Yes, I finally updated. God damn you, writer's block!
I looked around the room and blinked a couple of times, just make to sure I wasn't seeing things. But sure enough, there I was, in the old bedroom. There were four beds in the room, two on each side of the room. I could even pick out which bed had belonged to which one of us, the Ghostbusters. Ray's was nearest the door, and the sheets were messy. I remembered that Ray would always jump out of bed and race to the pole excitedly when the bell rang, never pausing to make his bed.
Egon's was next to his, by the window. I could tell that it was his because the blankets were pretty neat, hardly mussed at all. Somehow, he always had time to get up, put on his glasses, pull the sheets together, and get to the pole in plenty of time. Then there was Peter's bed, which was directly across from Egon's, and my old bed was next to Pete's.
I briefly wondered why there were only four beds. Where was Winston's cot? Then I recalled that Winston wasn't hired until October. It was September now. Winston hadn't been hired yet. In fact, the business was probably just barely starting up.
For the first time, I realized that I was still holding the piece of paper in my hand. I looked at it. The image printed on it had changed. Now it was the interior of the Hall of Records. I guessed it was my ticket back once I had finished my business here in the past.
I heard boards creaking in the hallway. I looked up just in time to see someone pass by the doorway. He had brown hair, glasses, and was wearing a lab coat.
I stuck my head out of the room and watched his retreating back. Then he disappeared into another room.
From where I was, he looked the same in feature. Same brown hair, same brown eyes, same wire rim glasses...same big feet, same tall, lanky form.
And yet, I was surprised. The twenty five year margin showed. A lot. I felt like I was looking at my son rather than my husband. I had known that in going back in time, Egon would be younger. But I didn't know that the difference would be this significant.
Focus, Jennifer. You've got a job to do.
I made sure that no one was looking. Then I crept down the stairs.
As I had expected, Ecto-1 was gone. We must have been out on a run. The only person who was around was Janine, who was sitting at her desk, filing her nails. And of course, Egon, but he was upstairs.
Janine had her back to me so she didn't see me. I was starting to wonder what my next step was suddenly, the big green garage doors started to open. I stifled a gasp and silently rushed back up the stairs as the Ectomobile rolled in.
As the driver door opened, I heard a voice I easily recognized say, "Well, another spook for the books."
"Ray," I whispered to myself.
"Yep," agreed another familiar voice, coming from the passenger side. "And another five thousand for the petty cash stash." Peter.
"Is money all you think about, Venkman?" jeered a third voice that had climbed out of the back. This voice was female and all too close to home. I chuckled and shook my head, thinking about how youthful I'd been back then.
"No," replied Peter. I could practically hear the smirk on his face. "I also think about beautiful women, such as yourself."
The younger version of myself snorted. "Why don't you try out your cheap lines on Janine? I gotta take a shower."
"You do that," said Ray, and I heard the slam of his car door as he shut it. "Peter and I'll put the ghost away."
I heard footsteps as Peter, Ray, and younger Jennifer parted ways. I ducked behind a corner as she came up the stairs and into the living area. She started to head toward the bathroom.
I stepped out and exclaimed, "Jennifer!"
The girl jumped in surprise and whirled. "Don't scare me like tha-" she started to say, but then she stopped and looked at me confusedly. She studied my face carefully. I watched her as she looked at me "Who...are you?" she asked.
"Er..." I realized that this was going to take a lot of explaining. "I'm...you." I said dumbly.
The blond girl cocked her hip, crossed her arms, and stared at me, an eyebrow raised. "Eh...what?"
"I'm you. Older you. From the future!" Somebody please put me in a straightjacket right now!
"The future?!" younger Jennifer exclaimed. "Are you insane?!"
"Okay, honey, think about where you work," I said patiently. "Does my story really sound that crazy?"
"Well...no," the girl admitted. "But...how are you here?"
"I hitched a ride with Marty McFly. How do you think?! A time machine!" I exclaimed.
"What?" said the girl, looking confused. "Marty Mc-who?"
"You know, Back to the Future!" I said. "Oh wait. My bad. That movie came out in '85. Sorry!"
"Okay okay," said the young version of myself, holding up her hands. "No offense, but a time machine? That sounds a little too Michael Crichton."
"Okay, then you explain how I'm here." I stared her down. Man, I didn't realize how annoying I was. Maybe Peter was right...did I really just say that?
The girl sighed and took a seat on the couch. "Okay. I believe you."
"Good, because I need to tell you something," I said.
"What is it?"
I sighed and sat down next to her. I could smell a trace of sweat and ectoplasmic residue on her. "This...may sound a little odd."
