The Girl Who


  The watch’s arm stopped spinning, spinning so fast the world spun too, around and around The Girl. Like the arm it too slowed, clicking in to place and time with a jolt. Vomit spewed up and out of her mouth uncontrollably, big hurls of astringent nothing – she knew better than to eat before the jumps – but as used to the process as she was it wasn’t any less unpleasant.

  Her ears were still ringing but at least her vision had stopped swimming when she decided to get up from her knees and out of the pool of her own stomach acid. She looked around, wondering where and when she was. She couldn’t determine either solely from the darkened apartment she stood in, but it gave her an idea. With a distinct and familiar feeling of dread she walked over to the window and drew back the curtain, letting the light of the evening flood the room.

  The street below was quiet and bare and full of only stillness. It looked distinctly twenty-first century but the barren nature of it all birthed seeds of fear about the exact date. Pre or Past her mind echoed over and over, permission be damned. She grabbed frantically at the window frame, looking for purchase where there was none. Eventually she pushed at it with her palms, groaning as she tried to dislodge it from it’s rut. It eventually succumbed to her insistence and, with a screech, it flew upwards, causing The Girl to topple over the low sill. She screamed a short, succinct scream, her fingers still clinging, desperate, to the wood above. She hovered half in, half out, the cold air tantalizing against her sweaty skin, as if the night were luring her to a gravity-induced end.

  Slowly, with nothing but the tips of her fingers, she pushed herself back into the room. Once safe she stood there, statuesque, her eyes shut tight as the cool breeze continued to play against her face, only the frenetic rise and fall of her chest giving her away as she regained composure. When she had done so she began to call out against the silence, hoping that a window across the street would light up, for someone to yell back to shut the hell up or they’d call the cops. For anyone to prove they still existed. No such answer came, and she knew what it meant. No way America was ever this quiet – especially New York, judging by the skyline that stretched out forever in front of her. She was post-exodus, a long way post, she thought. She’d landed in the period a couple of times before and it had never proved to be a happy experience.

  After twenty minutes of screaming to the darkness The Girl gave up, hoarse and out of breath and tired and upset and resigned and still feeling to-the-stomach sick from the jump, the smell of which still stung her nostrils from the mess she’d made on her shirt. She reached inside her pocket and felt the cold of the timepiece inside, clamping her fingers around it and hoping that the digits inside would be kind. She withdrew it and peered into the miniature ticker behind the arms, it’s figures rolling ever back, slow and steady as an odometer.

00 00 12 05 36 59.

  Twelve days. She’d only have to survive for twelve days. Her chest loosened a little as a warm relief swept over her. Fate, it seemed, had a sense of compassion today. Somewhere in the distance a siren rang out, alerting no one but her, and beneath the ground they stirred, restless.


~ by Joseph Blame on August 13, 2010.

2 Responses to “The Girl Who”

  1. Dude. This is good. You’ve improved massively since I last read some of your stuff. This reads much more like a serious writer, attention-grabbing and everything. Keep up the good work. Now to get myself to work on my skills as much as you work on yours!

  2. Very nice. A little bit ‘Sliders’ meets ‘Quantum Leap’, perhaps, but very well written. I’d definitely read more of this if you ever continued it.

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