The Book of Lifetimes

An old woman in the past, a confused teen in the present, a young child in the future and the book of lifetimes all through out. A timeless tale of hope and dreams

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3. Future

 

   “Tilly!” The mother of a curious 8 year old will whisper-yell across the deck of what will be their home boat, “Don’t go too close to the edge!”


   Tilly will pay no heed though, for she will find something floating in the water, the tapping it will make against the side of the boat at every swell of the sea will have been what wakes her up from her bed of rags.


   She will lean over the side to collect what will become her new treasure. The sun will be peaking over the never-ending expanse of water. The pink tinge of the clouds will colour Tilly’s white-blonde hair until it seems like it will be glowing bright pink. The same pink she will always imagine her raggedy clothes be replaced with, so then she could be one of the princesses from her books.


   She will reach with outstretched fingers and will be able to just brush the leathery cover of the object. She will lean further over the edge, despite her mother’s feverish warnings, and she will close her fingers in a solid grip on her treasure.

 

   But at the same time she will grasp the leather wrapped object, the boat will lurch and she will lose her balance and fall. Time will slow as Tilly watches the surface of the water, its cold embrace will beckon her closer. Warm hands will grasp her from behind as a single strand of hair dips into the salt water. Tilly will be hauled back to the safety of the deck and folded into a warm embrace.

 

   “I told you to be careful, little one. You are my treasure and I can’t lose you.” Her mother will turn her to look at her but Tilly will be distracted by the object she fished out of the water. She will feel a hum go up her arm and slowly lever her eyes open to look at the leather bound object. Her mother will watch on as Tilly unwraps her treasure.

 

   They will both gasp when a fully intact book is revealed. The boat will rock again and both mother and daughter will stumble on deck. They will look up from their new-found treasure to see dolphins jump from the water and enjoy a moment of sun before diving back down into the never-ending deep of the water. Having been awoken by the unusual lurching of their floating home, the entire population of the boat will cram on deck and revel in the splendour of the mythical creatures before them.

 

   “The animals are returning!” An elder on the ship will bellow hoarsely to the crowd of a hundred men, women and children on deck, “There is hope that our world may yet live!”

 

   The world he will refer to will lie in their past, before the land will swallow the land and, presumably, its creatures.
Tilly will stand and watch the creatures as all celebrate around her, the book will hum shivers up her arms. She will look up and catch a brief sight of the city far above as the clouds shift. Its pearl-white theme will make her think of the princesses she will be told stories about who lived poorly and is then whisked off to a grand palace to live out the rest of their days. She will hope beyond hope that she might live the life of one of those princesses. The book she will hug to her chest will seem to purr at her thoughts and send tingles through her fingertips as she runs them over the grooves in the leather.

 

The book will live, hope and dream.

 

 

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