Today’s boot camp prompt is:
Back From the Future
A knock at the door catches you off guard. Upon answering it, you’re greeted by a man who says he’s from the future—and he can prove it. More important, he says he has information that will save your life.
Disclaimer: This may not be one of my best. I’ll be honest that I’m not a real fan of this prompt and to add to it, I’m very tired. I’ve had an emotionally trying day and am not feeling very creative tonight. Here’s to hoping it turns out better than I expect!
I lurched upright and shook my head, trying to clear the fog of sleep. The knock came again, confirming I wasn’t dreaming. I flipped the cover back and wiped my eyes as a yawn slipped out. I grabbed the shorts next to my bed and pulled them on as another knock pounded in my door.
“I’m coming. I’m coming.” I said through another yawn. I snatched the robe from the hook on the door and wrapped it around me. I was two feet from the door when the knock came again. I looked through the peephole.
“Who is it?” I didn’t recognize the man. He was tall and soaked in rain water, but had no other defining features. His face was regular, the kind you would see in a supermarket and swear you knew, but that was just because it was covered in common features.
“My name is Andre Robert.” He had a thick French accent.
“I don’t know an Andre.” I responded now annoyed because he probably just had the wrong apartment.
“Not yet, but you will. I’m from the future and have some information you may find useful.” And now I thought of him as a drunk or maybe he was one of the stoners from down the hall.
“You have the wrong apartment.” I said and started to walk away from the door.
“Isabelle Hill.” I stopped and turned around. “You grew up in this town. Your mom died two years ago and your father lives eight blocks over, but will move to a neighboring town because he can’t stand living in the house your mom loved. You are dating Josh Macklyn and are thinking about moving in with him, but haven’t told him that yet because you have to decide if that’s the right move for you.” I leaned my head against the door.
“How do you know all that? How do you know about Josh?” I had been very careful not to mention moving in with him to anyone. I still wasn’t sure I wanted to.
“You told me about it.” I looked back through the peephole.
“I don’t know you.”
“But you will.”
“Why should I believe you?” I watched him go into his pocket and pulled out an envelope. I watched him carefully open it and pull out a photo. He held it in front of the peephole and I studied it as best I could through the fisheye lens. It was Josh and me, but we looked older. My hair was cut in a way I had never cut it before, it was also a different color, but the face was definitely mine.
“What is that?” I asked through the safety of the door.
“You gave it to me. You asked me to do this should things go wrong. You seemed to know something was coming. You knew the work I was doing and asked me to stop you.”
“Stop me from what?”
“Moving in with Josh.” I stood silent for a few seconds, thinking about what he was saying. I looked at the picture again, but his arm must have been tired because he dropped it and moved closer to the door.
“Look, can I just come in and talk?” I stayed quiet thinking. “You said that if you didn’t believe me to say ‘Remember to never give up hope”. I don’t know what it means, but you said it would change your mind.” It did change my mind. I swung the door open.
“I’ve never said those words to another person in my life. They were the last words my mom said to me and I haven’t even told my dad about them.”
“I told you I’m from the future. You told me all this seven years from now.”
“If you are from the future, and that’s a big if, why are you now coming to tell me this stuff?” He asked if we could sit down. I shrugged and motioned to the couch.
“You’re dead.” He said it in such a matter-of-fact tone that I laughed out loud.
“I feel pretty alive and well.”
“I meant in the future. This was a contingency plan.”
“Contingency plan for what?”
“If you died. Josh gets involved in some shady business with some dangerous people. You get pulled into it. You try to leave several times, but he always guilts you into coming back.” He reached back into the envelope and pulled out a few more photos.
The woman’s body was twisted and bloody. She had stab wounds on her chest and the side of her neck. She was in what looked like night clothes. Her hands were covered in cuts as if she was trying to defend herself. Her eye was bruised and bulging.
“Who is that?” I asked even though I knew the answer.
“You.” He let that hang in the air. I shook my head.
“No. I don’t believe you. You need to leave.” I stood and pointed at the door. “You need to leave now.” He nodded and got up without any further argument. As I was closing the door he stopped me.
“Just…” He dropped his head and rubbed his forehead. “Just please don’t move in with Josh. That’s all I’m asking. Don’t move in.”
“Thanks for the advice.” I said and pushed the door shut on him. I watched through the peephole as he went down the steps and disappeared.
Seven years later…
I’m screaming and and trying to run to the kitchen. He grabs my hair and pulls my head back before shoving it into the nearest wall. I feel a hard impact in between my shoulders blades and think he’s punched me, but then I feel something warm sliding down my back. I make it to the kitchen and just as I’m reaching for the knife block I feel another blow against my back. He grabs my arm and twists me around. It’s not until I see the glint of steel moving through the air that I realize he’s been stabbing me. I throw my hands in front of me and feel the steel slice through my skin. I keep trying to grab the knife, but he’s too quick. I feel the pressure against my chest and the pain starts to take my breath away. I start feeling weak as he stabs my chest repeatedly. I feel the pressure in my neck and my world fades to black.