Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2278137-Clepsydra
by Joy M.
Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Action/Adventure · #2278137
When I accidentally spill a new chemical on my smartwatch, my world is upended.
"Nothing is as far away as one minute ago." Jim Bishop

“Oh, crap… Oh, crap!” My terrified whines echoed in the stairwell as I ran for my life.

The timepiece on my left wrist glowed a noxious yellow color, and not for the first time, I feared the chemicals inside could sterilize me if I did not fashion a better casing than aluminum.

A deconstructed version of Britney Spears Work Bitch snared my eardrums when I strained for signs of my pursuers. I chanced a glance over my shoulder, cringing at the five scientists and six aliens hot on my trail below me on the fifth floor. My breath turned ragged as I strove to outmaneuver my foes, with only four floors remaining until they cornered me on the eastern rooftop of the Biomedical Partnership Building.

“Stop, Georgia!” Paul, my superior, ordered for the thousandth time since I’d flipped off the committee and fled. “Why won’t you just go with them peacefully? It kills me to do this! They’ll never relent. What kind of man would I be if I didn’t do everything in my power to save Earth? I’ll make sure nothing happens to you!”

Blah, fricking blah. No way did I believe anything he said after aligning himself with the Scred.

I leaned over the railing, gripping the cool metal so hard I swear it bent. “Do not pretend you’re unhappy they’re here to kidnap me! Now you have the perfect excuse to cancel the wedding! Everyone on this shit-eating planet will assume it’s my fault these size-zero Martians interrupted their TikTok feed to find me! Why should I suffer for creating something out of my control? I loved you once, but you can suck it, Paul!”

The gangly, pale-skinned aliens did not pause like my co-workers and ex-fiance, continuing to scale the stairs to reach me. I cursed, turning on my heels, leaping up the steps two at a time.

Two weeks ago, I accidentally spilled a new mixture of complex botanical compounds on my smartwatch while working after hours in the lab, appearing in the future after my fairy tale wedding to Paul Forlet. At least I assumed it had been magical. After time jumping, I woke up alone with the knowledge I had created a device that would change the world forever once word got out. Little did I know my clumsy actions would sic the Scred on our planet.


I recreated the exact formula, designing injectors on either side of my resilient watch to regulate the flow, then wham-bam I zipped back to my correct timeline but not before catching Paul tangled in the sheets with my arch-nemesis Shanna Fitzpatrick when I attempted to confess my scientific discovery. As careful as I was with my activities, the sneaky aliens hunted me down, demanding the government hand me over for purposes I can only imagine.

Not happening.

The last flight of stairs met my feet, and with a desperate shout, I yanked the heavy door open to the roof. Without wasting precious time surveying the windy flattop, I kept close to the cement parapet as I sprinted to where I remembered another entryway into the building.

“Georgia!” Paul pleaded when he crashed through the exit. “They will hunt you forever. Quit being so damn stubborn! You’re a legend in their timeline!”

I screamed in terror, running faster when one alien exhaled his or her nasty-smelling breath down the back of my neck. The Scred do not wear clothes and have no discernible genitalia. The creepy factor was real with these invaders, and I would not allow them to get their cruddy paws on my work.

I would not make it to the entrance on the northern side in time. Spotting a low dip in the protective railing, I dashed in that direction. With my fingers on the trigger of my wristwatch, I steadied myself to release chemical agents into the accessory.

“Stop her!” Paul hollered in a panic when he guessed my next move.

There was no escaping my fate, but I had the stupidest luck when it came to avoiding situations, I didn’t want to face so I took a giant leap off the rooftop with a defiant scream right out of an action flick where the heroine lived happily ever after knowing that she could do anything as long as she recognized even good guys occasionally messed up.

Loud booms rattled my bones while cracks the size of city buses appeared in the sky above and below me. I angled my descent to the left, flying straight into one while shielding my eyes from the crackling blue field of displaced energy.

“Oh, crap!” I squealed in alarm, finding myself laying on the sofa inside the break room where I toiled as an underpaid herbarium curator.

The hall outside hummed with chatter as I struggled to focus on now instead of the timeline I fled. I had already seen the future, yet I once again faced the past. Two weeks forward and backward with each jump. Whew! This was going to take some getting used to.

“What are you doing? Napping? We have to finish this project before Leo lets us off next week — wedding or not,” Paul pouted from the other side of the room, snacking on a banana.

I blew out a frustrated sigh, shrugging off my lab coat as I rejected the traitor I had intended to marry. “Not. Goodbye, Paul. I’m out.”

Ripping the smartwatch from my wrist, I tucked it into my pocket, rushing to the closest bank of elevators to leave the Biomedical Partnership Building. I swore never to use the time machine again, but I had to disappear.

Before aliens invaded Earth and screwed up my life, I thought I had it all. Now, I have to go it on my own and hope with all my might to evade the Scred forever.

Fingers crossed…

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