The Curse of Time: Chapter 5
Although she could not have known it, or at least would not have noticed it, exactly three weeks passed between Raven’s first and second “slips” as she liked to call them. The second time it happened, she was almost expecting it to happen. Of course, it was completely crazy for her to expect anything, so she told herself that she was being silly and kept walking.
The first time she had slipped, she had fallen in and out of reality, without getting a good look at anything. This time, she was walking slow enough and looking at just the right angle to see what she was walking into. Almost as if in slow motion, Raven walked up to a large mirror in the middle of the road. She didn’t stop, but hesitated at the mirror before walking through into the image that she saw in its reflection.
While she didn’t fully have time to understand what she was walking into, Raven did have enough time to take a quick breath before falling into a large public swimming pool. The shock of the cold water shocked her almost more than walking into an alternate reality. Kids of all ages dove, dodged, and dipped in the deep end of this particular chlorine pit. It wasn’t until Raven’s eyes started to burn with the effects of the chlorine that she turned around and looked for a way out.
At first, she didn’t see it. After a closer look, Raven finally spotted the mirror through which she had fallen a moment before. This time she took a moment to stop and look at it. It was almost the length of the entire pool, but only a bit taller than her. It was as if she were staring into a perfect reflection of herself, with every strand of pitch black hair, and every speck of color in her deep eyes, and every single ink stain shining back at her through the looking glass. It would have been more accurate than any mirror Raven had ever seen, had it displayed the correct surroundings behind her. Instead of floating in the middle of a pool, her reflected image was floating on thin air in the middle of the street. Besides the inaccuracy of her surroundings, her double’s appearance was somehow different from her own. Although it was impossible to identify exactly what was different in her reflect, it was clearly different. There was an almost imperceptible gleam of warning in her eyes and the slight tenseness of her fists and arms indicated ability and a willingness to use great force on anything she didn’t like.
Shaking her head, Raven looked back at the mirror and she looked normal again, although she was still in a different place depending on where she looked. As air bubbles rose up around her, she finally realized that she was out of air and thrust herself forward through the water and through the mirror. The force of her thrust sent her straight through and into the air right in front of a speeding semi. Landing with the full force of someone jumping off of a building on the cracked sidewalk was not the most pleasant of experiences.
Raven spat water out as she gasped for air as if she had just been drowning. Her hair clung to her forehead as she rolled over and made certain that she was back home. After confirming her position, she stood shakily up and tried futilely to wring her clothes out. Then she squished-squashed slowly home to shake herself out and shake some answers out of Aaron.
“I kind… you know, I… might have… sort of…”
“Spit it out already!” Aaron was closely sitting on the fence between surprise, anger, and fear.
“Ummm, you’re mumbling again.”
“Fine, I kind of might believe you now that something weird is going on because I just fell through the street and”
“into the pool.”
“Yeah.” She didn’t know why, but Raven was almost embarrassed about her slip.
“Alright, I need to call Cameron.”
“What? Why?” This immediately switched Raven from embarrassed to angry. Really angry.
“Because we need help!”
“Why do we need help? You already explained how that whole necklace thing works, so all I have to do is take it off and I’m fine, right?”
Aaron had already dialed Cameron, and the phone started to ring. He didn’t even turn to look at her when she repeated her question.
“Right?” She was starting to look worried, partially because he did. “I said- is that right?”
Aaron finally glanced in her direction and opened his mouth to answer just as Cameron picked up finally. All Raven could hear was half of the conversation, but Cameron seemed very happy and Aaron did not. Whatever was going on, it definitely did not instill any sense of trust in Aaron’s boss, or renewed trust in Aaron. His sanity seemed to be going down the drain quickly, even if he was right.
When they finally stopped yelling at each other, Aaron hung up and told Raven that Cameron was on his way.
“Why?” She suddenly felt very calm about the entire situation.
“Because… because you shouldn’t have been able to even see the other realities, much less enter one”
“But you said that my necklace was what got me through them and I was wearing it the entire time. I don’t see why I went so long without going through, according to your theory.”
“What, is your theory just that- a theory? Or were you wrong?”
“No, no, no…”
“What, did I need to do something? Do you just think I’m stupid?”
“No. No it’s just that…”
“C’mon, spit it out already!”
“We stole your necklace, alright!”
That didn’t instill any further sense of trust.
“Umm, it’s not too great that you think you stole from me, but you didn’t. I have the necklace right here.”
Raven picked the necklace out of her pocket and held it up for him to see. Unfortunately, she was the only one who needed to see something. She hadn’t even really looked at it since the day they had first dumped all of their crazy talk on her, but now she did. It looked very close to exactly the same as the actual necklace, but the rose petal inside was wilted and dead, and the outside held the distinct fragrance of a fairly recent paint job.
Now, Raven was really angry.
“You couldn’t have gone through without the real necklace, and that one’s locked up in the lab.”
Yeah, Raven was really not feeling the trust.