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Time & Space (Part 2)

by cookiesandcream123

Heyo! I posted Part 1 like, ages ago, but I still have the rest of the story on my computer.. so I'm just gonna post it so I can move on with my life. :'D Feedback & constructive criticism appreciated!


A while later, we were sitting beneath a tree with green leaves that had now turned an ashen, goldish brown. The world was still frozen – my time powers didn’t tire that easily – and beneath the sepia undertones, it was impossible to tell what season it was.

I took a bite out of the apple that I’d stopped by my house to grab earlier. Lina wasn’t paying attention, her gaze constantly wandering even though no one else was in the park.

I cleared my throat. The silence was piling up.

“So!” I said with enthusiasm. “How have you been, Lina?”

She finally looked at me. “I’ve been alright,” Lina answered, sounding as if she should be sorry for it.

“Oh… that’s good!” I tried to raise my optimism to make up for her lack of it, but I failed.

Then I didn’t know what to say.

Where to start?

How do I cram all the lost time between us into words?

“Why didn’t you call us all these years?” I asked finally, rolling the apple around on my palm. I’d tried to dodge around that topic for a while – from fear of getting upset or driving her away – but it slipped from me regardless. “And when did you find out about your powers? Do you know why we have them? After all, mom and dad don’t seem to have them…”

To my relief, Lina didn’t seem annoyed by the question.

“About that… well, no, they don’t. I think we’re the only ones who do. As for why we have them, I’m not sure either.” She paused. “Speaking of our parents, how are they?”

“They’ve been alright,” I replied. “On a business trip. They’ll be home in three weeks.”

“Oh.” She smiled, but it was short-lived. “I remember they used to do that...”

I couldn’t read her expression. Her gaze dipped to the grass, then back to me.

“If you happen to call them,” she said carefully, “can you not tell them about me yet?”

“Huh? Why?” I was bewildered.

“There’s just no guarantee that I’ll…” she trailed off. “That they’ll understand. I mean, I’d like to surprise them.”

Lina stood up, slinging on her purse. “Anyways, I have to go now. But I promise I’ll come see you tomorrow, okay?”

“Wait! You’re leaving?!” She was already walking away. “Where are you even staying?” I tried to get up and stop her, but she was adamant this time. With a final wave, Lina disappeared into the streets.


The next morning, I woke up certain that Lina had disappeared again. Or that the entire reunion was a dream. However, Lina kept her promise and showed up that day – as well as almost every day after that.

Sometimes, I’d be sitting alone in my school’s courtyard, musing, I’m sure Lina’s gone. She’d vanished again, just like she did all those years ago. Yet right as the desolation started to sink in, I’d soon findher waving from behind the school’s chain-link fence. Or even waiting for me by the park, or leaving a gift by my door.

I slowly began to trust her again. Our conversations were awkward at first, since we’d been apart for years, but at least we were trying to reconnect. At least I now dared to hope that my sister cared about me.

Yet she still never gave me answers on what she knew about our powers, or why she’d been away. She was always hiding secrets. Once, frustrated, I’d tried a different approach.

“Why did you choose to come back now, of all times?” I’d asked carefully.

For a moment, Lina had looked surprised and unwilling to answer. Then her eyes took on an unreadable facade as she said, “I had business to settle with someone.”


Over time, I learned about two other differences between our powers:

One: For Lina, she could slow down or speed up time, but her spell had a limited range. I also never saw her speeding up time. Not even once.

Two: For some reason, whenever I saw Lina, it was only when time was frozen or slowed. She never stopped using her time-slowing spell, unless I was already using my powers.

Later, I would find out it wasn’t of her own free will.


“Sarah, isn’t that the grand clock tower from all those years ago?”

Lina was sitting by the window of the café, her gaze on something in the distance. I sat across from her, writing in my notebook.

“Hm?” I looked up. All around us, the shadows of the café and the slow-moving people were melted into a shade of gray. Only the sunlight shone a dreary orange as it flowed through the window, carrying a sprinkle of dust motes. Lina had offered to use her spell this time, in order to give me some respite.

She pointed at the clock tower in the distance, careful not to raise her hand too quickly.

“It’s been a while since I’ve seen it,” she said wistfully. Then almost to herself, “I can’t remember the last time I’ve heard those bells toll normally…”

I froze. “What do you mean?” There was a strange sorrow lurking in her voice, one I couldn’t ignore.

The last time she heard the bells toll normally?

“As in, you haven’t heard it while moving at its usual pace?” I whispered aloud. “Speaking of which, how come I never see you outside of our time spells?”

Her attention snapped to me, almost in alarm.

“What? No, that’s not it,” she insisted. “What I meant was that I haven’t been in France – that I haven’t heard the clock tower at all.”

I stared at her, doubts crowding in my head. “But then, what’s the reason you’re always slowing ti-?”

“It’s nothing. I just like it that way,” Lina said firmly. “It saves me more time as well.”

I stiffened. That was definitely a lie.

“Are you sure?” I tried to sound less skeptical than I actually was. On the inside, I silently wished she’d take the chance to answer honestly. “I feel like there’s something bothering you. Can’t you tell me?” Please, you have to tell me.

