Maite looked around. She found herself kneeling on the floor of the Registry Room, in the very corner where she and Kepa had touched hands just before they had been thrown back in time. Kepa was kneeling next to her, dressed in the much more casual clothes he had put on that morning. Maite could swear that the people in the museum behind her were in exactly the same positions they had left them.
“What happened?” asked Kepa.
“I don’t know. I guess, when we touched that zatia, we somehow collected it and the time bubble literally popped, sending us back here.”
Buber’s Basque Story is a weekly serial. While it is a work of fiction, it has elements from both my own experiences and stories I’ve heard from various people. The characters, while in some cases inspired by real people, aren’t directly modeled on anyone in particular. I expect there will be inconsistencies and factual errors. I don’t know where it is going, and I’ll probably forget where it’s been. Why am I doing this? To give me an excuse and a deadline for some creative writing and because I thought people might enjoy it. Gozatu!
“Where is the zatia then?”
Maite shrugged. “Maybe inside of us, like the ones that Marina gave us?”
“I guess we’ll have to ask her,” replied Kepa. “Whenever we see her again.”
“It seems that, because she had no family here, no connection to this time and place, she wasn’t able to find us, to help us.”
“But de Lancre already knew us. How did he know who we were? Did he see us when we were in that cave?”
Maite shook her head. “I suspect that, even though this was the first time we met him, it wasn’t the first time he had met us. From his perspective, according to his timeline, we met before. As we jump through time, our timelines aren’t straight lines anymore and they can cross in strange ways.”
Suddenly, Maite squeezed Kepa’s hand. “Blas!” she exclaimed. “He… he was dead. de Lancre killed him!” Tears began pooling in her eyes.
“But, the bubble,” replied Kepa, panic rising in his voice. “Shouldn’t it have undone itself when it popped? When we got the zatia?”
Maite’s body shook. “Ez dakit. I don’t know.”
Kepa pulled out his phone and did a quick search. “Blas… Telleria…” he mumbled as he typed. “Here!” he said as he passed the phone to Maite. “I think everything is ok.”
Maite read a brief biography of Blas Telleria that Kepa had found on a website from a museum in Idaho. “He made it to Oregon and started a family there,” she said. She sighed as her shoulders relaxed. “You were right, the bubble popped and things happened as if it had never existed.”
“Are you two ok?” said a voice from above them. They looked up and saw Edurne, her face etched with concern.
Maite looked at Edurne and then at Kepa. She smiled. “Yes,” she said as she stood. “Yes, I think so.”