Author : Morghan J.

“You understand why I require payment up front in a hard currency; when I complete my task, you will have no reason to pay me.” The woman idly stirred her cocktail, eyes latched on the man in a wheelchair sitting across from her at the bar table, his eyes gaunt and traced in shadow, with a leg twisted and broken. The man picks up his drink and looks at it before setting it back down.

“Of course, of course. How much will it cost?” He asks, and she grins.

“Depends, how much can you afford? I’m not a charity; there is an inherent danger in my line of work.”

He knocks back the remainder of his drink in one swift motion, “I’ll make it worth your while. When will you be there?”

She shrugs “When I am. I have a lot of clients, some are higher priority than others. Should be within a month.”

“Think of the event,” she says, pulling a pair of electrodes from her watch. “But don’t focus on the details; details just clutter your mind. Focus on the when, and the where.” Attaching the electrodes to his temples, she continues, “Build the scene in your mind, think of what you could see, focus on what day it was, what time, what year.” A row of five red lights appear on the face of her watch.

“I’m trying, but it’s hard not to—”

She holds up a hand, pausing his speech, “I know, but that’s why we are doing this. My services are useless if I’m dropped in the middle of the ocean. When and where; focus. Here, take this as well, it will help you sleep after,” she hands him a pill and a glass of water, he drinks, and goes silent, lost in thought, and slowly the lights turn green. “Ah, excellent; your memory of this is very strong, normally it takes much longer to prepare.” She detaches the front face of her watch, handing it to him. “Now keep focusing on the event. Don’t let more than one of those lights turn red. This is your anchor. It holds you here. It holds me here more accurately. If you forget, if you stop focusing, you will shift,” she steps back a pace. “Remember, focus!” She taps a now exposed button on her watch, and two blinding flashes of light fill the room.

The stars clear from his eyes, and he notices two wires hanging from his temples. He looks down. An odd device connected to the wires sits in his hands, looking like the face of a watch, with five lights rapidly switching from green to red. He hears movement and looks up. A woman he vaguely recognizes is standing in front of him. A fresh cut on her cheek slowly oozes blood, a drop of which falls and splatters on the floor. He recoils. “Wh—Who are you! How did you get in my house? What is this thing!” He gestures to the watch face now sitting in his lap, one electrode having sprung loose from his temple and wound itself back inside the casing when he recoiled, the other still attached. She smirks, reaches forward, and plucks the other electrode from his temple, slotting the watch face neatly back onto its back.

“That is not important. What matters is the job I was hired for is complete. Good day sir,” she taps her watch again, and a third blinding flash fills the room.

He reaches up and rubs his eyes, clearing the stars from them once again. He pauses; probing his mind, he remembers where he knew the woman from; she fought off four men who were dragging him into an alley in the city many years ago. He thinks of the event, and remembers a flash from around the corner. The woman that saved him got a cut on her face when one of the assailants threw a bottle at her. It must be coincidental; he is in an entirely different country, halfway across the world. But yet, she was standing in his kitchen just moments ago. Seemingly out of nowhere, he begins feeling exhausted, even the troubling thoughts of the woman don’t stay in his mind for much longer as he staggers to his bed, collapsing into a long sleep. He wakes up the next day and goes for a jog, with no recollection of the evening’s events.


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