Greetings all. This story won't make a hell of a lot of sense unless you read the philosophy of time travel on the DVD. Even then it might not make much sense. Much like the film itself. Oh well.

Also, for later reference, I know that Gretchen was alive and living at the end of the film. Her place in the story therefore may initially seem inplausible, as may Donnie's actually. Anyway, my point is that their presences shall all be explained soon enough.

Characters from the film will be in this story, although not in chapter one.

One last thing, if at any point it seems that this is getting too much like the film itself, please let me know.


Manipulated

By Richard Paul

Chapter 1: Artifact

Metal is the transitional element for the construction of Artifact Vessels. – From the philosophy of time travel

A loud, high pitched whine sounded in the far corner of Kelly Wyle's room at roughly the same time as the early morning's sunshine fought it's way through the semi-transparent black curtains.

Kelly rolled onto her side in an attempt to shield her eyes from the intrusion of natural light. Her mind refused to return to the warm, comforting state of sleep however, and she groaned with fatigue and exasperation as she realised that she'd have to get up.

"Kel!" Boomed the voice of her father from the room next to hers, "Turn that fucking thing off!"

"Alright!" She shot back at the wall from which the sound had originated; her voice was a fusion of anger and fatigue.

She pushed the quilt away from her and switched off the shrieking alarm before she received another shout from her father or someone barging into her room and shutting the machine off for her.

It was a cold morning. Through her window, which was obscured by the curtain, she could see far more areas of grey then of blue. The cold was also beginning to register in her mind now, and standing amongst the cold air in nothing but her underwear suddenly seemed unappealing.

Hurriedly, she pulled a grey shirt and a pair of surprisingly warm black trousers from her wardrobe, with these items of clothing in hand; she rushed for the shower before anyone else could get there before her.


Roughly fifteen minutes later, she was dressed, washed, cold and starving. She made her way down the stairs quickly and advanced into the kitchen where she found Jennifer Wyle, her mother, sitting at the kitchen table, staring with frustrated eyes at the screen of her laptop computer.

"Morning." She said upon seeing her daughter, "I'm afraid you'll have to sort yourself out for breakfast this morning. There's some leftover chicken in the fridge I think."

Her eyes fell back to the computer screen. Kelly nodded and moved towards the fridge. Pulling out the corpse of last night's dinner, she placed it upon a counter and started to pick what meat she could find from it. After a few minutes, she had formed a marmite coated chicken sandwich.

She took an empty space at the table and began to devour her meal. The bread and cold meat didn't do much to calm her stomach, and she soon went in search of other things that she could eat.

"How's school going?" Jennifer asked, her mind still focused on her work.

"Fine." Kelly responded whilst scouring through a cupboard.

"Are you keeping up with your homework deadlines?"

"Yes."

Jennifer looked up from her computer.

"Are you going to respond with anything other then one word answers?"

"No."

Jennifer remained silent for a while after that, feeling the usual combination of light concern and irritation that typically followed her daughter's vagueness. She seemed to become more and more distant from her with each passing day. Whenever she returned from high school she would vanish to her room and stay there for most of the night.

She's just growing up; an annoying part of her brain repeated once more, Stop worrying.

She shrugged and returned to her work.

Kelly was taking a bite out of a mars bar she had found hidden behind a box of tea bags in the cupboard when she cast her eyes to the clock.

"Shit!" She half shouted, almost choking in the process. She then hastily made her way upstairs, pulled her school bag from the floor of her bedroom and charged back downstairs again.

"See you tonight." She half-shouted as she moved through the door.

"Bye." Jennifer replied, mainly to herself seeing as Kelly was already long gone, charging up the street towards the bus stop where presumably, an absence of people would inform her that the bus had been and gone.


Contrary to her mother's expectation, (what was becoming something of a tradition), Kelly made it to the bus stop on time. She soon found herself moving down a road that was marked with numerous fallen leaves. Most of which had been swept by the wind to the side of the left side of the road or the nearby pavement.

"I mean, who the fuck do they think they are. It was meant to be my day off. My fucking day off. And then all of a sudden they decide that they don't want me to have some time away from work and I find a message on my phone, demanding that I drop whatever I'm doing and waste more of my life toiling away for them. And I can't even say..."

Kelly resisted the urge to roll her eyes as she listened to her friend Elena Harrison unburden her soul. She was, in Kelly's opinion, the apex of paranoia. Whenever someone at school accidentally walked into her, Elena was certain it had been deliberate, and then she was certain that the apology she typically received was forced. Then she'd check her pockets five times to make sure that her wallet; keys and phone were still there.

"Are you listening?" Elena asked suddenly.

"Not really."

"Thanks, great fucking help you are."

"Cramming the word fuck into every sentence isn't going to scare me if that's what you're thinking? And what do you want me to do anyway? Go back in time and demand that the evil 'they' of whom you speak give you the day off you missed. Do you even know who 'they' are?"

Elena was silent for a few moments; she was frequently finding herself being outwitted by Kelly who would normally find some flaw in her arguments or point out that she was ranting. Every single time this happened, she knew that Kelly was just trying to make her sound like an idiot in front of everyone else.

She opened her mouth to say bitch but immediately abandoned the idea. IF she did she'd just receive another insufferably calm explanation about how swearing in times of stress just showed a lack of wit. Kelly always seemed to be un-phased by everything.

The next few moments passed in silence. Then Elena decided that she had been angry at Kelly long enough and went on to describe how her sister kept stealing money from her wallet.


The first thing that Kelly noticed upon leaving the bus was a smear of something white on the grass near the entrance to the school. Telling Elena that she'd catch up with her in a few minutes, she walked over to where the patch of white, expecting to see a discarded crisp packet or something equally nondescript. The only reason that she was going to investigate was so that she'd have a handful of seconds shaved off of the seemingly endless school day.

To her surprise, what she found was a car's registration plate. Or more accurately, part of one. The chunk of metal was charred at one end and seemed to have partially melted, and roughly a quarter of it was nowhere to be seen. The charred end was cool however, suggesting that it had been laying on the grass for quite a while. She could make out the letters F and N, and two fours. Another character was too badly distorted by whatever had caused the plate to melt to be recognisable. The rest were missing.

Another high pitched whine, not unlike that of her alarm clock, told her that school had officially started. Something within Kelly told her that this find was too important not to keep with her. Normally, she would have left the metal oddity where it lay, but today for some reason, she couldn't.

She opened her bag and hastily placed the registration plate inside, and then pushed herself off of the floor and hurried into the high school.

To be continued.