Monday, October 31, 2005


Sarah seated herself under the shade of a walnut tree, pulling her white frock neatly around her and patting off loose blades of grass trapped in the lacing. Taking a deep breath, she motioned with just her mouth letting no sound out “Mentaharnin…” but before being able to continue a sudden shriek and then joyous laughter from behind broke her concentration.

Someone had just won, or scored many points in a game, Sarah guessed not really thinking. It was true, the other girls her age of Rosemary Manor were playing hopscotch; but the laughter was over Amy Henderson who trying a very challenging sequence had fallen flat on her rear, initially letting out a shriek but then bursting into laughter with the others over her own abysmal performance. None of this concerned Sarah, she always seemed to find the things that brought others great joy to be immensely trite.

The momentary cacophony died down and another round of hopscotch quietly ensued. Sarah focused intently on the sound of the breeze rustling the tree leaves until her mind was completely clear once again.

“Mentaharnin acquinte oransk” she chanted silently, motioning every syllable perfectly just as she had done each week the past three months. Immediately, Sarah felt the familiar, uncomfortable twin piercing at one side of her neck and a withdrawal of warmth. She sat motionless, staring toward the horizon as wispy clouds now stayed their position in the afternoon sky.

“Entaharn, refreshed?” Sarah thought without speech, feeling two incisors slide out her in response. She leaned forward but the air seemed unwilling to move. Defiantly fighting the immobile ether, she struggled forward with increasingly greater effort, and, suddenly, as if a glass door had given way, she hurled forward at frightening speed. The ground and sky spun around her, colors washed from blue to red to green and back to blue, and finally as suddenly as it all began, it stopped. Everything stopped. The sky was reassuringly above her and the ground thankfully beneath her. She noticed herself still seated on grass, but not where she had sat; then, looking forward, she saw nearly fifty meters ahead her own body still under a walnut tree, completely motionless.

“Elegant, always so very elegant.” A boyish, cavalier voice chuckled all around her. “Do you always tumble like that?”

“I’m still practicing,” Sarah retorted a bit embarrassed but returned to a regal tone, “Hurry up and repair that body over there.”

“Ah, yes; fixing your problems.” The same voice was distinctly in front of her but its owner remained unseen. “My, my… an entire centimeter in almost momentary time. I commend your effort, but ripping your flesh seems a rather coarse way to…”

“Just fix it!” Sarah snapped impatiently. An entire centimeter this time, she thought to herself worriedly. Entaharn had explained to her before the dangers of corporeally moving when time slows to a fraction of its original speed. Her whole body could irreparably dissolve under enough acceleration, and with a centimeter of movement this time, it had nearly happened.

Have a Hallowed Eve!

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