Elapsed Time
Shiloh Watts 6/1/2009

Lauren is a dedicated scientist, driven by the loss of her younger sister. Her coworker and mentor Kevin has developed a machine to give them both a chance to change life for ever. Too bad, it gets in the wrong hands; Lauren is forced to make a devastating sacrifice.


To My three girls


Lauren and her coworker Dr. Kevin Shaffer have always worked on projects together. Kevin is more like a father to Lauren then a coworker. When she broke up with what she thought was the love of her life, it was Kevin who picked up the pieces. Kevin had dark hair and blue eyes; he was about six years older then Lauren and had three plus more years experience working in the lab. His experience didn’t make him arrogant; he was always there to help Lauren when ever she needed him. Lauren was always coming up with new vaccines for life treating

4 diseases. Her drive comes from her own devastating loss of her younger sister Marissa to a horrible disease. One night just before shutting down and going home, Kevin pulls out a stack of papers. Impatiently waiting for Lauren to finish what she was working on. He took a seat at the end of the long black table she was working on. His restlessness was starting to get the best of him, he knew she wanted to finish her work , and just about the time he was ready to jump out of the seat like a five year old child waiting for his mother to get off the phone, she turned around to see him waiting for her.

5 “Hang on let me just add the finishing touches on this and I will be right with you.” Lauren held her breath as she poured another blue flammable liquid in to the tiny test tube, and with a sigh of relief she placed it in the fridge next to Kevin, she was done for the night. That was Kevin’s chance and he took it. “I have something to show you”. Said Kevin “What is it? “ She turns off the light on her microscope and walks over to him. Kevin trying to tone-down his excitement pushes his glasses closer to his face.

6 “This will change life as we know it. Think back isn’t there something you want to go back and change in your life?” “Sure, I would like to go back and not take that loser Paul to the Christmas party. Who knows I might have snagged one of those high rollers setting on the stage.” She laughed as she leaned in to get a closer look at Kevin’s plans. “Ok ha but seriously, what I am about to tell you may sound off the wall but hear me out. Ok, it’s a time machine.”

7 He took a deep breath, waiting for some smart remark to surface, but nothing did, Lauren just looked stunned. She was use to him coming up with things no one else could imagine, but this was way out there. “Will you help me make it possible, Lauren you’re the only one I know that will stand behind me and my crazy ideas.” Lauren couldn’t help but laugh. She believed in his Ideas sometimes he could perform miracles when all hope was lost but she would never admit it. “Between you and me I don’t really believe in your crazy ideas either,

8 but it makes you happy. Yes I will help you.” “One thing though I don’t have any where to work on it so I was….” Lauren jumped in. “Yes, you can bring it to my place tomorror morning and we can work on it in the garage.” With that being said she grabbed her coat and waited for Kevin to get his so he could walk her to her car. It was a habit that Kevin started when she first began working at the lab. He insisted on it and instead of arguing with him she just went along, and it’s been like that every night since. It was

9 the same routine they lock the big gray solid door behind them, make that long walk down the hallway to the dimly lit parking lot, and too their cars. She often thought he was a little to over protective. He has this whole routine. First she stands away from the car while he checks under it. Then he looks in the widow at the back seat to make sure no one is hiding in it, the gentle men in him opens the door for her and holds her hand while she steps in. Just like a driver would help a world famous star, as they stepped in to the limousine. Kevin always had a way of making her feel like a queen.

10 As she was driving home she couldn’t help but imagine what it would be like if they did have a time machine. She would be able to go back and erase some of the mistakes she made throughout her life. She has made a few; one mistake was not going to her last family reunion. She didn’t have much use for most of her family but, she did like her older cousin Mike, she didn’t think he would be going to it, so she decided not to go and the next thing she knew, Mike was calling her wondering why she didn’t show up. Now it’s going to be two or three more

11 years before she will be able to see him in person because he lives so far away. Near the end of the drive home and the time she opened her door, her sarcasm and care free daydreaming turned to realization and wonder. She tossed her keys on the desk and briefly stared at the picture next to where the keys landed. Her eyes started to swell with tears; slowly she reached out to pick the picture up. The tears were starting to run full force down her face. It was a picture of her at nine years old; swinging on a porch swing, standing behind her was her younger sister Marrisa holding a worm

12 over her head. Her younger sister was always doing stuff to her. Like the time they were swimming in the pool at school and Marissa snuck up behind her and pulled Laurens bathing suit down. But no matter what, they loved each other. There was nothing they wouldn’t do for one another. Unfortunately Marissa’s life ended before the two of them could graduate and work together as scientists, a plan they hatched in middle school. Now all she had left of Marissa are faint, distant memories. She takes the picture upstairs to her room holding it close to her heart. If I could change anything, it

