I put the shovel down, wiping the sweat from my eyebrow.
"Well, I guess this is goodbye." I said. The wind brushed against my cheek as I looked at the people I would never see again.
"We can always call, right?" Alissa said weakly.
Alian turned his head away, avoiding eye contact.
I looked at them, taking a deep breath. "Actually, I take that back. It isn't goodbye...it won't ever be, because a part of us will always be here, inside this box."
Alissa smiled and Alian scoffed.
"We'll be here forever...in this time capsule."
I gave them a last wave and walked to the car, my luggage rolling behind me. The engine purred and I looked at my friends until they got smaller, and smaller.
Anyways, back to me.
I lived in a small suburban town with a minimum of kids. Everybody knew each other, and everybody was cool. But one day, a virus came, Lovid-18. The loronavirus was a germ that was in the water we drank, and could sneak through any filter. It feeds on your brain, and only your brain. It rapidly multiplies until theres nothing left, killing you.
It was also the virus that took my mother.
The house we lived in was just a constant reminder of Mother, so we decided to get away from everything. We had to go to a place where nobody would know us, where nobody would care. So we hopped on a train and went off to New York.
And here I am, writing this dumb prompt about how my summer has been.
Ok not really, that first part you read was my response to the essay my teacher made us write, but I decided to continue it, since you guys are probably dying to know about me. The Lovid-18 has not yet reached New York, so I can drink my water freely, but I'm still scared. How were we supposed to know when it came to New York? Would it take one, or two, or three deaths to confirm?
I brushed these questions away and drank my water. My water. I started to feel nauseous and walked over to my bed, plopping down, falling asleep almost immediately. And that's when it started.
I was standing with two other people, a box in the middle.
"Don't worry, we'll be in here forever, in this box".
I started to run, but something was pulling me back.
"You'll stay here forever."
I screamed. "No! I didn't do anything I swear!"
But I couldn't run. The chains were just pulling me back, into the box.
I heard a small voice. "What did you put into your time capsule?"
I woke up sweaty, my blanket feeling too warm, everything feeling out of place. I didn't tell them what I put into the time capsule. I couldn't tell them.
Let me explain.
We were not a group of 3 kids. We were a group of 4. But something happened to the fourth child, a boy named Jackson.
~3 years ago, October 9, 2017~
"I'll see you guys tomorrow!" a small boy said as he waved toward three other kids.
"Bye Jackson!" Me, Alian, and Alissa walked away, going to my house. We always hung out over there, but Jackson never came. We didn't pester him for it, it just wasn't our business. Then, after it got dark, when Alian and Alissa left, I got a call. My mom was sleeping, and my dad was still at work so I responded.
I spoke in my best voice. "Hello this is Jackie, what do you need?"
On the other end was a raspy, soft voice. "Jackie, please help..."
"Jackson? Why are you calli-" There was a loud scream, and the call ended. I was tempted to call the police, but I didn't do anything. I just assumed it was a prank.
The next day, Jackson came to school with a long cut on his cheek. He always came to school with marks, but he told us they were because he fell down.
I walked up to him. "About yesterday, what was that call about?"
Jackson squirmed. "W-what call?"
I didn't understand a thing that was going on, but I wanted to know why he bothered to call me.
"I know your lying, tell me." I took a step closer.
He fiddled his hands through his pockets, and pulled out a flip phone, one that looked oddly familiar.
"Wait a second....that's my moms old phone! Where'd you get it from?!" I started get even more confused, and it was making me mad.
He handed me the phone, and said weakly, "Look at the camera roll." before walking away.
I opened the phone to take a look at the camera roll but homeroom ended and past that point, you can't take out any electronics. I tried to take a peek but my teacher caught me.
"Jackie give me the phone." I was super scared of teachers in general, so I turned it off and handed it to her. I would look at it after school. But in the train of things, I forgot to. Little did I know the next day, Jackson wouldn't be at school. Not the next day either, or the day after that. Jackson's "parents" were not actually related to him. Jackson was sold at an auction and abused by these so called people. He never went to the doctor, nor the nurse. He died because he was just a sick, frail little boy. The day he didn't return to school, I asked my teacher for the phone back.
"Oh sorry for keeping it too long." She handed me the phone, and I ran to the corner of the classroom where nobody could peek from behind. I opened the camera roll and saw a recording of a dark room, Jackson in front of the camera, his cheek bleeding from a scar.
"I didn't fall down Jackie. I didn't. Please, if you see this, get someone to help me. I'm scared, my mom and dad are monster-" The door opened and the screen went black.
I heard an adult speak. "Jackson, what are you doing?"
He walked back, away from her. "Nothing, I'm not doing anything."
There was a scream and then crying, and then the video ended.
The day I left my little town, I put the phone into the time capsule. I was too late to do anything, but a part of him would be here, forever. Time stopped for Jackson that unfaithful day, but in our hearts, he will be endless.