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August 31, 2017

Fiction: Jane Eerie & The Boy Traveler - part 3

Jane Eerie & The Boy Traveler - part 3
>> Read Part 1, Part 2 <<

Jane Eerie & The Boy Traveler - part 3

The water was freezing. Jane wished she had answered the other advertisement about a caretaker to a cat. At least, a cat would not thought to open books or traverse around the world.

Jane blinked and opened her eyes. She took in a few breathes and then regretted it. There was something putrid in the air. She sat up and found herself in a muddy puddle probably from the water that she brought along when she and BJ fell into the icy pond.

Slants of sunlight filled the room. The ceiling was high much like Castle Howl except this place was not a castle. This place was filthy with peeling wallpapers, scattered old papers, strange objects covered in grime and dust. This was no place for anyone. She turned about the room and there was BJ sitting across from her.

"I misstepped. But do not worry, I know how to get us out of here." He coughed. He was wet and his face was flushed.

"You are not well." Jane went over and sat beside BJ. She rubbed at her clothes to get the water out.

"Yes, that happens a lot when you travel through water." BJ's voice was horsed.

"But how do you do this? How does it work? How could we be traveling like this?" Jane asked.

"I am not sure myself. It just happened. One day, I opened a book to an image of a lake and I wished to go to Japan so I can see the cherry blossoms and when I touched the book, I was sucked into. I fell into a lake when I try to climb a tree and then I was back home. I tried it several times with different books but it only seem to work with water."

"But how does it work?"

"Do you not believe in magic, Miss Jane? It is all magic." BJ smiled a tired smile.

How could Jane not believe when she had been going from place to place in matter of minutes? She shook her head. "I do not know. It all seem...unreal."

"That was my reaction too. I suppose if you have done it enough times, you will start to believe." BJ coughed into his sleeve.

"Where are we? Exactly?" Jane asked.

"My mind is a bit muddled but I think we are New York. My guess would be somewhere in 1980 or 1990." BJ wiped his nose with his sleeve. He was covered in sweat.

"What do you mean?" She looked around her again. The windows were covered in grime but she could make out bits of blue sky and shiny tall buildings disappeared upward and out of view. She had never seen such buildings before. "How is this possible? We cannot be hundreds of years in the future."

"Of course it is possible. Perhaps you need to use your imagination more and focus less on what is real." BJ coughed for a bit. He spat out something onto the floor. He covered in with the faded papers. He rubbed his nose with the back of his hand.

"Is that so? Well, then, tell me how are we to get back to Castle Howl?" Jane crossed her arms. She did not mind the traveling but to be stuck where she did not belong was not something she could handle.

"If you look out the window, there is a bridge not far from here." He coughed again. "We have to get to it." He rubbed his nose with a finger.

"The bridge?" Jane went to the windows and looked through a clean space. There was a long bridge with towers a few distances away. "That bridge?"

"Yes, that is the Brooklyn bridge. We have to jump from it."

 Jane sat back down beside BJ. "Jump off a bridge? Are you out of your mind?"

"Just a little bit. Have you not ever try to lose your mind?" He smiled at Jane and Jane thought she saw something gleamed in his gray eyes. "The bridge is our only chance. But I have jumped off them a few times."

"What? Jump off a bridge?"

BJ nodded his head. "Yes." BJ staggered up and leaned his hands on the wall for support. "We need to go now."

"But you are unwell." Jane stood up. She reached out a hand.

He brushed it away. "We have no time. The longer we stay, the worse it is for us."

"Why? Why does it matter how long we stay?"

"Well, the longer we stay here, the more people will discover us and they will ask questions that we could not answer without sounding like lunatics and besides but do you really want to stay here?" BJ walked slowly toward the door and pulled it open. The scent of incense mixed with coffee came toward them.

"No. I do not." Jane was glad for the change of air.

Outside, the air was warm but the sun hid behind the cloudy sky. There were a lot of voices and vehicles everywhere. Jane missed being in a quiet space. There was too much noise here.

BJ walked faster. "We must hurry."


By the time BJ and Jane made it to the bridge, it had grew dark. The entrance to the bridge had a sign on it: Closed for Renovation.

"What now?" Jane turned to BJ who coughed into his sleeve.

"Come on then, there is no time." BJ bended and walked under the chain. Jane followed him.

Moments later, they were at the center of the bridge or as center as could be. Down below was the water - murky and threatening. The wind kicked and brought in cool air. Jane shivered. Though her dress had dried while they walked, she wished for a warm bath and to crawl into the bed she had not slept in in Castle Howl. She realized as they were walking the streets, she was wearing clothes that covered all of her while the passerbys reveal a lot of skin. She was certain no one in her time would approve of such clothes.

"Shall we?" BJ held out his hand toward the water. He was appearing more and more grownup. BJ climbed up quite easily onto the cylinders and stepped over them to a smooth space. Jane followed slowly, careful not to move too quickly. She faced the water and the wind whipped at her. She held onto one of the poles that were attached to the cylinders.

"You two, stop right there!" It was a man in a light blue uniform. He was waving a black baton in his hand. He moved toward them rather slowly.

Jane turned to BJ. "We must jump now unless you like being arrested." His voice had gotten a bit raw.

"Stop right there!" The policeman was coming closer.

BJ grabbed Jane's hand and pulled her along as he leaped.  Jane closed her eyes just before her feet hit the water.

Jane lost her grip to BJ's hand. But as she struggled to breath, she thought this was not a good way to travel the world. She opened her eyes but all was dark. She blinked and then she was on solid ground. There was the garden frozen and covered in snow. Then there was Castle Howl in front of her - tall and gray. Jane wiped away her wet hair from her face. She looked around her. BJ lay on the ground pale and shivering. Jane called out for Mrs. Dish who must have been waiting for them for she appeared quickly and she covered BJ with a blanket and there was an old man dressed in a black coat which Jane believed to be Mr. Wick, the gardener. Mr. Wick picked BJ up and carried him into the castle.

Aside from her bruised ankle, BJ caught a terrible cold and had to stay in bed for a while. Jane's traveling ended that day for the time being.

I'm participating in the 10 Days of Heat Writing Challenge and today's theme is 'New York, New York.' To visit other bloggers participating in the 10 Days of Heat Writing Challenge, go here.
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