It has been a long time, since I saw anyone from my own generation. Perhaps a century? No. More… The last time was while my sister and I were exploring the exclusive abilities of the cabinet in our new house which was a concealed passageway into the past. How erroneously did I think the past could be changed! Even after experiencing countless years of sophistication, many questions have left me bewildered and I’m still unable to distinguish the wrong from the right. But I might still have a few intricate wisps of memory left to share from centuries ago…
The humid summer air outside and the luminous rays of vivid sunshine gradually made their way inside my room through the slightly opened window as the birds tunefully sang outside. I felt disturbed and opened my eyes to see an unfamiliar room filled chaotically with boxes of various sizes. I scratched my head, and thoughts started to swirl in my brain.
My name is Mirandus. My family – my parents and my sister named Lentus – and I recently moved to Washington D.C. We just arrived at our new house last night, and instantly fell to sleep like koalas. I and Lentus will start school tomorrow, for we had to unpack the boxes today.
“Still sleeping?” I heard my sister’s calling voice with an obvious tone of vexation.
“So what?” I inquired.
“Uh! We moved to a new house, remember? Come down and help us unpack the boxes!” she urged, her voice now closer to a scream. Without saying anything, I went downstairs and saw my family working like ants in order to get our new house in shape. I felt the need to apologize.
“No need to apologize,” my mother told me, who had always managed to read my mind at an instinct, “we just woke up.” I only forced a smile, for I was still half-asleep. It usually took me nearly an hour to fully wake up. “Why don’t you and your sister take these boxes to the attic and unpack them? See if they are necessary…”
“Sure, mom,” I said, turning around to see my sister waiting impatiently. I picked up one of the huge boxes and climbed the stairs into the attic. It was filled with dark, gloomy walls and scores of spider webs. The only thing in it was a quaint cabinet which looked as old as the universe. I opened the box and started to put the stuff on the floor.
“What are you doing?” my sister was irritated as she burst out, “We need to place them in the cabinet!”
I did as told. I opened the cabinet and started to place things in there. However, they started to disappear one by one.
“Lentus,” I said nervously, “I think you need to see this…”
She now stood beside me and watched the rest disappear. And so did our adventure start when she stepped in and disappeared, like everything else, into the past. I only figured this out when I stepped in, too.
Bewilderment #1, 1879:
I slowly got up and saw that we were in a small house filled with several people who were gathered around a crib.
“How did we get here?” I asked, seeing my sister’s impressed face as she got closer to the people. I noticed a tiny remote in her hand and assumed it could get us back in the future. Back in the future? Whatever.
My sister screamed as she ran towards me after getting a good look at the baby. “They named him Albert. Albert Einstein! Then that must mean we are in Germany…”
“Great! How do we get back?” I asked sarcastically.
“Get back? We are not getting back… Don’t you realize this is an unimaginable opportunity? Let’s keep exploring, and then we can get back to our past and…”
I tried to snatch at the remote, but she was keen to keep it and we accidentally pressed on a random year. There were thousands of years on something so diminutive that they were almost impossible to see. Before we disappeared, I saw the people gaping at us.
“What have we done?” I shouted, “What do you think those poor people think now?”
“Don’t worry,” my sister said cunningly, “they will probably forget about us sooner or later.”
Bewilderment #2, 1347:
I opened my eyes again and saw that this time we were in a tent. We had to be further back in the past, I thought, for the men looked very ancient. One of them was lying on the floor and a priest of some kind was kneeling beside him. He wore a black cloak which shined maliciously. The priest looked cryptically at the man, and it was as if he was trying to discern something. I looked around and recognized a black rat. Snap.
“Give that to me!” I screamed and managed to get the remote out of my sister’s hands.
“What’s wrong?” she asked innocently.
“This is the start of the Black Death remember? The one that wiped out about 200 million people… We have to get going!”
“When are we going to? I mean, where are we going to? You get what I mean…” my sister joked, or at least tried.
I ignored her and pressed on a random button on the minuscule remote. Before we left, I screamed, “Don’t go outside the tent, it is contagious!”
Bewilderment #3, 1595:
This time we were standing on the grass surrounded by fences. The houses nearby were bygone, but I was still reassured that we were a couple centuries in the future when I saw a man sitting on a tree. He looked about 30 years old and was writing on parchment. I walked toward him.
“Hey there,” I said, “what are you doing?”
“Writing,” the man didn’t look up. I saw that the parchment was titled, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”.
“Wow,” I gasped and saw a faint smile on the man’s face.
“Just an outline,” he said, “it is not very… sophisticated. A new word invented!”
I laughed. “Trust me, it is very sophisticated, William.” Then, I realized that the sun was slowly setting and decided to return to the present. I ran towards my sister who stood anticipating.
“How shalt thou know my very own name?” I heard young Shakespeare mutter as we disappeared.
With a couple of more tries, we were able to return to the present. My sister glimpsed at me and we awkwardly started laughing. This was the first time we had actually spent time together and realized it could be fairly enjoyable and … extraordinary.
A few days later, a labyrinthine system of thoughts invaded my mind. What if I was able to go back into the past and change every single mistake I’ve done? I told my sister about this and greatly regretted it. She was furious and didn’t approve such a thing.
“What if something goes wrong?” she inquired, but I was not convinced.
“Think about it…” I urged, “wouldn’t it be brilliant? You were the one who wanted to keep exploring…”
“Yes, but that was before I witnessed that Black Death thing. You have to understand, it is dangerous!”
“Fine! Then never mind,” I snapped. I was determined to change the past to correct my mistakes.
At midnight, I borrowed the remote from my sister’s room and quietly climbed into the attic. I eagerly stepped in the cabinet and went back to lots of memories from years ago. It took me only a few hours to change my past, and I was ready to come back to the present as a flawless person, until… The tiny buttons on the remote vanished and a screen came into view. It read, “Too Many Transformations, Nothing Else is Able to be Changed.” A few seconds later, I found myself watching people build the Great Pyramid of Giza. The buttons on the remote didn’t reappear.
“Something smells wrong,” I said. Oh, crap. Although I was in the past, knowing the present was as distant as the moon, I was at least alive. Or was I?