Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wednesday Writings # 32 - Freedom?

My "Wednesday Writing" posts were initially created as a writing exercise for me to try and keep myself motivated and on track by making sure that I spend at least 30-60 minutes each week (with the follow-up goal to turn it into a daily writing practice).

Over the past few weeks, I've been continuing the same story with a single post each week. To help you catch up with this serialized story, you can use the following table of contents:
  1. Morning Machinations
  2. Communication Between Friends
  3. Daydreaming Decisions
  4. Off to the Park
  5. Driven
  6. Coming Home
  7. Revealing Photographs
  8. Just a Dream?
  9. At the Tower
  10. Caught
  11. Revelations
  12. Lunchtime
  13. The Watch
  14. Visions
  15. Escape
  16. Evan (part 1)
  17. Evan (part 2)
  18. Evan (part 3)
  19. Formulating a Plan
  20. Testing the Boxes
  21. Betrayal
  22. Julie
  23. Out of Time
  24. A Problem of Paradoxes
  25. Taking Charge
  26. The Chase Begins
  27. Friends Reunited

As always critiques, suggestions, comments, etc. are welcome and encouraged.



Gabby slipped into a coat closet down the hall. Leaving the door open a crack, she could just see the edge of the locked room where Julie was held captive. She also felt confident that if she felt threatened, she could slip back behind the coats and be hidden momentarily from someone walking the hall. Granted, if they took even a second glance in the closet, she was sure to be discovered, but she consoled herself with the thought that she wouldn't need to be there long. After all, Evan was about to rush down the hall and free Julie. After that, she would just wait patiently for Evan to explain the situation to Julie and thus alleviate the possibility of a paradox.

As she thought about it, Gabby felt the excitement build inside her. Just a few more minutes and all of the problems of the past few days would be gone. Things could finally get back to normal. Except that she now had some inkling of her future. She knew she was going to marry Evan. The thought was strange but not reprehensible. She did like him. He was easy to look at, easy to talk with, easy to be with. Even when the world was spinning around her, she felt a sense of calm and peace when she was with him. Still, it bothered her to feel like her relationship was now part of a predetermined path that she had no choice in. But wasn't that what so many girls wished for? To find the person who was their destiny? To know for certain that things would or wouldn't work out? And here she was with that knowledge and it bothered her.

Her thoughts were interrupted by a conversation just outside the door. Peeking out, she saw Evan holding a gun and motioning one of Dalton's guards towards Julie's door. Two other men stood behind Evan their backs to Gabby.

"You heard what Dalton said. Just open the door."

Evan nodded at the door and waited. The guard looked anxiously over his shoulder and shuffled with his key ring. He dropped the keys to the floor and looked expectantly back at Evan. Evan just groaned and stepped forward then waved the gun at the man and motioned farther down the hall.

"Ugh. Just get out of here."

The guard took off running down the hall. Evan kept glancing over his shoulders as he bent down and picked up the keys. It took a few seconds but he finally found the right key for the lock and pulled the door open. He took a half step forward and stared into the darkened room.

"Treat her with some respect at least. Can't you see she's scared?"

Evan stepped inside the door. The two men rushed inside after him.

"I can't even begin to imagine what you're feeling or thinking right now."

"I'll bet you can't. So what now?"

"I'm Gabby's friend. I'm hear to help you."

Gabby wanted to rush out of the closet. To pull Julie out of there, hug her and then run off back to a normal life. Instead, she waited.

"I'm hear to help you..."

"You said that already. So what happens now?"

Shadows moved inside the room. Gabby craned her neck to try and see what was happening but couldn't make anything out.

"You're free to go. But first, I need your help. Let's see if we can find someplace else to talk. Come on."

Gabby watched as Evan walked out of the room. One of the men followed right behind him. Julie came out next, her eyes darting around the hall apprehensively. The last man was right behind Julie, his hand clasped loosely on her elbow. They disappeared around the corner of the hall.

Gabby watched and listened for a few moments but heard nothing. She was so tired of waiting. She imagined Evan and Julie sitting in the library. She thought back on the conversation they'd had where he explained the trouble Gabby was in and how Julie needed to go back and save her. How long had it taken him to explain the situation? How much longer did she have to wait.

She heard some dishes clatter down the hall in the other direction. Cautiously she stepped out of the closet and walked towards the sound. It was coming from the small dining room where Dalton had explained the time machines to her. The same dining room where she'd seen Dalton locked up by Evan. She glanced back over her shoulder to make sure Evan and Julie weren't coming, then she slowly approached the door.

"How much longer do we have to wait?"

Gabby didn't recognize the voice, gruff and gravely. She did recognize the voice that answered. It was Dalton.

"Just a few more minutes. Evan is freeing the girl now and outlining the plan. He'll be back as soon as he sets her loose."

"And then what?"

"And then? And then, we wait for our guests to return. Why don't you go make yourself a sandwich while you wait. It shouldn't be long now."

Gabby heard gruff voice grunt gutturaly followed by the sound of receding footsteps. She crouched down a bit and peeked around the edge of the doorway. Dalton sat at the table. With his right hand he dabbed a napkin at his bloodied nose. His left hand was handcuffed to the chair. Through the door to the kitchen, she heard the sounds of someone clinking at dishes and moving light objects.

Gabby stepped back and leaned against the wall. She stared back down the hall towards the library. What was taking Evan so long? Surely it hadn't taken him this long before. She peeked around the door again. Dalton had put the napkin down and was calmly eating a salad.

Tired of waiting, she stepped into the doorway and entered the room. At first, Dalton continued eating his salad, but then he looked up. His eyes went wide. Then his lips curved into a wide smile. He held up his right hand and motioned at Gabby.

"Ah. The prodigal daughter returns. Welcome. Welcome my dear. Won't you have a seat? Mr. Carlisle! Gabrielle has joined us. Won't you come see?"

Another man came through the kitchen door holding a plate with a large sandwich and a small pile of fruit. He stared at Gabby blankly then set his plate on the table and stepped towards her.

"So you're Gabby, eh? Glad to meet you. I only wish we'd done this the right way, but it seems our host has other plans."

Carlisle held out his hand to Gabby. She shook it cautiously then looked back to Dalton.

"Other plans? What other plans could you possibly have Mr. Dalton?"

Dalton gave a soft chuckle and motioned at the empty chairs around the table. He took another bit of salad before continuing.

"Please sit. We must wait for the others. Even with all the time in the world, I don't like to repeat myself if I don't have to. Gabby. You must be hungry. Help yourself to anything you can find in the kitchen. Your other friends should be along in a moment."

Gabby stared in wonder. Carlisle watched her for a moment then shrugged and sat down to eat his sandwich. Gabby alternated her glances between the two men. It was quickly evident that they had nothing more to say to her. Not feeling especially hungry, but desperate to work through some answers, Gabby stepped into the kitchen.

She leaned against the counter and tried to make sense of what Dalton had just said. Was it possible he still had something planned? How could he? He was handcuffed to his chair. Subdued in his own home. What could he possibly have in mind?

Gabby strained but couldn't make any answers come to her mind. Unwilling to face Dalton or even Carlisle, Gabby riffled through the cabinets to find a plate and began to make herself a sandwich.


Brian Miller said...

nice...this chapter does a good job of creating tension by slowing the pace and bringing all the characters together...nice. a few spelling errors....hear/here...

Phoenix said...

I am at the edge of my seat and am still hoping that Evan hasn't betrayed Gabby or Julie. My only complaint is that this chapter is WAY too short!