Book Creator

The Present Meets the Past

by Maddy Brouillard


The Present Meets the Past
A collection of works by Maddy Brouillard
Madeleine Brouillard
As a poet and a short story writer, I focus on fictional worlds such as fantasy and science fiction, as well as the concepts of nature and love. I tend to write more poetry than I do fiction, and I use a lot of illustrations to supplement my works. For me, writing is about telling your story, and being able to learn more about others’ experiences through their writing. Telling stories was always an important part of my life. Being able to write has enhanced my ability to communicate with others and relate my own experiences. There are limitless possibilities when it comes to stories, and that has always piqued my interest as a writer.

I’m currently a rising senior at Rockville High School. I’m the trumpet section leader of our marching band, and I’m also working to become a Humanities scholar. I spend a lot of my time reading and writing, as well as creating more stories with friends through Dungeons and Dragons and other tabletop games. I love to seek inspiration by walking through outdoor trails as well as museums, taking photos along the way. I’ve won an honorable mention in the 2019 Scholastic Art and Writing contest, and had two of my works published in the Connecticut Student Writer 2020 magazine. In the future I hope to continue writing, whether or not it becomes my career, and publish more of my works in my own poetry collection.
The Billiards Room
The clack of billiards seemed to overtake any other sounds emanating from outside of the room. The small talk that had been practically endless had ceased at this point, our focus taken over by the game unfolding on the emerald table. I leaned over the side of the table, lowering myself to where the cue ball sat, inches from my scrunched-up face. My hands sat taught on the cue, shifting it back and forth through white knuckles to find the perfect angle for the shot.

A resounding noise escaped the cue as the white ball spun towards the 14, knocking it into the center pocket. I turned to watch Clara, who was busy chalking up her own cue. She in turn leaned over the table, eyes hard set on one of the corner pockets. Unlike my already sweaty stature, she was calm and collected, poised to strike at the most opportune moment.

“You know, for a girl from the future, you’re pretty good at billiards, Madeleine,” she quipped, landing another ball into a pocket. “Do they still play nowadays?” I nod as I look over the table, scanning the board for any opportunities. I replied, “Yeah, they still do. People even play it competitively. I don’t play as often as you might, but it’s still fun.”

“Fascinating,” she breathed, watching me closely as I sent two more striped balls into different pockets. “Our guests don’t play half as well as you do.” I chuckled, remarking, “I don’t usually play half as well as I’m doing now, but I’ll take it for what it is.” She giggled, leaning back over the table to make her shot. Eventually, our efforts had yielded that only the 8 ball was left. I took a shot and missed by a long shot, my usual ability seeming to shine through at the worst moment. Clara giggled and set up where the cue ball landed, her stomach resting gently on the side of the table.
Time seemed to stagnate as her fingers opened just slightly, shoving the cue towards the dead center of the ball. I could practically hear her heartbeat as the cue connected, a small dust cloud flying upwards as it shot towards the inky black sphere of the 8 ball. Another clack seemed to signal the end of the game as a blur of black rocketed towards the corner pocket, swishing soundly into the net below the hole.

We shook hands cordially, smiling at each other, but soon breaking into giggles at the ridiculousness of our formality. “Now that that’s over,” she stated, “you have to hold up your end of the bargain. But first, I’m tired, so let’s sit for a while.” We walked over and sat in some reading chairs by the window, Clara sighing as she spread her dress across her legs. 

“Well, that was fun,” I clamored, hands swiftly chalking up the end of my cue. She nodded, looking out towards the forest and the road beyond the window. Some time passed before she piped up again, asking, “What is it like out there? It’s been so long since I’ve been able to leave this place.”

It was certainly not the question I thought she’d want to ask, but since I promised to answer any question she had for me if I lost the game, I replied, “It’s much more different than the world you knew. There are a lot more inventions, taller buildings, and almost no one uses gas lighting anymore.” I gestured to the flickering lamps on the walls as Clara turned to face me. “There’s more electricity now, and more people have a voice. You can become practically anything you want to be, and the only hindrance is money and determination.”
“That sounds like a wonderful place,” Clara murmured, her eyes wide with excitement as she shifted to the edge of the chair, leaning towards me. “What else is there?” Time seemed to fly by as I talked about my own experiences, telling tales of life events and world conflicts I could remember off the top of my head, until I got a buzz from my phone. I checked it quickly, seeing a text from a friend about dinner plans I had almost forgotten about. Clara flinched at the sudden buzz, looking quizzically at the screen as I sent a quick reply back.

“I have to go now, sorry,” I explained, quickly standing up and placing my chalked-up cue back on the table. She smiled, replying, “It’s fine, you go have your fun.” Her smile was the last to disappear as she faded out of view, the cue she was holding dropping onto the floor. I picked it up and placed it next to mine, whispering, “I promise I’ll come back to talk to you soon,” and walking out of the billiards room to return to the real world.