The boy with the wild eyes

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
Just an idea of something I would like to happen if only this world wasn't restricted to the confines of reality.

Submitted: September 24, 2011

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Submitted: September 24, 2011

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There are few things in the world which scare me. I have seen a lot of the world; if not physically then I have, at least, seen a lot of what the world can do. At the age of nineteen I had been slapped in the face so often by life – and been kicked when I was down – that when it happened I couldn’t believe it was true.

Anyway, I’m rambling; I will start at the very beginning, a very good place to start, in the immutable words of Julie Andrews...

It was a Saturday night and I was just about to leave the house. I was alone, my parents had both died within the last year and my brother lived away from home, but I still returned to the semi-detached ‘family’ home when I came back from university during the holidays. It was the Christmas holidays so it was dark already at the early hour of six o’clock and I was about to go and meet my friends for a drink at one of the plethora of pubs that permeate our town – I forget which one now – and as I switched the light off in the living room I heard a crash come from the extension. I jumped and switch the light back on. Through the mottled glass at the other side of the living I could see nothing but darkness. I looked frantically around for anything that could be used as a weapon, or anything to defend myself, and came to a loss.

I could hear more noises from the room already: the creaking and clunking of wood, the scrape and tinkle of glass and a muffled groaning. I glanced sideways at the packed bookcase and saw a heavy volume of Shakespeare’s Complete Works and in my fear and desperation I jumped across the room, grabbed it and advanced slowly towards the door that led to the extension.

I was absolutely terrified! I don’t know what the hell I was thinking to be honest, taking a book for self-defence! Bloody hell! Just like me to turn to literature in times of need! Did I expect to hit the intruder – because at this point I was sure it was an intruder – or read him a passage from Richard III and hope that it intimidated them enough that they ran away? Still I had made my choice, and I couldn’t leave the house to be burgled.

I was at the doors, double doors, and I grabbed the two handles as quietly as I could, took a deep breath to steady myself and threw the doors open!

The shout that I had been prepared to make caught in my throat. The sight in front of me was something I did not expect. In the light spilling from the living room I saw a scene of destruction. The dining room tabled was smashed into a million pieces around the floor, the glass from all of the cabinets in the room had been blown out and lay strewn across the floor and the papers and books that I had left on the table earlier that day were in tatters and were still now drifting slowly towards the floor like snow.

But none of this, the destruction and smashed glass and all my precious books in tatters, none of this mattered compared to the fact that a figure lay naked in the middle of where the table had been moments ago. This figure, clearly a man – well, boy – was on his back, his face smooth and youthful and his hair blonde and messy. I was not entirely focussing on his face, however, because the most confusing thing was that the boy was completely naked; a conveniently intact and conveniently placed copy of The Applied Theatre Reader the only thing standing between myself and his ... dignity.

As I stared nonplussed he groaned and began to stir. Slowly and noisily he sat up and opened his eyes. His eyes glanced around before he focussed on me and I saw at once his eyes were of the brightest blue, and there was a wildness about them. He looked at me, blinked, rubbed his eyes, then groaned and got up.

“Where am I?” he asked, his voice groggy.

I stared at him.

“Where am I?” he repeated.

“Leighton Bu ...” I started, but stopped suddenly. “Why the hell are you in my house?”

“This is your house?” said the boy looking around. “Oh gods, I am terribly sorry ... did I do this?”

I laughed despite myself, for a moment forgetting the fear I had felt moments ago.

“Yes, you did.” I said. “Who are you?”

“I am ...” the boy began. I guessed he was about the same age as me. “No I need answers first: When am I?”

“Don’t you mean ‘where am I’?”

“No ... I don’t.” The boy looked annoyed, his blue eyes flashing up and down my body. “When am I?

I was shocked by this boys arrogance and gave him my most withering look up and down, only at this point realising that the book had slipped away when he stood up. I looked quickly back up to his face and he seemed to notice my hastened glance away. He looked down, quickly covered himself up with his hands and looked up at me with a grim smile on his face.

“And you couldn’t have told me before now that I was naked?” he said with a hint of annoyance.

“You just smashed through my dining room table!” I said, starting to get angry. “It wasn’t the first thing on my mind to be honest with you.”

It was at that moment that I realised what was wrong about the whole situation. The table was smashed, the cabinets were broken and my work and books were ruined. But there was no sign of entry, no sign that the boy had entered the house in any way. The ceiling and skylights were intact, the French windows showed no sign of damage; it was as if he had just appeared from nowhere!

The boy was staring at me quizzically and I quickly closed my mouth and asked in a shaky voice:

“How did you get in here?”

He looked at me for a long time, took a deep breath and said:

“I’m not entirely sure yet. Can I borrow some clothes?”

Confused and bewildered I led him to my bedroom and chucked him a pair of my underwear, some old trousers and a t-shirt. I turned around as he put the clothes on and realised he was talking quietly to himself:

“Year ... year ... year ... These clothes are no help, could be a twenty year time gap.” He turned me around and stared into my eyes, before grabbing the book that I was still clutching in my hands. “Shakespeare ... lovely man, bad breath but then who didn’t in the sixteenth century?” He ran passed me out of the room and down the stairs, knocking on the walls in the hallway. “Hmm ... good sturdy stairs and yes! Cavity wall insulation ... well I really don’t know.” He ran into the kitchen and looked around, touching everything as he spoke. “Kitchen sink, running water, washing machine – oh my: dish washer! Dishwasher! You foul beast! As soon as someone invents something to open jars modern man will be redundant!” He paused, kissing the fridge. “Was that a joke? Am I a joker? Do you think people would laugh at me? Anyway. Where are we? When are we? Running water, machines, and the works. Post-millennium ... I am going to say 2008!” the last words were said with a flourish and he turned around into the face of the calendar on the wall. “Oh fuck! Three years out! I’m losing touch I tell you ... 2011, bloody hell! Well I suppose it’s one of those good years, as years go and ...”

“Who the hell are you?” I interrupted, unable to bear his rambling any longer.

“I have many names,” he chuckled to himself and said in an aside, “I have always wanted to say that,” before carrying on in a louder voice. “But for now it would be easiest to think of me as ...” he glanced around the room quickly, spying a packet on the side. “Jaffa.”

I stared at him.

“Jaffa?” I repeated. This boy must be insane; he’s making up names based on cakes!

“Oi,” his chastised, “it is my turn to ask the question now. Where am I?”

I looked at him to check he wasn’t joking. His face was perfectly serious, concerned even. “You are in Riverside, Leighton Buzzard. A small town just north of London. In England . . .”

He still looked confused.

“England?” he said, as if he had never said the word before.

“It’s my turn to ask the questions.” I said belligerently, completely forgetting my fear, wholly intrigued as to this boy’s presence in my house. He smiled softly to himself, before gesturing for me to continue. “And I want you to tell me the truth.” He stared and me and then nodded, almost sullenly. “How did you get into my house?”

“You don’t want to know that...”

“You promised to answer truthfully.”

He stared at me incredulously for a moment before sighing and saying. “I entered your house because, in a moment of great danger, I propelled my body into the future. I had intended to travel a few minutes into said future – I fear I may have overshot.”

I started at him incredulously. There were only two solutions for his response – since he looked so sincere and concerned. He was either a burglar who happened to have been a regrettable loss to the acting world, or he was insane. 

 


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