Sarah, Returned--Chapter 47 (A Steemit Original Novel)
“Oh, I did find something cool in the historical records,” I say, remembering my search from yesterday. “Check it out.”
I type an address into the search bar of my web browser, and a scanned page of an old book appears. “See? Hannah. The Natives killed her, originally. You said you remember that version of the story, as well as the new one. I changed things, and now the history books tell a different story. She was rescued and adopted by Joshua and me. Hannah and I were the only two people to make it out of the Otis garrison without being killed or kidnapped. Mary and Margaret Otis were the only kidnapped ones to come back. I’m in the history books now, part of the tale of Dover. I wonder if any of the kids learning this story in elementary school will guess that the Sarah Morgan who rescued Hannah Otis is the same Sarah Morgan who lives down the street from them now?”
Matt laughs. “I don’t know if even elementary school kids have imaginations that go that deep. Except for you at that age, of course. They might wonder if you’re related, though. Congratulations on making the history books, by the way. Even if no one knows the woman in the story is you, you’re still immortalized as part of the history of this town. That’s really cool, Sarah.”
I chuckle a little. It is cool. And, I can’t help but be just a tiny bit proud that my name was remembered by enough by the people I knew in the 17th century to remain intact in the oral history of Dover for a century and a half, until it could be written down for future generations. Most people don’t manage that kind of thing, even the ones who do really amazing things. It tends to be forgotten with time. So, my trip to the past got me Hannah and a place in the history books. I can live with that.
“It’s kind of intimidating, living with you now,” Matt says, finishing off the rest of his coffee in one gulp. He sets the mug down on the bar.
“How so?” I arch an eyebrow at him, certain he’s going to say something sarcastic and Matt-like.
“You’re Sarah Morgan,” he says, shrugging. “You can do anything.”
I laugh out loud. “Since when?”
“Since you traveled through time twice without knowing where you were going or how to control the destination, and managed to come back to where you started. As far as I’m concerned, you have superpowers.”
It’s a good thing there is no coffee in my mouth just now, or I would have spit it all over my laptop. I totally crack up. It feels good to release that way, with such abandon. As happy as I was with my family in the 17th century, life among the early Quakers and Puritans isn’t exactly hilarious.
“Thanks, man,” I say, a hint of a giggle still in my voice, making it wobbly. “I needed that.”
“I mean it,” Matt insists. “Travel is completely random, unless you’re thinking of a place. You didn’t know that, and yet you ended up back here.”
“All I was thinking of was how to keep the portal from pulling me in. I was frantic that it not take me away from Joshua and the children. I wanted to stay there.”
"Maybe the portal returned you to your origin point, since you weren’t giving it any other information.”
“Shouldn’t my destination have been random, then?”
“Ah, such are the mysteries of portals, my dear cousin.”
“It’s funny to hear you talk about time travel like it's something you’ve known about your whole life. Just two weeks ago, you wanted to commit me to a mental institution for suggesting it exists at all.”
“I’m a wiser man, thanks to you.” Hearing a commotion, he turns toward the kids. “Clara! Chill!”
I turn and see a piece of cereal flying through the air toward Hannah. It lands on her yellow pajama bottoms without a sound, but Hannah’s blue eyes darken with annoyance. She’s thrilled about all of her interesting new clothes, and not happy to have a sticky, almond milk-covered piece of cereal leave a wet mark on them.
Clara sheepishly looks back at Matt and me. “Sorry,” she says, bowing her head a little. The way she barely hides a smirk and gives her shoulders a tiny shrug tells me she definitely is not sorry. Sisters. Pretty much the same in any century. In a few years, Patience will be right in the middle of it with them; right now, she’s too young for this kind of banter, and her entire focus is on the cartoons.
“Don’t tell us you’re sorry, tell Hannah,” I say, pretending to be stern. Clara can see right through me, but does as I say, anyway.
“It’s okay,” Hannah says, and I love the ease with which she’s picked up on modern colloquialisms and contractions, like I taught her. “Just don’t do it again, or I’ll tell Mother and Uncle Matt. Or Papa, if he ever comes back inside.”
They go back to watching TV as if nothing happened, and Matt laughs softly. Under his breath, he whispers to me, “It’s still so weird, hearing them call me that.”
“Well, neither of us has real siblings, but we think of each other that way. My kids and your future ones are the closest thing to nieces and nephews we’re ever going to get, unless our dads are out there and have had new, secret kids. It could be true, and you know it. Don’t look at me that way. Uncle Matt seemed more appropriate than Cousin Matt, or just Matt.”
“Thank you for the honor. It really does mean the world to me. And you’re right. If I’m ever so lucky as to have children of my own, you shall be Auntie Sarah.”
“Aunt Sarah will be fine.”
Kids back under control, we turn toward the bar and my computer once more. “Thanks for helping me out with them, by the way,” I say, closing my browser window. “It’s so cool of you. Going from zero to five kids in the house in a month has got to be an adjustment. Not to mention the addition of another man to the household. Joshua will be more social once he’s found his place here, I promise.”
“I know he will,” he assures me. “He just needs some time. As for the kids, think nothing of it. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I do hope Joshua is settled by the time you go back to school, though, or you might need to find a babysitter.”
“Oh?” Are you going back to work?”
That’s surprising. Neither of us has to have a job now, with the inheritance, and I know teaching was something he was only doing until he found his true passion.
“No,” he says, swiveling around on his bar stool to face me. “Once you and Joshua are settled in here and you're back in school, I'm opening a portal. Sarah, I'm not just going to search records to find out where Grandma went. I’m going out there, I'm going to find her, and I'm going to bring her home.”
Catch up with the entire "Sarah, Returned" series here: