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First Place- "Unbelievable" by Emma


Do you know how they say that everything happens for a reason? That we’re all on some sort universal clock and everything that happens isn’t just a coincidence. It’s the same principle that time travel is based on. That maybe, just maybe, there is a chance that we could go backwards in time and watch events unfold before our eyes. Or jump forward and see all the possibilities in the future.

Now, I’m not one for believing in coincidences but if the events from the past few days have taught me anything, you should believe in the unbelievable.

“Easy there fella’. Got a bit of a bump on your head there.” Said a man somewhere off to my left. I opened my eyes sleepily. My head throbbed.

“Where am I?” I muttered shaking myself into full consciousness. “Yer at the police station.” said the man. I now saw that he was a very formally dressed policeman. I was in some sort of brightly lit room.

“Can you answer some questions for us?” he said. I nodded. “What were you doing in that house, young man?” “I was doing my chores.” I said a little confused. “The people who own that house said that they have never seen you in their life.” “That’s not possible. They just hired me.” “Can you tell me what you think happened then? In as much detail as you can remember if you don’t mind.”

“Um... I think it was on a Friday. Yes that sounds about right. The first day, of the first month, of the new year I believe. Exactly one week after I turned 16. It had been agreed upon amongst my family that I needed to get a job. I was overjoyed. I mean, who doesn’t want to make money? So the job hunting began.

I saw everything; farm-hand, nanny, delivery boy, etc. There was even someone who was advertising for vomit cleaner. No! Thank you very much. But on about the third page of the job section in the newspaper, an offering as housekeeper at a manor a few towns over caught my attention. Housekeeper doesn’t sound like an extremely fun or active job, but something about it told me that it was perfect for me. Well, that and the salary.

Pretty soon after contacting the employer I received an interview for the next day. The manor itself was along a winding road deep in the woods. That didn’t bother me. I’m quite the introvert, if I do say so myself. The property had a nice cobbled driveway. And the house! Oh my gosh the house! It was just like out of a fairy tale. The ivy climbing up the gray brick siding was absolutely jaw dropping.

A woman stood on the front stoop waiting for me when I came up. She seemed only a few years older than me. Which wasn’t much considering the I had just turned 16. Although it was hard to tell because her hair was lighter than snow.

After a pleasant greeting I learned that her name was Alice Wilkinson. She led me into the door and down the hall to a cozy sitting room and began the interview.

Most of her questions were pretty standard for an interview. Except for the question about if I knew my own bone density, but that’s no big deal. I didn’t know anyways.

Alice was one of six siblings living in the manor. They had just acquired quite a bit of money from a relative and couldn’t decide how to split the wealth amongst themselves. Their solution: just buy one big house together to share the wealth.

Alice contacted me pretty quickly after I left the manor saying that I got the job, starting immediately. My parents were thrilled that I had found work so quickly.

The next day, when I arrived at the house with a large suitcase full of clothes and a box or two of personal belongings, one of the other siblings named Tristan gave me the grand tour.

He had a very professional air to him even though he couldn’t be more than five years older than me. It was as if someone was grading him on his proper etiquette. The house itself was quite normal despite having more formal architecture.

After dropping my stuff off at my room, Tristan led me around the house showing me the different closets and trash shoots around the house. The house had a shed around the back where all the gardening and grounds keeping equipment was held. Apparently they wanted me to be their professional gardener too.

Tristan handed me a list of all the chores he wanted me to do and left me alone to go play poker or something with his brothers.

Number one on the list was mop the second floor. Not too difficult of a task, luckily. Secondly, was to take some books from the library up to the attic for storage. Apparently, Elizabeth, the youngest sibling, was a serious bookworm and needed to make room for another shipment of books coming in soon.

Elizabeth had already made a stack of the books she wanted me to move, at the entrance to the library. They were mostly classics like Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Charles Dickens’s Oliver Twist, and H. G. Wells’s The Time Machine.

I stacked the books up into my arms and carefully walked them up to the attic. The Wilkinson’s hadn’t moved in all that long ago so only a thin layer of dust covered the floors.

The list of chores for my first day wasn’t that long so I decided to start rereading one of my favorite books, The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas.

I perched myself on the window sill overlooking the garden behind the house. At some point I must have dozed off while reading because the next thing I knew I had my head leaning on the window frame with the book flat out on my stomach.

It must have been a few hours later so I tried to clean up as much as I could. Elizabeth wanted me to organize the books a certain way.

However, something was different. The books I had brought upstairs were in these strange wooden boxes. That’s when I found it. It was some sort of diary and being the curious fiend that I was, I decided to look through it.

It didn’t seem like anything odd until I found a page that was describing a ghost that seemed to be haunting the house. You know like things getting moved or rooms that were suddenly cleaned. Strange things like that.

That’s not even the strangest part. The author of the diary had a detailed description and drawing of the ghost. It was me in perfect detail!

That’s when I heard a scream and then just darkness. When I woke up I was here.” The policeman stared at me for a second, “What year do you think it is?” I thought about it for a second, “1904.” “Um, I think you’re mistaken... it’s 2019.”


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