Well, here we are just four stories away from the end of our Collaboration Challenge Story (including mine – below). There are a total of 5 of us (including myself) each writing 2 different weeks (non-consecutively) and No one knows what happens next – Not until the next part of the story is posted on Thursday.
It is, once again, my turn to write and I have found this part a lot more challenging to write than I did part part four.
Before you read my part, however, you’ll want to read through the earlier 6 parts:
Part Four: You’ll Know It When You See It by Just Little Ole Me right here
And Now………. Part Seven:
Tyler watched with sadness as Naomi (or rather Gnat) disappeared, with Freddy, out into the alleyway. He hated that he hadn’t yet been able to tell her the truth; That it wasn’t he who had discovered the key to time travel but rather Gnat – no Naomi (she would always be Naomi to him) – herself who had first discovered it. He had hoped to be able to find the right time to tell her the truth, but that moment never came and he didn’t dare take any risks. Not with his life and certainly not with hers.
Just sending Freddy back in time alone to bring Naomi to his current time period had been risky enough, but he had been unable to make the journey himself and it had been the only way he could think of to make sure she came across the notebook that she had apparently hidden at some point along the way. He had no idea what was hidden on the glued together pages, only that it was important somehow and that only Naomi would be able to understand any of it. It was apparent that she did not remember having traveled through time before. He could only hope that the contents of the notebook made sense to her.
The thought that he was sending Naomi out alone with Freddy, the man he had (at one time) trusted so much, made his stomach knot up, but he had little choice not if he didn’t want to raise suspicion. As long as Freddy believed that it was Tyler who had discover the key to time travel, and as long as he didn’t suspect that Tyler no longer trusted him, Naomi should be safe. He could only hope that Naomi somehow, figured out the truth for herself before it was too late.
Feeling even weaker, Tyler sank back into the pillows and closed his eyes. He knew he needed to reserve his strength for when Naomi returned… And he had every confidence that she would return. She was both intelligent and resourceful. Besides, he had complete and absolute faith in her. He just hoped that it wasn’t already too late and that he could hold on until she returned. He could already feel himself growing weaker and weaker
As Gnat followed Freddy into the Alley, she thought back to the letter that she had apparently written to herself. According to the letter her future self had written, she would have had to have been in her early 50’s. at the time. Except that now that she was nearly 70 years in the future that would be her past self wouldn’t it? The whole thing was incredibly confusing. To her knowledge, Gnat had only been in her mid to late twenties when Freddy had found her living on the streets and she was pretty sure she had never time traveled before, except that she had. But then if she had why didn’t she remember doing so? Surely something has momentous as time travel would be a memorable experience, especially if she had been the one to discover the secret to it
Struggling to keep up with Freddy, who was now hurrying along the Alley-way, Gnat continued to wonder about the things she had written in the letter to herself what had been meant by the comment in the letter about “Humans not being able to resist temptation….” Why would she write such a statement when she was so obviously human herself – wasn’t she? Gnat chose not to dwell on that question for the time being. There was another more pressing question – Why would Tyler act as if it were he that had found the key to time travel? Why hadn’t he told her the truth? What was he hiding and why? And most importantly just exactly who was Freddy and why had she warned herself not to trust him.
As she mulled these things over in her mind, her fingers played with the inside pocket of the black shawl she was wearing, finding a small hole their. To her surprise the hole was big enough to slip her fingers through. Hidden in the hole was a small piece of paper folded into a small tight wad stuffed into the lining. When Freddy stopped for a moment, Gnat slipped the piece of paper out of the pocket, and carefully unfolded it
“My Dearest Naomi” It began. “I write this for your eyes only”
Gnat looked around to be sure no one was nearby then went back to reading. This letter was written in a hand she didn’t recognize.
“I am taking a great risk in hiding this note here like this. I can only hope that Freddy does not realizes it is in here. If you are reading this note, then it means you have come across the piece of paper I hid and that (hopefully) Freddy has not found it. I purposely folded it in a complicated pattern that can not easily be reproduced. If, when you open this letter, it is not folded along it’s original lines it means that somehow someone has accessed the letter and attempted to refold it and you must be DOUBLY CAREFUL!!”
Gnat looked carefully at the paper to see if she could determine any attempts at a refold, but every line was right where it should be. She read on..
“If you found the notebook that matches the one you carry in your pocket then it is possible that you already know the truth – that it was not I who discovered they key to time travel, but you. I know of the notebook only because I came across it once during one of my travels through time trying to locate you, but I do not know of the contents in the notebook. I put the notebook back knowing that if you found it you would be able to figure out what it meant and what to do. I can only hope that you can find it in your heart to forgive me for acting as if was I who discovered the key and for taking all the credit, but I did this for you. You see, as long as Freddy believes I am the one who discovered the key to time travel you will be safe.
If, when you read this note, Freddy is anywhere nearby you must make absolutely sure that he does not see this. Whatever you do, Naomi, DO NOT say anything to Freddy about this or let on that you are aware of the truth. Your life depends on your acting as if you know nothing more than what you have learned since Freddy found you on the streets and brought you to me this last time.”
“I will be waiting for you my dear Naomi. Whatever happens no one thing. I love with you everything that I am. You are my heart and my soul my very reason for breathing.”
Gnat folded the piece of paper back up and carefully slipped it back into the hole in the pocket of the shawl she wore. If anything she was even more confused. Why would Tyler insist that she go alone with Freddy if he suspected him? Tyler had told her to go with Freddy to find the women who had stolen the secret to time travel and get it back. Was Tyler in cahoots with Freddy somehow? Was she mistaken in her love and trust for him? Gnat’s instincts told her that she was not wrong in her trust of Tyler and she had learned over the years that her instincts were always correct. Besides, apparently her future, or past (or whatever it was) self trusted him. There had to be something more going on. Some reason that Tyler had sent her with Freddy like this, knowing that he wasn’t to be trusted. There, also had to be a reason that she had no recollection of anything to do with time travel in the past.
“Miss Naomi, We will be heading to the coordinates that Tyler gave me very shortly. It should only take us a moment to arrive” This time, when they entered through another doorway, Naomi knew what to expect and was ready for it. She was careful to keep her every sense open and aware for any sign of danger making sure to keep a careful, and yet seemingly unassuming, eye on Freddy. They walked a short distance, coming to another doorway. This time, Freddy rapped on the door three time and waited.
“who is it?” a voice rang out.
“gobbledy Goop and Snippity Snip” Freddy replied
A moment later the door opened and they were led down another long dark passage to a darkened room. Every hair on Gnats body stood up. She didn’t like this, not one single bit. She had to find a way out of here without raisins suspicion and somehow find the portal that would lead back to her own time.
Living up to her name, Gnat kept herself small and quiet waiting silently to see what happened next, waiting for an opportunity to get away
Stay tuned as Leonard Suskin takes on week 8, followed by Carrie Sorensen on Week 9, and last but by no means least Nicole Pyles finishing up the story on week 10. I can’t wait to see what happens next and to find out how our lovely Collaboration Challenge Story ends.