11. Escape In Hand

Aidelle awoke refreshed. In fact, she was horrified that she had fallen asleep at all.

The day appeared as any, and all, before: gloomy and preparing to be melancholic. On the other hand, Aidelle had a different uneasy feeling buzzing about herself, as strange jangling noises came from the kitchen. Aidelle suddenly remembered who she was harbouring under her roof, and became shocked that it had taken five seconds for her to remember.

It made Aidelle even more determined to return to life as it was; this ‘other life’ had made her as sharp as rubber.

She stood up quickly and crept to the kitchen door. Her eyes widened with worry when she saw the mess on the kitchen table. Zara had completely dismantled their little clock, whose innards were strewn from one end of the table to the other. She had also taken off her time-travelling wristwatch and her right hand, as well as the left, was busy with attaching cogs back to themselves and creating metal bars (which may, or may not, have been certain sorts of levers) out of various other wires and that lay in an untidy pile to Zara’s life.

Aidelle wandered forward, half hoping for it all still to be part of her wild dream. When she stopped beside the table, Zara looked up and physically jumped with surprise. There was no denying the ‘caught-in-the-act’ expression that split across her guilty face.

“Aidelle! Um… Did you have a nice sleep?”

Relatively…” Aidelle knelt and picked an object off the floor that Zara had dropped in her surprise. “And where did you get this screwdriver from?”

Zara blushed cheekily.

“The cupboard under your stairs. There’s a lot of useful stuff, all boxed up in there.”

“I gather that is where you got the wires from, then?” She picked up the tangle of wires, an eyebrow raised. Aidelle was partly surprised at the amount of resources that her house concealed, but partly not. It saddened Aidelle to think about it, but Phillip was that kind of man who would think ahead. That is, when his mind was free of distractions.

Aidelle had always admired Phillip’s impressiveness when dealing with logic, and (if the fight that had started it all had not happened) he would have been the first for her to call and would assist in solving the problem.

After falling asleep, Aidelle’s own mind seemed a hundred percent clearer; the cloudy cobwebs of the non-existent years had swept themselves away to reveal a straight path forward. Although…Aidelle hadn’t factored Zara’s ‘busy fingers’ into the equation.

“Mmmhmm,” Zara replied, absent-mindedly fiddling with the strap of her extraordinary watch. The word ‘Zara’ stood out, as ever, and it reminded Aidelle of Zara’s world, and that she, Aidelle, had never received a proper answer as to what had happened there.

“I hope you don’t mind…” Zara trailed off, gesturing hurriedly to what once was the clock, now spread all across the tabletop.

“I thought I told you not to dismantle everything?”

Aidelle crossed her arms over her chest and tried to look reprimanding as she spoke. Then a more worrying thought ruined her causal cheekiness.

“If time was stilled by my breaking of the clock, then what do you expect to achieve by splitting it into more tiny pieces?”

Zara flushed a little angrily.

The End

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