt soft and almost cloth-like it was so worn.
Dear Demetrius…started the letter.
I stopped there and mentally matched the name with the guy on the couch.
That did kind of fit.
I went back to reading.
I was foolish to think that this would last. While I certainly owe you much, I cannot honestly say that I love you. And no longer will I pretend that I do.
This is goodbye.
I blinked a couple of times and read it over again. My stomach knotted.
This was a Dear John letter. He was looking for someone who didn’t want to be found. Someone who didn’t want him anymore no matter how desperately he wanted them.
I gasped quietly.
Of course all the stories with time travellers and immortals never had romance ending well, but this was heartbreaking. Seeing it in person like this…
I lifted my head to look over at him again and jumped a little.
The guy… Demetrius if I was right… was sitting up on the couch now. He looked pretty disoriented still and didn’t seem to notice me. Moaning, he rubbed both of his hands over his face and up through his hair. He blinked hard a couple of times, staring at the old movie posters Chase had tacked to the wall.
He was awake. Now I could ask him all those questions. Figure out where he was from and how he’d gotten here.
But all I ended up doing was reaching over and quickly flicking off the light over the sink.
Demetrius jumped, looking around him.
I stayed still.
He craned his neck and stood up, wavering a little. Even in the mostly dark with my eyes not adjusted, I could see his hands moving as he patted over his pockets. He pulled out a couple of things, there was the soft noise of a flame igniting, and a thin candle dimly lit the room. The light wavered as Demetrius moved forward, his hand holding the candle trembling.
“Jane?” he whispered. The flame flickered in his breath.
I forgot how wild and desperate his eyes were.
I swallowed hard, moving over a little closer and reaching for the lightswitch to turn on the main living room light. “Not really.”
Demetrius flinched as the room lit up. He blinked a couple of times, staring at me. “Who are…?” his brow furrowed a little and he pointed slowly towards me with the lit candle, letting wax drip onto the floor. “You’re the girl I smashed the spaceship of, wasn’t it? Or were you the one I stole the horse from? Either way, I’m terribly sorry. I didn’t get your name?”
I took a deep breath and let it out. “Zoey. And we need to talk. I’m just going to go get my boyfriend in here really quick.”
-and the plot thickens-
Tune back in next week for the next part!
And now for some fun extras. Because I wanted to.
Collages! Because you know me. I just gotta make ’em.
And our wacked out time traveller, Demetrius!
And because, a little soundtrack playlist.
And that’s all for this week folks. 🙂 Hope you enjoyed! Talk to me in the comments! What do you think will happen next? Do I even know? We’ll have to see…