CHAPTER ONE – “The Long Train Home”
I was on a train traveling down the river to Bangor, Maine when I heard the “official” news. Someone at a pastry kiosk at the Bangor State Fair had been gunned down. The details of the incident had not yet been made public.
I didn’t need the details to know what had happened. I just… knew.
Rolling along the tracks in my train cabin and giving the space in front of me a thousand-yard-stare, a tear made its way from my eye to my chin. I glanced up at the luggage rack. Next to my luggage was a beautifully wrapped gift. I let out a “humph” of a semi laugh because I’m the one who wrapped it and I’m terrible at wrapping. Having been the acquisitioner of the box’s contents, I knew what was in there and my adrenaline grew.
I was on this train for a purpose. My worst nightmares had come true and I was the only one who could ensure that no one else had to endure the same pain. I didn’t HAVE to do this but, I had nothing anymore. Sure, I could have stayed in a state of self pity, resentment, anger and loneliness, but, something came over me. The anger over unanswered questions, the anger of feeling “why me?”, the anger of being out of control…. it turned me into the person I knew I was, the person I didn’t fully understand and the person I was hoping didn’t exist.
With nothing to lose, I chose to act.
CHAPTER TWO – “Excuse Me, Sir? Do You Have Change for Time?”
I am 25 years old and living in a town that was once called Bar Harbor. It was, and still is, a beautiful place filled with pine trees, rocks, mountains and the ocean. There was a small trail I loved called “Wonderland”. After my first trek through Wonderland, I knew why they called it such. It reminded me of the made for TV movie “Alice in Wonderland”, complete with flowers as tall as I was, rabbits and forests that suddenly turned into a rocky ocean coast. Little did I know that this town harbored (pun intended) a Jabberwocky that would forever change life…and time.
About a year ago, Bar Harbor (Sand Beach, Cadillac Mountain, The Park Loop Road, Thunder Hole, The Precipice, The Beehive… all majestic attractions to this picturesque community) changed very suddenly.
Although the towns’ true name is technically Bar Harbor, it is now most commonly referred to as “Barred Harbor”. What was once a destination vacation has become a sealed off and synthetic version of it’s old self.
There are walls surrounding the town with guards in every direction patrolling who can enter and exit. Not just anyone could reside here anymore and the town master made sure of that. You see, something happened, something that divided people. No one really knows what it was, but certain people began to develop time altering “powers”, if you will. Before we knew it, we were sectioned off, our memories were wiped and we were physically branded with markings that were seemingly ways to tell who has what power.
The town master, Master King, is a tall, stoic and seemingly ominous man. I say seemingly because when I look into his eyes, I see charisma, charm, humor and power. But, I would never tell that to anyone. Afterall, he is town master and is to be obeyed and feared.
I am cut off from my family but because of my new “abilities”, he put me higher in the rankings that we were given and I am privy to more intel than most. I know where my family is, but I don’t know WHEN my family is. Every chance I have, I search for clues as to what is going on. Why are we like this? Why do we have no memory of how how this happened? Was I even alive or was I dreaming?
Everyday I’m cutting corners, asking questions to people I trust, trading whatever I can for information.
Then, I see a man, about my age. I’m a good judge of character and I had a sense that he knew something. That he knew more than me and that I could, perhaps, trust him. Plus, he was pretty hot. Dark hair, 6’3″, blue eyes, olive skin, athletic.. I didn’t really need a reason to want to talk to him but, “SNAP OUT OF IT!” I thought, I need help and answers.
“Excuse me”, I ask Mr. too hot to watch.. “do you happen to have change for time?”