Rebecca


Rebecca hated what she had become, but this "occupation" if you can call it that certainly has its perks.  The money was great, even if it was considered illegal,  Because she was good at what she does, her name was passed around for clients to enlist her "services".  Back home in Texas, the family thinks she's a "consultant".  The evasiveness and non-descript company she tells them she works for; keeps them off her back as long as she sends them money to help pay the farm's mortgage. 

The truth is, she dropped out of college freshman year.  She needed money and was desperate, so she made the choice to answer an online posting and the rest was history.


Rebecca approached the revolving doors of the five star hotel close to midnight.  She looked at her reflection and wondered if they'd even let her in with the way she was dressed.  She felt like vomiting in her mouth knowing what was about to happen.  She couldn't not do this.  This is all she knows.  It will all be over in a couple of hours.


Only to be in the same situation soon enough.


She wanted to be shortsighted, thinking of longevity in this profession is never what you think about when you start.  Each time you tell yourself "this will be the last one."  You always think this is going to be the last one because each "job" you lose yourself more and more.


But when you compare your morals to the money you're making, you lock those morals up when you have bills creeping in on you.



She walked to the bar past the lobby turning heads all the way inside.  Rebecca was pleased with herself, she had become her own stylist.  She's perfected it practically.  When she started she would make appointments to have her hair colored or make up done for the high end clients, but they asked too many questions.  It was easier to have less people know about her the better.


"Miss Draper?" asked a well dressed man in a well tailored suit.


"Yes?"


"The ambassador is ready for you, please follow me."


Well dressed man led Rebecca to a dark corner of the bar.  Rebecca smiled when her eyes met the Ambassador's.


"Good evening, Ambassador.  It's a pleasure to see you again."


"Come. Sit."


Rebecca obeyed and sat on his side of the booth. The Ambassador put his hand on her exposed thigh.


Get your hand off me you fat sack of pudding.


"Mister Ambassador, you don't even wait to buy your date a drink."


"Henri!" The Ambassador called to the well dressed man, "get Miss Draper a drink."


"Right away sir."


Henri left and the Ambassador leaned closer to Rebecca, he ran his fat chubby digits through her red hair.  Alcohol consumed his breath and calling it malodorous would have been an insult to foul smelling odors. 


Think of the money. Think of the money.


"Mister Ambassador, I'm not real thirsty. Let's skip the drinks and head to your room.  Get to the point of this rendezvous."


"You sly vixen!  Just let me inform Henri of our intentions..."


"Don't bother Henri.  He's a smart man, he knows where you'll be."


In his condition she didn't have to make a clear cogent argument.


"No wonder you're so highly recommended.  You get right to the point."


They snuck out the back of the bar and made their way to elevator and his presidential suite.  The entire time his hands longing to touch every inch of her body.


"Wait until the room, sir.  We don't want to call any unwarranted attention to ourselves."


They got to the room and and his slacks were around his ankles before the door even latched shut.


"You're not wasting time are you Mister Ambassador?  Go over to the bed."


The ambassador complied as Rebecca opened her purse.


"There's just one more thing you bulbous ass.."


TIFFFF TIFFFF


Rebecca's arm remained outstretched as smoke left her pistol.  The Ambassador fell to the bed with two fresh bullet holes in his face.  She put the gun back in her purse and took out her cell phone.


"It's done.  The Ambassador of Latvaria is dead."


"Excellent work, Rebecca.  We will ship the money through the normal channels. We'll be in contact for your next assignment."


She hung up her phone and started walking to the door.  She passed a mirror, took a long look at herself and wanted to throw up in her mouth.

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What Happened, Happened


1:08 PM


Guy was excited.  Late but excited as he was on his way to meet his girlfriend at their favorite downtown restaurant.  Hurriedly he maneuvered through oncoming pedestrians. Some would give him dirty looks and make comments under their breaths as he passed.  He didn't care, he had something he wanted to tell Emily and nothing was going to prevent this high.

He was at the corner of 8th and Austen, two blocks away from the restaurant, waiting for the crosswalk to grant permission to cross.  Even though he was lost in his thoughts, he could still hear the sounds of the outside world.  Street vendors, the chatter of the masses, squeaking breaks filled the air between the buildings.  He even thought he heard someone yell his name.  He stood on his tip toes to try and look over the crowd, just to see if he could see someone he knew.

