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The answerphone beeped. Olivia listened to the message and glanced at the intruder; it stood with its arms folded shaking its head. “Don’t trust him. His tone reveals he’s a liar.”
Olivia ignored the comment as she grappled to sit upright. “You know what? I don’t get this... What are you doing here? What do you want from me? If it’s money...”
“Why does it always have to be about money? Do I look as though I have the slightest interest in shiny pieces of metal?”
What did that mean? “Then…?”
“As I said... I’m waiting.” The person in black paused and glanced out of the window and back to the hourglass in front of it.
“Are you some kind of weird stalker of ex-child prodigies?” asked Olivia.
“God, no!” The intruder leant against the wall and sighed. “Do you understand the concept of timing?”
“In relation to what?” asked Olivia glancing at the door.
“Don’t bother thinking about escape. There isn’t time... And the timing is in relation to the universe,” it responded.
What did it mean? How could she get out? She squinted and touched the back of her head. It was still painful. Olivia frowned; the intruder was real, wasn’t it?
The art agent clenched his fists and gritted his teeth. “She’s done it again! How many times do I have to endure this behaviour?”
Richard, the agent, attacked his mobile phone and pressed re-dial.
“She’d better be on her way! Or... or I’ll...” he muttered. Unconsciously he stamped on the black and white patterned marble floor of the gallery. The phone rang.
“This is Olivia, please leave a message,” said the answering machine clicking on.
“Where the bloody hell are you? Get your pathetic arse over here now! I will not take this shit anymore! You will get here and put this exhibition together or we both lose everything!” he yelled. When he was finished, he snapped the phone shut. Smack! It collided with the floor. The agent loosened his collar; beads of sweat caressed his forehead and dribbled down his nose. Clasping his chest, he groaned and swayed.
Olivia’s instinctive response was to recoil while the verbal darts flew from the answer machine.
The intruder appeared entertained by her response.
Smiling, the intruder watched the last few golden grains trickle through the timer.
“That’s it, my timing’s done,” it said calmly.
“No! What? You held me at gunpoint so my bloody arsehole of an agent could have a go at me? What kind of weirdo are you?” she demanded.
The intruder turned its back on her and shook the hourglass.
“Yep, the timing is perfect. Time to go. We did well. Er… Thank you.”
She flushed red. “Wait! What are you and who are you working for? Why did you do this?”
With its back to her, the intruder removed its dark glasses. For a moment, it paused and blinked a couple of times.
Olivia recoiled, “What the...?” She dug her fingers into the carpet and jammed her feet into the floor. Her instinct was to escape but all she could manage was to shake her head.
“I work for someone higher. I am known as the Connector and the timing is falling out,” it said casually. “It’s all got a bit chaotic, usually I wouldn’t take such measures…”
The Connector’s thin lips curled. “Believe what you wish.”
Olivia shifted to kneeling. “What on earth are you?” asked Olivia, tears trickling down her cheeks.
The Connector waited, it expected the inevitable.
Urgently, she grabbed her stomach and suppressed a wave of nausea. Goosebumps prickled all over her body.
It glanced back at the hourglass, “I have overstayed my ‘time’ and witnessing my eyes will help you in the future - we will meet again.”
“But I don’t want to meet again!”
“The conscious choice is not yours and it will be a much nicer experience next time. I won’t bring the weapon.”
Olivia hugged herself; the Connector’s eyes were large and clear. They were so beautiful, so turquoise. Yet there was something missing.
The Connector gestured, “By seeing my eyes you will know what you are looking for - what is extra in you and what I am missing. You are now on a search for Retina Blue: it will be the genius behind your work. Think of it as a divine gift.”
It paused and gazed into her eyes, “You are very lucky - if luck exists,” it smirked.
“Retina Blue? What on earth does that mean?” she asked in a dazed tone.
“I said our time is up! The rest is up to you.” The Connector turned towards the window, paused for a second and glanced back.
“Olivia, consider the people you have in your life. A lot of them are arseholes. Time to clear them out! Transformation is coming!” It grinned, waved, ran and then jumped.
Olivia scrambled urgently to standing and sprinted towards the window. Her glance navigated one hundred and eighty degrees. Nothing. It had disappeared... How was that possible?
The space between the ground and the window was empty. There was no evidence and nowhere for it to go. Nothing. The only other visible living entity was a squawking raven perched on a chimney of the apartment block across the street.
“Go to routine Olivia,” she whispered to herself.
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