United States

Child of God
Marine sister
English Country Dancer
Dessert enthusiast
Wind Chaser
Volleyball devotee
Movie quoter
Tea drinker
Cat lover

Message from Writer

' "Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet My unfailing love for you will not be shaken, nor My covenant of peace be removed," says the LORD.' ~ Isaiah 54:10

Proud USMC sister!


"Most people never meet their heroes;
I grew up with mine." ♥

“And the one good thing about being down here, is that we’ll save on funeral expenses.” ~ Puddleglum (The Silver Chair)

You don't love someone because they're perfect, you love them in spite of the fact that they're not. ~ Jodi Picoult

How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard. ~ Winnie the Pooh



November 15, 2018


January 26 - 7:08 AM

With a lurch I'm awake. 
My eyes are wide open. 
What woke me? 
My watch is strapped
to the bedstead. 
The numbers blink on 
and off as though I
had forgotten to set it.

The sun isn't shining. 
I bring the watch to my ear.
Tick tick tick. 
Then I see the year.
My heart nearly stops. 
I scramble out of bed
and stare out the window.

Nothing has changed.
The tall tree outside 
my window is still there.
Am I dreaming? 

Why isn't the sun shining? 
Dark clouds cover the sky.
I don't know which direction
the sun is in. 
I try to remember what 
year it was when I went
to sleep. I look over at my
wall calendar.
Right year.

I need to find my sister.
I pass by my dresser 
and glance into the miror
on my wall. I stare at my
reflection. Is that me? 
I look thirty years older.
Slowly I turn away.

I walk down the hall.
Everything's silent. There's
no noise from downstairs. 
I knock on my sister's door.
"Elsie?" I open the door.
She isn't there. The bed is
nicely made. 

Of course. She's feeding
her rabbit. 
Still panicked, 
I hurry down the carpeted
stairs to the living room.
No one is there. Everything
is extremely neat. Nothing
is out-of-place. 

"Mom? Dad?" I race to
my parent's bedroom. 
The bed is nicely made. 
Everywhere I go in the
house, everything is 
eerily clean. No sweaters
lying around, no pots
on the stove. 

I go to the computer and
turn it on. No browsers
are up. Skype isn't on. 
I get onto the internet and
type in: 'what day is it?'
Saturday, January 26, 2058

I log onto my email. 
Dozens and dozens are
unopened. I click on the
top one. It's a newsletter
from my church. 
Rachael Winstane had her
baby boy last night! 8 lbs
9 oz. Both mom and baby
are healthy. Name coming 

I stare in shock at the screen.
My best friend had a baby?
It may not have been her. 
But then if she's married, then
she would've changed her 
last name. 

I search for the church directory.

I quickly scroll down the list
of families. Some familiar, 
others strangers. Winstane. 
I pale. A picture of my best
friend, Rachael Pronte,
standing with a guy I'd never
seen before, and three children. 
Her family.
I look for her husband's 
family picture. 

James and Barbara Winstane
I look at their kids names, 
Michael, Timothy, Erin, 
It's Timothy. Rachel and
Timothy Winstane, with
their four children, 

Devin, Mandy, Hailey, and
another boy. 

I sit back in the chair. 
Slowly processing the sudden

I log onto my Skype account.
Like email, dozens and dozens
of unopened messages. I 
quickly click on Rachael's page.
I've really missed talking with 
you. Hope I see you at church

I look at the date the message
was sent. 
November 14, 2026
My heart sinks. 

I send a message back to
Rachael. My fingers are shaking.
Rachael! I need to talk with you!
How long has it been since you
last saw me? Please reply soon.
Congratulations about the baby!
Love you so much!
- Renee

I've finished replying to
the most-recent emails. I have
a headache from trying to 
figure out what happened to me.
I try calling my mom, but it 
goes to voicemail. 
"Mom! This is Renee. Where
are you? How're you doing?
I love you! Call me back."

I stare at the clean house. 
Nothing's dusty. As if it had
been cleaned yesterday. 
I try to remember the day
before I went to sleep. 
My mind's foggy. I look 
outside. It's raining lightly.
The sky is still dark with 

I check my inbox, there's
several new emails. I see 
one from another friend 
at church. 
Is this a joke? When's your
birthday? What is your 
sister's name? 

My mind goes wild with her
reply. What on earth 
happened to me? 

I've replied to the emails
that I've received in the past
12 minutes asking me if I was
really Renee Johnson. Then I
read this email, and my heart
nearly stops.
I was at your funeral. You 
disappeared, and the police
thought that you drowned in
the river. 
Where've you been?!?