Nothing. 

Oh well.

The signal changed and the mass he was part of moved. A few seconds later there were squealing of brakes and the sound of glass shattering.  He looked back.  A large crowd had gathered around the accident but he keeps walking away.  Not that he didn't care, but he wasn't a doctor or paramedic.  That's how he could justify his current non-involvement actions.  He'll have to remember it for later.  Hopefully he can help out somehow.

Down the block, Guy could see Emily waiting by the front of the restaurant.  He rushed to her and apologized.

"I'm sorry, Sweetie.  My watch stopped working."

"It's okay, I haven't been here that long.  You can make it up to me with a glass of wine."

"Of course." he said with a smile.

He grinned as he held the door for her and entered the foyer.  Guy put a request for two guests to the hostess and she took them to a prepared table. 

"Your waiter will be here momentarily to get your drink orders."

They acknowledged and sat across from each other.  There was a short silence before Emily spoke first.

"So, what's this big announcement you want to tell me?"

"You'll never believe me, but something happened to me yesterday."

"What is it?"

"It's difficult to explain, but it's still new to me and I don't know exactly how it happened.  But...."

"Here's your water.." The waiter interrupted.

"Thanks." Guy said, still looking at Emily.

"May I take your order?"

"We're not ready yet, thank you."

"Oh okay, just let me know."

The waiter places Emily's water down, but cold water and ice spills into her lap.

"OH MY GOODNESS!!!!"

"Dude, watch what you're doing!!!"

"I'm sorry."  He said holding his head down.

Emily doesn't say anything, but gets up and rushes to the bathroom.

"Emily?!?!"

"She'll be fine", the waiter says as he sits down at the table.

"What are you doing?!"  Guy looks at the waiter really for the first time and is surprised at what he sees. 

"Hey Guy, it's me... errr.. you... Guy."

He was right, Guy was looking across the table at himself.  An exact copy of himself down to what he was wearing today.

"Don't freak out.  It's okay.  Everything is fine."

"What's going on here?"

"As you can tell, I am you.  Actually I am you about two hours from now."

"What?"

"I'm you two hours from now.  You are me two hours ago.  Well you're me now, and I'm you now and we're here together."

"I'm confused."

"Dude, did we, or did we not find out we have the ability to time travel yesterday?"

"Yeah."

"And that's what you, we, were going to tell Emily today this afternoon correct?"

"How did you know that?"

"Dude, we are the same person, we have the same mind.  Even though we're a novice time traveler, we should understand the basic principles of it."

"....................."

"I can't believe I was this clueless two hours ago."

"So why are you here now?"

"Because we can't tell Emily about the time travel thing.  Not yet.  She's not ready.  I'm here to stop you."

"Like Terminator stop me?"

"No dude.  I'm just here to tell you to just don't tell her about it.  She's going to freak out and leave you... Me... Us..."

"Okay.  What should I tell her?"

"Tell her you fell in love with her again or something.  I don't have enough time, she'll be back any second."

"How do you know?"

Guy from two hours from now sighs, "Because I was you two hours ago, and she comes her any second.  She's going to know something is up."

"What is going on here?!?!"  A shocked Emily bursts out when she sees two of her boyfriend having a conversation.  "There's two of you at the table, I don't know what's going."

"Sweetie.."  Guy starts.

"Don't do it"  Guy from two hours from now tries to interrupt.

"Emily... I'm a.."

"LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA" 

"Who is that? Why does he look like you and what does he not want you to tell me?"

"You'll want to lock me up if I tell you, but..."

"Don't do it man!!!"

"YesterdayIdiscoveredtimetravelandIwasgoingtotellyoutodayandthisismefromtwohours
fromnowinanattempttostopmefromtellingyouaboutmydiscoverybecausether'sachanceyou
willleaveme."

"Crap.  I was hoping I could have stopped myself this time unlike when I was sitting there two hours ago  and the Guy from two hours from now for you  then tried to stop me.  I guess whatever happened happens."

"What?"

"The Guy from two hours from now two hours ago when I was here the first time tried to stop me just like I tried to stop you.  And this is the biggest case of Déjà Vu from another point of view because I'm saying word for word what he was saying two hours ago.  Well, two hours ago to me, not to you."

"That's it.  I'm out of here!!!"  Emily storms off.

"Emily wait!!!"

