Time will run out
The Pocket Watch
CHAPTER
3
Last Bus of the Day
As we’ve established before, I’m not one to believe in magic or curses or anything of the supernatural sort. But right now, I’m seriously doubting everything. The words the woman said are still ringing in my ears.
The watch will tell you.
Stop them and save your cousin.
You have three days.
This is impossible. Far beyond impossible. This defies all logic and reason.
And yet, it’s almost proving itself real.
I barely taste the soup, my only thought is getting back upstairs and finding the watch. If this is real, I’m going to need it.
When I’m done eating nurse Nancy takes me back up stairs. She helps me climb back into bed and get settled.
“Excuse me,” I say when she’s finished putting the wheelchair back. “Do you know where my things are? I had a pocket watch, I was wondering if you found it?”
Nurse Nancy nods, “just give me a second, I’ll go get your things,” she says, then disappears, returning a few minutes later with a bag.
I thank her and dump the plastic bag’s contents onto my bed. My phone, the other things we got from the thrift shop, and the pocket watch fall out.
I pick up the pocket watch, willing something to happen. I need answers, and if some crazy, magical, pocket watch is the answer then fine by me.
But nothing happens.
“You should sleep, honey,” my mom says, appearing in the doorway. I open my mouth to protest but she holds up a hand, “there’s nothing you can do for Mauve but take care of yourself.
I lie down, pocket watch in hand, with every intention of getting back up the second she leaves the room. But the moment my head hits the pillow I feel myself falling asleep.
My dream is composed of flashes, second long pictures of different, but familiar places. The bus stop that only has one bus, it goes from one end of the island to the other. A clock reading 11:34pm. Fire. Flames, curling up the sides of the upturned bus. And then I wake up.
I look down at my hand, sure enough the pocket watch is still in my grip. That has to be the first disaster.
The clock, I always have to look for a clock, I’m going to need specific times. It has to be a bus crash, a bush crash at 11:34pm tonight? It has to be tonight, I didn’t get a more specific date, and I only have three days.
So the first disaster is tonight at 11:34pm. Now how do I stop a bus crash?
I am released a couple hours later with advice to relax and let myself recover, but seeing as I have a bus crash to stop, I don’t see that happening.
When I get home I have exactly four hours to stop the crash. My parents go to bed at ten, which makes it easier to sneak out. I hop on my bike and start towards the station, I have a theory on how I could stop the crash, but no guarantee that it’ll work.
I reach the station at 11:23pm, the bus leaves at 11:30, crashing only a few minutes later. If I can delay the bus, maybe they’ll miss the car, or truck, or whatever they’re supposed to hit.
“Excuse me!” I shout, hopping off my bike and letting it fall to the concrete. “Are you the bus driver?”
“Yes, do you need something?” he asks.
I really should’ve come up with a story before I go here. “Well see,” I say, rambling and hoping I can keep him busy long enough. “My best friend’s, sister’s, cousin’s, aunt is in a bad place, see. And well, she’s run away because Sam cheated on her mom, Livi, and then Michael moved away, and oh, of course, my friend’s cousin’s uncle still isn’t sure where Marcy is, and-”
“Kid, you aren’t making any sense,” the bus driver says, cutting me off.
“No no, I’m making perfect sense,” I assure him, looking up at the clock above his head. Just a few more minutes. “Okay, so where was I? Right, okay, so my best friend’s, cousin’s, aunt’s, dad, still can’t find Mike-”
“The Michael dude you mentioned earlier?” the bus driver asks.
“No, this is Mike, completely different person,” I say, willing my brain to fill with something other than nonsense. “Oh, and of course Mike has a dog, Michael is allergic to dogs, so yeah . . . that sets them apart as well. Oh, and-”
“Kid, what do you need?”
“Right, so I was wondering if you had seen my cousin’s, best friend’s, aunt!” I say.
“I thought it was your best friend’s, cousin’s, aunt?” the bus driver says.
“Um, no, Mike’s sister? Nah, she’s fine. I’m looking for someone else, and actually, you know what, I think I know where she is, never mind, thanks for your time!” I say, running back and grabbing my bike.
“Kid, you made me late!” the man yells angrily.
“I sure hope so,” I whisper.
I hope that worked, I think, as I bike back towards home. If I stopped this one, then I have two more to go.

Keep Reading

Chapter 4

Weird Finger Guns and Fire Girl

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