I'm in complete shock. I 
drowned? People went to my
funeral? The room swims 
before my eyes; I close them.
Slowly I type out a reply.
Allison, would you mind coming
to see me? I'm so confused. 
I need to talk to someone. 
I still live at the old house.

- Renee

A red mini-van pulls up the
driveway. The sky has partially
cleared away, revealing the
sun, which causes the world to
sparkle brightly. I run out to 
see Allison. 

"Allison!" I say even before 
she steps out of the car. Her
eyes are worried. 
   "It really is you." She whispers.
We hug. It feels good to see 
someone familiar. Though 
she is a lot older than when
I last remember seeing her. 
A wedding ring adornes her 
left ring-finger. 

We sit on the couch; she holds
my hand. I tell her the events
of the morning. 
   "Wow. How is this possible?"
Allison looks into my eyes. 
"I have absolutely no idea."
Tears press against my eyes. 
"Where's my family?" 

"Your sister, Elsie, owns a 
horse stable nearby. She 
married a guy who came to
the church named Jacob
Savre. They have six kids.
Your older brother also lives
nearby and has two kids.
He married Georgie Bauman
from church, but she died
a couple years ago in a car
"Georgie Bauman?" I 
thought of my first friend at
the church. "I have to go see
Chad. Where does he live?"
   "I'll write down the addresses
of your family in a little bit."

"Your adopted brother liv-"
   "My adopted brother?" 
I interrupted. How much 
have I missed? 

Allison gazed sadly at me 
for a long moment. 

"Your parents adopted him
about two, four years after,
well, you know. His name is
Caleb, and he joined the 
military. He took it on as a 
career. Your family is so 
proud of him." Allison smiles
   "Where does he live?"
"Japan. But I hear that he's
coming home in a few weeks."
   "Wow. Another brother."
I smile, trying to imagine what
he looks like. "And my parents?"
"They live close to the church.
And proud as ever of their 
eleven grandchildren." 

"And all I did was give them 
grief." I looked down at my hands.
The tears pressed harder.
   "It wasn't your fault. We just
need to figure out what happened."
Allison squeezed my hand 
 “I read the email about Rachael’s
baby. Do you know if he has a
name yet?”
My shoulders shake with
emotion. I’ve missed so much.

“Rachael texted me. His name
is Daniel.” Allison smiled.
“Everyone misses you. You’re
not forgotten. You left an
incredible hole in our hearts.
Especially my brother’s.”
“Ethan?” My heart fluttered
with far-away memories.
Allison’s lips twisted with a

I gaze off into the distance for
a long moment. Then solemnly
turn to Allison. 
   "I need to see my family."
"I'll take you in my car." 
My stomach is twisting tightly
as we pull into Chad's driveway. 
What does he look like now? 
What do his kids look like? 

"I've missed so much." I whisper.
Allison lays a hand comfortingly
on mine. 
   "Do you want me to go in 
with you?" 
"Yes, please." I have a lump
in my throat. It's hard to talk.

I'm trembling, so Allison 
presses the doorbell. 
   We don't say anything as we
wait for someone to answer.
Then the door opens, and I'm
standing face-to-face with my 
49 year-old brother. 

"Hey Allison!" Then his gaze
turns to me. There's a flicker 
of remembrance in his brown
eyes. "You look familiar to 
me, have we met before?"
   "Chad, this is Renee, your 
sister." Allison squeezes my
hand. I freeze, then offer a
shaky smile.
"Hi Chad, it's been a long time."
It comes out as a whisper. 
   He stares at me. His 
piercing gaze hasn't changed
a bit since we were teenagers.

"That's not possible." Chad
clenches his jaw. I can see
the pain in his eyes. Tears
spring to mine. I hurt my

   "No, it's true." Allison urges
"But you drowned." Chad 
whispers. I see a tear slowly
slipping down his cheek. 
   "Chad, it's me! Renee! 
The person who you told
everything to when we were
teenagers. The person who
you crawled around in the
hedge with. The person who
made you smile when no one
else could. I don't know what
happened to me. But I'm here, 
standing in front of you." 
He stood speechless. 
   "And I'm so sorry that I 
hurt you." This came out as
a murmur. 
"Renee." We stared at each
other for a long moment.
Then without warning, he
ran forward and engulfed
me in a hug. We both cried. 
I think I saw Allison smiling
and crying beside us. 

He held me for a long time.
Whispering my name over
and over, as if he thought
if he let go of me I might
disappear again. 

