The Prodigy: Part Twenty-One

This is the twenty-first part of a fiction serial, in 766 words.

When the eleven year-old Emily returned to the room, Roger had made up his mind to ask her something. As soon as she sat down, he asked her if she had some idea of asking him to be a guardian.

“I can see why you might think that, but I have a very different offer in mind for you. It is something that has only been done a few times, and it must be approached with great care. However, in the last few months I have come to the conclusion that you would be a perfect candidate. As far as Delia is concerned, she will indeed be offered the chance to become a guardian. In fact, she will be asked to become my guardian. Yamada has been requesting a return to America, and we have a project for him in Califoria that he is most suited for. If Delia agrees, she would become my guardian after New Year, before the school starts again.

She hesitated for a second, then lowered her voice slightly.

“It will involve moving location to Edinburgh, as I intend to change to the age of eighteen and attend university in Scotland. I will pay the fees as a private student and Yamada has arranged the sale of some diamonds to fund all that. We also have a house there, so the move north will be easy. I want you to ask her. And I would like you to convince her”.

He was far from sure that Delia would agree, but told Emily he would do his best to sell her on the idea.

“As for you, I think you will be excited at what I have in mind for you. You would become one of the elite, one of the few chosen to travel forward through the portal into our time, and then be able to go back to any time of your choosing. As a History teacher, I suspect that would appeal to you. Once you are in one of the cities of the future, you would receive all the medical treatment necessary to extend your life to at least twice of what you can expect if you stay here in your time. Your life experience in our past would be invaluable, and you would become something like a university professor, refining our knowledge of this period. Does that idea appeal to you? I appreciate it may be very scary to contemplate, but you do not have long to make up your mind. If you agree to go, it will happen on the thirty-first, in a few days’ time”.

When he nodded that he understood, she continued.

“To make it work will require an implant, similar to the type we all have. The portal will recognise someone with that specific implant, and allow travel back and forth in time. This will mean a small surgical procedure that will be carried out by a robotic device that I will bring back through the portal. It is not painful, but it will require that you rest here for twenty-four hours while your brain adjusts. That means that you have to decide soon, and have the implant procedure on the thirtieth. Perhaps it is best if you go back to Delia’s now, and talk it through with her”.

Delia was excited when she opened the door. “I was worried, my love. Come inside and have a drink, then you can tell me all about it”. After giving him a large glass of white wine, she patted the cushion next to her on the sofa, and he sat where she had indicated. For the next hour, she listened without interruption as he told her every detail of what had happened at the lakeside house. She sat thinking for a full ten minutes before speaking.

“Well you wouldn’t have to be gone forever, surely? You could choose to come back at some stage, couldn’t you? I mean, if I am to be Emily’s guardian in Edinburgh, then she will have one of those portal things, and you could come back and visit whenever you wanted. I can understand why you might want to do it, I really can. But you only have three days to make such a huge decision, and we would both have to contact the headmaster and make up some story about why both of us are leaving. Perhaps it is best to sleep on it tonight, and approach it all with a clear head tomorrow morning. Let’s go upstairs, my darling”.

Roger didn’t need to sleep on it. His destiny had arrived.

37 thoughts on “The Prodigy: Part Twenty-One

  1. I don’t know? He’s trading a life with Delia for a life he doesn’t fully understand. I’m wondering if he can come back? That wasn’t part of the deal Emily presented but maybe the plan can be amended. This is really one of your best stories Pete. I know Fraggle would have appreciated a couple of deaths but if you expanded this tale you might be able to appease her! Hugs, C

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks very much, Cheryl. I set out to make this serial ‘death free’. 🙂
      As for Roger, he has spent his life studying and teaching History. Now he has a chance to experience that first-hand. For him, it is an easy decision.
      Best wishes, Pete. x

      Liked by 1 person

  2. (1) Delia will be given a chance to become a guardian. But will she think it a wise decision to become a feathered owl in Ga’Hoole?
    (2) Overheard:
    Roger: “So Yamada is going to be a guardian in California?”
    Emily: “No, he’s going to be teaching the homeless how to play the shakuhachi. But he doesn’t know that yet.”
    Roger: “He’s being bamboozled?”
    Emily: “Yes, but don’t say anything. Just play along!”
    (3) After eating the apple, Eve enrolled in the University of Edenburgh.
    (4) The only downside to living in the underground cities of the future is that Roger is going to miss the nasty London weather. (Well, okay. Maybe not.)
    (5) The robot will have to drill a hole in Roger’s skull in order to seat the implant. It’s a very delicate surgical procedure that requires concentration and self-assurance. This particular robot is known to suffer from ADD and jittery nerves. But it claims that won’t be a problem. “I’ll be in top form after spending the afternoon at the Great British Beer Festival!”
    (6) Delia was excited when she opened the door. “I was worried the hinges would squeak. But I guess the WD-40 fixed the problem!”
    (7) Overheard:
    Delia: “You could choose to come back at some stage, couldn’t you?”
    Roger: “Yes! In fact, I’ve already chosen! The Globe Theatre! I want to attend a play by Shakespeare!”
    Delia: “What? That would be a tragedy, Roger!”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I was thinking about your story last night and concluded that Emily’s future existence is quite likely the only way the human race could survive. It’s creepy but maybe better than total extinction? Not sure. A question I would be dying to ask Emily is about other life forms they may have encountered from outside our universe. Meanwhile Roger…sounds like a plan for him. Not sure I would be that brave! Great story Pete!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Carolyn. Whilst I agree with other readers that Emily’s future would be a dull existence by our standards, it is the only way for humans to survive in her future. The ability to travel back in time would attract me, no doubt about that. As no other life forms have been mentioned, I suspect they never encountered any. (Or perhaps they are the future humans? 🙂 )
      Best wishes, Pete.


All comments welcome

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.