“Lils, what just happened?” Jonas was facing me with wide eyes. I looked at him, then noticed something out the window. A crow.
I screamed and cowered behind the couch. “Jonas, shut the window.”
“Wha--” he turned around and didn’t see the horrible monster perched on the windowsill.
“SHUT THE WINDOW!” I yelled.
“Okay, okay! I’m shutting the window!” Jonas shut the window then turned to face me. “Lils, are you okay? That was really weird.”
“WE JUST TRAVELED THROUGH TIME AND YOU’RE TELLING ME ABOUT WEIRD?” I screeched. I took a deep breath. “There was a crow.”
“You freaked out over a crow?”
“Yes, I did. Why is that so hard to believe? Weren’t you attacked too?”
“Yeah, but the crows here are different.”
“Are they, Jonas? Are they?” I was starting to get worked up again.
“Yeah, they are. What has you freaked out so bad?”
“You don’t know? Ha. Haha. Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!” I was losing my mind. I was losing my freaking mind.
Jonas stared at me. Like I was crazy.
“I’m not crazy. That’s crazy.”
“Lils, I’m worried about you.”
“Hahaha. That’s crazy. You’re crazy!”
“I--Nevermind. Just—just take care of yourself, Lilliana.” Jonas slowly backed out of the house, his hands up and his eyes on me the entire time.
He’s afraid of me. I’m not scary. Right? Right? RIGHT? I bang my head against the wall, trying to clear the fog. It’s like my brain is numb. I can’t feel anything. I’m not scary, right?
I never should’ve gone to the future.
Several Minutes Ago
“Lils, look at this!” Jonas told me excitedly. “I’ve made a time machine! Will you test it with me?”
“I don’t know, Jonas. Are you sure it’s safe?”
“I wouldn’t ask you to do anything too dangerous.” Jonas replied, motioning towards the glowing hunk of metal sitting in the corner of his garage. I looked at it skeptically.
“For the record, I’m still not sure about this.” I said. But I walked forward. “Let’s get this over with.”
Jonas was bouncing when we stepped through the machine. Abstract colors flitted through my mind, and for a minute I thought I knew everything. I could see everything that ever happened or will happen in a nice little row, like buildings.
The colors stopped, and we were still in Jonas’ garage. I was about to complain when I began noticing tiny changes. The tools were a different brand. The bench had moved over and has chipping white paint. The stack of to-be-recycled newspapers had grown. The burnt out light bulb had been replaced.
“Jonas,” I asked slowly. “Where are we?”
“Don’t you mean when are we?”
I rolled my eyes. “Fine. When are we?”
“The turn of the century.”
“Okay. It worked. Can we go back now?” I was nervous. It felt wrong to be in the future. I didn’t want to know about the future.
“Come on, we have to see how much better the world’s gotten since our time!”
“I don’t know…”
Of course, Jonas didn’t listen to me and grabbed my arm, dragging me through the house, which didn’t seem particularly modernized. Jonas ignored this and went outside.
The outside… was sad. There were no trees, and the roads were dirty and littered. A little blonde girl sat on a bench with a textbook open in her lap. Jonas looked around in shock. I think he was having trouble understanding that the world could go on such a downward spiral.
I walked towards the little girl. She pulled the book in front of her face but otherwise didn’t flinch. I pulled her book down. She stared at me.
“Um, hi? I’m Lilliana. Could I see that for a minute?”
“No.” The girl said without blinking. “It’s mine.”
I bit my lip. “This might sound a bit wild, but I’m from the past and I need to know what happened.”
The girl continued staring at me, like she was trying to read my mind. I glanced around nervously. We were the only people on the street besides Jonas, who was on his knees I assume having a slight mental breakdown. Finally the girl handed me the textbook. “If you lose it,” she said, “I will kill you.”
I had a feeling she wasn’t joking.
I opened the textbook. It started with brief section of the Greeks and Romans and Middle Ages, then went on to talk about this war and that, and how America became a country. Finally, I reached the section about 2020.
It listed off the many horrid things happening that year, such as murder hornets, category four hurricanes, and above all, the COVID-19 pandemic. It went on to describe humanity’s downfall. I stared at the book in horror hardly processing much of the information anymore. That is, until I saw my own name.
Lilliana Monday is known as one of the most influential people of her time. She invented the ISR (internal scanning ray) which could identify any anomalies within the human body, and GRASP (gasconade, relish, aftermath, sleep, particle). Monday also developed and detonated the first C-bomb, which effectually wiped out 98.99% of the human race and 64.47% of all life on Earth by destroying any living thing which had contracted or come in contact with the COVID-19 virus. With the sudden decrease in people across the world, the stock market crashed. Many people who survived the C-bomb died due to a lack of food and other essential items.
Birds, specifically crows, were now the dominant species on the planet and began devising a government system known as Avianicism -- a socialistic society ruled by an oligarchy of different species with the presiding official being a crow by the name of Fret Svar.
Fret Svar is the best ruler since the beginning of history. Cries echo throughout the streets, “LONG LIVE FRET SVAR!” Even the youngest children know the name Fret Svar.
Avianicism is the government practiced around the world today.
This passage startled me. I was known as the ‘destroyer of humanity?’ There was no way I could make such a deadly bomb. I failed science class for crying out loud!
I handed the girl back her book, then walked over to Jonas. “Jonas,” I said, “We have to go. Now.” I tugged him to his feet.
“No.” he pulled away and stumbled down the street. Crows silently lined up along the buildings.
“Jonas, the birds.”
He suddenly turned to face me. “Lils, how could this happen?” He had tears in his eyes.
“I don’t know.” I lied. “But I think we should get out of here before--”
The birds attacked.
Talons and beaks poked and scratched us, gradually getting rougher. I covered my eyes with one arm, grabbed Jonas with the other, and ran. I banged through the doorway and rushed past an ancient old man. We reached the basement and jumped through the time machine. The colors flashed again and I was back to the present.
Jonas regained his wits and turned to me. “Lils, what just happened?”