A Family Feud

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Violet and Ember Prentiss stumble acreoss thier parent's laboratory. They discover many interesting trinkets there and go on a wild escapade full of excitement and danger.

I was awoken by a loud crashing noise. It had sounded like it came from the basement. My sister and I were not allowed in the basement, we never really questioned why. Our parents were the only ones to go down there. I turned to look at my alarm clock, it read 3:00 a.m. I tried to fall back asleep, but suddenly I heard footsteps outside of my door, slowly making their way down the hallway. I quickly slipped on some shoes and a jacket. I peeked my head out of the door and caught the basement door shutting as I tiptoed to the door. 

As I cautiously made my way down the stairs, I was stunned by what I saw. Machines with tons of buttons lighting up all kinds of colors, vials of random substances, it looked like a mad science lab. I couldn’t help but walk around and touch everything, I was so intrigued. I thought that my parents, Veronica and Richard Prentiss, were just your average; boring parents with your everyday job, perfect house, perfect family, but now it looks like there is more to it. As I went to touch this pack of gum sitting on the self because it looked out of place, but I was interrupted by a noise in a dark shadow of the room. “Who’s there?” I said. My little sister Ember emerges from the shadow sheepishly.

“God Em, you scared me to death. What are you doing here?” I asked stepping towards her. “I heard a weird noise coming from down here and I wanted to check it out,” she replied. 

“Well, did you find out what it was?”

“No, I came down here to look, but then I heard you coming down the stairs and hid.”

As soon as Ember said that, something went scurrying across the room. 

“What was that?” Ember said quickly moving behind me. 

“I don’t know,” I said moving towards the creature.

The creature was sitting there in the corner of the room, shaking and too scared to come towards us. I flashed my light at it. It was a little spider monkey, but as we got closer, you could see that it had poofy fur and was orange rather than the normal brown you would usually see. It was also way smaller than any other monkey we had seen before. We inched closer and closer towards it. I held out my hand. 

“Come here little guy, we won’t hurt you I promise,” I said in a comforting tone. 

Eventually, the monkey stepped into my hand. I rubbed its little head and Ember noticed it had a name tag. 

“Chester,” Ember read. 

“Hi Chester, I’m Violet and this is Ember,” I said softly as he ran his head against my palm. I gently sat him on my shoulder. “You can stick with us, Chester.”

“So what is all of this Vi?” Ember said to me pointing at all of the inventions and experiments in our basement.

“I honestly don’t know Em, it looks like mom and dad have been keeping all of this from us, but why?” we both were puzzled, but continued to snoop around.

“Hey check this out!” Ember said directing me to where I was before I found her. “Is that gum?” 

“Yeah, TT Gum. I wonder what TT stands for.” I said to Ember and she just shrugs. “I want to know what it does. I’m going to try a piece.”

“Wait I want one!” Ember said trying to grab the pack of gum I was holding above my head. 

“No Ember,” I said to her as she pouted. I popped a piece of gum in my mouth too eager to look at the packaging. “Hmm, tastes like strawberry,” I said right before I blew a bubble. 

“Wait!” Ember said before grabbing my arm. My body felt like Jello and all I could see was a big bright light. Before we knew it, we were in a place we did not recognize. 

We were on a street, we looked at our surroundings to try to get a clue as to where we were. It looked like we were in the past. You could tell by the fashion, the cars, but then we found a paperboy. He handed us a newspaper. “1986?” I read out loud.

“Did we just time travel Vi?” Ember looked at me in confusion and shock.

“I think we did,” I said looking back at the pack of gum. “TT Gum?” I said to myself. “TT stands for time travel. We are in the past.” Chester still sat on my shoulder looking back and forth at me and Ember. 

“Oh my gosh, why did you grab my arm? What are mom and dad going to do when they discover that we are both missing?” I said to Ember.

“I wasn’t going to let you do irrational things alone, are you crazy?” Ember began to argue. 

“Ugh, you are so annoying. How will we both get back?” I said sighing as we began to walk on the sidewalk through town. 

“Well we are here now, might as well try to enjoy it at least Vi,” Ember said trying to cheer me up. “I mean I guess, come on let’s look around,” I said. “We need to find different clothes. We look so out of place right now. We are both in our pajamas,” I said directing us to a little boutique. 

After I found us some clothes that matched this period, I came out of the dressing room to find Ember reading the package of gum. “There are a lot of warnings for using this gum Violet,” Ember said to me in a concerning voice. “What does it say?”

“It says that if someone touches you when the bubble of the gum pops, that they will follow you to wherever you go and that you have to be careful when time traveling because it could alter your timeline,” Ember said.

