THESE WORDS THROUGH TIME • by Von Rupert

Dear Sorah,

Be brave and be strong. You have not been forgotten. Memorize these words like you memorized The Fifty Chronicles of Humanity in primary school. Recite them each time you lose your way. They traveled great distances and changed many times before they reached you.

Tonight, after you arrive at the fortress, when the one who is called master asks you, say yes. If you refuse, the pain will be much greater. When he finishes, lie still, wait for him to sleep, then go. Wash everything away. Make this your practice. Despite appearances to the contrary, your species is compatible with his, and you must live on this planet unencumbered.

When you’re done bathing, you will be curious. You will walk down the hall and see a child’s quarters. There is a dollhouse, and you will wish to play with it. The master’s offspring will not stir; take this opportunity and play. When you grow tired, reach inside the dollhouse fireplace; a key is hidden for you.

Take it. One day in the future, it will be of use. The fortress doors will remain locked throughout your captivity.

Go to sleep. Try not to think of what happened. Try never to think of it. The next time will always arrive before you are ready.

Speak Lagarian when you’re alone. Speak it out loud so you will remember how it caresses your ears and how it tastes in your mouth like candy.

The master will doubt your intelligence. Let him. He will not view you as a threat, and your freedom will be much greater. When alone, write down all the stories and poems you can remember. Later, you will have need of them. Chronicle every event that occurs during your captivity. This record will save many lives.

The years pass slowly, but they do pass. One fall night, you will stand at an open window, overcome with loneliness. You will yearn to jump. The air will steam like dry ice and smell of apples, even though there are no apples on this planet. You will believe it is your imagination, as you have imagined apples before. But remember this letter and don’t jump. Your life is important.

Months later, when you smell apples again, you will be waiting for him to fall asleep. This time is real.

This time, wash nothing away. Retrieve your writings and the key. Use the kitchen door. It’s the only lock they have not changed. Hurry to the clearing where the ship landed when you first arrived.

I will be waiting there. You will recognize me from your earliest days on Saturn. I am the traveler who handed you this letter and smelled of apples.

The journey to rescue you was more difficult than I imagined. I tried and failed many times. I will remember nothing, not even who I am. I will need your help to find our craft. It is hidden deep in a forest of trees that look almost human, beside a green sea that bubbles. The craft is programmed to take us home.

Once we board, collect all traces of the master from your body. Submit them to the computer for our scientists to study. Then you may bathe in the healing waters I carried from home.

When you have finished, you will lock yourself in your quarters. You will be afraid. I promise, I will not disturb you. Go to sleep. You’re very tired.

The following day, submit your observations about Saturn into the computer. By the time we arrive home, the enemy will be destroyed. The master can never hurt you again.

During our long return, read to me from your compilation of poems and stories. These days with you on the ship will be my first memories. You will teach me to speak, and to read, and to laugh. You will be my first teacher and my first friend.

When we arrive home, you will be celebrated as a hero. I will be a hero also, but I won’t understand why until I travel again through space and time to where I left clues. Princess Sorah was taken prisoner during a Saturian raid on Lagaria in 6458 when she was eleven. She sacrificed herself to save her family. Exactly fifty years later, her hybrid son attacked Outer Lagaria with a fleet of warships and slaughtered half the planet’s population in three days time. This began the Saturian occupation of Lagaria.

I will not understand who I was before I met you until I locate my personal journal. 12/3/6600: I am leaving today on the first of a projected four leaps through dimensional space and time to change the lifeline of Princess Sorah Tijah. Her line is the key to saving Lagaria from future annihilation. A small ship has been prepared for me. Dried apples and crystallized water will sustain me during the dark days that follow a leap. I regret I cannot rescue the princess yet. She has tasks to complete before the future of Lagaria will be secure. I hope my words to her will be sufficient.

In the years that follow our return, you will confide in me, and I will be an avid listener. You will teach and I will travel time once again. A day will arrive when your nightmares retreat and never return. When they do, I will be honored that you wish to marry me.

I will tell you I loved you from the moment I read of you in a history book when I was a young boy. Rescuing you became my life’s purpose. You will tell me, during your captivity, these words are the only thing that kept you alive.

Wait for me, Sorah. I will come.

Tarquin


Von Rupert lives in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. where she homeschools her children and carries far too many books home from the library. On the web, she’s a writing mentor at Writer’s Village University and F2K.