13 would be to have you back, now I have the cure but I don’t have you. She thinks to her self as she places the picture on the night stand and reaches to turn off the light. She falls asleep with tears in her eyes. The sound of the door bell interrupted the bizarre dream she was having, about a dog who could talk and a horse that kept running in front of her. Just as she was about to have a head on collision with the horse the ringing of the door bell saved her. When she grasped what it was she leaped out of bed, ran to the bed room door and yelled for him to wait a

14 second. She rushed to get dressed then ran down stairs to see Kevin standing at the door waiting. “I picked up all the supplies on my way over.” Said Kevin “I will make us some coffee if you want to go set up in the garage” Lauren replied with a big yawn, she just couldn’t be as bright eyed as Kevin without her morning coffee. Once they started working, it was only a matter of days and the machine was finished. It was Kevin who was designated to try it out. He hesitated a little before fully setting down on the cold steel bench. Lauren

15 shut the door and took a step back, thinking this would never work, but secretly crossing her fingers in hopes that it would. The time machine started to spin and make a bunch of loud bangs, oh no she thought it’s going to blow, and then it disappeared in front of her eyes. Lauren stood their mouth wide open in shock and when she finally got her movement back she gasped, “Kevin, Kevin are you here.” There was no answer. Kevin was having the time of his life, he turned the time machine back to when he started college, he regretted the fact that he didn’t take the

16 opportunity to get his work published and recognized when it was offered to him by one of his professors. So the chance was set before him and he took it, carful not to let any one see him he walked in to the professors office and wrote him a note saying he had permission to publish his work, knowing the professor would do it right away, he was after all one of the professors favorite students. Feeling accomplished he ran back to the time machine to return to his time with his early work published. Smoke appeared behind her, she turned around to see Kevin shaking

17 and staggering out of the machine he looked almost as if he was going to have a heart attack. “It works, it works! Lauren, jump in you have to try?”Kevin could hardly catch his breath. She looked at him the way she always looks when one of his ideas actually works. “Oh no who knows where I will end up. What if I broke down, in another time, I would be stuck there hopping your crazy butt would be able to make another time machine to get me”

18 “Isn’t there something that you have always wanted to do?” Lauren opened her big brown eyes and took a deep breath “There is something I need to do. I want to go back and save my sister.” I want to inject her with the vaccine she never received. “ Kevin just stood by looking shocked at her request; he let out a big sigh “You know no one has ever done this before I don’t think ...” She stopped him before he could say anymore. “I am going and that’s it.”

19 “Ok, Just let me get a vile of the vaccine out of my bag, it’s in the car.” Kevin came back in and tossed her the vaccine. She slipped a white lab coat over her slim body, and pulled her long brown hair back in a ponytail, to look like a doctor at the hospital her sister was at. She then slipped in to the time machine. I can’t believe I am going to change history, can I seriously bring her back. Her thought was interrupted by the loud noise as the machine started moving. It felt much like one of the rides at the county fair except, she had no Idea what was going

20 to happen, and all she wanted to do was get off the ride. Then just a few minutes later the machine came to a stop. She waited a couple seconds more, and then slowly opened the door. It worked she was standing in the parking ramp at the hospital behind two large structures that hid the time machine well. She opened her pocket and pulled out the vaccine to make sure it was still good. Putting the vaccine back in her pocket she ran for the elevator . It felt like an eternity in the few seconds she waited for the elevator doors to open. When

21 the elevator did come to a stop she sprinted out. Lauren rushed to Marissa’s room she was going so fast that she didn’t notice the young boy she almost ran down. It was a young Dr. Fletcher, maybe fifteen or sixteen. Dr. Fletcher was One of Lauren’s associates, however she didn’t trust him. She always thought he was an arrogant suck up. She might have noticed it was him if she had stopped to look at the young man before making a dive for Marissa’s room. When she reached Merissa’s door she slowly opened it trying not to

22 make any noise. Half of her wanted to turn back. she didn’t know if Merissa would know her, She didn’t know what to expect the last time she saw Marissa it was at her funeral, and now she was going to see her alive again. “What am I doing, this is wrong” she said talking to reflection in the glass. But she carried on, with the young Dr. Fletcher watching her through the window. Merissa was too frail to even lift her head, Lauren almost broke down in tears, but she managed to put her self back together. She reached for Marissa pale arm and pulled out the syringe.