“Then I guess we will have to be super careful,” I said grabbing the gum from Ember's hand, sliding it in my pocket. We paid for our new clothes and left the boutique. We began walking down the sidewalk again looking for somewhere to eat, but suddenly I felt like someone was following us. Even Chester turned his head and his tail was sticking straight like he knew something was happening. So, I grabbed Ember’s hand and lead her down an alleyway. 

“Woah, what the heck? I thought we were getting food, I am starving,” Ember said exceptionally loud. “Shhh…I think someone is following us,” I said covering her loudmouth. “Okay, I think the coast is clear now,” I said as she shooed my hand away. We peeked around the corner and proceeded to walk. We noticed that it had gotten dark quicker than we expected and we had nowhere to go, we did not have enough money for a motel and it was too dangerous to just sit there and do nothing. Just as we were about to run out of options, I spotted this homeless woman. She was beautiful like she didn’t belong on the streets begging for money. I gave her the change that I had and placed it in the can that she held. I kept the bills to get us food because we have no idea how to get home and had no idea how long we were going to be there. 

“Why thank young ladies,” the woman said slowly lifting her head. She suddenly turned white like a ghost and said, “Veronica? Veronica Prentiss?” My sister and I looked at each other, “No ma’am,” I said in my most kind voice. I didn’t know if I should’ve revealed that that was our mother because technically we aren’t even born yet, so I kept my mouth closed. “Oh, I am so sorry. You two just look like someone I want dead,” Ember and I were shocked by what she said. We slowly tried to turn around and leave but ran into a tall, smelly figure. I looked up, but before we got the chance to try to run away, this man grabbed me and Ember and threw us in his white van. The homeless lady jumped in the vehicle behind him. It was too dark for any bystanders to see that they had kidnapped us. 

“Hey, where are you taking us?” Ember screamed. 

“Hush girl!” the woman in the passenger seat exclaimed. 

“Who are you guys?” I asked. 

“I am Mary Fitz and this is my dear husband Tom Fitz,” she replied with a snarl.

“Well, what do you want with us? We don’t even know you,” I said. “Oh you poor thing,” she turned to her husband. “Honey, she doesn’t even know who we are. Their parents must have kept them in the dark,” she said as we pulled into the parking lot of an abandoned factory. The factory was taken over by nature and was no longer producing anything. There was not another building around there for miles. They quickly led us inside. I was terrified about what they would do to us, but I had to stay strong for Ember. She is so hard-headed, but I could tell she was worrying. 

“Get inside now!” Tom said to us shoving us in the door. They tied us up and left the room for a second. The room was covered with leftover packaging from when it used to be a booming factory. Along with overgrown weeds and vines. I gave Ember a concerning look and made sure that she was okay. 

“Are you okay Em?” I asked. “Yeah are you?” “Yeah, I’m okay. We need to find a way out of here.” Just as I had said that Mary and Tom came back into the room. “Silence!” Mary yelled throwing the chair across the room. 

“How do you know us?” I asked them not to show any fear. “You want to know?” Mary said back. 

“Fine, we know who you two are because we used to work with your parents. I knew I recognized you two. We have been searching all over for your parents. You know that TT Gum that you used to get here. Well, that gum was created by my husband and your father. They were partners, but your father took all of the credit. All of the fame and glory. Guess where that left us. Now we are homeless and are lucky to have even found this abandoned building. There were only two packs of this gum to ever exist, 15 in each one. It would have been too risky to create more and make them available to everyone so the government told us we could keep the prototypes, but no more can be made. We used all of ours to try to find your mother and father. We did write down the recipe, but guess who took it all for themselves. Your mother and your father. They ruined everything for us. We are left with nothing, so if we can’t have the gum, we will take away their pride and joy. Two daughters and the rest of the gum that you have so we can replicate it.” 

“You’re wrong, our parents would never steal the recipe unless they were 100% deserving of the credit,” I exclaimed. 

“NO! You have no idea what it was like to see all of your life’s work being handed over to someone so undeserving and so cowardly to admit that they were at fault. We despise your parents!” Tom said before storming out of the room again. “Now look at what you have done. He is all worked up now and I have to take care of this. Don’t move, we will be back to find where you are keeping that gum of yours,” Mary said running after Tom. 

“Tom honey it’s okay, we will get you your invention back.” 

“Leave me alone Mary, I need time to cool off!” 

“Tom! Do not move brats,” she said before slamming the door.

I waited for the door to close completely, “Okay Em, we don’t have much time. Quick we have to think of a way out of here. They will be back soon.” 

