Sunday, November 2, 2008

Beatrice, Part 3

Bill and Beatrice finally reached the edge of town. The buildings started getting bigger and shinier. Beatrice couldn't believe how everything in the future sparkled with perfection. Every building she walked by, she slowed down to watch her reflection walk with her. It didn't occur to her until it was too late that she shouldn't be able to see her reflection if she was invisible. She couldn't see Bill, he must have invisibled himself, but she was there just as clear as day. While she watched, her reflection bumped into another little girl in the mirrored wall.

"Oh, hi!" the little girl said. "I'm sorry, I didn't see you."

"My fault!" exclaimed Beatrice. "I wasn't even looking. I was watching my reflection."

"Me too!" said the little girl. "What's your name?"

"Beatrice," said Beatrice. "But sometimes people call me Amelia."

"Oh," said the little girl. "My name is Hilary but people always call me Hilary."

"Then, I'll call you Georgina," said Beatrice.

"Um, OK," said Georgina. "Where are you going?"

"We're going to the London Eye," Beatrice said.

"We're? Who else is with you?" asked Georgina. Beatrice felt a nudge at her back and then remembered Bill was invisible.

"I'M going. I mean I'M going. I'm alone," she said.

"Smooth," she heard Bill whisper, only loud enough for her to hear.

"The London Eye, huh? I love the London Eye," said Georgina. "It's my favorite place in the world!"

"Me too!" exclaimed Beatrice. "Do you want to come with us?" There was that nudge again. "I mean, with me?"

"Sure!" yelled Georgina. "Do you mind if we pick up my little brother first?"

"Um, I suppose not," said Beatrice. "Where is he?"

"He's at daycamp, but my mum asked me to bring him home early," she said.

"OK, let's go, then," said Beatrice. "Wait a second . . ."


"If your brother is by the London Eye, why were you walking the opposite direction?" asked Beatrice.

"Oh, that!" laughed Georgina. "I'm hopelessly lost, as usual." Beatrice laughed.

"Well, you can follow us," she said. "I mean me," she corrected, before the nudging started.

"What's your brother's name?" asked Beatrice.

"Bernard," said Georgina.

"Bernard . . . can I call him Bernie?"

"I suppose, but he won't like it."

"That's OK," said Beatrice.

Beatrice and Georgina walked side-by-side down the sidewalk. The sidewalk, much like the buildings, had a somewhat reflective sheen to it. Beatrice could make out a fuzzy-mirror Beatrice as she walked. She could feel Bill's bulk walking behind her, and even sensed the ground quaking a tiny bit with each of his footsteps. Georgina didn't notice the mini-earthquakes, or else attributed them to the huge trucks rumbling down the street. The trucks were all bright orange and said, "Quayfar" on the sides. Beatrice wanted to know what the trucks were carrying and where they were going, but was afraid to ask Georgina. She supposed it looked pretty obvious that she wasn't from the future. After all, she was wearing jeans, sneakers, and a Spongebob t-shirt, but maybe Georgina would think she was vintage. If she started asking obvious questions, though, she'd blow it. She might as well un-invisible Bill.

"Do you like dinosaurs?" asked Georgina. Beatrice almost twisted her head off with the speed she looked over at Georgina.

"What?" she answered. Play it cool, she thought.

"Well, if you like dinosaurs . . . "

"I don't like dinosaurs I don't even know any dinosaurs why would you think I like dinosaurs?"

"Um . . . I just thought you might like to go to the museum up here," said Georgina, a puzzled look on her face.

"OOOOHHHHH," said Beatrice, relief flooding her entire body. "The museeeeuuuuum, of course." She could tell Bill was rolling his eyes at her right now, but he should know how bad she is at lying. Luckily, she was good at covering for herself. Otherwise, her parents would know all about Bill and their time traveling adventures. As much as she enjoyed their trips, she didn't think her parents would be OK with her gallavanting all over time and creation with a purple-vested dinosaur.