"Opposed to everything to else that's been said in the last five minutes," said younger Jennifer.
I ignored that statement and continued. "You know Egon?"
"Egon? Sure I know Egon. Strange guy."
I nodded. "Yes, yes he is. But...there's something about him you should know. He...likes you."
The girl stared at me as if I was crazy or something. "Egon? Egon Spengler? The guy with the pompadour and the lab coat? That Egon?"
"Yes, how many Egons do you know?"
Jennifer looked at the doorway leading out into the hallway, then back at me. "Are...are you serious?"
"Egon...likes me?" Jennifer sounded as if someone had just told her that scientist had discovered that the moon was made from green cheese. "But...why?"
I shrugged. "Hey, you got me."
"Why are you telling me this?" Jennifer asked, looking at me sideways.
"Because...I want to save you from a horrible mistake. See, in the future, you're going to get married to Alex," I explained.
"I am?" Jennifer smiled bashfully.
"No! That's not good!" I exclaimed. "Because he's going to cheat on you and your heart will be broken and Egon will be alone until he's fifty!"
The smile was replaced by a scowl and a dangerous eyebrow raise. "Uh, excuse me? He's going to do what?"
"Cheat on you!" I said. "And you'll have wasted time you could have had with Eg-I mean, a nicer man who deserves you!"
"But why are you so intent on me ending up with Egon?" said Jennifer confusedly. "I mean, he's a nice guy and all but...I don't think I feel that way about him."
"Maybe not now," I said. "But if you knew him like I do...just give it some time. As a favor to me. Please?"
"Well...okay," said the girl slowly. "But don't expect anything, alright?"
"Fair enough. Thank you. Now go take a shower, you reek," I said.
The girl got up and walked to the bathroom dazedly. "I guess he's kind of cute..." she was muttering to herself.
I waited until the door shut and said to myself, "Damn, I'm good."
After I pushed my face into the paper, I found myself back in the Hall of Records. "Well, that was quick," said Mother Time pleasantly.
"What happened?" asked Egon.
I shrugged. "Oh, you know. Changed history. No big deal. What did you two do?"
"Mother Time was just explaining to me the theory of time warping and the space time continuum," said Egon. "You see-"
"That's sounds great, let's talk about it later," I said, cutting him off. "We need to get back now."
"Yes, yes, of course," said Mother Time as the lever popped out again. "Brace yourselves."
"You know, we could just walk," I said as I clutched the side of her desk and prepared for the reckless lurch.
Mother Time gripped the lever and prepared to push. "Where's the fun in that?"
After the ride was over, Egon and I staggered back to the portal. "Well, please come again!" called Mother Time. "I never get visitors!"
"Yeah, we'll do that," I said. "Bye."
And then we disappeared back into the neuron splitter.
"Alice, you are an absolute genius," I said, stepping out of the wormhole or whatever it's called. "This machine is amaz-Alice?"
I noticed that the room was empty. In fact, it looked as if no one had stepped foot in the place in years. The furniture was worn and breaking down. Spiderwebs dominated every corner of the room. Dust covered everything like snow. And if I wasn't mistaken, the floor was littered with mouse droppings. Gross.
"What happened?" I said, looking around at the room. "We were only gone-what, an hour?"
"I don't know," said Egon, looking around the room too. "It's apparent that this room has devoid of life for an exponential amount of time."
"That's impossible," I said. "We were just here. Alice was-where is she? Alice!"
But the atmosphere was deathly quiet.
"Alice!" I called again. "Hey, where are you?! Alice!" I looked at the couch where we had sat, discussing the baby. It was covered in a thick layer of dust and the upholstery was rotting away. In some spots, the fabric had been gnawed at by rats.
"Egon, look at this couch," I said, turning around. Then I noticed that something was missing. "Egon? Where's the machine? It just disappeared."
"Jennifer," said Egon from the window. "You need to see this."
"What?" I came up beside him and looked out the window. Then I saw what he meant. "Oh my God..."
It was a view of the street outside. But there weren't any cars driving, which was strange for New York. The streetlight perched on the sidewalk wasn't lit up, in fact, the bulb looked smashed. The building across the street was old and dilapidated. There appeared to be no people out and about. There appeared to be people at all.
But the eerie thing was the sky. When we had come into the building, it had been nighttime. The sky had been dark. But now the sky was lit up like was during the normal, only clouded like it is when there's a storm on the horizon. But the clouds weren't gray.
They were blood red.
"Egon," I said faintly. "What the hell is going on here?!"