She walked up to me, her finger wagging in the air like an excited puppy, but she was anything but happy. “Ooooh, I am so mad at you right now.”
“Me? You’re the one who decided it was a good idea to go outside!”
“Ugh! I can’t even with you right now!”
“Bitch, please. Had you stayed inside like I told you, they wouldn’t be hunting us down.”
“Whatever, I could turn you in as the fake, and then I wouldn’t have to hide, like ever.”
“You can’t do that, they would know.”
“How? Unless your ass grew three sizes too big since I last saw you,” she said, eyeing me. “Look, we both know you created me to be perfect. Better than you’ll ever be, so I’ll never be the one they figure is the clone.”
I gasped, and looked out at the ocean. Okay, maybe I was looking at the profile of my ass in the shadow. She didn’t know that, though. A good thing, too, because it meant I would be inadvertently admitting that she was getting to me.
“Don’t you look away from me when I’m talking to you, Missy.”
“I created you,” I said, and finally met her eyes. “I’ll do what I want.”
“I’d like to know how you plan on doing that?”
Now she was the one gasping. “You wouldn’t.”
She eyed me, as she usually does when she doesn’t trust me. “How do I know you’re telling the truth?”
I smirked and pulled a small device out of my pocket. It was about the size of a car remote, but instead of alarm buttons, it had a small screen with buttons to set a date and time. It was Chronos, a time-travelling device I created for emergencies. Just then, it seemed like a good time to use it.
I started typing the new time, and she said, “You can’t do that or I’ll use the black box!”
“The what?” I said, and looked up.
With wild eyes, she produced her own small device, and started typing on it. I said, “No, you can’t do that! It’s not fair!”
She laughed maniacally as the sky started to darken. The wind howled through distant trees, and the clouds raced across the sky. Then, just above us, as the black sky gave way to purple, the clouds swirled as if the small epicenter of a hurricane.
I returned my gaze to her and then to the device in my hands. If I could just get back in time to stop her and destroy that black box, then none of this would ever happen. If I failed, then the world would perish.
After a moment, I finally entered the time, three weeks prior to this day. The small red button in the center of my device blinked in and out, and just before my thumb pressed the button, she knocked it out of my hands.
“Yes!” She screamed, and looked at the sky. The winds descended upon me, the clouds reaching down like large hands. They grasped me, soon to take me to unknown places. I had lost the battle here and now, but the war was far from over.
I screamed, “Mom!”
“What are you doing you little brat?” Loretta said.
I called again, “Mom!”
“What, honey?” she said from under the shade of a nearby picnic umbrella.
Loretta tried to cover my mouth but I fought her as I said, “Lori’s not playing fair!”
“What did she do, honey?”
I didn’t know how to explain that my bitch of a sister had cheated, so I said, “She said a bad word!”
She gasped. “Ugh! I did not!”
“Uh, huh! She said it! I swear!”
“Did not! Momma, she’s lying!”
“Both of you stop it right now!”
By then, Loretta had me laying in the wet sand and was trying to push my face into it. We both looked up, and our mother was staring at us over the rims of her dark sunglasses. Loretta quickly crawled off me, and started playing in the dry sand. I stared at my mother, who continued to stare at me. I scowled, puckered my lips, and then after picking my Tamigotchi off the ground, I ran off to play in the tide pools. There was a giant sea creature living down there, and I didn’t have time to pay mind to my mother’s neutrality. The world needed me.