"So, no museum?" Georgina asked.

"Well, maybe later," Beatrice said, trying to be breezy. "After all, we have to pick up your brother, right?"

"Oh, of course!" Georgina exclaimed. "How could I have forgotten? I'm always forgetting important things."

"Me too!" said Beatrice. "Once I forgot where I lived. I just wandered up and down the street, looking for our house, but I couldn't remember which one it was."

"What did you do?" asked Georgina.

"I had no choice! I had to go into each house, one by one, to see if that was where I lived," she explained.

"Did you find it?"

"Well, not before some crazy old lady called the police on me," said Beatrice. "I tell you, how rude is that? I tried to explain to her that I was simply looking for my bedroom and she just called me a hoodlum and called the police."

"That is rude!" said Georgina. "Why, how could she be scared of you? You're just a child!"

"Probably because I was carrying my cricket bat," said Beatrice.


"And she was in the bath at the time."

"Oh, dear," said Georgina. Her mouth stayed open in a horrified "oh."

"You don't know the half of it. Old lady in a bath? Gross," said Beatrice. "Also, I had to go to the police station and boy were my parents angry."

"Wow," said Georgina. "You're sort of crazy."

"You don't know the half of it," said Beatrice, and she heard Bill snort derisively behind her.

"Do you mind if I pop into this shop for moment?" asked Georgina. "I desperately need the loo."

"Oh, no problem," said Beatrice. "We'll just wait for you out here."

"We'll?" Georgina said with a smile.

"I mean, I'LL wait out here for you," corrected Beatrice. She really needed to work on her poker face.

Georgina opened the shop door with a jingle and stepped inside. Beatrice watched her walk through the aisles and approach the counter, speak to the shop owner, and walk away from the counter with a key, presumably for the restroom. Beatrice hopped from one foot to another, trying to contain her excitement. Not only was she going to see the London Eye, her most favorite thing in the entire world (except for her parents and Bill, of course, and a hoverboard, should she ever get one), but she'd made friends with a real-life person from the future.

"Psst," said a trashcan. "Psssst!"

"What's that?" Beatrice whispered. Usually trashcans didn't talk to her.

"It's me, you ninny," said the trashcan.

"Oh. Bill," Beatrice said. "What's up?"

"What's up? What's UP? What's UP is you've almost blown our cover SEVERAL times," Bill said.

"Oh, that," said Beatrice. "Really, what IS wrong with me? You'd think I'd never time traveled before."

"You may never time travel again after this," said Bill.

"Bill, don't be cross," said Beatrice. "I didn't mean to, and besides, she doesn't suspect a thing."

"I think we should leave. This is ridiculous," said Bill. "You're bound to slip up even worse at any moment."

"Thank you very much for that vote of confidence," said Beatrice. "But I want to stay. I just made a friend! From the future!"

"You already have a friend from the future and he wants to leave."

"Oh, Bill, you know you're not from the future, you're from the past," said Beatrice.

"Regardless. I have more experience with this sort of thing and I think we should go. Nothing good ever comes from fraternizing with people from the future. You'll only end up messing with their time or our time or God knows what else," explained Bill.

"Bill, I think you're overreacting," said Beatrice. "And anyway, it's too late, here she comes."

"Oh, poo," said Bill.

"Bill, watch your mouth," scolded Beatrice. "Oh, hi Georgina! How was the loo?"

"Perfectly acceptable, actually. Who is Bill?"


"You were talking to someone named Bill?" asked Georgina.

"Oh, no, I was just talking to myself . . . wondering where I'd put my . . . my bills. You know, MONEY. For the Eye," explained Beatrice.

"Beatrice, that's ridiculous," said Georgina.

"What . . . I mean . . . what do you mean?"

"The London Eye is FREE, silly!" laughed Georgina.

"Oh, of course! I completely forgot," Beatrice chuckled. "Let's go, shall we?"

"We shall."

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