Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Microstory 1107: Judy Schmidt

There was nothing particularly special about Judy Schmidt. She grew up with a normal family, in a normal town, and ended up with a normal job in marketing. She was raised as an atheist, and after careful study of the world’s religions when she was older, decided she still was. She wasn’t superstitious, and she didn’t believe in anything that hadn’t been officially recorded in history. She believed in dinosaurs and meteorites, but not ghosts, and definitely not time travelers. After a few years of working for the company, she finally felt comfortable with her career status. She wasn’t interested in doing the same job, for the same rate of pay, forever, but she wasn’t overly ambitious either. She was ready to hold steady for awhile, and maybe focus a little more on her personal life. Her friends had been wanting to set her up on a blind date, so she agreed. She and Rebecca started off slow. First they had coffee, then lunch, then dinner, and then they had a date that took place in two locations. This occurred over the course of a month, and it seemed to be going so well, that they both decided they wanted to take the next step. On the first night that Rebecca stayed over, she disappeared...literally. They were sitting up in bed, just talking, and in the blink of an eye, she was gone, right in the middle of her sentence. A frightened Judy immediately called poison control, thinking she had ingested something bad, but there was nothing they could do for her if she didn’t specifically remembering taking something. They directed her to urgent care, where the doctors and nurses were unable to find anything wrong with her. There was no sign she had been given a hallucinogen, or anything else. There wasn’t even any alcohol in her system. She finally had to surrender to the odd, but still plausible, possibility that she fell asleep, and by the time she woke up, Rebecca had simply left. Sure, her recollection of what the clock read didn’t account for this, and sure, Rebecca wasn’t picking up her phone, but that didn’t mean she was magic. But she was, sort of. Two days later, Judy was getting ready for work when Rebecca suddenly returned. She was wearing different clothes, and covered in mud. As it turned out, she had just spent the entire time in 2011, providing aid for families displaced by the Sidoarjo mud flow in Indonesia. Judy had a hard time believing it, but couldn’t deny the fact that she never did receive a more reasonable explanation for Rebecca’s disappearance. Three days later, it happened again. This time, she was only gone for about eight hours, and returned apparently from the same time and place as before. This continued to happen every day. She was sent off to work, as if it were any other job, except it was taking place over thirty years in the past. She tried to break up with Judy, but Judy wouldn’t accept it. Though this was all new to her, Judy could tell that her relationship with Rebecca was real, and it would be unfair to the both of them if she just ignored their potential. So she stayed, ultimately forever, and she never regretted it.

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