In the year 2076, the world has become a place with barely any natural resources and is especially lacking in natural water. However, there is an abundance of man-made products available for purchase.
Jools Breckenbenk is a woman with a greedy eye for these products, especially for a certain new car that resembles the art of the ever fascinating early 21st century. In order to make enough money for the car she combines all of her worldly possessions and starts a pawn shop.
Opening day for the pawn shop arrives and Jools is ecstatic. The final items, such as an accordion, are carried inside to be put on display
Jools is seen here, proudly standing beside her pawn shop business sign, ready to make money for her car fund
Sadly, things do not go as planned. The public did not take much interest in the new pawn shop. Due to a lack of business and amount of debt piling up, Jools was forced to close her pawn shop.
In her despair after losing the pawn shop, the broke young woman wanders the city until she comes across a church
With the company and support of her friend Aya Wang, they both pray for their luck to get better.
Nothing seems to happen after they pray; if anything, things seem to get worse. Jools begins to question if God has abandoned her. Rather than wait around to see if this thought is in fact true, she decides to take matters into her own hands instead of leaving it to fate.
After hearing of this, Jools’ companion, Aya tells her about a rumour she heard about a mysterious time travelling street car. She points at the streetcar and says “If we hop on that car at Marty Street at exactly 2 o’clock in the afternoon, we can go back in time!” Jools decides that she wants to go back in time to attempt to fix the decisions she made that ultimately lead to the demise of her pawn shop. She would attempt to prevent her company from going bankrupt.
Jools arrives at the designated street at exactly 2’o clock and discovers Aya was right! She travels back in time to the year 2014
The past, which is so plentiful with natural resources, is stunningly beautiful to Jools. She realizes that 2014 has an abundance of fresh water, and she could sell it in 2076 and make much more money than starting up her pawn shop for the second time.
She collects the water in bottles that she will sell individually to the highest bidder in her own time. But she is not used to stealing, and it makes her nervous. This is a decision she is not proud of.
She struggles with the guilt for some time before coming to the conclusion that the beautiful car is worth the trouble.
This decision in essence turns her away from God; she benefits from the natural resources He provides, while still going against the commandment in His word that states “Thou shall not steal”.
Jools continues to steal from various fountains. At first she feels guilty, but she eventually comes to terms with this and her evil side is increasingly visible as she takes more water.
Meanwhile, her “friend” Aya is spying on her and recording her every move in order to collect evidence against her because, in actuality, Aya is a double agent and detective. She acts as Jools’ friend, but is loyal to the Police Department of 2076. Eventually she collects enough information that she can report the findings to the Law Enforcement office, and her good friend Justine Holt.
It is not long before that fateful day in 2076 when Jools will be brought to justice by Justine.
Justine chases after Jools. Jools has put up a hard fight for the cash flow that the water is bringing her, and will not give up so easily.
But you cannot avoid justice forever. Jools is caught! And her life is to change forever, thanks to her so called friend Aya and the agent Justine. Justine is thrilled that her hard work paid off.
Justine reminisces about the schooling and work that she did to get to the point where she is today. This case has brought inspiration to her, and light to the knowledge that the future is in desperate need of natural resources. As much as she wants to give back to the environment, she knows that stealing is no way to do it.
Justine decides that in order to make a difference, the “criminals” could be put to better use. She decides that Jools will be given a job that, rather than punishes her, shows her that there is much more to the natural world than the profit one can make from selling pieces of it.
About the Creators
Hello! Hope you enjoyed our exciting short story! Here we will discuss a little about the creators of the story and how this idea came about.
Feel free to check out our other pages for additional information on the characters by clicking here.
Hilary (Hiu Ching) Lai [Psych And New Media Double Major]
Hey there! Hilary here.
As a sci-fi movie buff, it was probably a dream come true writing a story about time travel, especially for school! But in all honesty, our inspiration probably came from the new Toronto street cars that we just happened to catch a glimpse of that Thursday afternoon. After that, everything just blended together. Although the idea of time travel is quite far fetched, I hope you will all enjoy the reading.
In this series, I will be playing Aya Wang, both a friend and antagonist of Jools.
She is probably the most ambiguous character of all because of the nature of her role as a spy.
P.s For those of you who have noticed: Yes, the name Aya Wang is actually inspired by the double crossing agent, Ada Wong, from a popular video game franchise(Resident Evil). All of the names of our characters are based on their personalities.
Erin Kelly [New Media Studies Major. Psych and Anthro minors]
I play the greedy pawn shop owner, and then “water thief”. It was a very exciting role to play, as it took lot of creativity and thought to pose in the right way and the right spot to get the purpose of the shot across. Although, sometimes we just got lucky with the shots, for example, with the street car.
As a side note, it was my birthday on the day that we took the shots (September 4th), and so I probably had more energy than the average day.
In reality I am not much of an actor, but I would love to work in the film industry as a producer or script writer.
Kelly Hart [New Media Major, Sociology and English Minor]
In this story, I play the role of Justine Holt; the agent working towards stopping Jooles in her plan to steal water from the past to sell in the future.
Writing and shooting for this assignment was quite enjoyable, especially getting the chance to explore a different area of downtown I wouldn’t usually have visited.
This section will go over the inspiration of the story, An Unlikely Opportunity, as well as give a little bit more background information about the lead characters and symbolic meanings that are also embedded throughout the story.
- Jools Breckenbenk is the main character of the story, a pawn shop owner who desperately tries to stay successful despite the turmoils of recession. She discovers the most unusual way of turning around her financial problems through a strange rumour regarding…time travel?!
Played by Erin Kelly
Justine Holt /Officer Holt
- Justine is a dedicated cop who deeply believes in justice and cares for the environment. She also an extremely significant character as she eventually devises the true opportunity that arose from the unfortunate events caused by the recession and the desperate measures that followed.
Played by Kelly Hart
- She was considered a close friend of Jools’ until she betrayed Jools in order to do her job right. These questionable actions were, similarly to Jools’ actions, done in desperation to make a living and be successful in her career.
- Aya is the first person that tells our main character about the mystery train rumour on Marty Street
- *Plot twist!*
- Later it is discovered that she is an undercover detective who is in cahoots with Officer Meave Holt.
Played by Hilary (Hiu Ching) Lai
Significance of the Smaller Details
The title “An Unlikely Opportunity” refers to two opportunities in the story; the one that Jools finds in stealing water from the past to bring to the future, and the opportunity that Justine Holt finds to help the environment. When Jools steals the water she is eventually arrested, but rather than throwing her into prison and letting her rot, Justine asks that criminals work on gardens, and environmental sites in order to help them flourish again, while still teaching them about the environment. Justine hopes it will inspire people to work towards a sustainable future, and that “criminals” will be used for a better purpose, and not be left to become angrier and hollow through living in a prison cell.
The Time Travel Train is seen on “Marty Street” at 2:00pm everyday. Although we were not able to show it at night, like in the movie, the street name was actually inspired by the classic movie Back to the Future. In the movie, the character Marty goes back in time, and spends the rest of the movie trying to get back to the future, hence the name. It is suiting that certain elements of this time travel story be brought into alternatives narratives on the same theme.
Law of the Land Sculpture
During the time when Jools feels guilt stricken, she is seen kneeling in a square stone sculpture. This does not literally happen, but above Jools the words “The Law of the Land” are engraved. This therefore represents her struggle with the law, and connects it to the turmoils she endures.