But she just assured me with another comforting lie and smile – she was quite good at those lately – and I realized that no, she didn’t have to tell me.

Because if I pressured her, she would probably just get up and leave. That was what she’d always done from the start, wasn’t it?

No, calm down. I’m sure she has a good reason to keep secrets.

Or at least that was what I wanted to believe, except it was getting difficult to.

Is it because she doesn’t trust me?

I pretended to go back to reading my journal, but inside, my mind was a tangle of restless thoughts.

If that’s the reason, then what do I do?

I wanted to help Lina, yet I was certain that she’d walk away if I even tried.

After all, it wasn’t easy to repair a broken trust.  

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419 Reviews

Points: 3293
Reviews: 419

Sun May 28, 2023 3:14 pm
Horisun wrote a review...

Hello, Happy Review Day! I hope you’re having a great one thus far!

First off, the descriptions through out this chapter are very, very strong! This whole work felt extremely atmospheric. You’ve managed to capture this astute feeling of loneliness that one might associate with frozen (or slowed) time. I especially loved the opening line about the sepia tree-

we were sitting beneath a tree with green leaves that had now turned an ashen, goldish brown. The world was still frozen – my time powers didn’t tire that easily – and beneath the sepia undertones, it was impossible to tell what season it was.

-which, aside from being a rad description of the setting, also managed to hint at the themes of this story, which I thought was very impressive!

I also liked the dialogue between the two sisters. You did a great job of keeping the reader hooked on the mystery of why Lina left (and why she returned) while still giving the reader bits and crumbs of the answers, which is a difficult balance for a writer to strike.

I did find it strange for Sarah to claim that her sister could speed up and slow down time, yet then clarify that she’d never actually seen Lina do so-

she could slow down or speed up time, but her spell had a limited range. I also never saw her speeding up time. Not even once.

-it threw me off a wee bit to be handed contradictory pieces of information. I might instead have her say something like, “Lina told me” or “Lina says.” So that the reader know’s from where Sarah’s assumption stems.

This is just my opinion, but I dislike it when writers underline words for emphasis, as you do here-

The last time she heard the bells toll normally?

-instead, you could just leave ‘normally’ un-italicized in order to emphasize it.

Overall, though, this was a beautifully written chapter! Your authors note implies that you will not be continuing with this story, so I hope to see other great works from you in the future! Keep on writing, and have a great one! :D

cookiesandcream123 says...

Heyo, tysm for the review and for pointing those things out! I'll be sure to change them. :D And I will be posting more of this story, hopefully; I already had it finished on a word doc so yea! I just needa resist the urge to be perfectionist and take hours to edit X_X

User avatar
17 Reviews

Points: 1348
Reviews: 17

Fri May 26, 2023 8:05 am
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alpacaboss wrote a review...

First impression: This story is very promising! I am impressed with how you write, being able to draw the attention of people with your story. I read chapter 1 first so I can have some background for this second chapter. They connected beautifully! I would like to break down your chapter one by one.

From the bold "II" to the first /\/\/\/\/\:
I like how you were able to demonstrate the initial awkwardness between the two sisters. One can see from their conversation that they were once close but drifted due to circumstances. You can sense that the main character has a lot of questions on her mind and that Lina has experienced more things than she wants to disclose. Lina is also facing obstacles that she doesn't want to say. Perhaps they involve her powers or maybe fighting a greater evil. You also make it clear that although Lina hasn't seen her family for so long, she cares for them deeply. I applaud your accuracy in making a realistic conversation.

First /\/\/\/\/\ to the second /\/\/\/\/\:
This part shows how two sisters were able to strengthen their bond once more. It's a wonderful thing that happens when you are close with someone. You don't need much time to start trusting each other again. However, Lina is still secretive on the information she has. It makes it all the more intriguing when she says “I had business to settle with someone.” That catches the attention of the readers which I believe you did well.

Second /\/\/\/\/\ to the third /\/\/\/\/\:
It was nice that you laid out the differences of the powers of the two sisters. Evidently, our main character is stronger than her sister. But her sister has faced a lot and knows a lot more. This causes a small balance between the two. The main character who is more powerful and has more control over her power but is clueless about the origin of her powers and Lina who has weaker powers but more information and experience of what's happening around her.

Third /\/\/\/\/\ to the end:
You brought up the tension beautifully here. Lina talks about this. “It’s been a while since I’ve seen it,” she said wistfully. Then almost to herself, “I can’t remember the last time I’ve heard those bells toll normally…” It makes the reader go "HUH?" immersing them more and more into the story. Despite her sister's probing, Lina refuses to disclose any information. Not only does the story create tension in terms of the plot, it creates emotional tension between the two sisters as they are unsure if they trust one another. It was wonderfully written and articulated.

Overall, great job! I'm happy that you were able to finish the whole story on your laptop. It's not easy finishing a story this long Have a great day/afternoon/evening and I hope to hear more from you. :)

cookiesandcream123 says...

Thank you for the review! :D Hope you have a great day too!

alpacaboss says...

Have a great day as well!

i am neither a loose leaf nor do i like loose leafs. really, i am a piece of wide-ruled looseleaf paper
— looseleaf