7.9

We were running through a maze in the Registry of Lost and Found. The maze had taken us to the same point several times, and Deborah Peterson’s corpse was learning tricks to surprise us from unexpected places. Quite incredible, considering that she did not have any brain activity at all. We got to the same room once again.

“It’s no use! We’re trapped in here!” you grumbled, just under your breath.

“No, there must be a way out. We just need to think. Erin, any ideas?” I said.

Erin looked around. She inspected the walls, the floor and the ceiling.

“Something from this room gives me a feeling… I will cast a spell and see if I’m right…” she said, as she brought out a wand from her pocket.

“Oh, it’s like a Harry Potter wand!” Dom exclaimed. “How cool!”

“No!” I shouted. “What have you done?”

“What…?” you were confused.

The wand disintegrated in Erin’s hand, and she was hit by a powerful spell. Her eyes went blank, her body contorted and then she fell to the floor. She had passed out. I held her before she hit her head. I took her in my arms, and stared at Dominic.

“That was copyright infringement! You cannot do that!”

“I’m so sorry! I…”

I was furious. “Shut up and tell us how to leave this damn place!”

“I… I don’t know… It has all changed now…”

I screamed. “Anne!”

You turned just just in the moment in which Deborah Peterson slashed at you with the Machete of Doom. In a reflex movement, you put your arms up, and Dominic’s head was completely exposed to the attack. I gasped, thinking you dead for a split second. But Deborah had stopped just in time.

“What?”

Dom’s voice changed. It was sobre, calculated, composed. “Deborah, just kill them”.

The corpse put her arms up menacingly, but you held Dominic’s head in the way. She tried to circle around you to attack Erin and I, but you circled with her.

What do you think you are doing?” Dominic asked you.

“She won’t attack you, so I’m using you as a shield” you answered.

“Stop that” he ordered.

“No” you said, fear in your voice, but with a clear resolve.

We were at a standstill. Both parties had some sort of advantage, and both parties had some sort of handicap. A wrong move would trigger a chain reaction that would not end well for any of us.

“Why are you doing this, Dominic?” I asked.

“I’ve seen what is to come, the Lord showed me, and… and…”

“What do you mean?”

Dominic wen completely silent. He then spoke in a murmur. “Deborah. Do it”.

“What?”

She brought the machete down on you. You, however, moved out of the way just in time – the rotting corpse was not very fast anymore, really -, and the machete hit the floor. We all stood silent for a moment. Then the floor collapsed under our weight. We fell down one floor, over the rubble, and you let Dominic’s head go. You were the first one to stand.

“John… are you guys OK?”

I dissipated the protective spell around Erin and I and walked towards you, in perfect health.

“You could do that?” you asked.

“Yes” I answered, proudly.

“And you didn’t get me into that protective circle? What an asshole” you responded, making me feel guilty. “OK, so now what?”

We looked around. Deborah Peterson and the machete had been trapped under the rubble. We felt the ominous aura of the machete spreading around, so we decided not to touch it and to get out of that place as soon as possible. We didn’t find Dominic’s head. There was only one corridor to walk through, so we advanced. Erin was still unconscious.

“He was a dick, anyway” you said.

“To be fair… I think he set it all up”.

“What, including the Eldritch abomination thing?”

“No! How could he set that up? Use your common sense!”

“Hey, don’t give me that shit. I’m the normal one here” you were quite pissed. After a pause, you finally spoke.”Also, give me some credit, I’ve saved our lives back there”.

“Oh, wow, you want me to clap? Well, I’m too busy carrying an unconscious person!”

“Don’t be an asshole! We’ve come here to save you!”

“I’ve spent several weeks in here and I’m the asshole? Give me a break!”

“We didn’t have to come here at all. We could’ve left you to rot here”.

“Well, if you call this saving me, then I guess we will need a miracle to get out of here!”

“Why are you being such a cunt?”

“Well, maybe because it doesn’t look like there is an exit at all!” I pointed at the neverending corridor.

“Fuck that, fuck you and fuck you attitude!” you shouted, kicking at some rubble on the floor.

The object accelerated a lot more than any of us had expected, it definitely went over the speed of sound – we heard the bang -, and probably somewhere near the speed of light. In a few seconds, it hit the end of the corridor and produced an explosion which took a couple of minutes to be visible. We turned around from our fight.

“That’s no good, right?” you asked, eyes wide open.

“I… don’t think so”.

“Run?”

“Run”.

We started to run backwards, looking for any kind of protection. The explosion was still far, millions of kilometres away, but it was approaching at a fast speed, and we didn’t feel like becoming roasted humans yet – though it is said that it is a delicacy available only in the most expensive restaurants and cannibalistic tribes -, so we escaped desperately. We didn’t seem to advance, and the explosion was getting nearer.

“Run faster!”

“I’m at it!”

“Then why does it look like we are in exactly the same place?”

I looked around. “Oh. Because we are”.

“What?”

I extended an arm and felt the environment. “Oh. Stop running”.

You were looking at the explosion right behind us, worriedly seeing it get nearer by the second. “So…?” you urged me to explain.

“Don’t worry about the explosion, it’ll never get to us. We are trapped in a constant time field” I explained.

“So… that means that time has stopped here?”

“Yes, that’s why we cannot advance at all”.

“But that pebble got out when I kicked it!” you objected.

“It somehow reached the interface between the normal time and the stopped time, and it accelerated to near the speed of light. The air around it got crushed in a nuclear fusion and…”

“Isn’t that from an online webcomic skcd, or something?” you interrupted.

“I think it is… so we better not say anymore, we already have enough with one copyright infringement” I agreed.

“So, how do we get out of here?”

“We somehow need to deform time”.

“I think I learnt that gravity deforms time…” you said.”That’s it! Time has stopped around us, but not for us, because we have mass! That’s why we can keep talking!”

The explosion got to the interface between times, and stopped there.

“Oh… that’s ingenuous! We need to force ourselves onto the interface, then…”

You thought about it. “There’s a problem, though. We’ll catch a lot of speed, like that pebble”.

“I’ll do something about that. Hold on to me!”

We rocked back as strongly as we could, finding the boundary of the time stopped area. We needed to push against it, which we did. It was difficult, it was hard. We had to coordinate all of our strength, and when we were about to give up, the boundary gave in. We were thrown with a bang, which I stopped with a spell. We were still thrown away with the strength of a giant hammer.

“Are you OK?” I asked.

“I… think I have a broken leg…” you tried to stand up. “What about you?”

“Definitely a couple of ribs…” I gasped. “And my left wrist”.

“You all look horrible!” a familiar voice said.

“Mama?” you looked up. There she was.

“It’s taken you guys two weeks, and you were almost out, but this cannot wait anymore. Come on, let’s go”.

She helped us up, and we were suddenly healed. She even made Erin recover consciousness.

“It’s the first of July, then?” I asked.

“Technically, yes, but we’re still trapped in the middle of the Solstice, and need Erin right now” Mamma explained.

“What’s going on?” Erin asked.

“We’re out of the Registry of Lost and Found. And it’s time” Mamma answered.

“I understand” Erin answered.

We all walked into the light. We were outside.

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