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Jacob Fischer

One Mistake

21 years ago, my parents were murdered on 9/11. I had always wanted to change this tragic moment to ensure my parents did not perish on this fateful day. I wished I had the power to go back in time and change the past. 

I had recently moved out of my foster parents’ home; I never liked them anyways. They were always rude to me, and just used me for the money they were being paid.

I grew up thinking I would eventually help the world in some way, but not quite sure how. It’s always been my childhood dream to make the world a better place.  

“Time to start anew,” I had thought to myself, as I walked to my new apartment. The delivery truck with all my stuff said they’d be a little bit late. So, all I had was my mattress, which I had brought on the roof of my car and whatever was left in that apartment by the previous tenant. 


“Buzz buzz.” 

 My phone had gone off, someone was calling me.


“Hello?” I replied as I picked up the phone.


“Hello, is this ####### ######?” They responded.


“Yes, it is. Can I help you?” I asked with a curious tone.


“Well, I’m Jerry from the Mover Vans. I thought I’d call you to let you know I'm parked outside your apartment with all your stuff!” He said, giggling.


“Oh! That’s great, I’ll come down now,” I replied, excitedly.


I made my way outside, humming the tune to my favourite song. The moving van was parked outside my apartment, but there was no driver's insight. I walked down to the van, looking around curiously.


“Hello? Jerry?? Where are you?” I yelled out, trying to find him. I walked around the area, but Jerry was nowhere to be seen. 


“Maybe he’s in the van? Fell asleep?” I said to myself as I opened the door to the passenger seat. Nothing. Jerry wasn’t there.


“This is extremely odd.” I climbed inside the van, searching for a clue of where he had gone.



“What was that?” I looked around with a puzzled face. I had heard something go off, but I wasn’t sure what. 


Suddenly, the radio started playing.

“Weird…” I said as I began to search the glovebox. 


“Hello! Welcome to time travel express, how may I help you?” Audio started playing from the radio. I looked at it, confused.


“What? Time travel express?” I rolled my eyes, and winded down the window. “Come on Jerry, this isn’t funny! The jokes over, come out now” I said as I turned myself to the radio. Although it didn’t seem like a joke, I knew it was. I jokingly started talking to the radio, “Take me to 2001, September 11th!” I let out a small laugh.


“2001, September 11th. Please select your reason why.” The speaker spoke back.

“What the hell?” I said, whacking the radio. 


“9/11 selected. Transporting now. You have 24 hours remaining. Safe travels! Goodbye!” The speaker let out one last word, but before I could hear it finish, everything went black.




My head was spinning, I could barely keep my eyes open. Everything was distorted and I couldn’t tell what was happening.

“Where am I?” I asked myself. “The van? I’m still in the van? What is happening!” I began to panic. I was still in the same moving van from before, but now it was a food truck! There were people in the food truck staring at me, wondering how I had gotten there, as I clearly hadn’t been here in the food truck just a moment ago.


“Hi. I don’t know how I got here, but could you tell me the time and date?” I asked one of the workers.


“It’s September 10th, 2001. The time is 8:46AM,” The worker replied, with a curious, but worried face.


“Oh, okay. Thank you,” I replied, jumping out of the van. I started to panic. Somehow, I had entered the truck on September 10th, 2021, and left the van on September 10th, 2001!


“This is crazy. What is happening?” I asked myself, pacing up the street. I had a million thoughts rushing through my head:


“Why am I here? What am I doing here? Where am I?”


Suddenly, the thoughts started to fade, as I realised why I was put here…


“That’s it. I know why I was put here.”  I froze, releasing why. Everything started to make sense. September 10th, 2001. A day before the tragic disaster that killed my parents and many others. I was here, to stop it. But I had no idea how. 




“Let’s think. There are so many ways to save them, but I can’t think of an easy way!” I said to myself.


“Don’t let the plane take off! Don’t let your parents go to work! Pull the fire alarm and make everyone evacuate the building!” 

There were too many choices. I couldn’t possibly find the best one for me.


“I know! I can tell my parents to not go to work, and if they still do, pull the fire alarm as soon as they arrive! There’s no way ANYONE will be affected if I do that.” I had found my plan. Now, let’s get to work. Firstly, I needed to go to my parents’ house, and luckily for me I knew exactly where that was.




“Hello? Is anyone home?” I said aloud, as I stood outside the house.


“Who’s there?” Someone had replied.


“You don’t know me but please DO NOT go to work today. Take a sick day, go treat yourself! Just don’t go to work!” I replied, trying to sound as convincing as possible


“And why shouldn’t I exactly?” They replied with a curious tone.


