Pieces of Avery’s memory start to slowly trickle back. The realization of who caused her injuries comes at a surprise. Who would shoot someone and then try to nurse them back to health? The story continues in the third chapter of Catching Time!
[Read First Chapter Here.]
Chapter 3: Present Day
Pain emanated from Avery’s side as she tried to make out her surroundings. There was blood… so much blood. She knew she had been dreaming… or maybe it wasn’t a dream?
It had been several hours since Sierra had treated her wound and left her to sleep in her living room. Avery had woken up after falling asleep. She sat up, a cold sweat lightly peppering her forehead. Instinctively, she clutched her side where her wound had been. It had almost been a shock that she had healed so quickly from it. Her mind didn’t have time to catch up with her body. Along with the dream, the memory of the wound felt so real.
Slowly, the rest of her dream started to come back to her.
This house seemed familiar, Avery remembered walking up to it feeling so sure of herself. That sense of confidence felt alien to her now. When she first walked up to the house she felt like nothing could go wrong. Then, she remembered Sierra hovering over her, pointing a gun at her as she drifted in and out of consciousness. She thought that it was a dream but she slowly started to realize that it was a memory.
“You shot me?” Avery whispered in the darkness as the realization started to dawn on her.
Sierra wasn’t who Avery thought she was. Her mind was still clouded but she could make out bits and pieces. Avery could remember walking up to Sierra’s door but she didn’t know why she had come. Slowly, Avery ran her fingers through her hair. The environment around her became far less welcoming.
“But why?” Avery whispered again, speaking before she could catch herself.
Avery looked around her to make sure Sierra hadn’t wondered downstairs. The living room was empty. Sierra had gone upstairs to go to sleep. It was sometime after four thirty in the morning and if Sierra slept seven hours, she wouldn’t be down for at least another two.
Slowly, Avery got up off the couch. She no longer felt any pain at her side but her head still felt clouded. There was only one place she could get answers and that was upstairs. Avery knew that Sierra wasn’t telling her everything. It didn’t make sense that she’d shoot her and nurse her back to health. Who the hell did that anyway?
So, she had to think. What were her options? She could run out the door in nothing but an oversized shirt in the middle of nowhere. Walk up face to face with that strange metal creature that was laying buried and forgotten outside of Sierra’s door. She could try to figure out how to fix ‘her’ ship even if she had no idea who she was and how to fly it. Whatever training Avery had she had forgotten it.
This situation was a nightmare.
Her other option was that she could confront Sierra. Neither options were ideal but for some reason Sierra felt less intimidating. Willingly, Avery was going to risk how Sierra was going to react. The woman that Avery had seen in the kitchen didn’t look like a killer. Well, Avery hoped. Sierra had put in too much effort to keep her alive.
Avery started to make her way up the first steps.
The wood flooring was old and battered on this part of the house and the silence of the night made every noise seem louder than it was. Holding her breath with each step, she made it up the stairs.
Avery was met by a long hallway with several doors to the left and the right. All of the doors were open. She made her way cautiously to the first door. It was a bedroom and it was empty. It was a smaller room with a twin sized bed that was neatly made up. It looked like it had belonged to a child.
This house appeared to be too big for one person. The only one who seemed to be living in it was Sierra. The house didn’t match her. The walls downstairs were completely void of any personal pictures and Sierra looked like a stranger inside it. Was this even Sierra’s home or was she lying about that too?
Avery’s foot settled on a loose piece of hardwood flooring and she instinctively stopped and listened to the environment around her to see if she had woken anyone up. She heard blankets shuffling and a soft groan in one of the rooms. She walked towards it.
“Hi, look to your left.” Avery heard Sierra’s voice faintly from the hallway.
Avery turned to her left and made her way to the door frame. She could faintly make out a figure propped up on her elbow in the darkness watching her. Avery knew it was Sierra.
“Hi,” Avery said, she didn’t know how to bring up the topic so she was going to say it outright, “You shot me?” Suddenly, she felt panicked. She didn’t think she was going to get shot again but it was a possibility.
“So, you remember?” Sierra said, watching Avery from the bed. She didn’t move from her position or appear to be rattled at the accusation.
Several seconds passed between them and Sierra finally sat up against her headboard. Avery felt the threat subside and wondered what was going on in Sierra’s head. Her voice seemed unconcerned. Avery was expecting more of a reaction.
“Is that all your going to say?” Avery walked through the door frame, her eyes were already adjusted to the dark but she couldn’t make out Sierra’s expression.
“Can we talk about this in the morning?” Sierra said from the bed as she slowly leaned her hand to her nightstand.
Avery followed the movement of her arm until she saw what Sierra was leaning towards. It was the same gun that Sierra had shot her with. The item was clear in her memories. She remembered the way it sounded when fired and the way it felt as it charred through her skin.
