* Winner of the 2017 Story of the Year Award *
Ok, so I’m in this closet in the hospital. The vid’s kind of dark, but I don’t want to turn on the light because somebody might find me. And I have to find Lily first.
I can’t go into surgery without Lily. I won’t. Fireman Jim gave her to me in the hospital after my house burned down. I don’t go anywhere without her. Ever. You know her, she’s my purple rabbit? Yeah, she’s in all of these vlogs.
He left Lily with me, and she was there when I woke up in the hospital. All I could remember was smoke … screaming … it hurt … I was upside down over somebody’s back and out the window OMG … and then everything was black, and I felt this soft thing with one hand, and she was the only thing that didn’t hurt. That was Lily, but I didn’t know her yet.
There was no angel. Julius looked around the sterile, green hospital room in disbelief. The room, he remembered, smelled of disinfectants and latex; he couldn’t smell it now, of course, but his original self, over there by the bed, had locked that smell away in the back of his brain as a permanent reminder of the death of baby Cecillia. It was just as strong in Julius’s memory as it had been that day. He watched as Meg’s tears rolled down her cheeks in silent agony, as young Julius hovered helplessly. The doctor gently folded the blanket over their sweet, sweet baby Cecillia and put his stethoscope back in his pocket. Julius examined every corner of the room, again, but could find no angel. With a final, shuddering sigh, he flickered back to his own time.
Over the next few weeks, every time his name came up on the roster, Julius used his time travel opportunity to go back again. He never saw himself there, except for the one who lived it originally, for the same reason nobody else ever saw him there – each time travel event happened inside its own little dimensional bubble; no time traveler could be seen, or do anything to affect anything in the past. It was a tourist’s dream – or a scholar’s.
Professor Janes, of the history department, visited ancient Rome and stood in the Forum to watch Julius Caesar speaking. Julius Kane visited St. Mary’s Hospital and decided to stand by the door this time while he watched his daughter die.