The Sleep Traveler – Part 3
Read Part 1 HERE
Read Part 2 HERE
* * *
She hasn’t slept in forty-eight hours. Since Dr. Bruge broke the news to her, all she can think of is the man in all black, the man she is supposed to murder.
She knows she can’t stay awake forever but she’s desperate to try. She would give anything to not be sent back to Chicago. She has tried calling Dr. Bruge but he is suddenly away which is very strange. He is always there for his travelers, especially during hard times.
That evening, Elle finally decides that it is time to sleep. She’ll end up killing herself if she stays on this path. The bed welcomes her and she is out in an instant but she knows it won’t last. Within minutes, she is standing in the same alley in Chicago, only this time, she knows exactly where to go.
She arrives at the clock shop within ten minutes and bursts through its door once again. The man in black is at the counter and he smiles as he looks up at her.
“Hi, I’m Paul. Can I help you?”
Elle panics. She hasn’t planned anything. What the hell is she supposed to say to this man? Uh, hello, I’m Elle and I’ve been sent back in time to kill you. You know, save the planet and all that! You don’t mind, right?
She stares at him until his expression changes from chummy to worry. She finally realizes that her decision has always been made. If her fate is to die for not killing this man, then so be it. She is no murderer, and never will be.
She moves toward the man who appears to be contemplating an escape to the back. She extends her hand and he takes it, though reluctantly.
“My name is Elle and we need to talk.”
Within an hour, she has told him everything. For once in her life, she feels the weight of secrecy being lifted off of her. She doesn’t care if he believes her or just thinks she is crazy. She has told someone and it feels good.
When she is finally finished, ending with the all important fact that she is not going to kill him, she notices that he is simply staring at her. Not in fear, but in wonder. She is about to give up and just leave when he finally speaks.
“You’re actually one of them?”
She can’t believe what she’s hearing.
“I’m sorry? You know about us?”
“Yes! You have no idea. This shop is just a cover. My sister was one of you!”
“Yes. She died a few years ago. She got sick all of a sudden. No doctor could figure out what was wrong. I must admit I went a little crazy after she passed and began studying the sleep travelers as much as I could. I discovered more than I could ever have imagined and I’ve been hoping to find others like her so that I could cure them.”
“I’m sorry, Elle. What you can do is no gift. It’s a curse and it will kill you eventually, just like it did my sister.”
Her head spins as she takes in the information. This is not where she thought this conversation would go.
“Dr. Bruge never told me any of this.”
“You know Dr. Bruge?”
“Of course! He’s guided me all these years. He’s the only reason I know what I am!”
“Is he the one who told you I had to die?”
“Then you may be in more danger than I originally thought. In my research, Dr. Bruge’s name has come up many times. He is a traveler as well?”
“No, he’s just always helped us out.”
“That can’t be right. He appears throughout history alongside the travelers. I’m not 100% positive but I believe he created you.”
“What? Why wouldn’t he have told me, and even so, why would that put me in danger?”
“Because I created a vaccine, Elle. A vaccine that will take away your curse. You’ll finally be safe.”
Elle can’t believe what she is hearing. She’s never even dreamed of it being an option. Sure, she enjoys doing good for the world but the toll on her body is evident and it is only getting worse.
Suddenly, everything begins to fall into place.
“Wait. If Dr. Bruge created us, but found out you had a vaccine,” she trails off.
He just stares, allowing her to work through it herself.
“I’m not supposed to kill you to stop some disaster, am I? Dr. Bruge sent me to kill you to stop the vaccine.”
He doesn’t have to agree with her. He just nods as she starts to cry.
to be continued…
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