"Hold up.  It's no use.  She's gone.  She's flipped.  The best thing to do is go home.  And in a couple hours come back to now and do a better job of talking yourself out of telling Emily than I or the us from two hours from now two hours ago did for me."

"Why two hours?"

"Because that's how long it takes for all this to make sense."

"Ahh."

"Yeah, that's just what I said two hours ago."

"What are you going to do?"

"There's something that I need to do.  It's what the Guy from two hours from now two hours ago told me to do if I was not able to talk the Guy from two hours ago (which is you) out of telling Emily our finding.  Go back and try to tell us before we get here."

"What do I do?"

"You need to return to this time and try to talk the you two hours from now, two hours before out of the same things I tried to do to you, got it?"

"No."

"Well you will.  Two hours from now."

"Who's going to pay the bill?"

"You're not thinking fourth dimensionally.  Plus, we haven't ordered anything yet."

"What if the us two hours before now does not listen to you when you tell them what happens?"

"I'm just going to deck him and take his place and act like him for a while."

"Ahh.. Cool.  Well good luck and stuff."

"I can't believe I was such a dork two hours ago."

1:06 PM

Guy is standing at the corner of Austen and 8th, waiting for the Guy from two hours and 20 minutes ago to get there.

Where the stink am I??

Guy thinks for a moment.  Looks at his watch.  Not that it makes any difference, he's looking at his watch at what it would be  in his time if he never time travelled in the first place.

Crap!!! If it didn't stop on me earlier in the day!!!!  That's why I'm late and not here yet.  If this doesn't work, I'm
just going to go back and replace the watch battery.

Guy sees a crowd of people waiting for the signal to change.  He looks deep in the crowd and he sees himself from two hours and twenty minutes ago on the way to meet Emily.  Oblivious to everything with a retarded smile on his face.

Man, time travel can make you cynical.

"GUY!!!!""

Nothing.

"GUY!!!"

Nothing.

Crap.

Guy rushes across the street to stop himself when the squealing of brakes is heard followed by Guy's body smashing the glass of a taxi.  He rolls off the hood and slides on the pavement.  A crowd of people gather around him as he tries to focus on Guy walking away from the accident.

I was such a self absorbed jerk.


Guy's vision goes to black.

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22 Minutes

This is from Creative Copy Challenge. The object is to use ten words and build a cohesive story. The ten words are bold.

James stood at the corner of Reyes and Linus facing north into the park.  He pulled his phone out of his pocket and checked the time. 

1:08

But he already knew that. 
He took a breath and even said a quick prayer.  He let out a slight chuckle because he had never thought of doing that before.  Maybe this time will be different.   Maybe it will change things.  It was worth a shot.  He didn't have much time.  He walked into Shepherd Park in the direction of the benches near the knolls. 

This scene has played out many times before.  This time had to be different.  This time had to be the one.  He was going to do what he felt needed to be done and then hope for the best. 

Off in the distance he could see her.  His window of opportunity was short and he had to get to her without interruption. 

From the left a homeless man came up to James.

"Sir, can you spare some loose......"

"Here you go Reggie..." James hands over his wallet before Reggie could even finish his sentence.  He hopped over the log boarder started off into a sprint and stopped a few yards from her.  There she sat on a park bench reading a book.  She was beautiful.  He's never seen her any other way.  He slowly approached her as she moved her bangs behind her left ear, licked her middle finger turn the page,  uncrossed her legs and placed her left leg over the right one.

He stood awkwardly, and softly called out to her, "Katherine?"

Katherine looked up and held her hand up to block the sun, "Yes?"

"Hi.  My name is James.  James Copeland."

"Do I know you?"

"Currently, no.   In the sense of the meta-physical universe, you know all about me and I know all about you.  Look, I know you don't understand, but do you mind if I sit next to you?  I swear I mean you know harm."

"I don't know."

"If it makes you feel safer, there's going to be a couple of cops walking around the corner in a couple seconds."

"How do you???"

Just like James promised, two park and wildlife police officers in conversation walk around the corner and stop by a nearby table.

"How??  How did you??"

James sighs and takes a breath, "I've always hoped the explanation would somehow remain.  It takes up precious time.  If you can believe it or not, I am living the same twenty-two minutes over and over again.  We've had this conversation and some derivative of it numerous times.  I'm stuck in time loop, for a reason I've not come close to understanding."
"I think I should leave."

