Sunday, February 24, 2013

History of the Timelaws by Marise Ghorayeb : Character Interview and Excerpt


Today we have a very special interview with 15 year old Elizabeth, the heroine of History of the Timelaws. Welcome, Elizabeth. Ready?

Do you have any special routines or rituals?

Yes, I routinely throw all my planned rituals for the day out the door in favor of going on life-threatening, special missions that leave me exhausted and in serious need of a shower. 


Is there a piece of advice that you have received that has really stuck with you? If so, what was it?

      The best advice I ever received wasn’t given so much through words, but by observation of my older brothers’ actions. I was almost seven when I first learned about my Dark powers and responsibilities. Unfortunately I wasn’t the kind of kid that thinks I’m invincible and that my parents will be around forever. I was the kind of child that thinks everything is a super big serious deal. So having a big super serious responsibility handed to me resulted in nothing but perpetual stress and very little sleep for the first three months. Of course, I didn’t tell my parents but they knew and they were worried.

      Then one day, me, Jenny, Mark and Luke were at home with our babysitter, Val, when we heard someone screaming outside. The babysitter and Luke went to look out the window and saw a tornado headed our way. Before I knew what was going on, Luke had picked me up and whisked me away to the bathroom while Val grabbed Jenny and Mark. The five of us huddled in our small yellow bathtub. I kept replaying in my mind those videos on the weather channel of houses getting blown away. I was terrified. Which is why I was completely stunned when I heard the first thing that came out of Marks mouth.

      “Luke, the next time we have to huddle in a bathtub waiting to be blown away by a tornado, do you think you could maybe take a bath first?”

      Luke stared at him for a moment as though he was processing what he’d just heard, then he grinned and responded, “maybe I’ll give you a bath right now.”

      I smiled. I couldn’t believe it. Here we were in the most frightening situation I’d ever been in, and Mark was making jokes and I was smiling. It’s that day that I learned the value of a joke. More importantly, I learned how to prevent stress and serious situations from taking control of me. Without that lesson, I would have never been able to handle the responsibilities of being a Dark.


What do you do to unwind and relax?

Screw with spaceships and their crews. I’m just kidding of course. Using my magic to create inexplicable anomalies that contradict all known science within a spaceships sensor range is heavily frowned upon and would be cause for serious disciplinary action. Which is why I would never lead the crew of a ship to believe that a nebula is a lonely life form seeking their company. Nor would I ever use cheap tricks to make the crew believe they are stuck in a time loop, reliving the same events over and over until they figure out a method of escape. Such actions would be an inexcusable abuse of power. So, since I have never done it, I can only imagine just how funny the resulting antics of the crew might be.


If I came to visit early in the morning would you impress me as being more like a chirpy bird or a grumpy bear?

Me, a chirpy bird? Well I’ve spent time as a bird, and let me tell you, I was never more grumpy. My eyes were on the side of my head so I couldn’t see anything directly in front of me; my arms were turned into wings so I had to use my beak to carry things; and that area right below my tail feathers was in constant use. After that experience, I would support an initiative to outfit all birds with dippers. As I see it, birds have nothing to be chirpy about and, as for me, I wouldn’t ‘chirp’ if my life depended on it.


What one word best describes you?

Stubborn. You’d have better luck negotiating with a mule.


 A Desperate Race Against Time.

Fifteen-year-old Elizabeth enjoys movies, teasing her older brothers, and pulling pranks with friends. She is also a member of a secret group of magic-wielding time travelers. However, when the rules that govern time travel are broken, chaos ensues and it is up to her to restore the Timelaws. As her enemies, the Wizards, and her allies, the Darks, scramble back and forth throughout time to claim victory in an ancient war, her past changes, as does her memory of it. Can Elizabeth make sense out of mayhem before it is too late? If she doesn’t, her home, her family, and the universe will be destroyed.



