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The Loop

It was a pleasantly warm day for late March. The crocuses had already bloomed in the outskirts of the park. Over the past month, after most the snow had melted, Hayden Beresford had gone around the neighborhood asking if anyone needed leaves raked or lawns mowed, doing this he earned just enough money to buy himself a new longboard. He was meeting his girlfriend, Suzette Kisler, in the park to study for their upcoming biology test. As he rode up to the sheltered picnic tables, a heavyset man with a long black beard and bright blue eyes got up from a table and walked away. Shortly after Suzette’s blue Jeep drove up to the curb and the passenger side door opened. Out came his younger sister, Amaka, with all three feet of her brown curls. She was Suzette’s bestfriend and the smartest student in Junior year.

She walked over to Hayden and said, “Hey dork, I’m here to help you study”

“Do you have my bag?” he asked with an annoyed look.

“Yeah, it’s in the car,” Amaka answered, “Why don’t you take your little skateboard with you and go get it?”

Hayden picked up his longboard and walked around to the other side of the car murmuring, “It’s not a skateboard.”

“She knows that it isn’t a skateboard,” Suzette’s sweet voice rang out, “she just says that to get on your nerves.”

“Yeah, well it’s still annoying.” He responded putting his board in the backseat and grabbing his backpack. Suzette grabbed his hand and together they walked to the shelter, taking  their hulking backpacks with them.

“Hey, Ames thanks for helping” Suzette commented sarcastically.

“Of course, I know that Hayden needs as much help academically as possible.” Amaka replied, winking at them. Suzette and Hayden sat down at the picnic table Amaka had positioned herself at.

“Let’s get started because I have to pass the test or I’ll get kicked out of track and that cannot happen,” Suzette paused and looked at Hayden, “and if you don’t pass this test your grade won’t recover. I wish we had more time.” As they sat down a gust of wind blew by sending Suzette’s blond ponytail and Amaka’s curls flying for a few seconds.

“And just when I was thinking it was nice and warm out,” Amaka complained. “But anyways let’s get to your Biology lesson.”

Amaka had just started explaining the Punnett Square when Hayden interrupted, “Whoa guys look at that bug!” A red Volkswagen Bug, with Coca-Cola painted on the side, drove by going quite a bit over the speed limit.

“What are we looking at?” Suzette asked.

“There was a Coca-Cola slug bug driving really fast.”

“That’s cool guys, now let’s get back to studying,” Amaka said. As they studied Suzette saw a newspaper fly into a tree with the headline ‘TEN DOGS ESCAPE FROM POUND’ and started to go get it when it flew away. After that they worked for only a few minutes when a neon green frisbee landed on their table and a tall man walked over.

“Oh my goodness I’m so sorry about that, I hope I didn’t cause too big of a mess,” he politely apologized.

“It’s all good, we needed to tidy up anyway,” Amaka replied.

“Guys it’s back!” Hayden exclaimed as he pointed. They all turned around to see the Coca-Cola Volkswagen drive by. When they turned back around the man had walked away and was playing frisbee with a young boy. As they continued working a newspaper flew by, stuck to a tree, then flew away. They had just decided to take a break when the neon frisbee landed on their table again and the tall man walked over to them.

“Oh my goodness I’m so sorry about that, I hope I didn’t cause too big of a mess,” he said.

“It’s alright, we needed a break soon anyhow,” Suzette told him. She glanced back for a second and saw the Coca-Cola bug speed by. She pointed it out to the others but they both turned too late and missed the car by a few seconds. When they got back to studying, Hayden saw a newspaper fly by and land on a tree. He tried to read the headline but all he could see before it flew away was ‘ESCAPE FROM’. He soon forgot about it and tried to focus on his studies. Suzette was right he needed to pass or risk failing the semester.

Once again while they were diligently working the green frisbee landed on their table and the tall man walked over.

“Oh my goodness I’m so sorry about that, I hope I didn’t cause too big of a mess.” the man was repeating himself.

Hayden decided it was his turn to speak, “Hey man, why don’t you switch with your son over there so he stops throwing the frisbee at us, ok?”

The man looked astounded and forcibly said, “Young man, don’t take that tone of voice with me. We have only hit your table once and won’t do it again. But we deserve to be respected as we respect you.” And with that the man walked away.

As Hayden turned around to sit back down he saw the Coke Volkswagen drive by. “What was he on about? Only once, my….” he started but Amaka stopped her.

“Shhh…. Watch.”

“What exactly are we watching?” Suzette asked.

“Just wait,” she replied.

They sat there and watched a newspaper fly by and get stuck to a tree then fly away. Then it happened, the frisbee landed on their table and the tall man walked over.

“Oh my goodness I’m so sorry about that, I hope I didn’t cause too big of a mess,” the man said once again.

“Yeah it’s not a problem.” Amaka said quickly to the man. “Now guys look to the road.” As she said this the Coca-Cola Bug drove by.

“Time is repeating?” Suzette said with a questioning tone.

“That’s not scientifically possible. What is happening?” Amaka had a pained expression on her face.

Suzette went to the other side of the table and put her arm around Amaka. “It’s going to be okay Ames. We’ll figure it out.” She sounded calm but when she looked at Hayden her face said otherwise. Again came the frisbee, followed by the tall man.

“Oh my goodness I’m so sorry about….” he started

“Yes, yes we know, it’s fine.” Hayden interrupted. “We need to be able to think. Let’s move away, so his frisbee doesn’t hit us anymore.”

They gathered their stuff and moved down a few tables. They turned and saw the tail end the Coca-Cola Bug rushing down the street. They turned in to discuss what to do while a newspaper flew off of a tree and past them. They talked for quite a while never seeming to figure out what to do when the Volkswagen Bug drove by again. They all turned to look and saw that the frisbee hadn’t hit the table they had been sitting at, in fact the tall man was gone all together.

“Something changed,” Suzette said, “what if we can change other things? Quick what else is repeating?”

They sat in silence as a newspaper flew by and Amaka exclaimed, “That newspaper keeps hitting the tree and flying by!”

“Grab it!” Hayden declared.

All three of them rushed after it, but it was too late. They went back to the table and sat down as the Coke Bug drove by yet again. They sat and waited for the newspaper to come back and when it finally did they were ready.

Suzette was the one to catch it. After catching it she read out the headline, “‘TEN DOGS ESCAPE FROM POUND’ I read this earlier, it definitely is repeating.”

“So what do we do?” Hayden asked.

“Let’s wait and see if it repeats again,” Amaka suggested.

The Coca-Cola Bug drove by and they waited to see what would happen next. Soon after they heard barking and around the corner came a pack of dogs. The dogs immediately went for Hayden’s backpack smelling the months old food, but Hayden got there before them. Holding his bag above his head he said, “I think we found the escapees.”

They all turned as the Coca-Cola Volkswagen Bug pulled slowly up the street and stopped at the park. A heavyset man got out of the driver’s seat and slowly walked around the car. He had a long black beard and dark shades on. He began to walk towards them and Hayden instinctively stepped in front of the girls dropping his backpack to the ground. When the man reached them he slowly took off his glasses revealing piercing blue eyes, simply said, “Careful what you wish for,” and threw his glasses to the ground. The glasses hitting the ground created a blue cloud of smoke eerily similar to the man’s eyes. After a few minutes the smoke cleared and Suzette, Hayden, and Amaka found themselves sitting at their original table with the wind blowing through their hair.