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by Jeff Fuell
Category: Science Fiction/Romance
Description: True love and friendship has no boundaries, even across time. Christopher and Susan are two teens who are best friends--one a talented guitarist with dreams of attending Julliard and the other a talented young writer who accidentally travel to 1963. There they fall deeply in love and have to make a decision; do they stay with those they love or return home while they still have a chance?
eBook Publisher: SynergEbooks, 2009 SynergEbooks
eBookwise Release Date: April 2009
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [295 KB]
Reading time: 190-266 min.
Slowly, he opened his eyes and looked at his reflection in the mirror, his eyes immediately going wide, his mouth dropping open.
"Is that me?" he whispered in bewilderment at his reflection, now at least ten years older than his age of sixteen. "I'm old!" His hair was shorter and combed differently, but it was definitely him. He then stood up and noticed the fancy clothes that he was dressed in. "What is all of this? What's going on?" he asked nobody in particular because he was the only one in the small room. He then noticed a bouquet of red roses sitting on the table and there was a small, white card attached. Thinking that they were for him, especially since he was the only one here, he picked up the card and opened it so he could read it:
Chrissy, break a leg! I know that you are going to be great! I love you so much and I am so proud of you! Love, Vanessa.
Vanessa? Who is Vanessa, he thought, and when has anyone ever called me Chrissy? It sounds like a girl's name!
Then, he noticed a gold band on the third finger of his left hand.
"I'm married?" he exclaimed. "When did this happen? What's going on?"
There was a soft knock on the door and it was opened a moment later by a boy ... man not much older than himself wearing some dark clothes and a pair of headphones on his head with a small, thin strip of wire connected to one of the ear pieces and placed in front of his mouth.
"Mr. Winters? It's almost time. Would you please come with me?" he said.
Christopher stared at him unsure of what to say or do. Who was this guy? Nobody had ever addressed him as "Mr. Winters" before, and what was it almost time for? Was he in trouble? Did he miss a test? Not knowing what else to do, Christopher walked towards him.
"Okay," he said.
"Um, Mr. Winters, if it's not too much trouble, could I please get you're autograph? I'm a big fan," he said shyly but with obvious excitement.
"Sure," he said as the man smiled and pulled a cd from his back pocket and handed it to him, along with a pen. Christopher took it and looked at the cover.
It was him! It was a picture of him and he was holding a beautiful white fender Stratocaster! The title of the album was called "Across Time." He looked at the cd case in wonder for a moment and then, looking at the excited ... fan in front of him, signed it and gave it back to him.
"Thank you, Mr. Winters! I think you're the greatest! In fact, you're the reason I started playing guitar a few years ago. Although, I'm nowhere near as good as you."
"Oh, well, thank you," Christopher said not knowing what else to say.
"Well, we better get going. All the rest of the guys are backstage and the show is going to start in a few minutes. If you'll follow me," he said as he turned around and started walking down the hall, Christopher following him.
They were soon in the backstage area and, as they entered, Christopher looked at all of the people in amazement! They were all here! All of the people he had admired practically his entire life and inspired him with all of their beautiful music and virtuoso talent.
Sitting in a chair warming up with some scales was Yngwie Malmsteen. Over to the right, Joe Satriani and Steve Vai were talking and joking around. Standing by a table, Joe Lynn Turner was talking with Roger Glover, Ian Paice and Jon Lord ... and he was surprised at how short Joe Lynn Turner was. Really short! Still, he had that amazing voice that had graced three Rainbow albums, not to mention the albums he had done with Yngwie Malmsteen, Deep Purple and his own solo material. And, on the other side of the room, Eddie Van Halen was talking with Billy Sheehan, Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson. Coming into the area from another entrance was Neal Schon with Toni Iommi and Geezer Butler! And, over there, talking with Sharon ... was Ozzy Osbourne drinking a cup of tea! Wait! Is that them? It is! Ronnie James Dio and David Coverdale engaged in what looked to be a serious conversation about something. That guy over there with the blonde hair, it was the German guitar wizard Axel Rudi Pell! Someone walked past him on his way to the refreshment table, and he instantly recognized that familiar bald head. Rob Halford! The Metal God, himself! And ... no! Bruce Dickinson and Geoff Tate! Two of the greatest rock vocalists of all time!
