The Way Time Works (Part 2)
Chad, Age 13, Goshen, KY

Jimmy awoke to find himself in a bed with a wet rag on his head. In the shadows he could make out a figure pacing around nervously.

"You awake?" a man said, wielding a gun in his right hand. "It's time to die," he said with a laugh. He walked past the window and light caught his face long enough to make out who it was. It was the man that was on the horse.

"I never got your name," Jimmy asked without a drop of fear in his voice.

"Um.. Jeff," the soon to be executioner of Jimmy said hesitantly.

"Good to meet you a Jeff, my name is Jimmy," Jimmy said as if he didn't have a care in the world. "May I ask why you are going to kill me, and why you went through the trouble of saving me in the desert and even put a wet rag on my head?"  Jimmy asked.

"Well that wagon you shot didn't have gunpowder in it, it had 1.2 million dollars in gold. My gold. So I thought if you were dead you couldn't tell me where the gold is, so I revived you," Jeff said angrily.

"I sure am sorry Jeff, but I can't help you."

"I didn't think so. So I am gona kill ya," Jeff said.

"One last question. Why is there a rag on my head if you are going to kill me?"

"Well I like to fix up my victims real nice before I kill 'em."

Just then a beautiful young women walked by the window.

"Who is that?" Jimmy asked eagerly.

"That is my no good neighbor who is always snoopin' around here," Jeff said.

"You think before you kill me I can meet her? You know, like a last request."

"Well I guess every man should die happy, even if he stole my gold," Jeff said almost too kindly.

Unknown to Jimmy, Jeff was planning to kill his annoying neighbor along with Jimmy, and maybe Jimmy would tell her where he had hidden the gold. Then Jeff could make Emily tell him where Jimmy had hidden the gold. Even if Jimmy didn't know where the gold was he would still have an excuse to kill Jimmy and the annoying neighbor.

Jeff disappeared out the door of this dark looking cabin. Jimmy could feel the revolver in his belt. His hands were tied but he managed to slip one out to grab hold of the gun. Jeff brought the young woman in. Jimmy thought she must have been about 23 years old. Surprisingly Jeff let them talk and move about the room freely. 

Over the next week or so Jimmy and Emily became really close. Maybe Jeff was busy, or maybe he did care about other people. Whatever the reason he let them spend time together they knew that they both had to enjoy it, because eventually it would come to an end.

One night when Jimmy and Emily were talking, Emily said something about how she had lost a gun.

"What did it look like?" Jimmy asked.

"It was silver, and it was well...."Emily said then hesitated.

"Go on," Jimmy said.

"It let people time travel," Emily said embarrassed.

"You won't believe, me but I am from the future. I used a gun like that to get here."

"Do you still have it?" Emily asked excitedly.

"Yes it is right here." Jimmy pulled out the gun. It glistened like the ocean in the soft moonlight.

"You do have some ammo don't you?" Emily asked.

"Yes, there are two bullets it the chamber." Jimmy commented.

"That's only enough for one trip to the future," Emily said sadly.

"What? I have two bullets," Jimmy said disappointedly.

"One bullet sends you to the future the other to the past," Emily said with a tear on her cheek.

The one thing they knew was that the bartender had something to do with it. Emily had seen him too. The bartender had a plan for them. He didn't know if they would actually meet, but if they did he knew it would bring happiness back into both of there lives.

Just then Jeff burst through the door with his gun in his hand. He took Jimmy outside and chained him to a post. "Time's up. I am going to kill you now," Jeff shouted.

"No!" Emily screamed.

Emily ran at top speed and Jeff took aim and fired. Jimmy closed his eyes but he felt no pain. Then the pain came not in the form of a flesh wound, but rather one to his heart. Jeff had shot Emily. She lay sprawled out on the dirt. Anger built up in Jimmy. Jimmy kicked the post and it snapped like a twig. He pulled the chains of the last half of the post. Before Jeff could think, Jimmy hit him across the head with the chains. They say you could hear Jeff's neck crack for miles. Yet somehow Jeff had survived that blow. Maybe this was a part of the bartender's plan as well.

Jimmy ran over to Emily and held her.

"At least we don't need to decide who gets to use the last bullet to return to the future," Emily said blood dripping from her mouth. She coughed and said "I love you. We will meet again."

Jimmy cried as he held Emily's motionless body close to his chest. He kissed her on the forehead and said, "I love you too, I will always remember you."

Jimmy didn't have much time to do anything but turn around, as he felt his gun leave his belt. Two shots were fired, one from Jimmy's own gun that hit Jimmy and the other from a gun in Emily's hand. Both Emily and Jeff died that warm night. But again there were the swirling colors and then darkness.

Jimmy fumbled around in the darkness until he found a light switch. He was in his apartment. Was it all a dream? Jimmy thought to himself. 

A knock on the door disturbed Jimmy's train of thought. He wearily walked over to the door and opened it a crack to see Emily standing before him. Jimmy was overcome with joy. He ripped open the door and embraced Emily. Emily kissed Jimmy and they went for a long walk together.

Down the street in an old rickety bar sat John, an old man with a smile on his face. "You did good," John said to himself with happiness and a touch of pride. John got up and walked out of the bar with a smile on his face and a song in his heart. He knew his plan had worked. Now he would go find someone new that needed to be helped. Maybe Jimmy and Emily would also pass the gun on to someone like themselves, people whose lives weren't on track.

As it turned out Emily had moved in next door to Jimmy. Jimmy had been popped back into place. Jimmy never spoke of his family to Emily because he knew one way or another his emotional cocktail could be shaken or stirred. Jimmy had finally let go of his past, even though it took one heck of a trip to get things in perspective. When Jimmy and Emily went home they found the wagon in Jimmy's living room, and yes it was filled with gold. But all of the gold in the world was of no comparison in value to the lesson Jimmy and Emily learned that night: Your life is what you make of it. You can't change the past but you can always make a new ending.

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