A short story based on the image shown
from a prompt from Writers Unite! – May 2019
Window to the Future
A Short Story by Lynn Miclea
Aliya brushed the hair out of her face as she walked up the grassy incline. She had wanted to climb to the top of the hill in her neighborhood and see the view for months now. Her breathing heavy and ragged from exertion, she was finally here. A shiver of anticipation ran through her as she neared the crest.
Looking up, her eyes opened wide and she stared at the view at the top of the hill. A ruin was there — part of one, anyway. Just the window was left from some unknown structure. It looked ancient and powerful and she felt drawn to it.
Although exhausted from her hike, and still breathing heavily, she moved toward it, her arms outstretched. Something about it felt awe inspiring and even personal. She needed to be closer to it.
The overwhelming power of the window washed over her as she got near enough to touch it. Tentatively, she reached a trembling hand to the stone. It felt warm and rough, and she placed her hand flat on the rock. Closing her eyes, she took a deep breath.
When she opened her eyes, the view through the ancient window had shifted. Her brow furrowed as she tried to comprehend what she was seeing. Through the window was a barren wasteland. The ground was parched and devoid of life. There were no trees, plants, birds, animals, or people. Just empty, scorched dirt — as though a huge fire or a war had blown through the area.
“What am I seeing?” she whispered to the window.
A voice in her head answered. You are seeing the future of Earth. Years from now, war and greed will have destroyed all life on the planet. However, this can be prevented. It is not too late. The one who can see this is the one who can change it and save the planet. We have been waiting a long time for you to arrive.
Aliya looked around but saw no one. She looked back at the window. “Who are you?”
We are the gatekeepers of the world. We have been trying to save your planet, but we cannot do it alone.
“But … but I don’t know what to do. How can I save Earth?”
There is a piece missing in the wall surrounding the window. A vital piece that has come loose and fallen out. The missing piece that will save the planet.
“What piece? Where is it? How do I find it?”
It is a crystal that is vital to mankind. In fact, it is vital to all life on Earth. You must find it, plug it back into the wall, and close the loophole that has developed. That loophole created the wars, the greed, the hatred, the fighting, the emptiness, and the catastrophes that have befallen the planet.
“But how do I find this crystal?”
You will know where to look. It is in your possession. It needs to be placed in the wall before the window closes completely and disappears — then it will be too late.
“What kind of crystal?”
You will know it when you see it. You know where it is. Hurry. We are running out of time.
Aliya removed her hand from the wall and took a step back. Was she imagining everything she heard? How would she know what crystal or where it was?
She glanced at the window and the view was back to the way it was before. She could see the blue sky, a few clouds, and the other side of the hill. Her eyes followed a dirt path leading down the hill to a long stretch of beach which lined a huge dark blue ocean. It was hard to tear her eyes away from the view.
After a few minutes, she slowly turned and ran back the way she had come, going back to her home. An urgency gnawed at her, and she felt that the voice in her head was real. She had to help. But how?
Something pulled her to the closet in her bedroom. She wasn’t sure why, but she opened the closet door and immediately picked up a small wooden box from the floor. Treasures she had been given by her grandfather when he was still alive. She smiled, remembering the smell of sawdust and tools on him, and the jangling of keys that always hung from his belt.
Sitting on the side of her bed, she slowly opened the box. Folded papers, a marble, and a few coins greeted her eyes. And there on the side — what was that? A pink stone — rose quartz. A crystal of love. She didn’t remember seeing it there before. Did she simply forget about it?
The crystal began vibrating and emitting a low hum. She instantly knew. Deep inside, without a doubt — this was it. This was what was missing and what was needed.
She picked up the smooth, pink crystal and held it in her hand. It was cool to the touch, but it warmed up as it sat in her hand. She felt the vibration move through her. Goosebumps rose all over her body. She knew what she had to do.
She ran outside, down the street, through the field, and back to the grassy hill. She climbed up to where she was before. The stone window was there. She felt an urgency within her.
She approached the window and held up the rose quartz. “Is this it? Is this what was missing?”
Yes. That is the missing piece. The energies of love and compassion have been lost from humanity as mankind turned its back on this force. But this energy is vital for the survival of all life. Without it, the world and all life forms will perish. Time is running out.
“Where do I put this?”
Look for it. You will find it. You will know.
Aliya pulled her hair back and stepped closer to the window. She ran her hands over the rough stones. On the inside ledge on the left side, a gaping hole stared back at her. A deep black emptiness emanated from it. That must be it.
Trembling, she reached forward, her fingers shaking as they held the crystal. She inched it closer. A sudden flash of white light arced from the crystal into the black hole, and the rose quartz slid into place with a soft click.
“Is that what I was supposed to—”
The window vibrated, and she felt the rumbling through the ground under her feet. Bright light flashed through the window and her hand came up to shield her eyes.
After a few moments, a sense of peace settled around her and she opened her eyes and looked through the window. A vast field of pink and yellow flowers greeted her. A rabbit ran through, twitched its nose, and then hopped away. Tall trees shimmered in the distance, their lacy leaves dancing in a light breeze. Two birds sang as they flew past in the sky.
Aliya blinked. The window shimmered and shifted back to the original view. Blue sky, a few clouds, and the grassy hill on the other side.
She stared at the view for a few minutes. “Am I done?”
Yes. You were the only one who could do this. And time was closing fast. We thank you.
“But who are you? Can I see you?”
You will see us soon enough.
A flash of light burst through the window. The stones shimmered for a few moments, and then collapsed into a heap. The window was gone. A small pile of old rocks sat in the grass where the window had been just moments before.
She stood there for a few more minutes.
“Are you still here?”
The only answer was the whisper of a breeze as it rustled the weeds at the top of the hill.
She turned and slowly made her way back down the hill and through the field toward her house.
As she approached the door to her home, the wind picked up, and the breezed turned into a whisper.
We are always here.
Copyright © 2019 Lynn Miclea. All Rights Reserved.
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Please see more incredible stories related to this image here from other very talented writers at the Writers Unite! blog.