Rate this story:
 average 5 stars • 3 reader(s) rated this

Every Day Fiction

  • Jeremy J Szal

    Very good, Von! Very good indeed. =)

    • Von Rupert

      Thank you for reading and commenting, Jeremy. I’m happy you enjoyed it. 🙂

  • Jeremy J Szal

    Very good, Von! Very good indeed. =)

    • Von Rupert

      Thank you for reading and commenting, Jeremy. I’m happy you enjoyed it. 🙂

  • This is good imaginative writing I enjoyed reading this.

    • Von Rupert

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Derek! I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment. 🙂

  • This is good imaginative writing I enjoyed reading this.

    • Von Rupert

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Derek! I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment. 🙂

  • Incredible — I’d read the novel-length version, too. 5+ stars!

    • Von Rupert

      Aww, thanks, Milo! I’ve finally started working on a novel length Rocky story, but I’m very partial to Sorah’s world, too. I fell half-way in love with Tarquin myself. 🙂

  • Incredible — I’d read the novel-length version, too. 5+ stars!

    • Von Rupert

      Aww, thanks, Milo! I’ve finally started working on a novel length Rocky story, but I’m very partial to Sorah’s world, too. I fell half-way in love with Tarquin myself. 🙂

  • Gay Degani

    Really so good. love this Von. A mini game of thrones to start my day!!!

    • Von Rupert

      Wow, Gay! That’s quite a complement–thank you so much. I’m thrilled you enjoyed it. 🙂

  • Gay Degani

    Really so good. love this Von. A mini game of thrones to start my day!!!

    • Von Rupert

      Wow, Gay! That’s quite a complement–thank you so much. I’m thrilled you enjoyed it. 🙂

  • Beth Cato

    Awesome story. There’s a lot of power in what is unsaid here, too.

    • Von Rupert

      I was VERY worried about what was unsaid in this story. I wasn’t sure if I had shared enough about this world and its history to do justice to Sorah and Tarquin’s story. Thank you so much for your comment–I feel better about all of it. 🙂

  • Beth Cato

    Awesome story. There’s a lot of power in what is unsaid here, too.

    • Von Rupert

      I was VERY worried about what was unsaid in this story. I wasn’t sure if I had shared enough about this world and its history to do justice to Sorah and Tarquin’s story. Thank you so much for your comment–I feel better about all of it. 🙂

  • Chris Antenen

    I spite of the fact that I write stories with no dialogue, I really do miss it here. Too much telling. Action is all in the future. Making it a letter didn’t work for me. Writing within that frame was excellent.

    • Von Rupert

      Ah, Chris, you have me on all counts. This story does indeed have tons of telling, not much action, and no dialogue. I took a big chance writing it in this format. Thanks so much for taking the time to read and to comment; I knew that this style would work for some and not for others, and I appreciate hearing from both viewpoints. 🙂

  • Chris Antenen

    I spite of the fact that I write stories with no dialogue, I really do miss it here. Too much telling. Action is all in the future. Making it a letter didn’t work for me. Writing within that frame was excellent.

    • Von Rupert

      Ah, Chris, you have me on all counts. This story does indeed have tons of telling, not much action, and no dialogue. I took a big chance writing it in this format. Thanks so much for taking the time to read and to comment; I knew that this style would work for some and not for others, and I appreciate hearing from both viewpoints. 🙂

  • Jadah McCoy

    I am in love with this. Full of magic.

    • Von Rupert

      Thank you so much, Jadah! That is such a sweet comment. I have to admit, I fell in love with Sorah and Tarquin. I wanted so badly to do justice to their story. I’m thrilled that you felt the magic, too. 🙂

  • Jadah McCoy

    I am in love with this. Full of magic.

    • Von Rupert

      Thank you so much, Jadah! That is such a sweet comment. I have to admit, I fell in love with Sorah and Tarquin. I wanted so badly to do justice to their story. I’m thrilled that you felt the magic, too. 🙂

  • S Gallagher

    Very cute and interesting take on a love letter–through time!

    • Von Rupert

      You know, I didn’t think of this story as a love letter. I thought of it more as instructions, but YOU’RE right, it is a love letter. How cool that I didn’t think of it like that! Thanks for reading and for sharing your perspective! 🙂

  • S Gallagher

    Very cute and interesting take on a love letter–through time!