“Violet, I’m scared. You don’t think mom and dad would do that, would you? I mean why did they keep this all a secret from us?” Ember said concerned. 

“Em, you know that they are just saying that so that we will give something away. They want us to turn on mom and dad. You can trust me. We will make it home and confront them about it,” I said trying to reassure her. She nodded and tried to get the ropes off of our hands. “Okay, this isn’t working. I have an idea.” When Tom grabbed us, Chester crawled in my bag and I haven’t seen him since. “Chester?” I said in a whisper. Chester came crawling out of my bag across the room cautiously. 

“Chester, grab the gum out of my bag,” I told him pointing. He began to rummage through my bag. Suddenly we heard screaming coming from outside the door. “Hurry Chester, they are on their way back!” He came running out of my bag and had the gum quickly climbing up my shoulder and putting a piece in my mouth. Before Mary and Tom come busting through the door, I quickly blew a bubble and grabbed Ember’s hand. 

Mary had entered the room only to find the empty ropes splayed across the concrete floor. “Oh Tom is not going to be happy,” she exclaimed. 

Finally, we are home, but we were met by some very disappointed faces. 

“Hi mom, hi dad,” we said sheepishly. Dad was tapping his foot in annoyance and mom had a worried look on her face. 

“Where on Earth have you two been!” mom screamed as she hugged us. 

“Well, Ember and I heard a noise coming from the basement. Dad, we know you say to not come in the basement but we were curious and it was late. When we got down here we found the source of all the ruckus,” I said holding Chester to his face. “We found this gum on your shelf up there,” I said pointing. Dad stood there with the same resting face he had before, but now he was pale. 

“Skip all of that!” Ember said. “We want to know about Mary and Tom Fitz. Did you guys take their idea for TT Gum?” Our parents looked at each other and back at us surprised. 

“How do you two know about them?” our father asked. “We used this gum out of curiosity and we met them in the past,” I said. “Do not believe a single thing that they told you. Tom Fitz has always been out for me. They have been missing for many years now though, people thought that they died from trying to replicate this gum. I am assuming that they are stuck in the past now?” our father said. “Yes, they kidnapped us and tried to steal your invention for their evil plans,” Ember said. “Well I am glad that you guys didn’t let them have it,” he said. 

“Wait, they kidnapped you?” our mother said with eyes as big as saucers. “Yes mom, we did have our doubts about you and dad we aren’t going to lie, but you guys never replicated this gum invention for your agenda,” Ember said. “Ember and I agree that it would be best if we put this back,” I said putting the gum back where we found it. 

“Well we are glad you two are safe,” mom said. “We don’t want anymore sneaking around or secrets in this house.” 

We all nodded in agreement. “We are sorry we didn’t show you two all of this stuff sooner,” dad said. “We thought we were protecting you guys. We have created many inventions and conducted many experiments that could be potentially dangerous.” 

“We understand dad, but we are both old enough. We respect you and mom. We are sorry for snooping around in your guys’ stuff. It won’t happen again, but could you maybe show us more of your better inventions?” I said using my puppy dog eyes. “What? No!” he said. Then Ember joined. “I said no.” Then Chester joined in on the puppy dog eyes. “Aww come on Richard,” mom said. “Oh alright fine, come on I’ll give you guys a proper tour.”

We eagerly followed him into this secret door that we did not even see the first time we were down here. “WOW!” Ember and I said in unison. “We are sorry for invading your guys’ privacy. We hold ourselves fully accountable for our actions and will do better.” 

“It’s okay girls, you could have just really been hurt. We don’t know what we would have done if you two hadn’t come back,” mom said. “From what we can tell, our timeline hasn’t changed. As far as we know, the Fitz’s are still in the past trying to figure out how to become successful as your father.”

“Thank you for showing us all of your inventions dad. Not going to lie, we thought you two were just boring accountants. We had no idea you two had a whole other life before we were born. What made you quit dabbling in science?” I asked them. 

“After we had a whole lawsuit with the Fitz’s, we ended up retiring our science background and focused on having a family. We couldn’t be happier. We have a beautiful family, great jobs, and are truly blessed,” dad said. 

“When did we get a pet monkey?” I asked mom. “He was one of our experiments. He is a super-intelligent monkey, so we decided to keep him around and give him a name, and here he is now, Chester.” Chester nuzzled against Mom's head. I wrapped my arms around Ember we had been through so much today and if she hadn’t have followed me into the past I don’t think I would have made it back safely. Mom and dad wrapped their arms around Ember and me, letting Chester join in as well.

Submitted: May 06, 2021

© Copyright 2021 Emily Milligan. All rights reserved.

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