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When I saw her it was just like that night when I followed Jill up the fire escape outside our apartment. It was just a glimpse but her dress was such a bright yellow that it was impossible to miss, even in the corner of my eye.
I stared back at the maelstrom’s maw once again and there seemed to be no extreme change in its speed—it was still pulling buildings and pavement and reality itself up and in.
I considered trying the Accessory again but that red Fire Escape was a pretty huge risk and it seemed to “anger” the maelstrom, or more likely, destabilize the Fire Escape Dimension even more.
“Well, there’s nothing else to do,” I said aloud but to no one.
I turned back to where I had seen her. It was just a flash of yellow around the next corner, but I was sure it was her. I jogged toward where I had seen her and turned the corner. Again, I spotted a flash of yellow at the next corner. Though, when I locked my eyes on the exact place I’d seen the flash of yellow, I saw it reappear. Just a bit of the bottom of her dress showing around the corner of a building. It was likely that she didn’t even notice it was showing.
Using my Super Me speed, I had closed the distance in seconds and, miraculously, she did not vanish around another corner.
In fact, at first she looked scared.
“You can see me,” she declared in a way that made me think she was giving me permission to see her as much as she was surprised I’d caught up with her.
“Yes, I can,” I said.
“Are you alright? How are you here?”
“Well, I’m not from around here,” I said. She looked around at the buildings. “What year is this?
Everything looks so much older.”
“No idea. Where did you start out?”
She smiled a bright smile. She was older, maybe in her (late?) fifties but something about her was very luminous—she glowed—maybe literally.
“We’re not fully phasicly synchronized,” she said.
“OK, I don’t know what that means,” I said honestly.
“I’m only catching parts of what you are saying,” she said squinting at me. I shrugged. “You seem fine on my end. Did you want to call me back?”
I instantly realized how dumb a quip like that sounded coming out of me with a growl.
“I’m sorry—it looks like this isn’t going to work after all. Gosh darn it! So close!”
“What do you mean? So close?” I asked.
“Sorry, Say that again two or three times and maybe I’ll work out what you said.”
“Wow, the connection is fine. Seriously—you look like you’re—“
Then a thought occurred to me. I really had to connect with her. This was Jill’s idol. This was Jennifer Ellsworth.
Who ever THAT is.
Famous scientist nobody’s ever heard of.
“Hey hey hey, so wait—“ I was about to try to explain everything but then I wondered if me being regular me again might help. I said my trigger words and reverted something that didn’t quite feel like me. I touched my face and could feel it was different. I was Conva. Thanks to the spooky physics in the FED when I reverted I morphed based on the physics of the FED.
“Hey, you’re Jennifer Ellsworth, right?”
She gave me a suspicious look. “I didn’t quite get all that—did you just say my name?”
“Yes! Yes, I did!” she smiled as my anxiety stomach jumped into high gear. Damn I never should have reverted. I started obsessing about the maelstrom. I looked behind me and saw it was moving quickly. My anxiety stomach felt like a piece of coal.
I looked back to Jennifer and she was smiling.
“How do you know my name?”
“Can you see that? Can you see that? Can you see that?” I said, pointing at the monster behind me. She tried to see what I was pointing at but she clearly could not see it and went back to obsessing about her name.