It wasn't exactly a pleasant experience. Girlie was just walking when she suddenly felt tense and had to push herself to keep walking. At first, she wanted to scream when she heard the voices.
She'd heard voices before, but different ones. Ones that whispered insults wherever she went.
For the second time that day, she tugged her hoodie sleeve down.
But what really took her by surprise was when she heard what the new voices said. It made no sense. And then they said "Cipher," and Girlie knew who to blame. Her theory was confirmed when the voice of none other than Bill replied.
She steeled herself, refusing to think anything, afraid the other people, the "Time Council," would hear. She bit her lip, hoping the pain would distract her as she listened to the conversation.
As the conversation continued, Girlie only felt more confused until it stopped. The voices of the Time Council were cut off mid-sentence, like a phone being hung up. She looked at Bill, and his voice, in a whisper, asked her something in her mind.
Will you let me protect her?
She hadn't a clue what had just happened, so she kept quiet for the remainder of the trip.
Longest minute and a half of her life.
Once at the Shack, she finally opened her mouth. "Prez, there is a surprise in my bag for you. I was going to save it for later, but today's been a weird day."
"What did you get me?"
"You're not coming?"
"Nah. I like it out here. The fresh air and all."
"Okay." Prez ran into the Shack, and Girlie, although silently waiting for a scream of joy from her sister, had more important things on her mind. She turned to Bill.
"What the hell is going on?"
Bill was silent, probably because even though Girlie would threaten people to her heart's content, she rarely used a word stronger than "heck." Out loud anyway.
"Well, of course. Now, of all times, you shut your mouth. That figures!" she growled. "Just - Ugh!"
Bill eyed her oddly. Girlie knew she was acting insane.
"Don't look at me like that! You put some voices in my brain or whatever you did! Just say something already, dammit!"
"You're in a mood."
"I'm in a mood? You're the one who put me in a mood. Talk. Now."
Bill sighed. "Fine. Where do I start?"
In a sarcastic manner, Girlie replied, "Oh, I like to start stories in the middle. Much better to start with the Goblet of Fire then go back to the Philosopher's Stone."
"Okay, I get the picture. Here we go. Just going to come right out and say it. Prez is destined to die."
"Everyone's gonna die, Bill. Eventually."
"She'll be killed."
"That kid in the woods. His name is Theodore 'Turbo' Beauforte. He is supposed to marry your sister, and the moment she sees him, her timeline can't be changed. He'll marry her, and things will go fine until their daughter dies. Then, he'll go insane. He'll abuse Prez, and later, he'll kill her." His voice broke on the last sentence, but he continued. "He'll be out of the country by the time Prez is found. He's never caught for the murder."
"That's pretty bad," Girlie managed. She felt horrible for not saying more, but she couldn't feel anything. She was numb.
"The Time Council is pretty pissed. They don't like the idea of me changing things. I mean, Gideon was supposed to live and marry a girl. He was going to become good just for her, but he died, and the Time Council couldn't care less. I try to keep an innocent girl alive, and they try to stop me."
"So what's the deal with the Time Council? Why do they have to be so controlling?"
"They are my... higher-ups. They control everything, like a big - what's that thing you play? Oh! - Sims game. Like in Sims, people have free will, though. They can get out of their commands and do other things. Doesn't happen often, but it can. You and Prez weren't supposed to be here, but you decided to come, and look what happened.
"And then there's me. I was created on accident. They can't control me, but they can definitely make my life a living Hell. I just wish there was something I could do."
"I don't know. I'm only seven!" Girlie admitted. She had an idea, but it was as weak as a sheet of paper against a cannonball.
"The only thing I can think of is to marry her."
"What? You are aware that I'm still debating whether or not to kick you in the nuts because you kissed her. Marriage is out of the question!"
"Well, what do you propose?"
"I say that we warn her. Tell her about him."
"Oh, no. We do that, and she'll try to prevent it, which will cause it. It's like that show, uh, That's So Raven. She knew her future, tried to avoid it, and in doing so, she made it happen."
Girlie just hissed, "Well, think of something. Freeze time or whatever you do, and think of a better plan that doesn't involve marriage!"
"I can't freeze time, Girlie. Not without causing a global meltdown. I would explain the mechanics of that, but there is no time. We need to think of how to save her."
"We could kill Theodore."
"What? Better than the marriage idea! Besides, I'll do anything to protect her. She's my sister."
"I know. But we can't kill someone either. No murder."
"What was it you said? 'It's not murder, unless they find the body. Otherwise, it's just a missing person.' "
"Why must you quote everything I say?"
"Why must you say things you don't want be to quoted?"
"Think of something then!"
"We can make Prez avoid leaving the Shack," Girlie suggested.
"That's not bad. If she never meets him, she'll live," Bill praised.
"You agree. Great. You can tell her."
"I came up with the idea! Do I have to do everything?"
A sly grin spread across his face. "Fine, I'll do it."
Girlie opened the door and led Bill up the steps to the attic. When she got there, she saw Prez, sitting on the air mattress, eating Nutella out the jar with a spoon. "Thanks for the Nutella," she said around a big glob that was in her mouth.
"You're welcome. Listen, we gotta talk about something important."
Bill stooped down to Prez's level. Girlie waited for him to say, "You can't leave the Shack until the end of Spring Break," or however he decided to phrase it. Instead he smiled, conjured up a ring, and said five deadly words that were certain to get him killed by Girlie.
"Prez, will you marry me?"