One Moment

June 20, 2012
One moment there, next moment gone. The golden fire of my sister’s hair lingered in my vision a moment longer, like an after image of a dream, and just as unreal. Amazing, how it happens. One moment in this world, one moment in another—Elizabeth, my golden sister, forever and ever, gone. Just like that, I stepped out. Fifth and Sixth where waiting for me. Dressed formally in dark suits, I was amused by how much they resembled lawyers. In effect, they were more like the police, but police was a childishly simple word for the whole of the matter.

"You've come." their faces where exactly alike and devoid of emotion, so I couldn't tell which one had spoken. Maybe both, maybe neither. For all it mattered, I might as well wonder who tailored their suits for them, too.

"I guess."

"There is no guessing now. Not here." for a fraction of a second I swore I saw Sixth smile icily. But it was gone too fast to be real, and their monolog continued. I had heard it before.
But now, it actually mattered. "This is the plane of complete knowledge. This is the Higher Authority, where there can be no deceit."

"So I’ve heard." my voice was flat, faintly sullen. The grief had not set in yet: I felt only numb, numb to the gold of her hair and numb to the blood, all in grey scale, that covered the truck’s front fender.

"So you have known," Sixth corrected. "You once refused to listen. But I will ask you once again."

"About what?" I was playing dumb, why, I don't know. Old habits die hard, I guess...I know.

"Will you join us," Sixth repeated, "And maintain the Balance?"

"You're sixteen today," Fifth added. He seemed younger somehow, jittery. Sixth glanced stoically at him, and he almost—almost flinched. "It is time to choose."

"I will," I say flatly. Sixth reaches into a pocket. "On condition," I interrupt him, "that my sister is traded."

Fifths eyes sharpen imperceptibly, and his lip twitches as though he is going to burst out laughing. Sixth merely looks at me with an utterly calm expression that, on anyone else, I would have described as reproachful. "Your sister is dead," he tells me bluntly. "You had your chance to save her. Now her pattern is lost—no force in your world or ours can bring her back. You knew this. You let it come."

A cold fist squeezes my heart, the blood on the truck blushing agonizingly red. "You promised an exchange. You spoke of balance. You never said you could not bring her back from death."

"You never asked." The cold look was back, confined to his eyes but real and present. "Either way, it is too late. You have agreed." he withdrew his hand from the pocket and produced a golden watch. "Time is up, Jason." before my eyes, the hands stopped, and without looking I knew that Elizabeth’s body was being born away in a silent ambulance. But she was all in grey now; even her hair was bleached of its fire. And I was tired. My limbs had gone entirely numb: it spread from my fingers to my chest, dragging me down.

"The contract is false," I hissed with the last of my strength. "You can't do this! I haven't agreed!"

"Actually, Jason, we can." the clock glimmer and the hands began to melt. “Your conditions are imposable ones, therefore false. Therefore you are ours.” His voice was rushing away; I barely heard that last part. All I could see was the clock, at the very distant end of the roaring funnel…

“NO!” I howl. The glass on the clock face shatters. In another moment there will be no clock at all. “I WON’T—”

Join the Discussion

This article has 9 comments. Post your own now!

j.Jaishri.a This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jul. 1, 2012 at 6:39 pm
The premise is interesting - you have a vivid imagination, and I could definitely see this as being the intro part to a novel. The only thing I would spruce up a bit is your dialogue, but otherwise your descriptipons and depictions of what the character is feeling are fantastic!
4qui133 replied...
Jul. 1, 2012 at 11:12 pm
thank you! Yes I do not like the dialog; it is cliched in some parts :p
TheSihlouettedMan said...
Jun. 30, 2012 at 12:36 pm
Haha! No problem, funny enough this reminds me a little bit of a novel I'm working on, The Chrono Authories. Although not quite so related to dimensional sci-fi it still does have to do with an organization keeping balance. Anyway, I look forward to seeing more of your work.
4qui133 replied...
Jun. 30, 2012 at 1:15 pm
Thank you! If you post any, I will look at yours!
TheSihlouettedMan said...
Jun. 29, 2012 at 7:11 pm
I have to say, you don't fall short of clever word play, and without hesitation I would also say say that the description is exceptional. The story is well layed out. However, to be honest, I don't get it. Could you please explain to me a little more as to the events that happened? I know that the article was probably aimed more towards being ambigious, but it just seemed to start a bit out of nowhere to me, but that just may be me. It is set out... (more »)
4qui133 replied...
Jun. 29, 2012 at 10:01 pm
it's part of an ongoing story/vision/whatever the hell i have...if you want background, this is the first peice on H.A. i've put on the internet, so because you're interested i'll give you some background; H.A is the name of the multi-dimensional orginization that keeps Balance in the universe and in general everything and everyone that has to do with them is really dark and depressing and my head is full of weird/creepy sh*t. I'm glad you liked it--i had to hunt for hours to find the picture th... (more »)
4qui133 replied...
Jun. 29, 2012 at 10:17 pm
thanks you very much!
4qui133 replied...
Jun. 29, 2012 at 10:18 pm
Thank you--it's part of an ongoing series that is mostly in my head. Since you asked, the Agents belong to a multi-dimensional orginization called H.A. that maintains the Balance.
4qui133 replied...
Jun. 29, 2012 at 10:22 pm
go*am*t! I am having toruble posting comments...sorry >:|
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