She’s finally done it! She managed to stop time. She’d been trying to do it for a small eternity, can’t even remember everything she threw at it, and it’s really not clear what worked this time. Had she taken notes? Does it even matter? Well, yes it does, in case she wants to repeat the experiment. “Hold on,... take a moment. Yes,” she thought to herself, “best just enjoy it’s finally here.

How long has it been really? If she’s aware she’s stopped time, is this because it just happened? Or because she’s been in this state for a long while, unaware, not doing anything and not thinking either? Her awareness suggests it hasn’t fully stopped, has it? Maybe time just slowed down and awareness took a while to set in. But then … what about the others? What about AJ? He’s been encouraging her experiments, but she never heard him say out loud he also wanted to slow down time … what if he would rather speed it up? If that’s the case, he won’t like things slowed down. Has it slowed down for him though, for everyone? She checks the window. Is that car even moving?,… 

The clock hasn’t moved in … umm … a minute? An hour? Maybe the battery is dead. "Oh!" She remembers. “I ran out the other day and forgot to buy new batteries.” She can be so forgetful. “How long has it been since a pedestrian walked by? Oh that’s why I needed the batteries, for the clock, to measure time. The car in the distance isn’t moving either, or is it?…

A conversation with her mother comes back to her, she’d made a passing comment about turning 90. “Oh don’t wish us that long, dear. Old age is really quite difficult”. She now wonders what her mother must be going through. Has time slowed down, has her mother stopped ageing? Or has it fully stopped? “Well no, it can’t have stopped, my thoughts are here. Aren’t they?...

She remembers the first time she diluted time. An edible, some red wine and soon after she was lying on the floor, listening to music and feeling every note as if it were a blood cell, moving slowly through her body. She could visualise the universe contracting and expanding to the beat, just like her heart does. She could see all the way back into history, then zooming out into outer space, blood cells turning into stars and heartbeats into black holes, the edible wearing off while she slept like a baby. 

What if this time she affected everyone else, including her mother on the other side of the world? It’s nighttime over there, and her mother doesn’t like being alone in the dark. Anxiety starts creeping up. Electricity doesn’t seem to be working in any room of this flat, and those damn batteries! Why would she forget to get them? She can be so stupid sometimes. "No, come on, don’t talk to yourself like that, AJ’s taught you to project positivity." Afraid of leaving her flat, afraid of what the shopkeeper downstairs will look like, afraid of even looking at herself in the mirror, she's frozen. Are her movements even normal speed, or just her thoughts? 

Wait … if time slows down, what happens to the Earth?”  Will her mother be permanently experiencing nighttime, until things get back to normal? Oh no! And … Oh how she wishes she’d planned this better before starting down this path… "What if slowing down makes gravity disappear? Do people and animals just … float away? One way to find out, I suppose!” “NO! don’t be ridiculous. Think of all the people you love! How can you be so selfish? What if time slowing down means everything disappears as we know it?… what if “ … what if physical forces disappear, … does everyone start ... disappearing into nothingness?"  She's afraid her heart might stop beating. Anxiety now taking full control.

Siobhan, her daughter, flashes through her mind. The thought of never seeing her again makes her physically sick. Time may as well pack up and crumble into dust indeed. She wasn't always the best mother, but she promised Siobhan she'd get sober and intended to keep her word. So why didn’t she think of this before having this again? How can she be so selfish, so stupid?! “How did I even get here? Did I write down anything? How do I get out? Where’s AJ, anyway? Wonder what mum and Siobhan are thinking right now…”

The clock hasn’t moved at all. How long has it been? 


I’ve been in this living room forever, I don’t remember not being here. When was the last time I left? 


Should I check the bathroom mirror? My heart shrinks at the thought. 


OK, pause for a second. Think.


There! It's shrinking again. Feels so strange having your heart shrink like that. Is it hiding?...


“... and again! One … Two … Three … Four … keep going, you're doing great!”. The voice on the phone counts again.

Is that ambulance coming?!” AJ is shouting now, he’s had the call handler on speaker for an eternity.

Keep going. One … Two … Three … Four… We’re just getting someone to you. One … Two … Three … ” 

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