Heyy guys :)
Recently I read Elsewhere for English really loved the book. (I actually finished before anyone else in my class)
I had an idea so here it is!
(FYI this is longer than you think it is)
Read and Review
One morning, soon after Lizzie's farewell, Owen woke up suddenly and was already a few weeks old. So that day, at dawn, Betty and Curtis brought him down to the river where he was wrapped in swaddling clothes and sent down to earth to be reborn. He awoke in the arms of Mary Stevens, a new single mother living in Connecticut. "Hello little Jacob," She cooed and held him close to her heart.
It's been 15 years since "Liz" went down the river for rebirth. "Liz" was now Abigail Martin. Her parents were Kevin and Sue and she lived in Medford, Massachusetts. She had a life like any normal teenager would. She went to school, she had friends, she did her homework, and she had a job. Things were normal, except she would always have this weird feeling that she had always been here. Like in another life or something this town was her home.
Today was like any other day. Abby caught the bus in the morning and boring school started, until the new kid showed up. He was a tall young man with short mahogany curls. He wore those sunglasses that only the cool guys wore. The minute Abby saw him, she instantly recognized him, but she didn't know how.
"Jacob Stevens please take your seat, any spot will do. Alright class…" The sound of the teacher's obnoxious voice faded as Abby gazed at the oddly familiar boy crossing the classroom to sit in the seat next to her.
After staring at him for another minute, while trying to put a finger on how she knew him, Abby finally gave up and started to pay attention to the lesson.
"Hey," He whispered. Abby turned to look at him. He had taken the glasses off and looking at his face, he had deep brown eyes and long dark lashes. "I'm Jacob, and you are…" It was like first grade all over again.
"…Abby" She finished his sentence for him and turned back to the board.
"Abby," He repeated as if locking it into his memory.
Then the bell rang. The orderly class jumbles into a mob and rushes for the exit. Briskly, Abby made her way down the hall and turned left into Geometry. The class finished and she headed for her locker. Once spinning the combination and opening the door to the narrow space the Jacob kid from earlier appeared, leaning against the locker next to hers.
"What do you want?" Abby muttered. She was in a rush and didn't need distractions.
"Have I met you before? You seem vaguely familiar." He thought he sounded insane.
"I don't believe so, but I recognize you a bit too. Where are you from?"
"Connecticut." He said.
"I don't understand how I know you; I've lived here all my life and never seen anybody like you before but its like- oh never mind I got to go." She grabbed her books and ran, disappearing into the crowd.
How do I know her? Jake thought to himself. School had ended and he was sitting on the edge of his bed, racking his brain on how he knew this girl, this beautiful girl, Abby. Her image was still in his mind. She had sunny blond hair and seemed to always have some blush on her face when he saw her. The phone rang and he snapped out of his daze.
"Jake! It's for you!" His mother yelled from down the hall. He jumped up and went to answer the phone.
Alvin Hall had had a good life. He laughed, he cried, he smiled, he frowned. But the worst part of it all was losing his older sister Lizzie. Even though they had fought most of the time he still loved her. She had gotten hit by a car almost 30 years ago and thinking of her still hurt him so. In the few years after her death he remembered hearing her voice and saying she was okay. He remembered the sweater incident, when he looked in the wrong closet and the Owen person had told him the right one. Alvin wondered how Lizzie was once in a while but the years past and he never heard from her since Zooey's wedding. Alvin had gotten older; he was now in his late thirties. He met his wife, Sara, through college and they had two children together, Max and Elizabeth (Elizabeth was named after his sister). He had out-lived his parents and attended their funeral in late May. He was the only Hall left.
Alvin had gone on a business trip. He said farewell to his wife and kids and boarded the plane for Arizona. During the flight things started to go wrong. "This is your captain speaking; we are experiencing some bad weather so keep on the alert." The intercom silenced.
The plane rocked and Alvin shut his eyes. "Shit!" He muttered.
Moments later disaster struck and the plane crashed killing all of the passengers, Alvin included.
Alvin awoke on a strange cot, in a strange room. It smelt of sea water and moth balls. He sat up and hit his head on the ceiling. "Ouch." He said, falling back down onto the bed.
"Good god boy, I thought you were dead!" A voice said from across the room. The voice had a Scottish accent and the closer the voice came the stronger smelling scent there was of cigars.
"Where am I?" Alvin wondered.
"Not sure..." The voice said. The lights turned on, momentarily blinding Alvin. Opening his eyes he saw he was in some sort of boat cabin. He got up and realized he was wearing pure white pajamas.
"Do you want to look around?" The man with the voice asked. The guy had a beard, a scrawny figure, and pale skin.
"What's your name?" Alvin asked him.
"George." The man replied, "So do you wanna explore or not, sonny?" With every breath, George wheezed a bit.
