The Disappearing Act

It was a breezy Spring day and a rainbow was shining in all its glory. Lovers who had no work to do and probably a school to ditch had already taken their better half out to the famous Lovers’ Bridge in the town of Pinchrow. Two of them, Aurora and Michael, were actually just stepping onto it, hand in hand.

“A nice day today, isn’t it?” asked Michael, glancing to Aurora. Aurora nodded, but her teeth were nibbling her lower lip. Michael sighed. “Rory, what’s wrong? Is this about something I said?”

Rory quickly shook her head. “No, nothing.”

“There has to be something, you’ve been anxious since I picked you up.”

“Uh… It’s… It’s nothing important, really.”

Michael stopped – Rory too had come to that same unexpected halt. “Sweetie, I want to know. I’m more than happy to help, you know.”

Rory stayed silent for a few more seconds. “I… Guess you won’t make fun of me.”

“No, I promise I will not.”

She cleared her throat. “It’s just that… I have this odd feeling that something will happen.”

“Like what?”

“I don’t know, something bad.”

Michael held back a smirk. “Okay, and how much do you trust those feelings?”

“I don’t want to,” Rory responded, “but the point is… They come true.”

“They come true.”

Rory could see the disbelief on Michael’s face. “I-I’m sorry.” She let go of Michael’s hand. “Let’s… Keep walking.”

“No, no, wait. When was the last time you’ve ever had these feelings?”

“I don’t know, two months ago, I guess. Or three.”

“Well…” He took a few steps to close the distance. “Did anything happen then?”

This time, Rory was the one to stop first. “No, I don’t think-“

“Then, honey, just relax. Everything is going to be fine, hmm?” Michael smiled and gently caught her hand. “Today is going to be a good day. For both of us, Rory.”

Rory shrugged and kept walking with Michael to the bridge. As soon as they came to a gentle, slow stop, Michael noticed something crawling at their feet.

He scoffed. “Will you look at that?” He leaned down to pick it up. “It’s a turtle.”

Rory leaned towards the tiny turtle in the hands of the young man. “It’s so small…”

“I think it’s a baby,” Michael responded. “Oh wait, there’s something-“ He turned the turtle over. A small silver key was strapped on the bottom half of the shell.

“A key?” Rory glanced to Michael who was already pulling it apart.

“Wonder what it’s for,” Michael mumbled as he put the turtle down. The turtle started to paddle away.

“Maybe we should follow it,” responded Rory as she grabbed the key and took a step towards the crowd.

“Wait!” Yet, it was too late for Michael. He had no choice but to follow.

The two soon reached to the ladder on the side of the bridge that went all the way down to the waterway. The turtle was standing on the edge.

“I’m going down,” Rory whimpered, with newfound determination. She stepped down, slowly, and started to climb downwards.

“Rory, we don’t even know-“

“It could be a treasure,” Rory squealed. “Right under the rainbow, see?”

“It’s just a fairytale,” Michael scoffed as Rory disappeared. With a sigh, he followed Rory down. The moment he stepped down, Rory had already set course to a silver door hidden away from public eye. He paced towards Rory and caught up with her when Rory had reached the door.

She slipped the key through the keyhole and twisted it. A weak thump was heard. Rory clapped once, rising on her toe tips with a cheerful gasp. “Let’s go in!”

“Whatever,” the other one mumbled. In the worst case scenario, they would find CCTV room and a security guard who would shoo them out in a rude way. Maybe that was the cause of the “bad feeling” Rory had that day. He followed the young woman through the door.

They walked through a dark corridor to reach a dimly-lit room. At the heart of it stood a strange changing cabin. There were some files on the table across the room. On the wall right above the table was a whiteboard and some formulae were scribbled on it.

When Michael took a good look around, he noticed the mattress on the side of the room slightly further from where they were standing. In front of it was a puddle of what appeared to be the source of the heavy urine scent filling the room.

“Rory, come on, this is someone’s house,” Michael whispered. “We should be going.”

“Look!” Rory pointed to the whiteboard as she walked towards it. “This… This is just… Genius!”

“What?”

“It’s not just any random numbers, Mike. It’s advanced physics. It’s… Time travel.” She picked up one of the files on the table. “See? It says right here.” She looked up and pointed to the cabin. “This… Thing. It’s a machine.”

Michael took a few hesitating steps towards the changing cabin and grabbed the handle. “It’s probably just some stupid prank,” he mumbled, but his voice cracked.

“I doubt it…” Rory rifled through more pages and read along, silently. “I want to try it…”

Michael did not answer.

Rory looked up from the files again, then around the room. “Mike?” She walked towards the cabin. “Are you in here?”

Michael was nowhere to be found.

Rory gulped and stepped in, closing the door behind herself.


Image Credits: adamkuczek

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