Time will run out
The Pocket Watch
Three Days
I barely hear anything the doctor says, I know I’m going to be okay, and I know uncle Carson is doing alright, but the second he says Mauve is in “critical condition” and “it doesn’t look good” I completely zone out.
A million thoughts run around in my head, is it my fault? Did I somehow do this? Or rather, did I somehow allow this to happen?
I’m not the type to believe in magic or curses, sort of a side effect of growing up on Maverick Hallow, this island attracts loads of tourists through its ghost stories, and just from being around all the stories I never really believed them. However, throw in a creepy story about a pocket watch that causes accidents and then toss in an accident and I’ll admit, it’s enough to make me wonder.
“Cadie? Cadie, honey?” I snap out of my thoughts and look up, my mother has arrived. She throws her arms around me, “oh sweetie, I’m so glad you’re okay,” she cries.
“Mauve,” I whisper, it’s the only word I can force myself to speak.
My mother releases me and gives me an apologetic look, “they don’t know if she’s going to be okay, did they tell you?”
I try to say “yes” and “I didn’t understand” at the same time and the result is senseless mumbling.
“You should rest, pumpkin,” my dad says, appearing over my mother’s shoulder. “They’ve got you on painkillers so you’re bound to be a little fuzzy, you can worry about this later.”
Part of me protests, I want to go find Mauve, and I want to be there if there’s any news, but the other part of me is so sluggish and tired that I don’t manage to put up much of a fight.
My mother helps me lie down and pulls the rough blanket over me. I watch as she and my dad walk over to uncle Carson’s bed and say something in a whisper. I try to make out their words but my eyes are closing, and before I know it, I’m pulled away by sleep.
When I open my eyes I’m far less groggy and dizzy. I sit up and rub my eyes. My eyes dart around the room, looking for a clock.
“Feeling better?” a woman asks, walking in.
I nod, “what time is it?” I ask.
The woman glances down at her watch, “3:34am, you were asleep for quite awhile. My name’s Nancy Mayfield, I’m your nurse.”
I wave halfheartedly. “Where are my parents?” I ask, and where’s my uncle, he was in this room as well,” I say.
“Your uncle was released, his injuries were very minor, he and your parents are with your cousin, I promised them I’d page them when you woke up so I’m going to go do that now, okay?” Nurse Nancy says.
“Is there any way I can just go to them?” I ask, “I want to see Mauve.”
“Sure thing, you’ll have to go in a wheelchair though, you’re going to be unsteady from the medication we gave you, you have a minor concussion,” she says.
“Deal,” I say, nodding so fast my vision blurs. I want to see Mauve, I need to know how she is.
Nurse Nancy leaves and returns a moment later with a wheelchair. She helps me in and wheels me out of the room. The hospital is small, nothing all that fancy, but the halls have a winding nature that would make it easy to get lost.
We come to a stop in front of a room, I can see the foot of a bed and three people with their backs turned to me.
“Mom . . . ,” I whisper, “dad?”
Two of the figures turn to face me, their faces tear stained. “Hi sweetie,” my mom says, and nurse Nancy wheels me into the room.
I open my mouth to reply to my mother but I’m left speechless at the sight of Mauve. She is a mess of scraps, cuts, wires, and tubes. She barely looks like my cousin any more . . . She barely even looks alive.
“Her side of the car took most of the impact,” dad explains gently, putting a hand on my shoulder.
“Is she going to be okay?” I ask, panic beginning to rise in my chest.
“We don’t know,” nurse Nancy says slowly, “I’m very sorry.”
“Hey sweetie, you must be hungry, you should eat,” my mom says, and my dad looks up and nods.
“No, I don’t want to go, I can’t leave her!” I cry, almost adding: it’s my fault.
“You really do need to eat,” nurse Nancy says, “all you can do right now is take care of yourself. I’ll take her down to the cafeteria, you all can stay here,” she says to my parents and uncle.
Quietly, they all thank her, except for uncle Carson, who’s staring down at his daughter, seemingly numb to the world.
Nurse Nancy wheels me out of the room and down the hall into the elevator. “Your cousin-” she starts.
“Mauve,” I say.
“Mauve took most of the impact from the other car. She broke her left arm and ankle, and she had some internal injuries. At the moment we’re just waiting, that’s all we can do. I know it’s painful to do, and feeling helpless is awful, but it’s all you can do,” she says.
“Thank you,” I whisper, but the words don’t really seem to sink in. I feel numb. Could a pocket watch really do all this?
We stop at the cafeteria and nurse Nancy wheels me over to a chair.
“I’ll get some food, soup sound good?” she asks. I nod, still numb.
“You have a chance to save her,” a voice says from behind me. I turn around as well as I can in the chair, and the woman walks to stand in front of me.
“Who are you?” I ask, “what are you talking about?”
“Three disasters. That will reverse the curse. Stop three disasters, the watch will tell you before they happen, but you won’t have long to stop them. Stop them and you save her cousin, don’t, and she will fall into a coma and die. You have three days,” she says. She’s about average height, grandmotherly in appearance. I open my mouth to speak but she turns and walks away, and by the time I manage to spin myself around she’s disappeared.
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