Hello and welcome to Fiction Friday! Here is last Friday’s better late than never second chapter of Stone & Metal:
Shortly after her arrival, chaos ensued. The youngest of nine; the most dismissed and forgotten, and yet somehow the one anyone would go to war over. There was so much commotion, so much bustle, because it was not just her family in their large home, but her mother’s brother’s family and her father’s sister’s family.
Everyone got in the way trying to hear or see what was going on. Luckily Arion was carrying her, who was the tallest in the family standing at damn near eight feet. People naturally always gave him so much space, so when he started walking through they parted.
From the garage, Arion, Nalani and her mother went through a hallway and down a maze of other hallways which eventually led them to the Wellness Quarters.
They passed under a beautiful archway with flowers and vines that led to an insanely large wooden door which was open. Shiny, resilient metal ornaments adorned the door in a decorative pattern that changed daily. When the light hit them at a certain angle them shimmered.
Bequette, who lived in the WQ, already had the stainless steel table disinfected and raised with her gloves on. She was a thin, slender woman with sandy hair and dark brown eyes who had been here for as long as Nalani could remember. She eyed Arion a for a second and then realized she had to raise the table so he could to set her down. Can you imagine how hard it would be for damn near eight feet to bend at the waist to set something down on a table meant for, well, average height people?
Her mother appeared, clearing the ones who had followed in out of the room. Arion shut the doors behind him but she didn’t hear his heavy boots leave.
“Give me your bag,” her mother instructed. She tossed her her bag as Baquette began to examine her.
“It’s just my school bag Mom, nothing to warrant two creatures chasing me down.” She had to take off everything except her underthings while still sitting on the table. Nalani watched as Baquette checked her clothes, inspecting for what she had no clue. After running and sweating the coolness of the table soothed her and eased the rest of her nerves. She had made it home to safety.
As Baquette listened to her heartbeat and lungs, she calmly asked her to describe the chase in detail. Certain parts she asked her to repeat, to really hone in and focus on the details around her.
“Why do you have this with you?” Her mother interrupted, stepping forward, panic thick in her voice. Her eyes traveled to what she held in her hand: an old dingy pocket watch.
“I didn’t know it was in there. That wasn’t in my bag this morning,” she said. Baquette motioned for her to hold out her arm so she could draw blood. She looked over at what was in her mothers hands and hissed, backing away from her. “Mom, what is it?”
Quickly, she grabbed a cloth nearby and wrapped the watch in it. “Something that should have been destroyed, my dear. Shhh Baq, it’s alright, it’s harmless. See? The metal has been tampered with.” She held it out for her to see, far from herself as if she didn’t even want to be holding it.
Never had she seen their resident doctor react that way. At a snail’s pace she approached Nalani’s mother. She seemed to settle once she realized what she said was true. Calmly Baquette walked back over to her and apologized, continuing to draw blood. Nalani muttered a shocked, “Don’t worry about it,” and turned back towards her mom.
“You know how you traveled through the door to the garage?” She nodded. “This watch had the power to do the same but so much more. Wherever the watch has been, you could travel, wherever you had been, you could travel. Touch it to any mineral, material, element, parchment, and it would take you there, no matter the time.”
Nalani glanced at Baquette, wondering exactly why she had freaked out the way she did. A million questions ran through her mind but one demanded an answer more than the others.
“I’m glad that it no longer works because that sounds dangerous as fuck, but how do you think it got in my bag? Where in the hell would someone even get that from?” She was starting to lose her composure. Nalani was just realizing actual the danger she had been in.
A working pocket watch could wreak untold havoc, destroy, conquer, rewrite history over and over again, pending a colossal fuck up that erases the future.
The look on her mother’s face said it all: I have no idea but come hell or high water I’m going to find out.