Saturday, January 26, 2019

Short Story: Back in Time

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By: Lime Green Giraffe Social Director, Emily D.

Hello? Is anyone here?” I barked, as I made my way into the dark laboratory. Everything was silent, except for a faint humming, growing louder as I continued my travels into the room. Hello?” I repeated. The towering structures didnt give off any clues as to where the noise was coming from. I was close to the back of the room now. My curly golden fur stood on end. I slowed my pace, extending my black nose to the sky. There! A machine stood alone in a midnight black corner. It was covered by a white drop cloth, but it was still possible to see the faint blue light the machine emitted. I ripped off the cloth with my sharp canine teeth. This was the machine! It was shiny and metallic silver, a circular top with a rectangular platform. There were stairs leading up to the platform, and the circle around it glowed with the blue light. This was where the humming came from! My tail wagged. I trotted up to the platform and sat on a thin, blue pressure plate. The humming and the lights intensified. I closed my eyes and covered my ears with my paws. Suddenly, everything was still. I opened my eyes. Where was I?

I glanced around. I was in a building, on one of the higher floors. All around me, boxes were stacked in a very unorganized fashion. Several of the stacks were covered with a white cloth of sorts. There were four windows in the room, each letting in a bright light but still leaving the far corners fairly dark. Crouched beside one of the windows was a man. He was scruffy-looking, with a very untrimmed mess of blonde hair. His face was rugged, with a stubble of a beard, but his eyes were what drew most of my attention. They were cruel and unforgiving. Instead of being a warm blue, like a dip in cold water on a hot summer day, his were like ice. Cold and hard. Clutched in his left hand, was a shiny black pistol. He gripped it like it was the very reason for his existence. Before I could hide, the man spotted me.

Hello there little dog,” he said, beckoning to me with his free hand. I promise not to hurt you.” I seriously doubted this, but I found myself walking forward anyway. His hand was frigid as he rubbed it along my face, ears, and back. It took a lot of brainpower to keep myself from shuddering at this unwelcome touch.

A sound touched my ears, faint, but growing louder with each passing moment. It was the cheering of a crowd. I hadn't thought to look out the window earlier. Outside, a crowd was lined up on the edges of the street. In the distance, a black convertible was making its way down the street. As the car drew nearer, I was able to observe more. Two men were sitting in the front. One was driving, and the other was just sitting in the passenger seat, waving. In the back, a lady was dressed in bubblegum pink. It almost hurt my eyes looking at the brightness. Her face was kind though, and her eyes were brown and sweet, like honey fresh from the hive. Next to her was a man with similar eyes, except they were blue. These were the eyes that had both mischief and love within. Warm and soft, with a little bit of laughter. His chestnut hair was neatly combed back, and he was waving to the crowd with a large smile on his face. Beside me, the man stiffened. I looked at him once more. It was as if by seeing the man in the car, the man beside me had grown colder and less friendly, not that he was very friendly before. He stiffened beside me and drew his hand away from my back. I turned to look at him. His hands were clenched on the gun, aiming it toward the car.

No! It couldnt happen, could it? Not to the kind people in the car! Not to the man with the summer eyes! I leaped from the floor, hoping to disarm the cruel man right in front of me. He pulled the trigger, making a sound as loud as thunder, but not before I shoved the barrel away. It missed, thank heavens. The shot was lost in the crowd. Unfortunately, the man refused to give up. Pup,” he growled at me. If you try that again this gun goes on you, then I will finish my task, understand? Oh who am I kidding, youre just a dog!” He stood up and aimed his foot toward my sides. I heard myself whimpering before I felt it. I collapsed to the ground, in too much pain to move. The man fired another time. Shoot,” he mumbled to himself, before loading another bullet. I struggled to my feet. The pain had mostly subsided, but my rib hurt like fire when I moved too much. I lunged at the man, hoping, desperately hoping, that I could stop him. The man with the summer eyes had to be safe. The man laughed and turned the barrel to point at me. I whined, and skittered to the corner. I heard the shot fire, and the crowd scream in shock. The man thundered past, fleeing out the door.

I hurried to the window. The scene below was utter chaos. The man with the summer eyes was dead. His eyes were glazed over, and the lady with the pink was quiet, just staring in pure shock. Clutched in her hand was an ivory block of something, with red splatters dotted over it. The crowd was scattering as policemen tried to corral them into organized areas, hoping to discover who committed this heinous crime. The real culprit was nowhere to be found.

Footsteps sounded on the nearby stairwell. I jumped, and turned to face them, but I found myself whisked back to the machine, still humming and glowing. As I watched, the sound and the noise faded. Soon, all was still. It was just me in the lab. I turned and headed out. I needed to get home. My family would be looking for me soon. As I turned back one last time, the door shut, leaving me alone with my thoughts. 

Later on, I learned that the scene I had witnessed was the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy. On Friday, November 22, 1963, while riding in a presidential motorcade, he was shot twice, once in the back, and again in the head. He died thirty minutes after the shooting. No one really knows who shot him, but most suspect a man named Lee Harvey Oswald. He was accused, but he too was later murdered by another man named Jack Ruby.  

For more information, visit www.jfklibrary.org 

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