"Have you seen mom and dad
yet?" He asks, holding me 
by my shoulders, looking at me
   I shake my head. "You're
the first one."
"I'll introduce you to my kids,
they'll love you." 
   My brother has kids.
The realization slowly sank 
in. He kept an arm around 
my shoulders as though I might
be whisked away. 
   I look back at Allison who
nods me on. She steps inside
and closes the door quietly
behind her. 

"Nathanael! Keren!" Chad
calls as we walk through
the spacious, ranch-style
house. Just like Chad. 
Paintings, china cabinets,
and glass figurines were
   Evidence of Georgie.
"Chad, I'm so so sorry that I 
wasn't here when you needed
me most. I never even got
to see you and Georgie 
   Chad looks down sadly 
for a moment. 
"I was blessed to have her
for those 25 years. At first
we couldn't have children, 
then after eight years God
gave a boy, then a girl. I never
could've gotten through
her death without them."
   I squeeze his hand.

"Yeah, dad?" A tall boy
who looks like a younger
copy of his dad walks around 
the corner with a granola
bar in hand. He freezes
when he sees me. 
   "Nathanael, this is my
sister, Renee." Chad says
   Nathanael slowly walks 
forward, analyzing me intently.
My throat constricts.
He looks so much like Chad.
   "Hi Nathanael. It's a
pleasure to meet you."
My smile trembles. 
"I'm sure you know that 
you look exactly like your
dad did as a teenager."

"Yeah, people say that all
the time." Nathanael says
cautiously. I watch as he 
relaxes, then reaches out
the hand not holding the
granola bar. We shake as
though we're strangers.
   He has a firm grip. 
"Where's your sister?"
Chad asks his son. 
   "Her room. I'll get her."
Nathanael seems more
than happy to get away.
   My demeanor falls. 
"I guess I can't expect them
to take to me right away.
They don't know me." 
I whisper. 

Chad observes me for a
moment. "It's not your
   "That is yet to be 
determined." I mutter.
"We'll talk later." 
   I nod. There's a lot to
catch up on. 

“What’s up? Nate didn’t giv-”
Keren stops short when
she sees me. “Hello! I’m
Keren. What’s your name?”
She holds out her hand
and smiles.
Definitely Georgie’s
Pain stabs at me.
She was such a great
“I’m Renee. Your aunt.”
“Oh?” Keren looks at her
dad for confirmation.
He nods.
“I’ve heard a lot about you.
Dad and you did this,
dad and you did that.
But he never told me what
happened to you.”
Her voice trails off
in confusion.

“There’s a lot to explain.”
I whisper.
We stand in awkward
silence until Keren says:
“Would you like some
lemonade? Perfect catch-
up drink.”
I can’t speak. So I nod
and let out a shaky smile.
“That’d be great, Keren.”
Chad says.
Keren whirls around and
disappears from view.
“Wow, Chad.” I murmur.
“Your daughter is so
gracious and kind.”
“Just like her mom.”
Chad smiles distantly,
then leads me to the
blue/green themed
“C’mon, we can chat
on the couch.”

“Renee, I still can’t believe
that you’re here.” Chad holds
my hands and gazes into my
“I want to know what
happened to me.” I whisper.
“I have to find out. It can’t
be fair that I missed out on
so much.”
We look at each other, tears
glistening in both our eyes
until soft footsteps break
the silence behind us.

“Here’s the lemonade!
And Nathanael.” Keren
winks, and sets down a
clear pitcher filled with
yellow liquid, and a stack
of plastic, red cups.
Nathanael follows her
into the room and sits
down in a recliner.

Suddenly, a scene flashes
through my mind.
A tall glass of lemonade on
the table. A voice beside me,
I made it specially for you.”
I reach for the cup, take a
sip, and the scene fades.
I decide to keep it to myself
until I know for certain
that it means something.
“Don’t you agree, Renee?”
Chad’s voice interrupts my
“I’m sorry, what?” I try to
focus. Chad looks at me
“I was saying that
lemonade is always better
with ice.”
“Yeah, it is.” I avert my eyes.

Chad doesn't pursue it, but 
I know he'll ask questions 
later. Instead, he hands me
a fogged-up glass of lemonade.
   "Thanks." I give him a tiny
smile. As soon as my hand
touches the cold cup, it sends
an shock bolt through me. I
flinch. Why is the lemonade
so important? 

