Vacant Memory


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I opened my eyes and found myself standing next to a great body of water. I breathed in the fresh air as the wind blew through my strawberry blonde hair. 

Why am I here?

Turning around I could see a red cape cod house behind some pine trees. Before I started walking towards the house, I heard a hauntingly familiar voice call out in the dusk.


Feeling a strange connection to this name and voice I started walking towards the house, and into the back door.

Inside, the only thing that lit the house was the sunlight coming in through the windows. As I looked around slowly the house also was strangely familiar. 

"Nika!" It sounded like the voice was coming from the hallway. 

Slowly, I walked into the pitch black hallway into a room where the light barely shone from behind the curtains. 

"Nika." I heard a voice speak softly directly to my left. I turned suddenly to see a dark figure of a boy standing near what looked to be louvered closet doors. 

"Who are you?" I asked. 

Then I woke up. 

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Chapter 1

A soft mist came from the sky as I walked home from middle school. I loved gray days like these, the fresh air, the crisp breeze, and the cool feel of the tiny water droplets on my skin. 

I looked up from the ground at the people who were also walking to their preferred destinations, and cars racing down the street. 

This is too busy.

"Slow down," I spoke into the air. Looking around I could start to see the cars slowing down, the pedestrians walk slowed, and the rain that fell also became slower. 

That's better.

I had slowed down time. 

I first found out I could manipulate time two years ago in 2020 when I was twelve. After that, I started getting strange dreams of my life before 2019, which has always been very fuzzy for some reason. Whenever I asked my parents why they always said that I got a nasty blow to the head causing amnesia for past events. 

At first, I believed them. 

Then one night I overheard my parents talking together about me that I wasn't truly their flesh and blood and worrying that one day I might find out the truth. Two months later I went to the hospital with my "family". After the doctor and my "parents" walked out of the room, I noticed that the doctor forgot to bring his files with him like he always does. Taking the opportunity I swiftly shuffled through the files. When I found mine it confirmed what I overheard from my guardians was right. All it said is that I was formerly someone else, the rest was in hexadecimal code. I quickly took a picture of the paper with my phone and ran back to my seat, my heart racing.

So who was I? And does this connect to my ability to manipulate time?

The drawn out honk of a car horn brought me back to reality. Walking at normal speed, I made my way towards my bungalow house. I wouldn't want to risk the anger of my guardians for coming home any later than three-thirty.  

"Normal speed," I whispered, as I walked up the steps to the door of my house. I could feel time moving at normal speed again shortly after I spoke my command. 

Walking into the light green kitchen to start homework I saw my "mother" cooking. The medium sized wooden table with painted green legs was placed in front of the window, my "father" reading the Washinton Post on his tablet. I sat on the other side of the table and started working on my algebra homework first.

"Did you stay out of trouble?" my father looked up from his tablet at me. His brunette hair nicely combed back and his green eyes serious. 

I nodded, "Yes," and continued with my homework promptly, I needed to finish it soon.

"Good," he replied and continued reading.

My guardians made little small talk as I rushed through my homework when I finally reached my last subject, biology, my mother, who was also a brunette, asked me a question, "Nikita, would you like your supper in the kitchen or in your room?" 

"My room please," I hastily answered, while on the last three questions.

My mother shrugged, "Fine. It's ready now." 

I stuffed my books and papers into my backpack and scurried to fetch my plate, silverware, and a napkin. Then I power-walked to my room at the other end of the house. 

 First I finished my supper then I took out some papers I had safely hidden in my room, then I walked out the back door towards a red shed my parent's let me use three years ago. 

I let myself inside.  Next, I plugged in the string of light bulbs I had attached to the ceiling of the shed. 

Perfect lighting. 

Then I went to a box on a shelf I had installed in the shed and opened a wooden box with another key and unlocked it, taking out my brown leather journal.

Friday, June 10th, 2022

I am finally ready to search for my true past. After months of secretly learning how to successfully pick locks, hack into computer systems, and break into buildings unnoticed, and decoding that paper I found in the hospital that one day. I can now start my search.

Tomorrow, early in the morning I am going to set out on a subway to Washinton D.C. The paper said that more information was in the Russel Senate Office Building, then to follow that paper to find the rest of the information about me. 

I'm sure I won't be caught, but I am anxious how this is going to turn out in the end. 

I closed my journal and placed it back in the wooden box. Then I took out my other papers which had my plan on it, I was going to make some last fixes before tomorrow.


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Chapter 2

I looked out the window of my room at the twinkling city lights in the night, my plan was finally perfected. 


The twinkling of the light stopped completely and the sounds of the cars rushing through the night stopped too.  Part of me wanted to stay and continue living here never even trying to find the truth, but inside, I knew I shouldn't.


I sat up in bed as time started again, then I ran to my closet and fixed my hair and changed my clothes. Shortly afterward I quietly went outside towards my shed again. 

