Hard Times for the Time Trippers

Maria Jack


A desperate Decision

"It isn't true! It can't be true!"

Matt Johnson woke up suddenly. It was that nightmare again: it's the last day at Newbridge Middle School before the holidays. He comes home. His parents aren't there. There's a note on the table.

"Dear Matt, Well be home soon, with a surprise for you! Mom and Dad." He remembers what the surprise was - a summer holiday in California. In the next scene in his dream, the police arrive. They tell Matt about the car accident. His parents are dead. Matt feels ill.

The room is spinning. He falls to the floor semi-conscious. The dream switches to the funeral, then the journey to Greenwood to live with his Grandma.

But this time, when he woke up, Matt remembered a strange detail in the nightmare. When he was semi-conscious, there was a face near him, a pretty girl's face, Linda's face. But surely that wasn't possible.

He didn't know Linda then. They became friends in Greenwood, after the accident. He smiles as he remembers their incredible adventures together, traveling back in time, first to the Middle Ages and then to the Wild West. After he met Linda he was happy and his nightmares stopped. But now they are back.

"I must do something!" Matt whispers to himself desperately.

"I'm home!"

Linda Chapman came happily into the house after a Saturday afternoon at the swimming pool. Her mother was by the telephone. She wasn't happy.

"What's wrong, Mom?" asked Linda.

"That was your father on the phone. He wants to see you tomorrow, for your birthday. Why didn't he tell me before? Now I've got everything ready for your party, but if he wants to see you, I can't stop him."

"Oh, Mom!" said Linda unhappily. "I want to stay here with you, Matt and my friends. Dad's always tired and irritated."

"It's his work, Linda, you know how important chat is for him." Linda's mother smiled sadly.

"Don't worry, dear, I'll think of a solution to please everybody. Oh, Linda, Matt's here. He's in your room working on your computer."

Linda smiled. She ran upstairs to see her best friend - but Matt wasn't there!