   Chad studies me. 
"You alright?" 
   "Yeah, yeah." I murmur,
turning away. 
Keren watches our interaction;
eyes thoughtful like her dads'.
Nathanael stares into his 

A long, awkward moment
passes. My mind scrambles
for words. 
   What should I say? 
Then Keren breaks the silence.
   "So tell me about the time
where you and dad hid in 
the barn and weren't found
for hours." She grins. 
   "I've heard it from dad so
many times, but I'd like to 
hear your side of it."
   I laugh, remembering. 
"Well, like your dad probably
told you, we were playing
hide-and-seek with some
friends," Georgie being one
of them. 
I swallow hard, then
move on, "and your dad and
I had found this awesome
hiding spot on top of the 
   My thoughts trailed off 
into the past as I recounted
stories of imaginary pirates,
secret agents, and Indians. 

After watching the reunion,
Allison joins us. Smiling me
an encouragement when I
falter for words. Then Keren
looks at the clock.
   "It's past lunchtime already!
Do you want to stay? We'd
love to have you." 
"Yes, please stay for lunch." 
Chad pleads. 
   I look over at Allison who 
just smiles. "Actually, I'd
like to see Elsie. Is that
   "You're right. You need to
see her and her family.
She's missed you so much."
He squeezes my hand. 

We stand, and Allison picks 
up her purse. 
   "I'll come by soon." I promise
as I hug Chad. 
"Can't wait." He whispers, tears
in his voice. "Love you."
   I can't speak over the lump
in my throat. Keren walks over
and gives me a hug. 
   "It was great to meet you." 
She smiles. 
Tears spring to my eyes. 
"Bye everyone! I'll see you soon!"
I wave, then Allison and I leave.

Once outside the door, the tears
   "Wow." I whisper.
"Your family loves you, Renee.
And Nathanael will warm up to
you." Allison unlocks the van.
   "Yeah." It was so good to see

 Twenty-one minutes later, 
we pull into a gravel driveway.
Another ranch house takes up
most of the view from the road,
and seems to get bigger as we
drive closer. 
   "Jacob and Elsie Savre, huh?"
I murmur, impressed that Elsie
finally got what she'd always
   A horse ranch. 

"Yup, this is it." Allison winks.
"Just wait 'til you meet the 
horses. Oh, and the kids, of
   I laugh. 
"You always did love horses
just like Elsie." 
   "Yup. Oh, and Renee?"
   "Just," Allison clears her throat,
"be prepared."
"What do you mean?" I ask 
   She parks, then slowly 
   "Elsie changed after you left.
She got bitter, and never quite
recovered. The only one who
could ever get her to come out
of her shell was Jacob. That's
why they're so good together."
   "Wow. I never thought it was
possible." I try to imagine Elsie
as being bitter. I can't. 
"I know. Anyways, she's very
shy around strangers. So don't
expect her to be like Chad."
"I hope I can do this." I take 
deep breaths. 
   "I didn't mean to scare you."
Allison squeezes my hand.
"I just wanted you to be 
prepared. The kids and Jacob
will accept you right away,
though. C'mon."
   We pull on our door handles
and the cold air blasts into my 
face. The front door opens ahead 
of us, and a tall man walks out
   "Hey, Allison! This is a pleasant
surprise!" He shakes hands with 
Allison, then shakes mine as well.
"I'm Jacob." 
   "I'm Renee." I immediately like
this man. Good choice, Elsie. 
   "Nice to meet you. Come on
inside! No use staying out here
in the cold."
   Our shoes crunch on the gravel
as we walk to the white front door.
A carved sign hangs on it which 
reads: "God Bless This Home". 

The door squeals shut behind us,
then Jacob leads us through an
organized mudroom to a 
high-ceilinged kitchen with 
rock floor tiling and multiple
of everything. 
   "I'll go find Elsie. Help yourself
to the hot chocolate." He opens
a drawer by the stove and a
cupboard above it containing
a wide variety of colorful mugs.
   "Be right back." He smiles, 
and we can hear his leather
boots clunking on the wood 
flooring past the kitchen. 

"Trust me, have the hot 
chocolate." Allison grabs two
mugs. "Elsie and the kids
make it. So good!" 
   "I won't pass that up." 
I smile nervously, my eyes
keep straying to where Jacob
   Allison turns the red tea 
kettle on high, and dumps
two scoops of hot chocolate
mix into each mug. 