"My name is Alvin, Alvin Hall." Alvin corrected the old man.
"Nice to meet you too, Alvy." George turned and headed for the door with Alvin following him they left the cabin to explore. Once leaving the room they entered a hallway with thousands of doors.
"I wonder where we are, George. I wonder why we're here…" Alvin asked.
"I died in my sleep last night so I guess you're dead too." Alvin came to a halt where he stood.
"I'm dead?" He said in disbelief.
"Well lad, I guess so." George patted him on the back and kept walking down the narrow hallway.
"I'm dead? What about my wife? What about my kids? Do they know I'm dead?" He started to hyperventilate.
"Don't get your britches in a twist, Alvy. They'll be okay." George started to hum a bouncy tune.
"How do you know?" Alvin questioned. But George had already disappeared into a large eating hall. Alvin followed him, keeping a few feet behind. "George! How do we know we're dead? For all you know we could be in a dream or something and you're my conscience!" At that, a few heads turned to look at him. The large room was filled with elderly folks around tables eating bacon and eggs with toast. Alvin's eyes wandered around the place. Above the food station, a grand sign read:
WELCOME DEAD PEOPLE!
THANK YOU FOR CHOOSING THE S.S. NILE
AS YOUR TRANSPORTANTION TO ELSEWHERE
Alvin still looked at the sign as he wandered after George. "This must be some sort of joke right? I mean, come on we're on a boat that apparently is going down the Nile River. I must be dreaming!" He had hushed down a bit but people still eyed him. He still was looking over the cheerful welcome. "I mean not that I think any of this is real but, if you're dead, you're dead. Aren't you?" But memories of Lizzie flashed through his mind. "Holy god, so this is where Lizzie went."
"Lizzie? Who's Lizzie?" George asked, finally paying attention to what Alvin was blabbing on about.
"She was my older sister who died in a car crash a really long time ago." He said and sat down next to George who had already filled his plate with everything the ship served.
"I'm sorry to hear about that, lad." George said before stuffing his face with bacon.
"I guess after she died she went to Elsewhere." Alvin thought out loud.
"And that's where we're heading I guess." George said and started gulping down orange juice. After breakfast the two men found the cabin they started in and then there was a knock on the door. Before any one of them got up to answer it, an envelope had been pushed under the door.
"I wonder who that's for," George asked as Alvin stood up to retrieve it. Reading the envelope it read:
Passenger Alvin K. Hall
Formally of Medford, Massachusetts, in
The United States of America
Currently of the S.S. Nile, Cabin 140037,
Alvin rereads the envelope, and then shows it to George. "Well don't just look at the damn envelope, open it!" He says, apparently annoyed. Alvin rolls his eyes and rips open the envelope. Inside he finds a card and a coin. The coin says ONE ETERNIM on the front. Alvin turns the coin over to the backside and sees the words, CURRENCY OF ELSEWHERE. Putting the coin in his shirt pocket he then takes out the card. Alvin reads it:
Dear Passenger Hall,
Your Presence is requested:
"Well this is nice invitation." Alvin mutters. "Do you know where the Observation deck is, George?" He asks.
"Not sure, but if you follow the signs, you should find it." George yawns, "I think I'm going to take a nap." Yawning again, he crawls under the covers on the bottom bunk and instantly starts snoring,
"See you later, George." Alvin says and closes the door behind him. He wandered down the hallways and finally found a sign to the Observation Deck. After climbing three sets of stairs, Alvin reaches a light and airy deck with hundreds of standing binoculars. When finding binocular #156, he takes a seat on the metal stool. Taking the odd coin out of his pocket and shoving it in the slot he presses his face against the ice cold binoculars. At first it was pitch black, then a image popped up. It was at the old church Alvin used to go to. Every pew was filled with people dressed in black. Scanning the scene, Alvin realized it was his funeral.
"I'm really dead." He whispered.
Through the binoculars he saw his wife, Sara, sobbing and Max and Elizabeth in shock. They probably couldn't believe that he was gone. His mother in law was crying next to Sara and you could hear the wheezing, sniffling, and sobs filling the church. The coffin, his coffin, was closed and placed in the front of the church. His good friend, Sam was giving a speech,
"…Everyone who knew Alvin knew he was a great guy. I remember sitting with him at High School Graduation. I remember when we both were accepted to Yale. I remember being his wingman when he first met Sara," Sam's voice started crack a bit from crying, "I remember having the honor to be his best man at his wedding, I was the one who dropped the cake. And today I have the honor of speaking at his funeral. God I miss him." Sam stepped back and left the podium.
Tears started to form in Alvin's eyes when Sara came up to alter. He noticed she still wore her wedding ring; he touched the band that was still on his finger too.