“After you went through all that, are you really going to shoot me again?” Avery walked up to the nightstand and placed her hand over Sierra’s, stopping it from reaching the weapon. She felt panicked again but she realized she was able to hide it well.
“No, I’m not going to shoot you again,” Sierra said as she reached with her other hand and picked up the gun.
Avery stood back and lifted up her hands defensively, “I just want to talk.” She wasn’t going to fight this time, not wanting to escalate the situation like she had done the first time. Sierra seemed like a reasonable person. At least, Avery was betting her life on it.
“You could have just waited a few more hours.” Sierra placed her feet on the hardwood floor. She stood up level with Avery, holding the gun flat against her chest, making sure the barrel wasn’t pointed at anyone. She turned around and walked to the other side of the room and opened the window. Sierra tossed the gun out.
Avery balked at her, not knowing what to think. “What did you just do?”
“Do you feel better now that you know I’m not going to shoot you?” Sierra calmly walked to her closet.
“Yes.” Avery watched as Sierra pulled out a thin cream colored robe and pulled it on over her tank top and pajama pants.
“How do you like your coffee?” Sierra asked changing the topic as she pulled her hair out of the back of the robe.
“What, I don’t underst-”
“Coffee first. We talk after.” Sierra interrupted.
“Two teaspoons of sugar and a little milk?” Avery said, watching Sierra. She did seem tired and irritated.
“Alright,” Sierra said, lifting up her hand and pointing a finger at Avery, “Stay.”
With that, Avery watched Sierra leave the room and walk out into the hallway. Avery ran her hand through her hair again, trying to think and process what had just happened. Asking flat out didn’t go horribly wrong she thought as she walked over to the bed and sat on the edge of it.
It was ten minutes later before Sierra returned with two cups of coffee. She handed one to Avery and she got back in bed and leaned her back against the headboard. Avery stayed sitting on the edge of the bed.
“Raise lights to 50 percent,” Sierra said and the lights raised to a low dim. Avery could make out Sierra slightly better in the lighting. She had her eyes closed and she was slowly sipping her coffee.
“Can you admit to me that you shot me?” Avery said, holding her coffee mug in her lap.
“I thought I already did?” Sierra put her own mug down. “I told you I wasn’t going to shoot you again meant that I shot you the first time.”
Avery was taken back by the answer, “Are you always such a smart ass?” She let slip, she sounded harsher than she intended in the quiet room. Avery got a smile from Sierra at the comment but she didn’t mean for it to be amusing.
“Only when I’m stressed.” Sierra took another sip of her coffee.
“Why can’t I remember anything?”
“Yeah, sorry about that.” Sierra had her eyes open now, most likely to see Avery’s reaction.
“You did this?” Avery felt a mixture of anger and confusion.
“It will go away.” Sierra eyed Avery cautiously.
“When?” Avery felt her anger start to bubble up inside of her. She still needed answers, getting angry wouldn’t solve anything. Instead, she attempted to take a deep breath to calm herself down. Her breathing came out a lot shakier than she intended. Avery could tell that Sierra noticed by the way she looked at her.
“In a few days.” Sierra took another sip of coffee. “I’m not going to poison you. You can drink it.”
Avery looked at the mug and then back at Sierra. She had forgotten that it had coffee in it. Cautiously, she took a drink. It was a cup of coffee, not the best in the world but not the worst. Her anger finally started to subside as she concentrated on the taste of the coffee.
“I panicked.” Sierra set her mug on the nightstand.
“Why are you telling me this?” Avery didn’t know why Sierra was seeming to be so honest. It didn’t make any sense to her especially since Sierra went to great lengths to get her to forget everything.
“I shot you. It was an accident and I planned to get you out of here before your memory returned but my plan isn’t going to work.” Sierra shrugged.
“What, why isn’t it going to work?”
“You crashed your ship. You’re stuck.”
Avery remembered the small ship that they had walked to before. Sierra had looked stressed and disappointed when they had returned. She still couldn’t believe that she had arrived in that thing.
“‘You know what’s worse than being stuck?” Avery said, feeling her anger bubble beneath the surface again, “Not being able to remember about your life beyond this front door.” She didn’t like having her mind and her memories taken from her. The part that she hated the most was that this house was all she remembered about anything. She still couldn’t remember her past or who she was.
“Can I ask what you do remember?” Sierra looked slightly nervous, she ran her hand across her neck and pulled out a thin chain. She rubbed her thumb over a flat pendant and looked to be listening intently.
“Besides seeing you and getting shot?” Avery set her mug on the nightstand next to Sierra’s. She really wasn’t interesting in the coffee, “I remember nothing.”
“You don’t remember who you were before at all?” Sierra seemed a little surprised.
“No, can you do something about that?”
“All you can do is wait.”
“Ok, I’ll wait, but what did you want me to forget so badly?” Avery asked, this was the thing that Sierra was hiding from her. The reason why she was stuck here in the first place.
“I wanted you to forget the reason why you came.” