Key to Another World

“No, it’s true. All I remember is going through some kind of door, and then I was in your orchard, and . . .” Sara was trying to persuade him that she wasn’t making up things.

“Oh, yes. One of those doors connected to the apple trees,” Jay was having a good time. “Try a different door next time—maybe you’ll find yourself in a peach orchard!”

Jay thought his dumb joke was hilarious. Sara just groaned.

“I’m telling you the truth, Jay,” she was tired of this fooling around. “I don’t even know where I am, Ok?”

“So, you’re lost, then,” Jay wasn’t about to stop joking yet. “You should have told me that first—I ‘d have called 911!”

Sara ignored him; she didn’t know what he meant, besides. “Listen, I’m sorry I took a little tiny bite out of one of your precious sour apples; now, could you take me back to where I was so I can find the Door?”

“I’m sorry, Sara,” Jay finally stopped laughing. “But you don’t have to be so sarcastic. They really are great apples—when they’re ripe, of course!”

“Now, why do you want to go back?” he asked seriously. “Aren’t your parents looking for you? We could always call them . . .”

Sara interrupted him, “No, they wouldn’t hear. I don’t even know how far away they are anyway.”

Jay was still for a while. “Ok. Let’s just say I’ll believe you—for now,” he glanced at Sara. “You want to go back to the orchard?”

“Yes . . . and, thanks for believing me,” she pondered over her next question. “Why, Jay?”

“I don’t know,” his face flushed. “Probably because . . . oh, I don’t know. Maybe you shouldn’t ask! Otherwise I might reconsider it.” He stood up, “So, let’s go. I’ve got to go to work in a couple hours—this shouldn’t take too long, right?”

She shook her head “no.”

Jay paused before going out. “Think we’ll need anything?”

“Maybe a candle, or a lamp.” Jay looked perplexed, so she explained, “I lost mine in the storm.”

“How about a flashlight?” Now it was her turn to look confused. “Wait, I’ll go get it.”

Jay dashed into the house, leaving Sara alone for the first time. She thought about running away to the orchard before he got back, but she’d grown attached to him. So she decided to stay and wait.

Within minutes Jay was back. In his hand he held a black cylinder. He pointed it at her, and she jumped—more out of surprise than fright—when a bright light beamed from it into her eyes.

“Can it hurt you?” she didn’t think it could, but she was really curious. “How does it work? Is there like a . . . a flame inside it?”

“Slow down,” Jay started laughing, again. “You mean you’ve never seen a flashlight?! It works by batteries—you know, with a lightbulb.”

Sara was still amazed at the new gadget. Jay let her carry it as they walked back up the road to the orchard. He was beginning to have some strange thoughts about this mysterious intruder.

“I bet I know where you’re from,” he wasn’t too serious, but it still struck him as a possible idea. “You’re like from a different time—you know, you’re a time traveller!”

“What do you mean—from a different time?” she didn’t understand what he was hinting at.

“I mean exactly what I said: you went through that Door and went ahead in time to now!” Jay was sure this had to be the answer. That would explain her wierd clothes, though not all the dirt stains on them. It would also explain her curiousity for things he considered normal—like the flashlight—and why she stared at everything, like blacktop road, modern kitchen appliances, and things like that. His mind was working fast, now. If she could go forward in time and later return to her time by going backwards, then he should be able to go back in time too.

They were almost to the exact spot where he’d found her a little over an hour ago, when Sara suddenly stopped.

“Oh, no!” she gasped.

“What?” Jay sounded truly concerned. He turned to look at her face, question marks filling his own.

“We can’t get back in without the key,” Jay didn’t understand, so she further explained. “You need the key to open the Door, but I lost it.”

“Where?” he realized it was a dumb question as soon as he asked it; if she knew where she’d lost it, it wouldn’t be lost anymore!

“I think I had it after I unlocked the door, then I went outside . . .” Sara did her best to remember. “There was the storm, and I fell.”

“You probably dropped it then,” Jay suggested. He didn’t realize how correct he was until later. “But, if you didn’t lock the door, we should be able to still go through it.”

He prayed they’d be able to, but he didn’t know what to expect—Sara had already been through it once, so she was kind of “experienced.” But, this would be his first . . .

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