The precious jewels weighed heavy in Andy’s hand. Emeralds, rubies, diamonds. The corner of his mouth curled as he spilled them into his small sack. He took one last glance at the sleeping figure of King Henry VIII. Then he tip-toed out of the bed chambers and slipped through the door.
“Did you get them?” His father, Drew, stood within the shadows.
“Thief!” A voice echoed against the stone walls.
Drew jumped. “Time to go.”
They grasped hands as Drew twisted the necklace that hung inside his shirt. With a flash the two disappeared.
A rush of wind and a slight sense of nausea jolted Andy into his new reality. “Where are we?”
They stood in an alley, dumpsters on one side, rap music blaring from above.
“You mean, when are we?” Drew sighed. “Nineteen ninety-five. A good year, from what history says. We’ll catch our breath before we go home to drop our take.”
Andy nodded. “I was thinking…” He paused. “Could we… stay home for a while? I’m almost seventeen. We’ve been at this my whole life. I’d like to try my hand at something else.” Heat rose along his cheeks.
Drew winced. “I guess it’s time to tell you.”
“Tell me what?”
“The truth.” Drew squatted on an uneven pile of wood left for trash. “I’m not your father.”
“What?” Andy almost fell over.
“Your parents died when you were an infant. I came from a different… time. To care for you. I can’t stay in one time loop for longer than a week or my molecular structure will destruct.”
“Turn to dust, actually.”
“It’s been a hard life but you’re right. It’s time you go home, begin a real life. I should, too.”
Andy’s shoulders drooped. He nodded. “One more thing. How did you know I needed help? As a baby?”
Drew smiled. “Because, Andy. I’m you.”
©Laura L. Zimmerman 2020