Time is but a Number (Chapter 1)

A piercing scream escaped her bloody lips.

There was a creature twice her size staring her down. Its brown scales were the color of dirt. A strange hiss came from the opening that she thought was it's mouth.

The revolting animal slithered closer, and it wailed in hunger.

Then, a flash of light, and the creature didn't even have time to move as something drove a sword through it's heart. It fell back with a thud.

Her vision was hazy, and she could faintly hear someone talking, but it sounded as if from a great distance. She felt herself swaying. As darkness sucked her up, she felt strong arms around her.

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"Gracie," a soft voice whispered. "Gracie!" It was getting urgent.

She woke with a start.

"OW!" the figure fell off the bed sideways.

"Sorry!" she said to the person, now laying on the floor.

It was a boy, around 17, her age. He stood up, one hand on the bed to steady himself. He had light blond hair, that fell over his eyes, and bright green eyes. He tossed his hair back as he rubbed his arm.

"I..I... didn't know you were there...sorry," she said awkwardly, shrugging in apology.

"I'm sorry too, that was my throwing arm," he said, sitting on the bed. She automatically pulled her feet back, blushing.

"Who are you?" she asked quietly.

"Luke," he said extending a hand. She noticed he had a slight accent. It was British, and she had to admit, sort of of cute.

"Ah... Well, hello," she said, appearing confident despite her stuttering.

He held out a hand to her, prompting her to follow him. She walked beside him into what seemed like the living room of the huge mansion-like house. Gracie uselessly ran her fingers through her hair, trying unsuccessfully to tame her wild red curls.

They sat down on a plush white couch. He propped his feet on the table in front of him, and opened his mouth to speak.

"Listen closely," he said slowly, as if speaking to a child."Have you ever heard the saying 'age is but a number' ?" He continued after she nodded. "Well, it's wrong. Age is a number. Time, on the other hand, isn't." Gracie stared at him, bewildered. "Time is but a number," he said simply, as if that explained everything.

He waited patiently while she tried to get her mind around this, but it just didn't make any sense. He sighed, taking in her confused expression.

"Have you ever felt... like...," he sighed again, not sure how to explain. "Has a minute ever felt like an eternity? An hour like forever?" I thought for a minute before nodding.

"School," Gracie said without thinking. Luke nodded, an amused smile forming on his face.

"What about... have you ever looked for something, and then after a while given up? Mysteriously, though, it appears up in the same place you have looked for a long time." She was speechless. Didn't it happen to everyone?

"It's just that... When it happens, its because you weren't looking close enough," she said slowly. He threw his head back and laughed; a sweet laugh that sounded like chiming bells.

"You are so stubborn." He shook his head."People make mistakes, right? Well so does the earth. The universe is just a vision projected by who knows what." What the hell is he talking about, she thought. He must be crazy! "Sometimes, mistakes happen. You swear that something wasn't there a second ago, because it wasn't. There are billions, trillions of things going on every second, and it is hard for the earth to cope," he said.

She was completely lost by now, staring at him as if he was some creature from another planet.

"Just try and follow," he urged. She sighed and lay lower on the couch, hugging a cushion.He smiled and continued.

"They say angels are creatures who protect people, and demons, the opposite. Well, that is sort of true. Angels try to protect people from the truth, as it would probably destroy them. If you weren't one, you would probably go crazy." He smirked.

She processed that. "WHAT?" she screeched. Luke almost fell of the couch. He burst out into laughter, as she stared at him with a bemused expression.

"That monster," he continued after he caught his breath. He leaned forward so he was inches away from her. "Demon," he breathed. "You,one the other hand, are an angel."

"I AM MOST DEFINITELY NOT!" she yelled, surprising herself.

"Whoa! Come down! You are, no matter how much you don't want to be, you are." The playfulness and recklessness disappeared from his eyes as he looked away. "You are what you are." He stared through the window out into the horizon, not really seeing. He was in another sad world now.





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