by Lise Bergeron
Introduction: This delightful story marked a first for the author. If I remember correctly, this was Lise's first story in English. Enjoy this charming tale of time travel and discovery.
In 1820, on a sunny afternoon, in Los Angeles, Zorro was riding with Tornado on his faraway lands. Suddenly, he saw a strange cave. "I didn't remember there was a cave here," he thought. He went inside with Tornado. There was a strange atmosphere. Then, there was a big flash and a big sound: Zorro was dazzled and he had a big headache. Tornado was so agitated that Zorro had difficulties holding him. Then, there was silence. When Zorro and Tornado had their mind back, they were in a green prairie. They rode until they arrived on a strange road - it was all black with a yellow line. Then, a big blue box on wheels arrived on them. Tornado kicked, and Zorro fell from him.
The car stopped. A woman got out. She took a truncheon that she kept in her car, and walked to the man. She was surprised to see that he was dressed all in black, with a sword and a mask!
"Sir, are you alright?"
"Si Señorita, I think I'm fine," he answered, with a Spanish accent.
She helped him to get up. Zorro caught Tornado and tied him to a fence.
"Sir, may I ask you what's your name and where are you going in that costume? Halloween is only in two weeks!"
He took off his mask. The woman couldn't believe her eyes: he looked like the TV legend!
"Señorita, I am Zorro... Diego De La Vega. I am from Los Angeles, California. And I must say that you are strangely dressed too!"
"Diego... Come on, tell me your real name or I will call the police. And you are Zorro? I can't believe it. He's a legend, only a storybook hero."
"I can assure you that I am who I say." He told her what happened.
"According to what you say, I suppose that you traveled in time : You are in 1999."
"In 1999?... Señorita, may I ask your name, where am I?"
"I am Lise. You are near Montreal, in Canada."
"What is that blue box?"
"That box is called a car. It's our way of transportation."
She showed him how it worked.
"It's very interesting."
"So, you don't know where to go."
"Is there some place, an inn somewhere, I may go?"
"Well, if you have money... But I don't know where you can leave Tornado."
"How do you know my horse's name?"
"I guessed! Anyway, there is a horse stable near here. You may put him there. Just follow me. But give me your hat, sword and cape. I'll put them in my car. People are not used to seeing those things."
They found the horse stable. When it was time to pay, Diego got out his pesos. The man who worked in the stable looked at him strangely. Lise took Diego aside.
"Oh! That's all you‘ve got?"
"Well, it's all my fortune."
"Here, in 1999, it’s worth nothing. Let me pay."
She offered her credit card to the man. Afterward, they got into the car, and Lise drove to Montreal. The comfort and the velocity of the machine, the lights in the city, impressed Diego when they arrived in Montreal.
When they were downtown: "Lise, leave me here, I will manage myself."
"But you don't have money!"
"Don't worry about me."
"Here, there is my address and my phone number."
Lise explained him about that.
"OK, don't worry. Everything will be all right. Hasta mañana, Señorita."
"Please Diego, call whenever you need me."
Lise went home. Her cat, Romy came to her, asking for supper. After, she fell asleep, thinking about Diego. Suddenly, in the night, she heard somebody singing outside. She got up, went to her patio door and saw Diego, with a broken old guitar, singing under her balcony. The neighbors started to complain.
"Diego, please don’t ! Come up there, I will open the door," she said.
"Isn't it wrong? Will there be someone else with us?"
"Come on, Diego, you are in 1999, not in 1820!"
Diego went into her apartment. He was surprised to see a lady living alone like that. As he was a gentleman, he was uncomfortable with her. Lise tried to make him feel better by talking with him, explain the things he saw in the city and in the apartment. In the bathroom, he was surprised about running water! Lise made him take a shower. After, he fell asleep on the sofa.
The next morning, they had breakfast together. She showed him an episode of Zorro and Lost in Space: he was amazed to see how the man who acted the roles and himself were very alike! After, they went shopping for some clothes for Diego. Lise showed him more things about the 1999's lifetime.
The next day, Diego wanted to see Tornado, to be sure that he was fine. They went to the horse stable. Tornado was happy to see his master. Diego took Lise with him on Tornado and they rode a few miles together.
They came to the place where he had come in 1999. In spite of all the things he saw in the 21th century, he missed his time. At the same time, a flash and a sound like the ones he saw and heard in 1820 were seen from afar, and got bigger and bigger. Diego knew that it was a sign that meant it was time to go back home.
"Lise, I have to go. I miss my time. But I would like to thank you so much for that wonderful time I spent here."
"Oh, please don't mention it. If you ever have a chance, you may go back whenever you want!"
"If I ever have a chance, Señorita, I'll surely take it."
He kissed her hand, She walked further, and saw Diego and Tornado disappeared in the light.
She walked to her car, got home. She was asking herself if the three last days she had lived with him, were real or if it was a trick of her imagination. Looking in the rear view mirror of her car, in the back, she saw the hat, the sword and the cape he had forgotten. A tear rolled down her cheek. Maybe he would come back!