Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Write in the SCIENCE FICTION genre (05/10/07)
TITLE: Lost Between the Pages
By Ruth Neilson
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She was one of the few people in the world identified who had been born with a special ‘gift’. Hers wasn’t particularly strong. Instead of being able to control the weather or even being able to be a weapon, she could insert herself into the histories with nothing more than a simple touch of the pages. Her job in the future already been decided...against her will.
Alexis found a mysterious note. Instructions were given to go to the Ancient Records to learn the forgotten histories. Impulsively, Alexis followed its instructions. That was how she found herself standing in front of Ancient Records building, the perfect place to develop her gift. She shoved her hands into her pockets and turned off the D.E.N. phone, effectively removing any outside distractions.
Taking a deep breath to clear her thoughts, Alexis began to climb the steps to the imposing building. Religion was an institute of the state that encouraged proper behavior towards fellow man than any belief in a deity.
Instead of pausing at the recent records, Alexis made her way towards the back where the oldest known records were. She ran a hand through her short-cropped dark hair and readjusted her dark glasses as she continued to walk. She couldn’t afford to waste any time today.
She searched the archives for something that would hold the key to the mystery of the note. A forgotten scroll drew her. With trembling hands, Alexis withdrew it from the selves, carefully blew away years of dust and sat down at one of the metal tables.
Unrolling the parchment, she stared at the language before her. She knew this was among the forgotten languages, but that wasn’t going to stop her. She wiped her hands on the legs of her jumpsuit and allowed her gift to come forward.
She closed her eyes and allowed herself to become part of the story. An old man, much older than any of the ‘elders’ appeared, hunched over the scroll, his forehead crinkled in concentration as he wrote.
Alexis studied him for a long moment, taking in the tattered cream tunic and his hopelessly tangled hair. She glanced down at her own clothing and noted that she was dressed similarly.
“Elder, may I ask--” She was cut off by a wave of his wrinkled hand.
She frowned and knelt beside him. The scroll had the same lettering as the scroll in the Ancient Records.
Was it the same scroll?
She closed her eyes and felt her gift bubble up again. The scribbles began to make sense to her.
Jesus said, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
The man turned to her, his eyes white with cataracts. “Now you may ask your questions.”
“Who is this Jesus? And who are you?”
“I am called John and you are on the island of Patamos. This Jesus you ask of is the very Son of God.”
Alexis cocked her head to the side in confusion.
“You do not know of God nor His love? Then, surely, you do have much to learn, young one,” John stated, applying a liberal dose of sand on the ink before rolling the scroll to the beginning.
“In the beginning was the Word...”
Hours passed. Alexis found herself growing weary. She struggled to keep her mind’s eye open to the stories John told her. She could see the man who’d born in a cave, lived a perfect life, and died a horrible death.
John saw her struggling to keep her eyes open. “Are you alright, child?”
She nodded once, stifling a yawn. He frowned. “Why don’t you come back later?”
Alexis wearily nodded, slid her hands off the parchment, and whispered, “Good-bye, John.”
She opened her eyes and found herself back in her own world. She swallowed and numbly re-rolled the scroll. So much to do now, but by the grace of God, she knew she could make a difference. She blinked several times, allowing her mind to readjust to the present. Despite it all, Alexis had to smile. She couldn’t wait for tomorrow.
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