Alternate June 1981

I stood in the center of the small metallic apartment in which Mark and I had learned to live. I could hear the sound of the IPP, the Inorganic Particle Purifier, running in the ‘bathroom.’ Said bathroom was more like a closet equipped with the IPP, this planet’s version of a shower, and an organic waste disposal which I’ll refrain from describing.
We’d spent hours in 2184 working out all the technicalities of the Timelaw’s spell. Yes, we had the original construction to work from, but that didn’t tell us everything or even close. There was timing, and power levels, and how we would be configured to efficiently execute the spell. Before it was all done, I’d started to feel overwhelmed. So here I was, waiting for Mark to come out of the IPP so we could talk for a few minutes. With the Timelaws inactive I could jump back to 2184 without skipping a beat. I knew that neither Mark nor I would ever remember this conversation. Nothing I did or said now would ever matter.
I looked around the apartment. It was a single room composed of gray metal walls and a bronze colored floor. Mark and I had furnished it with as much Earth furniture as we could. A bunk bed was pushed against the wall, a couch against the other and a table in front of the couch. That alone took up a third of the space we had and frankly, it all looked out of place. This complex wasn’t equipped to provide electricity so we had to use their native versions of kitchen appliances and pale white lighting (produced via a slow chemical reaction). I’d occasionally cast a spell to run a television or something for nostalgia’s sake, but I couldn’t afford the power to run electricity through this room indefinitely. I intended to execute a spell that would produce a generator and wire the room for us, but that was a big undertaking.
Mark walked out of the bathroom dressed and ready for work. He was running his hand through his hair, as I’d noticed him do many times since we’d moved here. “What I wouldn’t give for shampoo,” he mumbled as he fumbled in a drawer for the room’s access card. I was about to promise that I’d make him some tonight along with a temporary shower, but I stopped myself.
 “Hey Mark, hold up,” I called after him, just as he was about to leave. I don’t know why I had to tell him, it wouldn’t matter after all. He wouldn’t remember. “I’m going to fix it, Mark.”
He turned to me and smiled. It was a tired, practiced smile, but I was the only one who knew the difference between his real smile and this one. “Fix what sis?” He asked. Mark was almost always cheerful. Even here. But despite his fantastic acting skills, I could tell that being cheerful took an enormous effort these days. He’d tried to go back to painting, and even though he was painting a scene from a Tom and Jerry cartoon, it came out looking dark and sad.
“This,” I said with my arms outstretched to indicate the room. I was grinning, all the frustration and defeat endured today forgotten. “I’m working with hundreds of people to execute a spell that will make it so that this never happened. We’ll still have Mom and Luke and Jenny. Nothing will have ever happened to Earth and Jack and Brian and all of them will still be there. I’m going to fix the universe.”
Three emotions registered on Mark’s face at the same time: joy, fear and grief. He looked back at me with eyes more awake than they’d looked in months. His mouth was relaxed but firm, and I wondered if he doubted me. Maybe he thought I’d gone crazy, but I could see so much more than doubt in his alert and compassionate expression. He was happy, hell, elated, because… well I don’t think I need to explain that. Grief: surviving had forced both of us to bottle that in and let it out in short bursts a bit at a time. He might cry silently, but more often he’d keep busy to avoid thinking and when he was too exhausted to keep going he’d just sit for hours. This happened less and less but still. Now it was safe to feel all that bottled up grief, it couldn’t destroy us anymore and that realization alone took away some of edge. Fear because it was too tempting to believe I’d bring us back to Earth. If I didn’t deliver on my promise the disappointment would be bitter and overwhelming.
It seemed like I’d swallowed a brick. I don’t think I was crying but I was shaking. All the emotion on Mark’s face was piercing me with the importance of this moment and yet I felt nothing. Physical responses: a weight in the bottom of my stomach that was all the emotions I should be feeling and I couldn’t stop shaking. But I didn’t know why I couldn’t stop shaking. It didn’t matter, none of this meant anything. I wanted to reach out and hug Mark to comfort him. But I stood there wondering about the brick in my stomach.
I thought about it. If I couldn’t move to comfort him then I would retreat from Mark’s expression so that it might have a little less effect on me. No, still locked in place, staring back. He tilted his head to the side and swallowed, as though he was thinking of saying something. Perhaps he wanted to make me feel better. How could I tell him that I didn’t feel anything, that my hands shaking didn’t mean a thing. The harder I tried to be still the worse it got, so I gave in and just let it happen.
I should say something. I should say something to make this easier for him. How can I help Mark through this? I was scared of doing anything. I was scared of doing the wrong thing. He wasn’t. In two strides Mark closed the distance between us and pulled me in towards him. “It’s okay” he whispered. I wrapped my arms around him and tried not to cry. “Shhhh…” he said, stroking my hair as I squeezed him.
I pulled away, just enough to look at his face. There were some tears on his checks, but he didn’t look sad, just calm. “Luke’d laugh his butt off if he saw us now.” He said. “Say we’d gone soft.” It was a weak joke but we both laughed hard and the tension released us.
I should go back and restore the Timelaws, but I wasn’t ready to leave Mark. “Well, shouldn’t you be off fixing things then?” he asked, stepping away from me. I didn’t want to leave him alone right now. Not in this cold metallic apartment. Not with everything he should be going through. But in a few seconds, Mark had already accepted the truth of what I told him. He knew this world wasn’t right, so I guess it wasn’t that hard to believe it would all disappear and be replaced by what was. We’d both felt like this was some terrible dream we should wake up from at any moment. 
It won’t matter if I leave him here to handle this alone, I told myself. He won’t remember it anyways. Still, I didn’t make a move to leave.
“Well go!” He ordered. I smiled and began saying the words to teleport me away. I didn’t want to, but I did. I was going to bring back Earth and my family and friends and cotton candy and everything that was wonderful about my planet.


I'm a 26 -year-old Mechanical Engineer with a passion for losing myself in a good story (written or filmed). My favorites include “Doctor Who”, “Firefly” and any book in the “Young Wizards Series” by Diane Duane. Recently I've taken my own stab at spinning a time travel narrative. "History of the Timelaws" is my second published book and my first kindle title. 



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