“Something very bad is going to happen today.” I said, with a deep and sorrowful voice. 


“Why should I trust you, I don’t even know who you are!” They answered, trying to open the door.


“NO!” I rammed myself into the door so they couldn’t see me.


“Do not open this door. Do not go to work today. Goodbye,” I said, trying to scare them. “I think that worked, although, I should prepare myself for what I need to do if they don’t listen.”

I began to walk towards the world trade centre.


“Wait a minute, how am I supposed to get in? They’re not going to let someone in who’s wearing jeans and a t-shirt! I need something special like a” There it was, the perfect thing. A blue suit, sparkling in the display window. I walked over to the shop and entered.


“Hi! How much is the blue suit in the display window?” I asked the cashier.


“Hello! The blue suit is $750. Are you interested?” She replied, staring me up and down.


“Yes, I am. Do you do loans?” I asked her, hoping for a yes.


“Yes, we do, but if you do a loan then we expect the money within 24hours,” She answered.


“Okay perfect, I’ll take it!” I said, with a huge smile.


“Okay stay right here I’ll go grab you one from the back!” She said, walking to the back of the store. “Here you go, enjoy! And remember, 24 hours!” She yelled out to me, as I left the store with my new suit.


“Hahah, poor girl. She’s never going to get her money! Because I won’t be here in 24 hours!” I said to myself, laughing at the thought of it. 


“I need to find somewhere to get changed,” I said to myself, looking around. 


“Toilet block. That’ll do!” I said, walking over to the toilet block.


“Wow, I look like a whole new person.” I didn’t recognise the person in the mirror. She didn’t look like a 22-year-old who works at a supermarket. She looked like a 22-year-old who works at the World Trade Centre!


“Off I go,” I thought, and then realised the mess my hair was in.


“Oh gosh!” I looked around me for something to style my hair with, but there wasn’t anything. 


“My hands, my hands will do!” I said, brushing my fingers through my hair. I looked at myself in the mirror, and decided it was time to go. 


Everything had come together, I just needed to finish the last part of my plan. I marched towards the World Trade Centre, excited for what this might cause in the future. 


I had arrived at my destination, ready to fix everything. I walked into the building, hoping nobody would suspect anything. 


“Hello” I said, walking past numerous workers. I walked, and walked, until I found the elevator. I hopped in the elevator and pressed the button to level 10. I arrived at the level, searching for a fire alarm.


“Bingo!” I said to myself, happily. Now, all I have to do is pull this down, and bam! I saved the day!


“Excuse me, what are you doing?” A woman appeared next to me.


“Oh hi, I’m just on my way to my desk!” I said, as I walked off.




I was so close, and then that woman had to just come over and get me further from my goal! I looked around me, making sure absolutely nobody would interrupt me.

“Coast is clear,” I said to myself, walking over again to the fire alarm. Just as I was about to reach it, a guy approached me.


“Ugh, great,” I thought to myself. “Can I help you?


“I’m just wondering if you know where the coffee machine is?” The guy asked me.


“I don’t know! Ask someone else. I’m busy” I said, walking away.


“What! But you don’t look busy!” He said, following me.


“Believe me, I am!” I said, trying to lose him.


“But you are just walking around! I saw you before” he said, grabbing my arm. I turned around, with a mean glare. 


“Get off me. I have a very important mission, and trust me, you’ll thank me!” I said, rushing away.


“What is that supposed to mean?” He asked himself, cluelessly. 


There it was. The fire alarm! Finally! I marched over to the fire alarm, with a proud look on my face. This is really happening. Wow. I can’t believe I’m doing this; I’m going to save so many people! 




I had pulled the fire alarm. Everyone began to panic, rushing out of the buildings. So many people were screaming, as they ran down the staircases, thinking a fire had started. People had begun to make it out of the building, trying to catch their breath. I had made it out alive. I was ecstatic. Words couldn’t explain how happy I was. I had saved everyone, and, most importantly, my parents. 


“EVERYONE GET DOWN!” Someone yelled from the crowd. 

Everyone crouched down to the ground, looking around as to why they needed to.


“OH CRAP! A PLANE RAN INTO THE TOWERS!” Somebody else yelled. Everyone began to run. People were everywhere, trampling over each other. 


Although I had gotten everyone out in time, the planes still hit. Unfortunately, one person was found dead. 


“Two planes have hit the World Trade Centre, almost everyone escaped. Only one person was found dead. She was identified as a 22-year-old female. Her name? Valerie Moulin.” The news lady reported, as many crowds gathered around a TV. 


“Valerie Moulin,” I said to myself. The name meant a lot to me, and that’s because… that was me.

I had made One Mistake.

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