She rolled her shoulders, rubbing at the back of her neck with a pained and irritable expression on her face. Clarisse glared at the ceiling with a stony expression on her face, her arms crossed tensely over her chest while her brother beside me gripped his knees tightly.
So this wasn't normal then, having Alterates target you directly so often outside of Crossovers. It must be something of an anomaly for attacks to have happened twice in one week: The first time at the ice cream café and now while Evie was at work.
"I drove around, eventually losing them but had a few close calls when they suddenly appeared from around street corners and I had to make a hasty U-turn to get away. When I was more or less certain they were no longer on my tail, that's when I phoned James and well here we all are."
We all remained silent for a few moments, I myself pondering the almost inadequate seriousness with which Evie had shared the events of this past afternoon. She had seemed more appalled and shocked by the audacity of the Alterates rather than speaking of them as a threat worthy to be taking note of and I found this rather strange. Hell, if it had been me, I probably would have walked away from it with greater losses than a mere overly depleted fuel tank. More likely, I would have ended up hog-tied and gagged in the back of that van like the cheesy start to a badly produced kidnapping movie.
"It's all over now. Thank goodness for him that I was wearing my nice heels or else I would have had the obligation to break one or two of his bones."
James laughs at this...a hearty sound which fills the room like the air which fills a balloon to bursting point. It's the kind of laugh you hear rarely, but when it does eventually come around you know that's it's a genuine show and not the tittering, insincere giggling of a moron who couldn't care less about your pathetic joke or supposedly witty response. It eases out the hyper, tightly strung atmosphere, causing everyone to droop and not remain fixated on the events which had occurred.
James rises from his seat and helps up his wife with an outstretched hand.
"My dear, you are positively charming. Although we all know that you would have shamed them regardless of whether you were wearing heels or not."
The next two days pass by without further incidents, everything remaining mediocre and my usual definition of 'normal'. Waterpolo training goes successfully, now that Aidan isn't frying my brains from the sidelines and I am able to spend Wednesday night in a relatively calm, peaceful sleep thanks to the medication Evie had given me. Thursday night I decide to test my limits, and so allow myself to Crossover after making sure I brought extra clothing with. I don't know how you're supposed to make it so that the objects you're wishing to bring with manifest in the Crossover, but I wake up empty handed and donned in my Aztec get up once again. Pfft, who says I can't pull off a feathered headband and leather sandals?
This time, I am in some forest, with trees sorrowfuly hanging over the edges of a brown, mucky river whose depths I can't see through the opaque water. I can hear the sound of cannon fire in the far, far distance, but I merely choose to stay where I am. I wander around for what feels like an hour, then lazily take a nap under the speckled shade of a tree. I don't know if I can dream within a dream, or if I am even sleeping at all but the next time I wake up, it is morning and I am back in the enfolds of my soft blanket. My phone's alarm is going off with a mind-numbing, continuous beeping noise which I personally think could wake the dead. I cover my head with my duvet stubbornly, letting out a moan which is muffled by my blanket-shield doing nothing to stop the blaring noise.
On this frightful Friday morning, I need more convincing than usual to get out of bed.
I roll over, submitting to my better half telling me that I just need to suffer through one more day then I can relish the sweet relief of the weekend...the equivalent of the sugary bit at the bottom of a bitter cup of coffee which has not been stirred properly.