Mrs. Thorpe’s 5th Grade – 1st Hour
Ely propped the backdoor of his grandfather’s pawnshop open with one foot as he reached to set the week’s collection of trash on top of the dumpster. Just a little farther, he thought, but he saw it sliding before he could get to it. The trash bag toppled off the can and onto the concrete ground. The door slammed shut behind him, leaving him with no way back inside. “Urgh,” he grumbled.
He turned quickly to pound on the door, hoping his grandfather would hear him, but lost his balance and stumbled backwards into the pile of broken boxes, used tissues, and Ale-8 cans that had once been in the bag. “Seriously?” Ely said raising his hands up to the sky. Ely hurriedly picked up the trash, tossed it in the can, wiped his hands on his pant legs, and decided that going in the front door and facing his grumpy grandpa would be easier than standing out back banging on the backdoor.
“The front door is for the customers, Ely,” his grandpa grumbled. Ely didn’t bother to explain. “You wanna tell me the truth about where you found that bracelet? You didn’t steal it did you?”
Ely had forgotten all about the unusual bracelet that he and his best friend had found in the abandoned church downtown. “Like I said, Papaw, I found it at the church.”
“Well,” he mumbled from behind the counter. “It doesn’t look like it’s worth much—not any metal I’ve seen. Just some piece of junk jewelry. Isn’t worth nothing. Here,” he said tossing it at Ely. Ely caught the bracelet in his right hand and then flipped it over to see the inscription on the outside of the dark gray band—71. He rubbed his fingers over the numbers, and then stuffed it into his pocket.
Just then the bells on the glass door jingled as two teens walked in the door. The female of the two smiled at Ely and then began to look up and down the rows of glass cases.
“Can we help you?” Ely asked. He was certain that he had never seen them before.
The boy, who looked oddly similar to the girl, tapped at the buttons on what appeared to Ely to be a very thin cellular phone. “It’s here,” he said to her sternly.
“If you’re not buying, you can back on out of here. I don’t need nothing broken,” Ely’s grandpa said without looking up. Ely wished his grandpa could be happy again, but lately business had been slow with the opening of the Mega Mart across town, and if it didn’t pick up, he would have to close in a month.
The kids looked at each other. “Actually, we are looking for a gift . . .for . . .” the girl said. They looked at each other again. “For our mother.” Ely didn’t believe them.
“Alright then, look around,” his grandpa mumbled.
“I haven’t see you at school. Are you from out of town?” Ely asked.
“You could say that,” the boy grinned. There was something strange about them, something that Ely couldn’t put his finger on.
“Our mother would like a ke…” she paused, looked in the glass case, and then said, “a bracelet. We are looking for a bracelet.”
“Take your pick,” Ely said.
“I don’t see it,” the boy said, examining the contents of the case.
“There’s plenty to choose from . . . gold, silver, diamonds . . .”
“Tiplatnium?” the girl asked. The boy elbowed her in the side. “Ouch!”
“She likes darker metals,” the boy said, continuing to examine the contents of the case.
“Oh,” Ely said curiously, “like oxidized silver. I think . . .”
“Not exactly,” the girl said turning to him. “What we are actually looking for is unique, possibly personalized.”
“With a 7 and a 1,” the boy added.
For a second, Ely stared at them, stunned. He dug into his pocket and pulled out the bracelet. “Like this?”
The boy reached for the bracelet, but before he could get his hand on it, a bright light flashed and the bracelet vanished.
“Jordan!” the girl and boy shouted in unison.
“Thanks for your help,” the boy said with a nod. Then they ran out of the door, the bells jingling behind them.
“Wait!” Ely called, running after them. “What’s going on?”
“We lost Jordan, again,” the girl sneered.
“That thief gets on my last nerve!” the boy growled. “I if I could get my hands on him for one millisecond . . .”
“You won’t,” the girl said, putting her hand on his shoulder, “not if we stand here complaining.”
“That flash of light was person?” Ely asked, wide-eyed.
“Not just any person,” the boy said, looking up one side of the road and down the other. “We have to go.”
“No, wait! You can’t just go! First, you come in looking for a pretty specific bracelet, and then it vanishes into thin air. I think you have some explaining to do.”
“How did you came across it?” the boy asked.
“I’m not saying anything until you tell me what’s going on!” Ely demanded.
“He could help us,” the girl addressed the boy.
“But, he can’t know!” the boy insisted.
“I’m tired of running, Gavin!”
“Stella, you know the rules!”
Stella put her hands on her hips. “I’m not running any more! Either we tell him, or you can go back and tell them that we failed . . . again. I can’t face that. Can you?”
Gavin sighed. “No, I can’t.”
“I’m Stella, this is my brother Gavin. We’ve traveled from the year 2071 to locate a key.”
“Whoa, whoa, whoa,” Ely said, running his fingers through his hair. “If I hadn’t just seen the thing disappear out of my hand, I might not believe a word of this. Are you saying that you’re from the future?”
“That’s what we’re saying,” Gavin answered.
“Sweet!” Ely said excitedly. “This is amazing! Can you take me with you, or wait . . . can you go back in time, like before I was born? There are some people I’d like to meet.”
“That’s not how it works,” Gavin said as he fidgeted with the device Ely had mistaken for a phone. “We only travel when the keys are in danger.”
“The bracelet is a key?”
“Not just any key. Each key opens a portal to a disastrous event in the history of the world.”
“That seems kind of unsafe.”
“Originally, they were designed to be reminders for future generations of the evil that once existed in the world—a way to glimpse into past mistakes, so that history would not be repeated. My sister and I are among an elite league of warriors known as the Protectors.” Ely couldn’t believe what he was hearing.
“So, I take it that one of the keys is now in the hands of someone who shouldn’t have it? This Jordan person?”
“Yes. The one we call Jordan was a former Protector, hired by your government to steal the 71st, but something went wrong. It was lost in time, until we tracked it here. He must have been following us.”
“The 71st key holds the year we call the Chinese Lottery,” Stella jumped in. “It is a moment in history that you will not find in any of your history books. In the year 1371 the emperor of China ordered 71 citizens from 71 villages to be taken from their homes without warning. They were never seen again.”
“What good would it do our government to steal that key?”
Stella nodded at Jordan to go ahead and tell Ely. “We believe the Chinese citizens were taken to test an ancient time portal, but the device wasn’t a success and the people were stranded in an unknown dimension.”
“Someone must have figured it out, you’re time traveling now, right?”
“Yes, but time travel has been limited to only two persons at a time. With this device, hundreds, maybe thousands could be moved in an instant.”
“Armies,” Ely mumbled.
“Large armies . . . enough to occupy a nation in seconds.”
“No one,” Stella interrupted, “should have that kind of power. History has taught us that with great power comes great responsibility. We must find that key, or . . . or our future could cease to exist.”
Ely could hardly believe what he was hearing. In this moment he realized that he could either sit behind the counter of the pawnshop waiting for the garbage to fill up, or he could help. “So, what can I do?”
“You can start by telling us where you found the key?”
“At the old church. It’s a bit of a walk from here.”
“I think we can get us there a little quicker,” Jordan said pushing a series of buttons on the flat object that Ely had seen earlier. With a flash of light the three were gone.
To be continued . . . by the imaginations of Mrs. Thorpe’s 5th grade class