I wanted to write one more journal entry before tomorrow. 

Opening the shed I heard a gasp, my heart rate suddenly rose as I quickly turned on the light. I saw a boy who looked to be about one year older than me holding my journal, he had light brown hair and bright blue eyes like me, "Who are you?" I asked forcing myself to be calm. 

I must have forgotten to lock the box!

The boy backed away, "I-I-I'm Jeven Metveev." 

I was quiet for a moment. And surveyed the scene, the boy had obviously been reading my journal, but what confused me is why he was afraid of me. I expected him to laugh at me and call me mental for all the things I had written in my journal about me and how I had manipulated and traveled through time. And yet, I could tell he was genuinely terrified. 

 "My journal please," I held out my hand, and Jeven quickly handed it over to me, "How did you get in here?" I asked.

"I can explain everything, just please don't turn me over to the police," Jeven begged.

We'll see about that.

I nodded, "Alright." 

Then Jeven began, "Every summer after I moved from Maine to here in New York my folks send me here to Queens to visit my great aunt. I guess you could say one day I was bored a took a walk around the neighborhood then I came across this shed. I picked the lock of your journal box and started reading." 

You can pick locks too?

I held in my anger, "First, you have no business reading other people's secret writings." 

"True," He looked down. 

"Second, it seems you don't think I'm mental or anything of that sort." 

"Mental?" Jeven looked up at me immediately and pointed to a soda bottle on one of my shelves with the word "Orbitz" on it, "There is no way anyone could have gotten their hands on one of those in such great condition. They went extinct in 1998, you never hear of them now either. You are a time traveler." 

It was a good soda too, fresh from the nineties.

I laughed nervously, "So it seems you believe me." 

"I do." 

"Then I won't turn you over to the police for trespassing if you help me search for my past. Is that a deal?" 




I held on to the strap of my handbag as I stood in the subway station next to Jeven waiting for the subway to take us to Washinton D.C. 

The first part of the plan was to be at the subway station at four in the morning sharp. We had done that perfectly, no one knew we left. 

"Nikita?" Jeven asked, "can you show me some of what you can do?" 

I smiled a little and took his hand, this would let him see what I see, "Slow down," I could feel time slowing as I watched the world move in slow motion with Jeven, "I love to do this sometimes, just watching the world move slowly." 

"This- this is amazing," Jeven breathed, then he pointed towards the subway gradually moving in, "It's here Nikita." 

I nodded, "Normal speed," the subway suddenly picked up speed and stopped to let the people who were hurriedly rushing in, "Let's go!" I called out and ran with Jeven inside the subway. 

After we sat down, and the subway started moving we started talking. I was thankful the others in the subway were loud so we wouldn't be heard. 

"How often do you do that?" Jeven queried.

"A lot, sometimes I've let time be paused or slowed for over five minutes" I replied fingering the zipper pull on my gray active wear jacket, "now I'm going to ask you a question, You said you used to live in Maine why did you and your family move?"

The light left Jeven's eyes, "In 2019, my best friend was kidnapped and killed. After that my parent's decided we shouldn't stay in Maine anymore." 

"I'm sorry," I paused, "maybe I shouldn't have asked." 

Jeven shook his head, "It's okay Nikita." 

I smiled, "Thank you." We continued talking for the next thirty minutes, getting to know each other. I was starting to like Jeven, he wasn't bad. 

"Jeven, would you like me to shorten the ride?" I asked him.

He nodded, gesturing to the subway car, "Go ahead." 

I took his hand, "Fast forward," the people's movement highly quickened, and the sight of the subway tunnel outside the windows became more of a blur. 

"Nikita?" Jeven began as we raced through time, "I really am sorry for snooping into your personal things. Will you forgive me?" 

I nodded and a smile played with the edges of my mouth, "Yes, all is forgiven."  Then suddenly the subway stopping lurching us forward "Normal speed!" I blurted out as time went back to normal. Jeven and I looked at each other, then we started laughing. 

"We gotta do that again," Jeven said between laughing. 

I only let out a few guffaws and vigorous nods in reply, then I noticed a tall man in a black trench coat watching us talking on a phone. As soon as he saw I noticed him he spoke a few quick words into the phone and stuffed it in his pocket. 

"You okay Nikita?" Jeven asked when he saw I had stopped laughing suddenly. 

I was quiet for a few seconds before replying, "Yes," then I gestured to Jeven, "let's go, were here." We both quickly made our way out of the subway, hall and out into the streets of Washinton D.C. Then I looked at Jeven, "Do you remember the plan?" 

He nodded, "Yes I do. We're going to break into the Russel Senate Office building and find the first file." 

"Bingo," I gestured towards the direction of the building, "It's going to open in a few minutes." Jeven smiled as we quickly made our way towards out destination. 



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