"When I married Alvin Hall thirteen years ago, I knew that I had made the best decision of my life. Alvin was the most caring husband, and father, I have ever known. It pains me when I know that he is gone…" Suddenly, the image of his wife disappeared. He pulled away and kicked the binoculars hard. Peering through the lens again he still couldn't see her.
"Damn!" He muttered, kicking the stand once more.
"Hey! Watch it! Don't kick those binoculars! Just 'cause you're mad at fate doesn't mean you break my equipment!" A woman, a little younger than Alvin, was running towards him. Her short brunette hair was flying behind her and she kept a hold on her trucker cap so it wouldn't blow away. She came to a halt and knelt down to examine the spots where he kicked the binoculars from frustration. "Gosh you kicked this hard. There's a pretty big scratch in this!" She pulled out rag and some black stuff and started to rub at the spots with the scratches.
"Sorry, didn't know." He said sheepishly.
"Sorry?" She stood up, "Hell yeah you're sorry. They told me that I had to make sure that this Observation Deck is spic 'n span throughout this entire trip to Elsewhere and you kicking, and scratching up, this fine piece of equipment isn't making my job any easier. What? You didn't know only one of these eternims only gets you FIVE minutes of what's going on down on earth? Well? Did you?" He's only known this girl five seconds and she's already about to throw punches.
"I'm sorry. I've been dead for only one day now and I just witnessed my own funeral. I kicked your 'equipment' because those five minutes cut off my time to see my wife." He went from being sorry to being annoyed. He then stalked off the deck.
"Wait!" The girl yelled. She caught up to him out of breath. "I'm sorry I didn't know!" Alvin stopped and looked at her more closely. Her short hair was shoulder length and she had taken off the trucker cap. Her hazel eyes were a bit teary from the wind and her chest rose and fell quickly from running. "I'm Nicole." She huffed.
"I'm Alvin." He said and turned to continue down the hallway.
"Where are you going?" She shouted after him.
"Back to my cabin," He said and kept walking.
"It's not really allowed but I'll give you another eternim to see your wife." She said. It sounded to Alvin like a bribe.
"Are you sure?" He asked.
"Sure." She said. Alvin turned around to Nicole back up the Observation Deck. Nicole brought him to binocular #139. She put the eternim into the machine and Alvin watched his wife again. She had returned to her mother's house and he watched her say goodnight to Max and Elizabeth. But it hurt him the most when he watched her cry herself to sleep. The view faded and disappeared again but Alvin didn't complain. Stepping back from the binoculars he looked at Nicole. He noticed she was wearing a plaid shirt with overalls instead of the usual white pajamas everyone else was wearing. Putting that thought aside he got up and thanked her, then started to leave. But she followed him.
"Alvin? How did you die?" Until that very moment, he couldn't remember what had happened but then he did.
"I died in a plane crash." He shuddered a bit. "How did you die, Nicole?" He asked.
"I died of lung cancer. It was second-hand smoke that killed me. Everyone I knew smoked," She took a deep breath, "My dad, my best friend, my fiancé, I was just always by a smoker and one day it just got to me."
"I'm sorry to hear that." Alvin said. He wanted to change the subject, talking about each other's deaths wasn't the best conversation. "So how did you get a job on the S.S. Nile while everyone else is in pajamas?"
"I was old friends with the captain and he promised me that once we got to Elsewhere I could be in charge of the Observation Decks there too. He was testing me here, seeing that I was up to it. That's why I made a big deal about the scratch before, sorry." She said.
"It's fine. I ended up seeing Sara again through those binoculars anyway." Alvin said.
"The ship should reach Elsewhere tomorrow. So I'll be starting my avocation soon. So, do you know what you'll be doing?" Nicole asks.
"Not sure, what kinds of avocations are there? Well actually what are avocations?" He asked.
"They're kind of like jobs but it has to be something you like."
"So how do you know all this stuff?"
"As I told you before, I'm old friends with the captain. So he told me about most of the things you can do in Elsewhere- "
"There you are Alvy!" George yelled from down the hall in Cabin 140037. He walked out into the hallway to greet him. "I've been lookin' everywhere for ya! Oh! Who's this?" He nodded towards Nicole.
"I'm Nicole." She extended her hand. George grasped her hand and with both of his hands shook it. "Nice to meet you…" Nicole started.
"George, I'm George. I'm Alvy's roommate." George said happily. He turned to Alvin. "You know Alvy; I've been looking all over for ya."
"Yeah George, we better get going." George let go of Nicole's hand and let Alvin lead him back to the cabin.
"So when will I see you again?" Nicole asked Alvin.
"I'll meet you at the Observation Deck before we reach Elsewhere." He said.
"Okay, see you tomorrow." She said winking at him and turned to walk back down the hallway.
Once she was out of hearing range George whispered to Alvin, "You like the little lady, don't 'cha?" But instead of answering, Alvin only rolled his eyes.