Legal Theft Flash Fiction: Grow (1061 words)

No one had to tell her that everything was about to change. She had seen the doors slam open, the same as the rest of them. She had heard the shouting, when no one in that room should have lacked the grace or tact it took to keep their voices down. She had watched the negotiations fall apart from the hallway, the knowledge of it crawling up inside her marrow when she should have been blind behind the walls, unaware and quietly anxious over everything until the official statements were made.

No one had to tell her anything, and she didn’t have the time to wait anyway.

She reached for Alcide’s hand and pulled time to a stuttering stop.

He stared at her instantly, but she had to shut her eyes, focusing on smoothing the repeating moment. It was always so hard, yanking them back a fraction of a second and letting it play, them yanking them through the same fraction again. Too long a fragment, and she would make herself sick, watching the people around her shudder in the same motion, over and over. Sounds repeated, hitched, and stuck in tones that didn’t belong to anything or anyone. If she could shorten the repeating moment enough, it would be hard to hold, but people would just freeze and the air would just hum in uncertain harmonies.

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