A Link to the Past


Chicago, 1918

Third Person POV

"Where are you taking me?" The little green-eyed girl demanded of the middle-aged woman whose hand she was holding. "What happened to my mommy and daddy?"

"I'm taking you somewhere where you can play with other children your own age." The woman replied shortly. "You'll be staying there for a while."

"But what about my family?" The little girl demanded.

The woman looked down at the little girl, and a sad expression passed across her face, but a moment later it was gone. She turned her attention back to where she was leading the little girl without a word.

"Where did the men take my family?" The little girl asked, softly now.

"To the hospital." The woman finally responded, a bit reluctantly.

"Are they going to come home?" The little girl asked. "Will they be alright?"

The woman became silent again.

"I want mommy and daddy and Edward." The six-year old said softly.

"Emma Masen?" A voice asked.

The green-eyed girl looked up from the doll she hadn't really been playing with. It was the same woman who had brought her here; to the Orphanage. She had been here for a little over a week and no one would tell her where her family was, or when she would be allowed to go home. Emma didn't like the Orphanage. The other children didn't seem to like her because she kept talking about her parents and older brother all of the time.

"Yes?" Emma said softly.

The woman walked into the small room and sat down on the narrow bed next to the young girl. "I came to talk to you about your family."

"Are they coming to get me?" Emma asked, looking hopeful. "Will they take me home?"

"They aren't coming." The woman said slowly. She was in charge of the Orphanage, and all of the other children seemed to like her, but Emma didn't. She didn't know why she didn't like the woman; she seemed nice enough…

"Why not?"

"Do you know why they were taken to the hospital?" The woman asked. Emma shook her head. "Your parents and your brother were very sick. They all had something called the Spanish Influenza. They were taken to the hospital so that the doctors could take care of them."

"Will they be staying in the hospital much longer?" Emma asked.

The woman shook her head. "I've just received a letter from the doctors…Emma, your mom, your dad, and your brother didn't make it. They're gone."

Emma looked up at the woman's face with wide eyes. "Gone?" She repeated.

The woman nodded. "I'm sorry Emma."

Tears threatened to run down her cheeks, but little Emma blinked them back bravely. "What's going to happen to me now?" She wanted to know.

"You're going to have to stay here for a while, Emma." The woman said. "There's nowhere else for you to go…"

Chicago, 1936

Emma looked lovingly down at the bundle of blankets in her arms.

"Elizabeth," She said softly, "We'll call her Elizabeth."

"Whatever you want, dear." The man sitting beside her on the bed said.

"After my mother." Emma whispered, tears welling in her eyes.

The man nodded. "I'm sure she would be so proud of you right now." He said, wrapping one arm around his wife's shoulder.

"She would." Emma said, still whispering. "So would dad…and Edward."

Chicago, 1959

"Look, mom," Elizabeth said, placing the bundle of blankets in her mother's arms, "He has your eyes."

"He does." Emma said softly, staring lovingly down at her newborn grandson. "Just like mine. Does he have a name yet?"

Elizabeth shook her head. "We haven't picked one out yet. Do you have any ideas?"

"His eyes…" Emma said softly. "They're just like my brother's eyes were, too."

"Really?" Elizabeth asked, and Emma nodded. "Your brother's name was Edward, wasn't it?"

Again, Emma nodded. "Edward Anthony Masen."

"Then I think I've just found the perfect name for the baby…"

Phoenix, 1982

"Mom? Can you hear me?" Edward asked through the pay phone.

"Of course I can." Came the reply. "I'm not that old."

"Of course not, mom." Edward replied with a grin his mother could not see, but could most definitely hear in her son's tone.

"Was there a reason you called?" Elizabeth demanded. "Or was it just to make fun of your aging mother?"

"Helen had the baby, mom." Edward said, pride leaking through his voice now. "It's a boy."

"That's wonderful, Edward, dear." Elizabeth said. "I'll come out as soon as I can get the next flight, alright?"

"Sure, mom." Edward answered. "Is Grandma Emma there?"

"Always." Elizabeth said, "Do you want me to put her on?"

"Yeah, there's something I want to tell her." Edward told her.

"Hold on…Mom!" Edward could hear Elizabeth calling through the phone. "Edward's on the phone, he wants to talk to you."

"Hello?" Came the familiar voice of his grandmother a moment later. "Edward?"

"Hi Grandma," Edward said, "Guess what? You're now a great-grandmother."

"Congratulations Edward." Emma said joyfully. "I'm so happy for you. I suppose your mother is going out to Arizona to see you?"

"Yep." Edward said. "And you should come too, Grandma. How many times are you going to be a great-grandmother for the first time?"

Emma laughed. "Have you and Helen picked out a name yet? I know you were all set on girl's names."

"Helen wants to name him after me, but the opposite." Edward replied. "Anthony Edward…"

Seattle, 2006

"She's beautiful…" Was the whisper that came out of the new mother's mouth.

"She is." Anthony agreed, looking down at his newborn daughter. "She has Grandma Emma's eyes, dad's too…I just wish they could all be here to see her."

His wife, Kate, nodded her agreement. "Your Grandma Emma lived a good long life; 94 years, I suppose it was her time to go. But that fire…your parents and your Grandma Elizabeth…"

Anthony just nodded.

"We could name her after them." Kate offered. "Emma Elizabeth. I like it; it's a nice name."

"They would have liked it, too…"

Seattle, 2012

"That poor boy, there was just so much tragedy towards the end of his life." An old woman whispered as she sat in the funeral home "First his great-grandmother died, then his grandmother and both of his parents died in that awful fire a few years ago."

"And then his wife died in that accident just a few months ago." Her companion whispered. "He lost everything, except for his little girl. He must have just given up."

"That poor little girl…" The first woman said softly. "What's going to happen to her now? No parents, no grandparents…"

"Poor Emma." The second woman agreed. "She'll probably end up going to the closest living relative."

"I thought there weren't any relatives." The first woman contradicted. "Anthony didn't have any siblings, nor did his parents, nor Kate."

"She had that cousin." The second woman remembered. "A younger cousin…just by a few years…They were actually something like third cousins, but the two of them were close; I remember seeing her at the funeral a few months ago. Maybe Emma will go to her…"