Home > Time's Mirror (The Chronos Files #2.5)(2)

Time's Mirror (The Chronos Files #2.5)(2)
Rysa Walker

We’re two blocks from the house, about to turn onto Glebe, when Dad says, “Oh, rats. I forgot my book.”

“Dad! We’re going to be late.”

“Nonsense. It will only take a minute to turn back. I’m not going to sit there for an hour doing nothing. I’ll just leave the car running and go in the front. We have plenty of time.”

I’m not so sure about that, given the rainy weather, but there’s no point arguing. He’s already turning around.

Dad leaves the car idling near the sidewalk and dashes into the house, pulling his jacket up slightly so that it shields his head from the rain. It does only take a minute before he’s climbing back into the car, book in hand.

I look up at the last second to see Mother standing in the doorway. There’s absolutely no doubt that she sees my makeup, even if she can’t see the clothes. There’s no way Deborah will be able to distract her now. She’ll be waiting at the door when we get back and I’ll be grounded for all eternity. Next violin lesson, she’ll have me dressed like I’m ten years old.

What the hell. In for a dime, in for a dollar.

I pull the medallion out of my pocket and hold it up to the window, giving her a screw you grin. Yes, it will probably add an extra eternity to my grounding, but it’s worth it to see that look on her face one more time.

“New outfit?” Dad says as we turn onto the main road.


“I like plaid.” He turns up the radio, which—as always—is tuned to the local university station that plays news and classical.

Mother’s going to yell at Dad, too, although she’ll let him off the hook pretty quickly because she knows he’s clueless about this sort of thing. But I guess I’m still feeling a little guilty, because I’m compelled to say I like the song that’s playing, even though I have no idea who the composer is.

We drive along for a bit. I listen to the boring music and watch the raindrops connect as they drip down the windows. The sky beyond the bridge is nearly the same shade of gray as the Potomac. I start to put on the medallion, but then I remember that one of these has been in Mother’s jewelry box for who-knows-how-long, and I don’t really want to know if Dad can see the glow. I’d rather believe that only Jason and I, along with a few other truly romantic souls, can see this light.

After my lesson, I’ll give it to Jason and he can hide it in his car. That way, he’ll think of me all week, each time he sees the glow.

I wrap the cord around my wrist, deciding to wait and put it on when I go in for my lesson. But I keep glancing back down at the thing. It’s weird, because I can occasionally see more than just the green glow when it’s in my palm. There’s an almost holographic effect as this black fuzzy square rises up from the circle, and occasionally, I see a blip of something that looks like numbers.

It’s hypnotic. I stare into it, watching as white specks like tiny snowflakes drift downward in front of my eyes.

The car in front of us brakes suddenly. Dad does the same, jolting me forward.

I blink.

And then I’m falling.

When I open my eyes, Dad, the car, the gray sky, and the gray river have all disappeared. There’s nothing but the blackness, although it’s not entirely black anymore. The glow of the medallion creates a halo of green, lighting up the tiny white specks around me that look like bits of paper or maybe rock.

It’s pretty until I look down and see that the ground below is rushing straight toward me.

My hand is on top of my face.

It's the first thing I see when I open my eyes. My hand, my arm, the black lace of my blouse. The blouse that will push Jason right over the edge.

Except I don’t think I’m going to make it to my violin lesson today. I can’t move my legs. In fact, I can barely move at all.

I smell smoke. And something else. Blood, maybe.

Where the hell am I? How did I get here? Why is my hand on my face?

The last thing I remember is watching the raindrops work their way down the windshield, and goofing around with the stupid pendant, looking at that odd, static-filled square of black hanging above it. Then the static cleared up. The square was pure black, with a few specks of light in the distance. And I was falling into that blackness.

Why can’t I move? Why is my hand on my face? And why does my brain keep insisting that the hand on my face is more important at this moment than the fact that every inch of my body is in pain? More important than the blood dripping down the back of my neck.

There's nothing weird about my hand being on my face. Except…I can't feel my face under my hand. The angle seems wrong, too. I can see the glow of the green medallion in that hand, but I also feel that same medallion in the hand down by my side. I feel the cord wrapped around my wrist. When I squeeze the disk tightly, the sharp edge cuts into my palm.

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