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(12) Countdown

BETHANIE’S CAR RACED DOWN THE road, Dylan behind the wheel. The car clock read 11:41. He’d been gone twenty-five minutes.

The dark thrashed against the windscreen, the night parting around the Volvo. His brain was running at a hundred miles-an-hour, thoughts crashing into each other in their haste to claim his attention.

Who was Florence? What was she? He’d just left Bethanie with her. How hadn’t he seen it? How could he have been so stupid! The thought of Bethanie, alone and afraid, made his heart want to collapse.

As he drove, Dylan pulled out the stone he found in the graveyard and ran his finger over the intricate carving. For some reason, it felt important in a way it hadn’t before. It was cold to the touch, but if he let his mind wander, it felt as though it was burning through his palm. He swore and dropped it. It fell down beneath the seat.

The clock ticked over another minute. Twenty-six minutes gone by. Twenty-seven.

Dylan watched it tick closer to 12am. Somehow, he knew he had to get there by midnight. He just knew.

He was running out of time.

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