The Surprising Life and Death of Diggory Franklin

Chapter 47: The Man with the Plan

The Surprising Life and Death of Diggory Franklin

There were several moments of silence from everyone in the room as I tried to comfort Dahlia. I tried putting myself in her shoes and couldn’t do it. Yesterday she was a teenager on a farm with a family and a normal life. Today she was in the future, and her family had been dead for probably a century or more. She was surrounded by strangers, and had no home to go back to.

“So what happens next?” I asked, when I realized no one else was going to start talking.

Chapter 46: Ready to Rumble

The Surprising Life and Death of Diggory Franklin

I leapt for Agent Johnson, ready to pummel him into the ground. Zebediah had almost vaporized us with lightning, and Johnson had let us dangle as bait for that fiend. His chronometer had almost stranded us in the distant past, and only luck had brought us to safety. He had walked in with his usual cocky smile, and all I wanted to do was knock it off his face.

Chapter 45: Deja Vu

The Surprising Life and Death of Diggory Franklin

I woke up the next morning with Dahlia gently shaking my shoulder.

“Diggory, pssst, Diggory, wake up!” She whispered.

“Dahlia? What is it?” I answered, rubbing sleep from my eyes.

“I woke up and looked around, and we’re in the weirdest place…” she said, her eyes wide.

I sat up in my crazy chair and looked around, seeing the white walls of the FBI’s temporary quarters. I rubbed my face.

“I get that this is a weird place, but it’s nothing to be concerned about. We’re safe. These are the good guys.”

Chapter 44: Back to the Future

The Surprising Life and Death of Diggory Franklin

I looked at Agent Jameson of the Federal Bureau of time Investigation as he popped out of a time portal and down to the grassy field I was sitting in. I gently shook Dahlia Sorley’s leg to wake her.

“Whazzu… huh?” She said blearily.

“Wake up, kiddo, it’s our ride. We’re getting out of here… I think.”

Jameson walked over, so I stood up to greet him. We shook hands.

“Brilliant work, Mr. Franklin! Quite the innovative method of calling for help.”

“Pardon? Who did what now?” I asked, taking his compliment with my usual grace.

Chapter 43: Here Comes the Cavalry

The Surprising Life and Death of Diggory Franklin

I fiddled with the chronometer for a long time, trying to figure out the different settings. I avoided the button I thought of as the activation switch, the one I had pressed to turn the machine on and bring us here. I didn’t want to get us even more lost than we already were.

Chapter 42: A Clockwork Orange (minus the orange)

The Surprising Life and Death of Diggory Franklin

I stood on a grassy plain with Calla Wiley’s twin sister, Dahlia Sorley. We had been some fifteen years in my past, where I’d been visiting their family farm with the intention of rescuing Dahlia from the murderous time-terrorist, Zebediah. I’d succeeded in my goal; we’d lived through his attack.

Chapter 41: The Great Escape

The Surprising Life and Death of Diggory Franklin

I lay sprawled on the wooden floor of the barn loft, trying to catch my breath. Dahlia Sorley came over the upturned couch and was reaching down to help me up. I could feel a fierce wind blowing into the room from the open doorway. There was a crackling, electrical feeling to the air, like a huge build-up of static.

Chapter 40: Perfect Storm

The Surprising Life and Death of Diggory Franklin

I leaned over, grabbing the doorframe with one hand for balance. I looked out through the storm and down into the yard. A man was standing at the edge of the cornfield, looking at the house. It was hard to make anything out. The storm clouds had darkened the sky, and the rain was falling in torrents. I was immediately soaked to the skin, just for leaning out.

“Who is that?” Dahlia echoed her sister.

“Get back from the door,” I said, using my other hand to push Calla behind me and then to tug Dahlia back. “Get back, further into the loft.”

Chapter 39: We're in Big, Big Trouble

The Surprising Life and Death of Diggory Franklin

Despite my complaints of being tired, I slept fitfully. I had a lot on my mind, after all: meeting Calla as a teenager, and a Sorley, instead of an adult Wiley. Time travel. Zebediah, and his murderous plans. I would punch my pillow and roll over, in futile attempts to get comfortable.

I didn’t bother to sleep in, despite Mrs. Sorley’s advice. I didn’t see the point. I woke up when everyone else got up to start their chores, and helped make breakfast. There was light chitchat again at the table, and then everyone dispersed to do their work.

Chapter 38: Twins

The Surprising Life and Death of Diggory Franklin

Agent Johnson and I headed down to join the Sorleys for dinner. We had been unable to come up with an explanation for Calla Wiley’s presence in their house, and, so far, I believed “cousin Jimmy” when he said that he didn’t know that she was also Calla Sorley. It still felt like a set-up, I just wasn’t sure who had done the setting.

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