“Grandpa!” the young woman cried as she strode through the shimmering light, directly towards Pete.
Their party guests gasped in shock and the room went dead quiet, other than the Beethoven playing on the HiFi.
Pete looked around, surely she didn’t mean him? He raised an eyebrow at Roger Sterling, who lifted two hands in denial. Well, this was Pete’s dinner party, he could easily regain control of it. “Young lady,” he began, “I don’t know what you--”
“You are Peter Campbell, right?” she asked, cutting him off.
Trudy appeared beside him, Tammy on her hip. “Yes, he is. Can I ask who you are, bursting in on us uninvited like this?”
“My name is Annie Edison, and I am,” she pointed at both he and his wife, “your granddaughter.”
“That’s ridiculous,” he answered, frowning.
“She does look a lot like Trudy,” Harry Crane put in, taking a drink of scotch. Looking between the two of them, Pete had to admit he was right. They were so similar they could be twins.
“Perhaps she is a long-lost sister of Trudy’s, then!” He clenched his fists. If he didn’t get this young lady -- Annie -- on her way, his colleagues would be talking about this longer than they had about Megan Draper’s sexy birthday song for Don.
“I’m sure I don’t have a sister, Peter,” she answered, more confused than upset.
“I’m from the future,” Annie explained, and murmurs started all around the room. “From 2012.”
Roger let out a braying sort of laugh and downed his drink. He was clearly enjoying this. Pete could feel anger bubbling up inside him. “That’s not only ridiculous, it’s impossible.”
“Maybe not for 2012,” Ken Cosgrove pointed out. Heads started to nod, including Megan’s. Don stood impassive; Pete wondered what was going on behind those steady eyes.
Trudy took a step away from him and placed a hand on Annie’s arm. “Why are you here, dear?” she asked. Pete shot her an incredulous look. Was she buying this load of crap?
“I’m here for my grandfather. I never knew him growing up. He was long gone by the time I was born.”
“Oh, that’s too bad,” Trudy said, running a gentle hand down the girl’s sweater sleeve. “What happened to him?”
“Too much heavy drinking, smoking, the usual for a man of his generation.” Pete’s guests murmured condolences. “I’ve been studying my family history, looking for clues to the past. When I found a way to go back in time, I just had to take it.”
Pete could only stand there open-mouthed. Had everyone gone mad? Fine, if everyone was going to listen to this clearly deranged young woman, he might as well play along. “So if I’m your grandfather, what do you want of me?”
And then she pulled back a fist and decked him.
Pete found himself sprawled on the floor, covered in scotch from the highball glass he had held in his hand. It rolled across the carpet and landed next to one of his ‘granddaughter’’s shoes. He touched a finger to his bloody and swelling lip. “Hells Bells, Annie! What was that fo--!”
“That’s for everything you’ve done and you’re going to do!” She spun and marched back to the shimmering light. “Grandma, you were right to leave him. He is an ass.” she tossed over her shoulder. She walked through the opening and with another flash of light, was gone.
“Oh, my,” Trudy said, hugging Tammy tightly to her chest, and looking at the spot where the girl had disappeared.
The others just snickered quietly behind their drinks. Pete held a hand to his head. Could this year get any worse?