Attic, part 77

“Where to begin?” Amelia said. “The difficult thing about being in forward time is having to lay everything out in a line.”

“Did you say ‘forward time’?” Jenny asked.

“Well, to you it would just be ‘time’. I’ve gotten used to the other way — the way of seeing things all at once, the before and the after. I’m a little out of practice at feeding information through a straw.”

“That’s ok,” Jenny said. “You can talk about stuff to me in any order. I’ll put the pieces together.”

“That’s very sweet of you,” Amelia smiled. “Well then, perhaps it would be best to start near the end. We are sitting here on this bed, and we are having a very pleasant conversation. So far so good?”

“Um, yes,” Jenny said hesitantly. “That’s what we’re doing. I already know that.”

“Yes, of course you do. But the next part — the part that comes right after that — is more interesting.”

“And what’s that?” Jenny asked.

“The part,” said Amelia, “where I tell you that you need to leave now, and not see me again.”

“Oh,” said Jenny. “I wasn’t expecting that.”

“Yes my dear, that’s the point. The part you know leads to the part you don’t know. But it’s the part after that which is even more interesting.”

“And what’s that?” Jenny said.

“The part where if you don’t go away after I tell you to, then you and your friends might not exist any more. And then I shall be very sad.”

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