Short Eternity

When a turn of events leave her unsure of what to do, and how to react, time quickly turns into a short eternity.
This is written for the Project Remix competition, and is inspired by both Wonder, and its theme of being different, and If I Stay's portrayal of time being unlike how we know it.
A big thank you to Nostomanias, for the editing, help with the cover, and general awesomeness.


1. Blank Screen


She could tell the movie was about to end. The screen was flickering and the characters, battered, bruised, but not yet beaten, were advancing down a long, poorly lit corridor. She glanced to her right, at Alfie. The light from the screen was reflecting off his chocolate eyes. Her  own eyes were drawn back to the flaring screen, her fingers tracing the rough fabric of the cinema seat.


Mid blink, the screen was consumed by darkness. The music stopped.  Nobody moved.
She waited for the credits to roll, but they didn't come. Confused, she turned to Alfie. He was still gazing up at the screen. Everything was oddly silent.


Eerily still.


"Alfie?" It was as if he hadn't noticed her tapping his arm. He didn't move. In fact, nobody was moving. Blinking. Speaking.




She started laughing. This was a joke. A prank. Any second now, they would all turn and grin at her. She'd find herself humiliated on Youtube.


She waited.

And waited.
But nothing happened.

She was unsure of how long had passed, but it was too long for anyone to hold their breath for. No one could stare, unblinkingly and with such focus, at a blank screen for that long. It was almost like they were all frozen, she being the only exception.

"Alfie?" She poked him a bit harder. "Come on. It's not funn- "

She heard the doors swing open, people walk in.


Her mind was racing. She could ask for advice. In no time, she could be watching the credits with Alfie, and then they could go home.

Yet something about her current situation made her wary of the strangers. Were they aware of the deadly stillness that lay before them? How would they react? Would they help? Would they walk away? Or would they do something totally unpredictable?

And so, just as they rounded the corner, she settled herself in a position similar to that of those around her.

And she froze.
Unable to see the men who walked in, yet able to hear their mutterings, she was concerned by the single words she caught. 'Accident'; 'Stopped'; 'Again'; 'Fault'; 'Blame'.


She was trying not to twitch.
Trying not to blink.

A short eternity, and she was already caving in.

Her eyes were watering.

Her nose had begun to twitch.
Her lungs were about to burst.


Her pulse. Roaring. Gaining speed. Gathering momentum. Taking off.

Her sneeze echoed through the auditorium.

The heads of the panthers whipped around. She could now see that there were three of them, nothing more than moving silhouettes to her unadjusted vision. One of them, the nearest, leapt up multiple steps towards her, and advanced towards her seat. He halted, just inches from her.

Unable to gain control over her independent nose, she sneezed again.


He flinched.

"There's..." He hesitated for a split second, then barked, "There's one here!"

She found herself being studied by three pairs of judgemental eyes.


She felt the towering wall of the auditorium, hard against her back.


She felt the alpha's grip, cold around her wrist.


None of cinema-goers had moved. Alfie hadn't moved. The screen was still blank.


She resembled a fish in a desert: hopeless and lost.


She cast a final glance over her shoulder as she was herded out through the door.


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