"I knew you were going to say that.  You ALWAYS say that! But Katherine, we've sat on this bench for countless minutes talking to one another.  We've gotten to know one another.  I know your name is Katherine Rhodes.  You're twenty-seven years old and a pharmacy technician.  You called in sick today and you come here to read.  It reminds you of your father and mother.  They've been gone six years.  You like peanut butter but not jelly.  You prefer your mashed potatoes prepared with the skin still on .  You enjoy tea with extra lemon.  You've been to every continental state and have a picture from each state in a mural on your living room.

So you've told me.

You've also been hurt before.  In such a way you can never really open up to a man your innermost feelings and dreams."

"I don't ever remember meeting you."

"You never do.  No one ever does.  Just myself.  Everyone goes back to doing what they were doing when it starts.  At One-thirty, everyone leaves, and I return to one-oh-eight and have to relive this over and over again.  In the span of countless twenty-two minutes over and over, I've witnessed and learned things that other's forget.  But none of that really matters.  The only thing that matters is what I've come here to tell you. "

Katherine stares right into James's eyes.

"I love you Katherine.  I love you.  I want to say I've loved you from the time I first laid eyes on you, but it's been so long and I've wanted to tell you so many times.  But not every meeting comes out the same.  I only have a short amount of time for you to fall in love with me, but right now it doesn't matter. It can be fate, course correction, or I'm just a lucky guy to be able to spend as much time with you as I have.  But I fully believe that the whole point of this... this event. Is because of us.  God.  The Universe.  Whatever wants me to get it right.  It wants me to open up to you just like you've opened up to me little by little over the course of, I don't know how long I've been doing this.  It wants me to tell you that you can be loved, Katherine.  That you can be loved by me and we can beat this thing and when it turns 1:31 we're still going to be here together and we're going to cherish each moment afterwards."

Katherine takes a second to comprehend it all.

"If what you say is true and you really do know all this about me.  Have you ever tried this before.  This.. This confession?"

"No.  This is the first time.  I've never told you how I've felt.  I've never told you about the time loop.  I realized I was holding that back when we've disclosed ourselves to each other over the..... what I can only assume have been years I've been meeting you here."

"Years?"

"Years."

"If it's only 22 minutes when do you sleep?"

"I usually just go to a park bench and sleep until the next reset."

"And during these 'resets' you go back twenty-two minutes in time??"

"Yes, to the exact geographical point I was at 1:08."

"And you're the only one that remembers?"

"As far as I know.  Everyone is doing what they were doing twenty-two minutes prior as well with no recollection of what just transpired."

"What all have you done?  Seen?"

"A lot!  There's only so much you can get accomplished in 22 minutes.  So it's been pretty much all been legal." 

Katherine sat there, trying to take it all in.  It was all new to her.  This man, new to her.  But he knew all about her.  He knew things that she's never shared with anyone.  She didn't want to be hurt, but she didn't think she could not at least take the chance.

"All right.  I believe you.  I believe everything."

"Oh, Katherine!"

James leans forward to embrace her and squeezes her tight.

"You better not be a psycho!"

James laughs, "No."

Katherine embraces him as well.  A genuine smile crosses his lips as he closes his eyes finally feeling safe for the first time in.... in a very long time.

He opens his eyes and James is standing on the corner of Reyes and Linus facing north into the park.  He pulled his phone out of his pocket and checked the time. 

1:08

But he already knew that.  

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Addiction.

This is from Creative Copy Challenge. The object is to use ten words and build a cohesive story. The ten words are bold. I tried something different with this one in the way I formed the story.

The light starts to shine
through the broken blinds of eastward facing window.
My corneas burn
at the slightest hint of morning
I've lost track of time
And how long I've had to wait since my last drink.
They tell me I need to quit.
To give it up. It's what is best for me.
Screw them!
I have to live my life as a game.
Always adjusting. Always thinking about the next time I score.
With it, I know I'm safe. I know I'm secure.
Like a slave, I'm lead
Down the line I'm familar with as it calls my name.
Eric....
I don't recognize the man
as I pass the mirror.  He looks like crap
And I feel just like him.
How much further?
I get to the kitchen,
Open the fridge and take out a can.
In an all too automatic motion
I pop the top and down the ice cold goodness
and become raptured
as the sweet necter from Heaven passes through my veins.
I can start my day now.
I love Dr Pepper.

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