“Sleep tight darling! I love you.” Dina’s mother whispered in her ear and kissed her lightly on the cheek. Dina curled up under the quilt and closed her eyes, welcoming sleep. The weight from her parent on the kid-sized bed lifted as her mother left the room and turned off the lights on her way. Eight-year-old Dina had almost fallen into the world of dreams when her dad’s voice shouted from the living room. 

“Dina, don’t forget to put your clock ahead one hour for daylight saving time! Waking up one hour too late won’t be fun.” Right, daylight saving time. She reluctantly sat up in the fluffy bed and turned on the bedside lamp. The bedside table was messy. A variety of colorful books spread out over the surface, together with crayons and pens she had used earlier that day. An empty glass which had been filled with a sweet strawberry smoothie lay on top of Snow White and the seven dwarfs, and an ancient clock stood cramped in the corner, barely reachable for Dina’s short noodle arms. Dina had inherited the clock from her mysterious grandfather who she’d never had a chance to meet. It was dark and woody, not at all matching the general theme of her brightly colored room with great influences from princesses and barbie dolls. Dina struggled to put it back one hour. It was as if the clock was resisting the change. Finally she managed to adjust the time and returned to a lying position. Right before the little girl fell asleep, the clock glowed magically. She stared at it with amazed round eyes, but the burning glow vanished just as suddenly as it had appeared. Figuring it was probably her sleepy mind playing tricks on her, she dozed off without another distracting thought. 

When she woke up, she could directly tell something was off. The sensation was hard to describe, but it didn’t feel right. As she opened her brown eyes framed by long black lashes, an unfamiliar room greeted her sight. She still lay in a bed and the shape of the room was identical to hers, but everything else looked completely different. The walls were wallpapered with a green leafy pattern, a tidy white desk stood in the far corner and her princess dolls and colorful toys were nowhere to be seen. Even the bed in which she lay was not the same. The abundance of pillows had disappeared, the bed itself was stiff instead of bouncy and worst of all, her favourite stuffed animal was no longer laying beside her. Where had Kitty the Cute gone? As she breathed a crisp minty scent filled her nostrils, not the sweet vanilla smell from her glittery scented candles. Something was definitely wrong! 

She tiptoed out of the room, apprehensive of what she would find outside the door. Once again, the living room itself had the same structure, but every piece of furniture was unknown. Dina wasn’t accustomed to any of it. Could she possibly be in one of the neighbours’ houses? How would that be even remotely possible? Her heart began to pound intensely, her limbs shook and tears of fright welled up in her eyes. Then an old woman entered the room, groggily rubbing sleep out of her watery eyes. When her gaze set on Dina, the old woman shrieked with an obvious tone of utter shock. An awkward silence followed as they looked at each other, both equally confused. Dina felt she should explain, but the words got stuck in her throat. 

“What in the name of God are you doing in my living room? And who are you, young woman?” Dina knew she was a girl, but did elderly really call eight-year-olds young women?

“Erm … I’m Dina. And I’m very sorry … this situation is very strange … I’m so so sorry.” Dina stammered, not sure how to respond. 

“Can you just tell me where I am please … I don’t have a clue.” she finally said. The old woman noticeably hadn’t expected that.  

“Well of course darling. You’re in mine and my husband’s house, number 16 Mason Street .” But that wasn’t possible, because Dina lived on number 16 Mason Street. The unease she had previously experienced had switched to pure bewilderment. 

“What day is it?” Dina asked, unsure of everything. 

“It’s the ninth of march,” she said, emphasizing every syllable clearly. “Year two thousand and thirty” she added. Dina froze, her pupils widening, legs suddenly feeling like cooked spaghetti. 2030? Dina had accidentally moved ten years into the future.  

“I think I have to leave. It was so nice meeting you, and once again I’m so sorry.”