23 “I hope this works but, if I fail I want you to know how much I love you. I never got to tell you.” She turned to leave but took one last look to see Marissa mouthing something she thought she heard her name. “If this works I’ll be seeing you soon “she left the room almost hitting the young Dr. Fletcher in the face with the door. The time machine was so well hidden; she had a hard time finding it herself. so after taking a quick look around to make sure no one could see, Lauren made her get away. Unfortunately young Fletcher followed

24 her and saw the whole unforgettable exit. Lauren returned home to not only Kevin waiting for her but Marissa to. The vaccine worked. Lauren jumped out and wrapped her arms around Marissa so tight she almost strangled her. Marissa just looked at her funny. Marissa scrunched up her face and shrugged her shoulders at Lauren. “Let’s go get something to eat I’m starved, it’s like I haven’t eaten in a century.” It was like nothing had happened and Lauren didn’t really know what to say so she and Kevin

25 agreed it was defiantly time to get something to eat. While the three were eating, Lauren glance over the other side of the room, setting beside the bar was Dr. Fletcher. He noticed them sitting at the table. He casually walked over to them with a bottle of wine. “So what are we celebrating tonight?” asked Dr. Fletcher as he smiled at the two women and then maneuvered between them. Lauren just scowled at him but Merissa was taken in by his charm. The two of them talked like they worked together for years. Dr. Fletcher asked

26 how their project was going. Lauren took a sip of the wine he brought over then responded “Oh its nothing special just the same old thing and this isn’t really the right place to talk shop, if you will excuse me I have to be at work early tomorrow.” Lauren reached for her purse she nodded to him as she got up to leave expecting every one to follow her lead. Marissa remained in her seat “I don’t have to be there early “She smiled back at Dr. Fletcher. “Well if you want to stay out a little longer I will be happy to bring you

27 home latter, that is if your sister doesn’t mind.” Although he knew it bothered her it was obvious. Lauren not wanting to make a scene just put on her fake half smile and walked away with Kevin. Dr. Fletcher and Marissa stayed behind and by the end of the night Dr. Fletcher had Marissa enchanted. “So tell me about this project, it’s a time machine right” asked Dr. Fletcher. “Look I like you but my sister would never forgive me if I told anyone about it. “ “Marissa do

28 you remember what happened to you when you were sick,” He paused for a moment to see what her reaction was. “Yes I was sick and near death when some how I was saved.” He sat up straight in his seat and poured more wine in to her glass, then he gracefully handed it back to her . “I was there Merissa I was sixteen but I remember everything.” I remember you going in to the hospital and I remember your parents and your sister standing by your side.” “I also remember seeing your sister at the age she is now, walking in to your room. “

29 Do you know how much money a person can make doing what she did, no to mention the lives someone could save. “ Merissa stopped a waitress to inquire about her bill, in an effort to avoid the conversation. She knew he was waiting for an answer by the way he was looking at her. “Ok yes Lauren was the one who saved me, and yes there is a time machine.” Dr. Fletcher looked in to Marissa’s big brown eyes and reached for her hand. “Can you help me build one.” if you do imagine all the people we could

30 save with our own vaccine, we could even start our own drug company. We would have the vaccine before any other pharmaceutical company. “The thought of her having so much money, made her chuckle inside. “Ok l will bring the plans to your house tomorrow afternoon. “ The next day Merissa waited for Lauren to go to work and then she snagged the plans, and headed over to Dr. Fletcher’s house. Dr. Fletcher was in his garage when Merissa walked up the driveway. She placed the plans in front of him and circled the garage looking at all of the equipment; he had his own

31 lab right in his garage. He opened the plans and started gathering the supplies. He started putting every thing together; Marissa marched over to help. It only took a few days for the two to implement their plan they were going to go back in time and give vaccines to people who needed them, the problem was Dr. Fletcher figured if he got more people sick then he would make even more money. Unfortunately not everyone could afford the vaccine. Marissa was so in love with both Dr. Fletcher and the money they were making she didn’t care that they were essentially killing people.

32 Lauren suspected they had a time machine. When people started missing from Lauren’s everyday life, Lauren knew what was going on, she confronted the two. It was hopeless their scam had killed thousands, and people were disappearing every where. Nether Dr. Fletcher or Marrisa had any intention of stopping. Something had to be done and it was Laurens mess to clean. The only thing she could do was go back in time and stop herself from saving Marrisa. Mournfully she stepped in to the time machine and it made a vast array of sound that she

33 didn’t seem to hear, it was like she was on auto pilot. The next thing she knew she was at the hospital and watching her self walking towed the elevator. “No stop I can’t let you save her, its not going to turn out, please wait!” The old Lauren stepped out of the elevator “what are you talking about how can you ask me not to save her.” “It’s not meant to happen, if it was I wouldn’t be here, let her go please.” Old Lauren pulled out the vaccine, for a second she thought about

34 running back to the elevator and going to save her sister, but she knew that something had to have happened and so with great regret she smashed it on the ground. Both Lauren’s returned home in tears. Kevin was waiting for her. He opened the door as she fell out crying he was there to catch her. “We have to destroy this machine no one can get a hold of this.” Kevin agreed, and together they smashed it. ” No one should mess with the past, look how many people would

35 have died because of my own selfishness.” After taking the machine apart Lauren without saying a word proceeded up to her room. Kevin wanting to stay to make sure she was ok decided it was best to leave. She was able to restore everything. Everything was right except Lauren who lost her sister for the second time.