I looked to each of them. I waved my hands in front of their faces. They remained motionless, their eyes fixated on me as their forks were frozen within inches of their mouths. I noticed that a kernel of corn had fallen from Michael’s fork. It was suspended in mid air three inches above his plate.
I looked around the room. The second hand on the clock on the wall sat just above the number seven. The fish in the aquarium no longer swam, but remained transfixed as if set in transparent Jell-o. I looked back to the table and across from me sat Yewell.
“What the heck is going on?” I said.
“I figured you’d want to savor the moment.”
“You were about to have a breakthrough.”
“I was? Why did you stop it?”
“I didn’t. You’re still having it.”
“What did you do to them?” I asked, waving my hand in front of Alicia’s face for good assurance.
“I didn’t do anything to them. They’re fine. I just wanted to make sure you had plenty of time for this.”
“Time for what?”
“Why does time exist?”
“Um. To give us the opportunity to understand our purpose?”
“Good. Now, you were on the brink of an important breakthrough, and I wanted to make sure you had plenty of time to thoroughly understand it.”
“So you had to freeze them?”
“I told you, I didn’t do anything to them. But you’ve got this moment, and this moment alone to get this.”
“So until I figure it out, they’re going to stay this way?”
“That’s the way Now works.”
“Kind of a lot of pressure, isn’t it?”
“Not at all. You’ve got all the time in the world.”
This is an excerpt from How to Survive an Estralarian Mind Meld. Come back weekly for the next part or order your copy in ebook or paperback today!