"Stop it! Sara, stop it!" Max yelled at me over the rumble of the shaking earth.
"I'm trying!" I shouted back. "I'm losing my concentration!"
"Please hurry!" Abbie begged.
"I'm trying!" I repeated loudly. I sat cross-legged on the ground, trying really hard to stop the vibrations from breaking my concentration. Every time I got a good grip on the time surrounding the rapidly descending mud, there would be a violent jolt and I'd have to start all over again. I closed my eyes. I'd never done it like this before, but if any time was the time to try, it was now.
I focused on breathing deeply.Almost immediately, I recognised Max's time slot. It moved with an urgency, and felt just slightly faster than normal. Of course, it was moving at regular speed, but his mind worked faster than most people's.
Abbie's time was a lot calmer. It worked methodically, contemplating each second before letting it go.
The time around inanimate objects seemed to be completely still.
And then it hit me. The time around the mudslide felt like a punch in the stomach and it was literally faster than all the time as far as my sense could reach.
I focused and concentrated as hard as I could, and was slowing it down, when-
"Sara, watch out!" someone tugged my arm roughly. I gasped but kept my eyes shut, still focused on the mudslide. "Sara! Come on! Move!" I felt Max's hand around my waist, then on my stomach and I was being dragged away.
"No, wait, put me back down!" I exclaimed. Max put me down but continued to drag me by my arm. It was frustrating because I couldn't see.
"Open your eyes," his lips were pressed against my ear. "Open your eyes."
Losing my grip completely, I did as he said. And suddenly everything went black. And I couldn't breathe. I coughed and spluttered but couldn't breathe.
"Sara! Max, get her! Quickly!" Abbie's voice reached me.
Then, hazily, I realized the mud was gone and I was lying on a wet floor.
Is she OK?
Automatically, I gasped, and was thrown into a huge coughing fit.
"Sara? Are you OK?"
She's all right. She's fine. You're fine, Sara. You're fine, you're going to be OK...
I shook my head so that the voice would go.
"Yes, Sara. You're all right. You are fine. Can you hear me? Come on, please wake up," Max's voice was quieter towards the end, like he was begging.
"Hey, don't worry," I could just imagine Abbie's comforting smile. "When my mum was worried about me, she used to say that she's always be there. Come rain, come shine, she'd always look after me and think about me. It normally worked."
I know Max nodded then, and he repeated Abbie's words.
Come rain, come shine.