“Wait. That means that…” I trailed off.
“We went back in time,” Clayton finished my sentence. “Let’s check to be sure,”
I asked what year it was. He said it was 1914. He seemed confused by my question. He raised a brow and muttered something under his breath. He scrutinized us but his gazed were suddenly shifted on Clayton’s camera. He smiled and snapped his fingers.
“From the future I assume?”
I nodded. Clayton said that we better get going. I shook my head and disagreed. I suggested that we record this for our story. We told Nik Turner that we would be staying here for a while. He offered us to stay here- at Turner Towers. I smiled in delight. I thanked Turner and Clayton gave me the look mom’s give their child when they do something wrong. I ignored him and asked Turner what he was doing. He picked up a cup of coffee at the side and told us that he was just fixing a chair. I thought he was making something bigger. Like a machine or something more science-cy. I asked Turner if I could take a look around the city. He nodded. I asked Clayton to record everything but to try to hide the camera. He agreed and we headed off.
We walked across the field with ease as the grass has been cut. We walked in the same direction from before-to the subway station. The subway station was not there anymore. It was just a field where some kids were flying kites. It was not what I was expecting. There were quite a few buildings but not as much as today.
“I keep thinking that when we travel back in time, it was supposed to be all black and white,” Clayton said.
“Ha, ha, ha. Seriously?”
We continued to sightsee the 1917’s. I saw a huge tree at the side of the side and I ran behind it. I signaled Clayton to go behind the tree with me. He looked confused but he went over anyway. He asked me what was going on. I told him it was his chance to record everything. I took out my microphone and asked Clayton to start recording. He warned me that he felt it was a bad idea. I ignored him and continued. I told the camera about the surroundings, about Nik and the difference between the past and present Tower. Once I was finished, Clayton asked me to keep my microphone quickly. A few bystanders looked our way. We quickly averted our gaze and tried to act neutral but because of our outfits, we stood out.
We went back to Turner tower and told Nik that we stood out wearing these outfits. He gladly gave us some money to buy some 1917s clothes. Nik kindly showed us where to buy clothes. He led us to a small shop and said to meet back at Turner tower as fast as possible. According to Nik, he wanted to show us something when we got back. We nodded and scurried into the store. We picked our clothes quickly as most of the clothes look the same. I noticed that while we shopped, there were these people in black coats scanned us from afar. They all wore the same clothes and looked suspicious. I decided to bring up the matter to Clayton later. Once we paid for the clothes, Clayton and I walked out of the store in slow motion, modeling our drab looking clothes that had more buttons than eyelashes I had.
“Ha, ha, ha, ha. Now we’re done with our parade, I need to talk to you.”
“Sure, what’s up?”
As we walked to Turner tower, I told him my concerns.
“I saw these people in black coats who stared at us while we were in the shop though I think that they are clerks or something,”
“Everyone wore the same black coats?”
“Uniform maybe. I’m trying not to think bad of others why would they follow us. If they were from the future, we are not that well known. If they’re from here, what do they know about time travel?”
He agreed but told me not to drop my guard just in case though I highly doubt so. We reached Turner Towers and saw Nik waiting for us. We walked into Turner tower and Nik asked us to follow him. He drank multiple cups of coffee that were lying around-like on tables, railings, and box-like equipment. I asked why he had multiple cups of coffee around. He said that it would be more efficient to make a lot of coffee at once than to do it at intervals so he would have more time experimenting. I nudged Clayton and asked him.
“I thought you said he was an introvert,”
“According to the internet!” he defended
He eventually led us to the room with the time machine. He pointed to the hole on top of the machine. There was a green tube that was not there before. I asked Nik what was that. He didn’t reply. He took the green tube out and handed it to Clayton. He asked us to open it. Clayton opened the green capsule and a piece of paper popped out. I picked it and found out there was a riddle written on it. I asked Nik why are there so many riddles. He said that he wasn’t the one who built the time machine. It was his father, Turner Hallows. His father liked riddles and puzzles. Nik said he had to solve a riddle or a puzzle just to eat breakfast. Clayton was getting impatient. He asked to read the riddle in a huff so I read it out loud.
“Below the tower is a plot of land with holes on the ground. Only those who are worthy to stop the war can have a map that is left to be found. To earn the map, my precious bounty, spell the disease that had struck the world in 2020,”
“I could not solve it as this is not 2020” he replied sadly.
“Why not travel to the future?” I asked
“My father forbids me to use it. He did not return from his expedition ten years ago”
A dark vibe enveloped the room. Clayton comforted him. I felt sorry for both of them. I could not imagine what their childhood was like. Out of the blue, Nik clapped his hands, and cheerfully asked if we were going to solve the puzzle or not. The dark feeling seeped away from the room and we went under the tower. Under the tower was a patch of grass with holes in it. It was small and it was not even that deep. The holes were evenly spread out- ten by ten. I asked Nik What we should we insert in the hole.
“What can we fit in the hole? It’s so small, kind of like a button!” Clayton and I concluded at the same time.
We tore our buttons and placed it in the hole and spelt ‘Coronavirus’. The ground and tower shook violently. Worried it might fall on us, we quickly retreated. I realized that I was holding my breath in anticipation. Suddenly, the tower stopped shaking. Clack! The sound came from the tower. We curiously but cautiously went over to the tower. The nearest pole that supported the tower revealed a secret compartment with a bottle. Inside the bottle was another piece of paper. I snatched the bottle in excitement. I pulled out the cork and took out the paper. It was a map! But only a small piece of the whole map. There was a dotted line that wants us to go to Rome next. I couldn’t wait to go so I asked Clayton if we could go already. He agreed. We politely asked Turner if we could go. He nodded until…Duk! Duk! Duk!