Soon the kettle is whistling
loudly. But Jacob still hasn't
returned. I've memorized
every detail in the kitchen.
I've noticed the nearly 
indistinguishable crack in
the wood above the
refrigerator door, and the 
grease stain on the kitchen
   Why is Jacob taking so

   I chew my lip as I wait.
My nervous habit which 
once begun, is hard to 
get control of. 

I check the oven clock. 
It's been six minutes since
Jacob went to find Elsie.
Maybe she doesn't want 
to see me. Maybe she's
not up to seeing people.

The 'maybe's' roll around 
in my head until Allison 
interrupts by tapping on
my mug. 
   "It's getting cold." 
She smiles, carefully
looking at me. 
"Sorry." I apologize, 
bringing the mug to my
   "I'm sure Elsie's just
busy or something. 
Don't worry." 
   Right. I'll believe it
when I see it. 
you're probably right." 

The kitchen disappears
as I get pulled into a 
   "Here's a flower for your
hair." I feel a thin stem
slide behind my ear. I touch
it gently with my fingers. 
The softness of the petals
tell me that it's a rose. 
"What color?" I ask.
   "Pink. There's a whole
bush of them down by the
   I turn around, and am 
greeted by a faceless 
girl, who giggles. 
   "You look like a fairy." 
"Thank you madam." I bow.
We laugh, and the kitchen
comes back into view. 

"Hey, you alright?" Allison
nudges me. I startle, and
jerk the mug. A dark, wet
splotch forms on my t-shirt. 
"Sorry, Renee." Allison grabs
a napkin and hands it to me.
   "I-it's fine." I stammer, 
hastily scrubbing at the stain. 
   Firm footsteps approach.
I look up expectantly. 
Butterflies flutter in my 
   Jacob looks apologetic. 
"I'm sorry, Elsie doesn't feel
like seeing anyone today. 
I'd be glad to find one of 
the kids to take you horseback
riding, though." He looks
around as though one of
them might pop out from 
behind a pillar. 
   One did.

A dark-brown haired girl
steps out from behind the
kitchen pillar smiling wide.
   "There you are." Jacob
grins, then gestures a hand
at me. 
   "Ri, this is Renee. And 
Allison you know. Renee,
this is my youngest, Riley." 
"Nice to meet you, Riley."
   "You too." She chirps 
happily. "Do you want to 
meet the horses?" 
"Sure." I see her eyes dance.
Elsie's eyes. I'm reminded
of times as a girl. Laughing
with the owner of those 
same joyful eyes. 


Well.....I'm going to strive to finish this. I might have an idea, but we'll see.
   Any suggestions are welcome! :)

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  • Made4Love

    I got really into the story, and then it just stopped! I would love to read more! This is awesome! Great job on this, and keep writing!

    over 1 year ago
  • nevaredhp

    Oh my! I love this! The beginning reminds me a lot of Rip Van Winkle. Please let me know when you write more :) There's so many questions left unanswered.

    over 1 year ago
  • AbigailSauble

    @Paperbird - I don't mind at all! Thanks so much for taking the time to read through this! :)
    And yes, I love your suggestions. It is true that I need to explore the possibilities about what internet would be like 30 years into the future. As well as other things. :)
    I think what I have as far as the beginning is concerned adds more suspense...and I'm not sure how a normally-written paragraph in the beginning would exactly work or sound...
    Thanks again!!

    over 1 year ago
  • paperbird

    I LOVE THIS! I read all of it and I found the story really powerful--I particularly liked the way the narrative is told through minutes. As you would say, this is a "WtW must-read." Seriously, it's great.

    This is normally the type of piece I'd review but it's kind of long and it would take a while to highlight my suggestions, so I'm going to comment my feedback instead; hope you don't mind :)
    1. Perhaps you could include something before the story begins. The opening is really great but the later parts don't make as much sense without context. A suggestion: maybe you could have a first paragraph thingy in normal format that lays things out before the poem begins.
    2. Your poem mostly talks about the shifting dynamics in the main character's relationships with others as they wake up in 2058. I like what you have, but it would also be cool if you included other changes the future might hold. You briefly mention Skype and the Internet, but by 2058 things might have evolved completely differently. It would be neat if you gave that a mention.
    3. This poem suggests themes, but maybe you could tie everything together at the end. How much the character has missed, how the passage of time changes a person, etc. to make the poem shine.

    Anyway, as mentioned earlier, I absolutely love this. I hope you continue the series because I will definitely read it. It's a really powerful reminder about time and change and everything is beautifully expressed. Keep writing <3

    over 1 year ago
  • Christy Wisdom

    Oh wow, so much emotion! That was really good so far.

    over 1 year ago