The words of the note kept repeating in Aaron Littleton’s head in rhythm to the ticka-ticka-ticka of the taxi as it careened towards NYU. It’s time. It’s time. It’s time.

‘Time for what?’ he wondered as he tightened his grip on the black backpack that lay by his side. Whatever the note meant, he definitely knew it was time to get to class. He had let his distraction over the note make him miss his car at the subway. He was only three weeks from graduation, and he couldn’t afford to miss class. He breathed a sigh of relief as the taxi pulled up in front of his building.

“You’re late, Mr. Littleton,” Professor Olivia Goodspeed said acidly as he dropped into a seat near the back of the auditorium. The other thirty students varied between ogling him and trying to ignore him as he grabbed his laptop from his backpack.

“Yes, ma’am,” he quickly acknowledged. “I apologize.”

“See that it doesn’t happen again.” She nodded to her assistant to turn the smart board on. “Today we’re going to discuss the role of Locke and Hume on the development of free society.”

Up until the last five minutes, the lecture progressed as normal with the white-haired octogenarian extolling the virtues and vices of so-called utopian societies. Rumors had long floated that in her youth Olivia Goodspeed was a part of a secret hippie society somewhere outside Portland, but the woman would neither deny nor confirm such talk, and Aaron didn’t personally care as he didn’t think anything about her past was relevant to his plans for the future.

Professor Goodspeed was explaining the details of their last major assignment for the class, a paper comparing Locke, Bentham, Hume, and Rousseau when it happened.

“I expect the paper to be…” Professor Goodspeed walked towards the students, but her attention suddenly seemed to be focused intently upon Aaron. He felt a wave of nausea and thought he was going to black out. The air seemed to have been sucked from the room, and tiny black dots floated before his eyes. The auditorium, already silent, seemed to be stuck in time.

The next words from her mouth nearly knocked him from his seat.

“Aaron Littleton it is imperative for you to return to your place of birth. The time has come for you to take your rightful place. It’s time to complete the purpose you were given at birth.”

“What?” Aaron sat forward and took a deep breath as everything seemed to return to normal.

“As I was saying,” Professor Goodspeed continued, “the paper needs to be at least 15 pages in length and needs to include a biography and citations. This will need to be on my desk by the 16th of next month.”

Aaron sat back dazed as she continued explaining the guidelines for his final paper. He glanced around and was shocked to see that no one seemed to have noticed her words. Had he just imagined it?

Or, worse, were the visions coming back? He shivered at the thought and realized that his visit home couldn’t wait until the end of the semester. He needed to know what was going on, and he needed to know before the dead returned to haunt him.

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