What was going on? And why was he here among all of them as though he was a part of their world?
Then, appearing from behind some black curtains was a beautiful woman with long, blonde hair and Christopher instantly recognized her. Candice Night! The voice of Blackmore's Night and wife of the incredible Ritchie Blackmore, his hero! She was even more beautiful in person ... and she was walking towards him with a giant smile on her gentle face.
"Christopher! It's so wonderful to finally meet you," she said taking his hands.
"Um, you too," Christopher said flummoxed.
"I'm sorry about the hectic schedule. Ritchie was hoping to meet you before the show but, as you can imagine, he's been really busy with the event. He's a big fan."
Christopher stared at her not saying anything for what seemed an eternity.
Did she just say what I thought she said, he thought. Ritchie Blackmore is a fan of me?
"Ritchie Blackmore is a fan of me?"
"Of course. He thinks you're brilliant. He practically raves about your version of 'Difficult to Cure.'"
"Oh ... wow," he said in a monotone voice as he tried to take in what she said. He had never even attempted to play 'Difficult to Cure.' It was way to hard. Although, it was one of his favorite pieces by him.
"I just talked with Susan and Jennifer again this afternoon. I'm glad you could fit us into your schedule. We really appreciate it."
"It's ... no problem. I'm happy to be here," he said as he was finally getting a grip on what was going on. This was apparently going to be some kind of concert involving some of the greatest rock musicians of all time and, for some reason, he was a part of it. He was actually going to be playing with Ritchie Blackmore! And, then, his thoughts hit him suddenly like a ton of bricks. He was going to be playing with the Ritchie Blackmore!
The young man whom he had been talking with earlier appeared from behind a corner at a frantic pace.
"Okay, everybody! The show's about to start! I need all of you to get ready and take you're places on stage when the lights go out, okay? Let's rock 'n roll!"
A collective cheer followed from all of the musicians as all of them picked up their respective instruments. Christopher looked at all of them wondering what he was going to play, and then someone tapped him on the shoulder and he turned around to see who it was.
"Here you go, Mr. Winters," the young man said as he was holding a white Fender Stratocaster and, on the shoulder strap, was stitched the name Christopher Winters.
"Oh, thank you," Christopher said as he accepted the guitar and placed the strap around his shoulders and then followed the rest of the musicians through some curtains. As they were walking together in the dark, he could hear--practically feel--what seemed to be a huge audience outside and there was a montage of short clips of songs playing over the speakers. Christopher instantly recognized them all as songs that Ritchie Blackmore had played on, various songs from Deep Purple, Rainbow and Blackmore's Night. They took their places on stage in the darkness and, when the lights suddenly came on, Christopher was looking into a vast auditorium of at least fifty thousand people. It was truly mind boggling! Never in his entire life had he ever seen so many people! Then, he looked into the audience ... and he couldn't believe it. Marie Osmond was sitting in the front row! Marie Osmond! His dream girl! But ... who was that she was sitting with? It wasn't Donny. Could it be ... no! She didn't get married again, did she? Nooooooo! Then, something happened that almost made him feel as though he were floating on a cloud. Marie looked directly at him, smiled, and gave him a huge thumbs up. Marie was looking at him as if she knew him! And, just a few seats down from her were his parents looking at him and beaming with pride. Feeling foolish, he waved at them and they waved back. Then, he noticed a beautiful woman with long, dark hair sitting next to them looking at him lovingly and he could not take his eyes from her. She was so beautiful! He felt like he should know her. Then, he realized who it was, he could feel it. It was his wife, Vanessa ... and she looked a lot like Marie Osmond! All of it was happening so quickly, so much to take in, and he still really had no idea what was going on. Then he looked over to his side and he froze in place.
