Without a connection to Sarah the vision will go quickly. I can only see the echoes of a person for a short time after I stop touching them. The useful portion of Sarah’s echo ends here, she didn’t see anything other than the man grabbing Simon, the man is hurt… he’s hurt bad.
“His leg is hurt, he can barely walk. What does he do?” I whisper.
“Hide.” Smith says.
“But where?” I whisper.
I peak over the side of the ravine. There’s only one place to start.
We pick our way down the side, nothing more than seedling trees and weeds. Of course I slip and fall on my ass, hard. Smith is nice about it and helps me to my feet again.
“Thanks.” I whisper pulling away and jogging down the rest of the hill.
We step down onto a sandy bank, I brush my ass off.
“This way.” I say walking forward, picking up just a feeling, that creepy feeling down my spine. The kind that most people turn away from, and rightfully so.
But I follow it, I face the monsters in the dark no matter how much they scare me.
The creek turns sharply to the left, a cliff of rocks span up in front of us, about twenty feet high.
“Devil’s horn.” Smith whispers.
There’s small holes and caverns made by the uneven rocks stacked on top of one another, holes a man could hide in.
“We tracked him here from the other side of the river. We searched it already Ms. Thompson.”
I shake my head. “They’re here.”
I walk towards where the rocks embed themselves into the earth.
The whisper of a ghostly scream surrounds me, a little boy, it’s not real, at least not in this moment.
I’m still picking up the echoes of Sarah, she heard a scream, she was here. Up high on the cliff looking down. I must have missed it, or it came out of order. Echoes aren’t always easy to read or understand.
“Let’s wait for backup.” Smith cautions.
At my feet is a pile of mud and brush, at least four feet high. It’s collected here, the force of the river pushing the debris, packing it into this corner. The sun dried it out so fast it’s packed down, like it belongs here. I begin pulling it away, crying from the sheer amount of fear that I feel run through my heart. The echoes are crying out. This isn’t supposed to be, this isn’t the right story.
I stop when I reach a hole, a hole large enough for a small man and a young boy to climb through. The river pushing at their back, this the only escape.
Smith pulls a small flashlight from his FBI jacket pocket. And shines it inside.
“It opens up,” he whispers. “About five feet back.”
I start to climb in.
He grabs my arm, “we wait.”
“There’s no more time.” I look up at him, “he’s out of time.”
Smith looks back up the river and then back down to me.
“Okay, I’m going first.”
He holsters his gun and takes off his jacket. He picks up a fallen branch and jams it between two rocks hanging his jacket on the end, marking where we are, smart man. He puts the flashlight in his mouth, clamping his teeth down and climbs in.
The inside of the hole smells of mildew and earth, the walls covered in moss and mushrooms. I feel things crawling on my hand, but it’s too dark to tell what, and honestly I’d rather not know.
“It’s an open cavern here, light from up above, there’s a small opening up there. The bottom is covered with water. Let me see how deep it is.”
“Okay.” I whisper.
He’s pretty stealthy as he slips into the water, after no cry of alarm I inch up behind him to the edge of the cavern. There is a bit of light shining down into the center of murky water.
Smith is down in the water, about waist high, he’s frozen, shinning his light across the cavern. I peer into the darkness that still clings to the edge of the pool.
Two faces peer back at me a hand over Simon’s mouth, a knife at his throat.
I glance at Smith waiting for him to do something!
Smith is caught in some type of nightmare, he’s hardly breathing. Something isn’t right, men like Smith don’t freeze, it isn’t possible. Sure I don’t know the man but being the type to fold under pressure just doesn’t really fit him. Whatever it is, there is no time for concern over Smith.
“Hey, hey.” I call the man’s attention to me. His eyes are wide, fear rolling off of him.
“My name is Des, what’s your name?”
He jerks Simon, turning to me. “Stay… stay back.” He stutters the boy cries out.
“We will, we will.” I hold out my palms. “Can I just come down into the water?”
“You have a gun?”
“No, no gun.” I say bring my legs up slowly, I sit on the edge of the hole.
He’s not a bad looking man from what I can see, young, mid-twenties maybe? One thing is for certain, he doesn’t look evil and that’s how he probably got his hands on these kids in the first place.