“No worries dear. Have a nice day!” the gray haired lady said with a lovely smile stretching from ear to ear. Dina headed out of the living room and towards the front door, which she obviously knew where it was because she was in her own home - but ten years later. A body-sized mirror stood leaning towards the grass green wall. It was a funny feeling, looking into a mirror and not recognizing the reflection. A much older girl looked back at her. She was still in her sky blue pyjamas, but the pieces of clothing sat tight like stickers on her larger frame. Dina could’ve stared into the glass for hours, observing every detail of her eighteen-year-old body, but her urge of returning to the present took over that fascination. 

The chill air blew refreshingly on her sweaty face. Dina began to walk, with no end destination in mind. The act of walking calmed her down slightly, but the rough road under her barefoot feet distracted the peacefulness. What was she going to do? What had even got her here in the first place?

“Medina!” A distant voice shouted. Most people didn’t call her by her real name, except for family members and certain friends when they were in an argument. She matched the person with the voice. A young man with blonde hair and a handsome face she had never seen before. He almost looked like her Ken-doll, Dina thought. The man ran towards her, a relieved grin dancing in his face. As he came close enough, he swung his arms around her and kissed her passionately on the mouth! Dina kept her startled eyes wide open and tried not to touch the stranger. 

“Dina, I’ve been so worried! Where were you? When I woke up, you were not by my side and I tried to call you. But the phone lay on your nightstand! I’m so glad I found you.” he blurted out, the words blending together. After some silence he added “and what the fuck are you wearing?” and started laughing. Dina realized this must be her future boyfriend. What was she going to say? Hi boyfriend, who’s name I don’t know. I kinda jumped into the future during my sleep. I happened to put the clock forward ten years instead of one hour, you know, as you do. I’m actually eight years old and am finding this conversation extremely awkward and uncomfortable. I think I’ll leave. Bye Ken! Well, Dina figured … probably not that. 

“Hi. Erm … it’s a really long story. “ she started, doubtful on how to continue. Then the solution to the main problem struck her. The clock!

“And I’ll explain everything later. But I really have to do something. I love you … bye!” Dina exclaimes and started sprinting back to what had once been her house. She waved at the man who she would properly get to know one day, but today wasn’t it. The small rocks burned under her sensitive feet but it didn’t matter because she strongly believed she knew how to get back. She ripped open the front door and ran into her own room, or at least what had been her room. On the way she yelled to the old couple standing in the kitchen, making porridge; “It’s me again, I just forgot something!” 

“No worries dear!” The old woman replied and directed her focus back to the bubbling oats. Dina nearly stumbled into the room in her haste. To her enormous relief, an ancient woody clock was standing beside the bed. Dina grabbed the old machine and fought to drag back the hour hand by one hour. It wasn’t hard just because she wasn’t used to having so large hands, but the clock was also resistant. Dina curled up in the bed and waited anxiously, staring into the ticking sticks inside of the peculiar family heirloom. And once again, the clock glowed mysteriously. Dina let out a deep sigh and it felt like she hadn’t breathed for days. She happily closed her eyelids, assuming falling asleep would be difficult thing to do as her body was high on adrenaline. But after a few moments of breathing heavily and counting sheep, tiredness crept in. The high panic-levels had really drained her body of energy. And besides, Dina was a master at napping. Soon enough, her eighteen-year-old body went limp and loud snoring filled the room. 

When Dina opened her brown eyes again, she was back in her normal room, in her normal body. A sense of relief spread through her like warm fluid. The feel of the present was lovely and comfortable to Dina. She didn’t want to skip into the future. She wanted to live here and now, and just as her favourite character would say, just keep swimming. 

April 03, 2020 21:33

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03:19 Apr 09, 2020

I loved your story. Make sure to use big descriptions. 2 thumbs up here.


Lilly Isabelle
06:34 Apr 09, 2020

This comment really made my day, thank you so much!! When you say “big descriptions”, what do you mean exactly? Can you give an example?


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