    • Von Rupert

      You know, I didn’t think of this story as a love letter. I thought of it more as instructions, but YOU’RE right, it is a love letter. How cool that I didn’t think of it like that! Thanks for reading and for sharing your perspective! 🙂

  • Paul A. Freeman

    My head’s messed up – in a good way. Reminded me of ‘The Forever War’.

    • Von Rupert

      My stories are never compete at EDF until I read your comments, Paul!!! 🙂 And a wonderful comment it is. Thanks so much. Now I have to head over to Amazon and find out more about “The Forever War.” 🙂

  • Paul A. Freeman

    My head’s messed up – in a good way. Reminded me of ‘The Forever War’.

    • Von Rupert

      My stories are never compete at EDF until I read your comments, Paul!!! 🙂 And a wonderful comment it is. Thanks so much. Now I have to head over to Amazon and find out more about “The Forever War.” 🙂

  • judy

    time-travel in a maze of unexpected shifts and changes — WIthin the confines of this tale, I am in the present and in the future and in the past, flowing seamlessly — very creative. I enjoyed the read.

    • Von Rupert

      Judy, you picked the elements that I was most concerned about and made me feel better about them! “Flowing seamlessly” is a marvelous compliment. Thanks so much for reading and commenting.

  • judy

    time-travel in a maze of unexpected shifts and changes — WIthin the confines of this tale, I am in the present and in the future and in the past, flowing seamlessly — very creative. I enjoyed the read.

    • Von Rupert

      Judy, you picked the elements that I was most concerned about and made me feel better about them! “Flowing seamlessly” is a marvelous compliment. Thanks so much for reading and commenting.

  • Paul Magnan

    Great epistolary-style story, Von. Nice job!

    • Von Rupert

      Thanks so much, Paul! It was a scary format for me to write in, but I’ve been trying to step out of my comfort zone with my writing this year. I’m so glad you enjoyed it and took the time to comment. 🙂

  • Paul Magnan

    Great epistolary-style story, Von. Nice job!

    • Von Rupert

      Thanks so much, Paul! It was a scary format for me to write in, but I’ve been trying to step out of my comfort zone with my writing this year. I’m so glad you enjoyed it and took the time to comment. 🙂

  • Kelly Ospina

    This is amazing! So many layers, so complex, yet it flows effoertlessly. It takes some big talent to pack such a sweeping story and across time and space into a very short format.

  • Kelly Ospina

    This is amazing! So many layers, so complex, yet it flows effoertlessly. It takes some big talent to pack such a sweeping story and across time and space into a very short format.

  • Charlene Wulf-Elia

    Excellent! I can see a fell series of books written from this. Great job Von! I love your writing!

  • Charlene Wulf-Elia

    Excellent! I can see a full series of books written from this. Great job Von! I love your writing!

  • Tom Britz

    Von, this is a major departure from everything else I’ve read of yours. I like to see you stretch yourself. This was a great little time and space travel piece. Good work.

  • Tom Britz

    Von, this is a major departure from everything else I’ve read of yours. I like to see you stretch yourself. This was a great little time and space travel piece. Good work.

  • Mysti Parker

    Hiya Von,

    Great story! I think it read like the trailer for an epic sci-fi romance. It would lend itself well to a full-fledged novel which I would totally read and review 🙂 Congratz on another job well done!

  • Mysti Parker

    Hiya Von,

    Great story! I think it read like the trailer for an epic sci-fi romance. It would lend itself well to a full-fledged novel which I would totally read and review 🙂 Congratz on another job well done!

  • Rohini Gupta

    Well done, Von, it kept me guessing, taking unexpected turns just when I thought I knew where it was going. This could easily be a much longer story.

  • Rohini Gupta

    Well done, Von, it kept me guessing, taking unexpected turns just when I thought I knew where it was going. This could easily be a much longer story.

  • Stephen Ramey

    Impressive flash. Much larger than its container and innovative in its telling. Nicely done.

  • Stephen Ramey

    Impressive flash. Much larger than its container and innovative in its telling. Nicely done.

  • Aviva

    Von, it’s an amazing story told by a loving witness. I could smell the apples.

  • Aviva

    Von, it’s an amazing story told by a loving witness. I could smell the apples.