I drop down into the water as slowly as I can. “There we are.” The bottom is stone, steady footing. They’ve been in here for two days. I can’t imagine what Simon is going through. The fear, the sleep deprivation all of it swims in the air here. It’s what I was picking up on, how I found him.
I hold up my hands again.
“My name is Des, what’s your name?”
“Okay Harold, how about you let Simon go. You’ve been in here for days, you must be cold and hungry, starving really.”
“I didn’t mean for this to happen!” He screams.
“We know, we know you don’t want to hurt Simon.”
“I need their wings!” He shouts. “The end is coming and I need their wings to get into heaven.”
“I’m dirty,” He whispers eyes going wide.
“They made me do it and no matter how hard I pray I can’t get clean again.”
“Who made you do what Harold?”
“It doesn’t matter…. It doesn’t matter, I don’t have enough wings.” He’s getting more and more agitated with every word.
“Maybe one more pair would do.” The knife glints again as he presses it into Simon’s neck.
Without thinking I drink down the power of the silver cord, I tune myself to the same frequency and I drink it down. As much as I can hold within me. I stretch out my hands palms facing out towards Harold. A shocked look covers his face. Doing this while he’s so close to the boy is dangerous. So much of what I’m doing is dangerous, I am not to interfere with the timeline!
But I can’t let the boy die I just can’t. I scream letting the power erupt from me.
The water on the cavern floor explodes up and out surrounding us, large droplets and spheres of water float in the air as I slow time around me, I break the timeline. I, for all practical intention, stop the clock.
The runes in my palm begin to vibrate wildly, this isn’t to be done, no one is the Master of time… no one. I rush forward and move the Harold’s hand, the one holding the knife, away from the boy’s neck. It’s like manipulating a doll. I have to peel his fingers from the boy and it feels as if it takes forever, I’m running out of time!
The music of the chord begins to clang in my mind, bells ringing out of tune, they clash and bellow with rage. I grab Simon’s hand, connecting with the chakra within it and I bring him into my timeline, dragging him away from Harold right as the time loop collapses in on us.
“Run Simon!” I yell pushing him towards Smith as the water suspended in the air falls around us
“Get him out!” I scream the water is beginning to steam, being heated from the power I’ve unleashed.
I hear people calling in the distance, calling for Smith. There here, the other agents are here.
“Go Simon, there’s other agents there waiting for you go!” Smith orders the boy, finally shaking out of it.
“The boy is coming out!”
“Nooooo!” Harold yells taking a stumbling step forward.
It’s too much, it’s too much recoil. The universe always seeks to balance itself again. Push and pull, light and dark it’s all a balance of powers. I scream as the imbalance begins to distort my echo.
I could let it absorb into my own aura, pay the cost, let this imbalance taint me…. But why should I have to? I scream sending the imbalance into Harold this is his doing anyway.
Harold drops the knife screaming caught in a horror show, he’s experiencing the past, present and future all simultaneously. He looks down at his hand and sees three hands, one from when he was a child, now and the future. Three different versions of himself vibrate together, but matter cannot occupy the same space at the same time.
I know Smith can’t see what’s happening. The human mind was not made to witness such things. Harold only sees because it’s happening to him, it is his echo that is being distorted.
He takes a stuttering step forward. Three different heads weave in and out of one another. Six eyes filled with shock as his body is ripped to shreds trying to rebalance itself. Time distortion is a horrifying thing to experience, especially when you don’t understand what’s happening.
His body settles finding his time again, he’s human, the damage to his aura will be irreparable. He’ll never be the same. I can’t say I feel bad about it at all. He looked twenty-something a moment ago, now he looks thirty… it will only get worse.
Harold rushes forward arms stretched out trying to grab hold of me. I call to the silver cord again and my god does she sing. Smith grabs me from behind yanking me away, gun pointed at Harold.
I didn’t tell him not to touch me, I forgot to tell him not to touch me. I’m still tuned to the silver cord.
To keep it from leaping into Smith and killing him. I absorb it all, it’s like becoming a lightning rod, my hands almost catch fire. I scream as the power rolls through my body. I collapse back into Smith, my body no longer following my commands. His gun fires. The sound echoes throughout the cavern. Harold’s body slips beneath the water, it’s the last thing I see.