Flash Fiction No. 29

#Flashfiction

Half A Blink

She looked out of the wet glass. The heat condensed upon the cold, driving across the surfaces like a child running from a tragedy. The spray fell across her shoulders, warm and tempting. Crimson bled into the clear liquid.

Troubled eyes closed, a furrow aching her brow.

She rolled one shoulder and then the other beneath the spray. It had been a long time since she’d felt the comfort of a shower. She swallowed and bent her head gracefully to inspect the scarlet swathe. Her hand ghosted over the gash. She sucked air in through her teeth.

It had taken them such a long time to bring her back. Time was a tricky thing. They’d figured out the coordinates she’d been sent to, but they hadn’t wanted to risk trying to bring her back from that date. It would have been so difficult.

Instead, they’d allowed time to move on in parallel until they could devise a way to bring her back to the present.

Max had wanted her to explain everything straight away. He wanted the details and the facts. He wanted to know everything. More importantly, he wanted to learn about the dragons. He was fascinated by the dragons.

Adele leaned against the shower wall, closing her eyes and pressing her forehead against the cool glass. He thought she’d forgotten how he tricked her.

The rest of the team thought it was an accident. They thought a switch had misfired and that was why the machine had burned out after her departure, but it wasn’t true. Max had done it. The millisecond before she’d travelled she’d turned around and caught the expression on his face as his hands flew to the controls.

Her eyes opened, gaze blurred on the hue of the water tailing into the plughole. Her mind came to rest on Cal. He’d just ducked one of their assailants. His eyes had been on hers and then she’d travelled. She’d known it was happening. She’d felt the perverse jerk of time deep in her stomach and she’d called out his name as the oxygen squeezed from her lungs.

Then she’d collapsed on the floor of the dome.

Terra and Jake had helped her up. They’d been mumbling something, saying stuff to reassure her and apologise. She’d tried to fight, too disorientated to be there. She’d screamed out Cal’s name again.

Then Max’s face had swum into view.

Her fist had connected with his nose. There was a satisfying crunch as bone crushed beneath her knuckles. They’d played it off as exhaustion, but it wasn’t. This was all because of Max. He’d sent her to that godforsaken place when she hadn’t wanted to go and then he’d dragged her back when she was desperate to stay.

Her mind centred on Cal again.

What was he doing now? Did he understand what had happened? She’d told him about the travelling so many times but he hadn’t believed her. Maybe now he would. But it was too late.

She thought of Max and what she would do to him for this, wishing she knew how to work the machine on her own.

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