Sarah, Returned--Chapter 30 (A Steemit Original Novel)
The bed is stripped down to a bare mattress. All the art is off the walls, and the framed family pictures that dotted her dresser and desk are gone. Oh, tell me Matt and Karen didn’t clean out her room while I was away. Matt and I talked about doing it, planning to keep what had sentimental or actual monetary value, and donating the rest. Would they really clean the room while I was missing, and unable to lay claim to anything of special significance to me?
Ugh. Of course they would. Karen would want to get her hands on anything with real world value and claim it for herself. What better time to do it than when I wasn’t here, and Matt was vulnerable to the suggestion, needing something to do to distract him from my probable kidnapping and/or murder?
Oh man, what if they took everything? What if Karen has what I need to go back, or worse, they donated it to charity? I’ll be stuck here, and my only reunion with my family will be in the local archives and courthouse with the documents they left behind. I’ll have to watch my children growing up without me, on paper, and maybe discover my husband re-married once it became clear I wasn’t coming back.
No, no, no, no, no!
There has to be something here. Something they overlooked or didn’t care about that they left behind. That exact thing I need, that Grandma brought with her from the past, the thing no one else with the ability to travel has touched in all that time. It has to be here.
I start going through her bureau drawers, but every one of them is empty. I even pull the drawers out of the bureau to look inside, just in case anything slipped through the cracks, but it’s smooth and bare. A search of her desk drawers reveals an equal amount of nothing, as does my rummaging of her closet. Everything is gone. Everything.
A creeping sense of despair starts to work its way into my mind. This can’t be it. I’m not out of options. I can search every antique store in the state if I have to; there has to be something out there I can use, even if it didn't belong to Grandma.
Oh, but that could take years, and there's no guarantee I would find anything. Grandma's belongings were my easiest, most certain avenue. Am I stuck here?
No. No way. It’s too unfair. Why would the universe let me find my true love and have children with him, only to separate us forever by centuries? There’s got to be something else. Something I’m missing, right here in this room.
It’s got an area rug, and there could be space under those boards. This house was built in 1703, only four years after I returned to 2017. If it’s built anything like the farmhouses I helped my neighbors build, the floor boards will be raised a couple of inches from the base of the floor in a kind of primitive insulating technique. It’s my only shot. If I want to find my traveling item tonight, if there is anything of use to me left in this room, it’s got to be under the floor boards.
I drop to my hands and knees and throw the rug aside. Nothing. Not surprising. Under a rug is too easy, and might make for a tripping hazard if anyone put something there on purpose. Okay, the floor boards, then. One by one, trying hard to keep my cool and not break down into sobs, I crawl over them, knocking up and down each one with as much quietness as I can, hoping to hear a hollow sound, or find a loose one. A tiny object could have fallen under the boards, or Grandma might have deliberately hidden something there. Surely no one else would look, so it’s up to me. My ticket back to 1699 has to be under there somewhere.
After a couple of hours, I’ve searched about half of the floor with no luck. It’s getting discouraging, and it’s almost daylight, but there’s still the other half left. I can’t allow myself to believe what I need is not here, or I might crumble.
I lean forward to pull up on another board.
Crack! Boom! A deafening shot rings out, accompanied by the sound of breaking glass. Worse, it came from my room. Damn it. That can only mean one thing. Someone is trying to get into the house, and Sgt. Baker, or whatever officer relieved him, just made an attempt to stop them.
Whoever tried to cut my brakes knows I'm back, and they’re going after me again. Grandma’s empty room may not be the only thing that keeps me from returning to my husband and children.
Catch up with the entire "Sarah, Returned" series here: