Friday Night Write – Sweet Home Alabama

“Run! We need to leave, now!” Kara said as she and Randy hurried down the street. Her legs burned, but she couldn’t give up, or they’d never make it home.

“Wait!” Randy said, stopping short. “I thought I heard someone yell my name.”

What was he thinking? They didn’t have a second to waste. The portal was closing, and if they didn’t get to it in—Kara looked at her watch—three minutes, they would be stuck ten years in the future forever.

“Where’s Brent?”

Kara did a quick scan of the area. When had they lost him? Typical. Randy’s little brother was always causing trouble.

“I can’t stay,” Kara said, looking at her watch again.

“And I can’t go.”

She paused and sighed. “Know that I always loved you.”

Kara didn’t wait for his response. She continued running until she made it to the portal. There it was, the faint, iridescent swirl. To the untrained eye, it would simply look like a heat wave. Closing her eyes, she leaped, arms first, into the blurry vortex.

Looking back, she never should have talked Randy into working with her. But they were young, over-achieving scientists, looking for unexplored avenues of their craft. A time travel experiment seemed like a good idea at the time.

They left their small town in Alabama to pursue their dreams. They progressed faster than they thought, and within a year, they had successfully predicted the location of the next portal. But Brent jumped through after them.

Their intention was to just observe and return to the present that same evening. But the problem with going only ten years into the future is the threat of running into your future selves. They had no idea if there would be any ramifications, but they didn’t want to take the risk.

Leave it to Brent to purposefully seek themselves out. Randy and Kara spent the entire day chasing after him.

Every day for the last ten years, Kara regretted her decision to leave Randy behind. For years she tried to get back to him. But she soon discovered the portal was always moving. It would never take you to the same time twice.

She should have stayed. It was a mistake she would never make again.

Kara looked at her watch. It was time. She walked out of her house, into the still, dark night, and waited to hear the words she had replayed over and over in her head.

“Run! We need to leave, now!” Kara heard her voice say. A moment later, she saw Randy, just as she always remembered him, and her much younger self run down the street.

“Randy!” Kara yelled.

He stopped. It had worked. Tears spilled over as she watched herself leave. Then she ran to catch up with him.

“I’m so sorry. I never should have left you,” she said, falling into Randy’s arms.

She knew she had a lot of explaining to do, but it didn’t matter. She was home.

~

This was my story for Friday Night Write at Sweet Banana Ink. Each Friday there is a song prompt for a 500 word story. Be sure to check out the next one this Friday!

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