Standing right next to him and holding his famous white Fender Stratocaster was the Man in Black, himself--Ritchie Blackmore! And he was smiling at him!
"Hello, mate," he said.
"Uh, hello, Mr. Blackmore."
"Call me 'Ritchie', mate."
"Um, sure thing ... Ritchie," he said slowly still finding it hard to believe that he was actually talking to his hero, and he was actually going to be playing guitar alongside him.
"Hello, everybody! Are you ready to have some fun, tonight?" Candice spoke into the microphone, her soft voice booming throughout the auditorium.
The giant crowd roared an enthusiastic yes.
"Alright! We want to thank all of you for coming out tonight for this tribute to Mr. Ritchie Blackmore and, as you can see, we brought along a few friends," she said as she turned to indicate all of the other musicians, the crowd roaring again in approval and continued to do so for several moments until everyone in the auditorium was now standing. A standing ovation and they had not even played one note, yet! "Okay, here we go. I'm sure that all of you will recognize this one," she said and all of the musicians as one started tearing into the opening of 'Highway Star.'
Beep! Beep! Beep! Beep!
Christopher slowly opened his eyes and realized his alarm was going off. Groaning, he reached over to switch it off and then lay back in bed as he stared at the ceiling with a smile on his face. That had been such an incredible dream! He had actually playing alongside Ritchie Blackmore at a concert! Right! As if that was actually ever going to happen! Still, it had been a wonderful dream and, as much as he was trying to remember as much of it as he could, he could tell that he was already, unfortunately, beginning to forget a lot of the details ... and now it was time to get ready for school.
He got up, quickly made his bed and then brushed his teeth and jumped in the shower. Once he was out, he toweled off, looked in the mirror to see if he finally needed to shave (no luck), got dressed, and made his way downstairs.
His father was sitting at the kitchen table reading his paper.
"Morning, son," his father said. Christopher went up to him and hugged him. As he did so, he noticed that his father's coffee mug was empty. He took it to the kitchen, poured some more coffee into it, and set it back on the table, his father smiling appreciatively at him.
"Where's Mom?" He walked back to into the kitchen to fix himself a bowl of Frosted Flakes.
"She had to leave for work early. Trying to get a project done before a deadline and she's having to put in some extra time."
"I wish she would take it easy. I worry about her," he said as he sat down at the table with his breakfast.
"You worry about her? Shouldn't that be the other way around, parents worrying about kids instead of vice versa?" He grinned.
"I guess so," Christopher said as he quickly munched away. He wanted to hurry so he wasn't late for the bus. Yesterday he had barely made it in time.
"So, are you ready for the competition?"
"I guess so."
"You'll be great. You're very gifted, Chris, I mean that. I don't know where you get it from because it certainly isn't me," he laughed.
"Thank, Dad. Oops! I better go," he said as he looked at his Spider-Man watch and got up off his seat, placed his bowl in the sink and then gave his father one last hug. "I love you, Dad."
"And I love you. Have a good day at school."
"I will," he said as he picked up his guitar case and duffel bag, walked out the front door and started walking quickly down the sidewalk. As he turned the corner, he saw the last few kids climbing into the bus. His eyes widened and he started running towards the bus as fast as he could. The doors shut and the bus started pulling away.
"Noooooooooo!" he yelled frantically as he picked up his pace even more.
The bus continued to move forward for a few moments and then suddenly came to a stop as the doors opened once again. Christopher proceeded to run until he was climbing the steps into the bus.
"Hey, Christopher!" the driver, a portly, friendly-looking man in his fifties said.
"Thanks for stopping, Mr. Jenkins!"
"No problem, Chris," he said as he closed the doors and the bus started to move forwards.
Christopher walked the aisles with his heavy loads to the back where he found an empty seat and collapsed; thinking for the hundredth time that it would sure be nice to have a car.