Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Microstory 1163: Lauren Gardner

Lauren Gardner was an aimless person who had nothing but potential, according to what her parents always said. She did not feel the same way. She moved out of the house when she was sixteen, but kept attending school. She was pretty popular, so she never didn’t have a place to crash. This behavior continued past graduation, and her friends kept helping her, because it had just become part of routine. She didn’t pay them rent, but she helped out with the chores, and overall, she was a good roommate. She also didn’t stay at any one place for too long, so they usually didn’t feel that she was overstaying her welcome. Her best friend even liked to have her over for the week of his birthday each year. She needed others to pay for her food, and maybe a little alcohol every once in a while, but she wasn’t the most irresponsible, or high maintenance. She was getting by pretty well, and she wasn’t alienating too many people along the way, but that isn’t to say it never happened. The older they all got, the less they tolerated her, and she started seeing the writing on the wall. Even her best friend was kind of trying to move on with his life, and she knew she would not be able to keep this up forever. A part of her came to believe it was possible that time itself sensed this about her life, and made dramatic changes to it against her will. She woke up with a start one morning, and found herself sitting up in bed right next to a woman who looked exactly like her. Literally a couple seconds later, the copy disappeared, as did her friend’s bed guest bed, plummeting her to the floor. Frightened and confused, she stepped out of the room in nothing but her Nirvana t-shirt, and crept down the hallway. A stranger was there with her young daughter. They all screamed, and Lauren ran out of the apartment. By the time she got all the way down the stairs, they too disappeared, along with the rest of the apartment complex, sending her once again falling, but this time, from more than a story in the air.

She didn’t have any broken bones, but she was bleeding, and in quite a bit of pain. She managed to stand up, and walk a few blocks into town. Things looked a little different, but not terribly so. People weren’t dressed the way they should have been, and some of the shops she knew should be there were gone, replaced by something else entirely. She kept walking, and eventually came across a newsstand. Of course, the paper read Wednesday, September 9, 1987. She didn’t know why, and she sure as hell didn’t know how, but she had somehow slipped exactly seven years into the past. As she continued to walk, dodging funny looks from people seeing a girl with no bottoms early in the morning—who they would surely believe was taking the walk of shame—she started working things out in her head. When she woke up in a bed with herself, that was the past, but not this past. No, that must have been some other day. Her friend hadn’t started renting that place until 1992, which was why it all disappeared when she went back even further. The apartment building itself didn’t even exist until late 1989–early 1990, which is why it too disappeared from under her feet. She spent another few hours here until it happened again, and she was suddenly in what she quickly discovered was 1979. She continued to jump backwards in time, progressively further back, and for progressively longer periods. She eventually met Samson and Theodore, but like her, they would not always use the same name. Lauren was upset at first, but then she realized she had always been looking for a purpose in life, and maybe this could be it. It wasn’t like she had any loved ones back in her own time period. The right attitude could make it all worth it. She had new friends now, and together, they had important missions to complete. They came to understand that they were helping make the world a better place, and that was really all they needed.

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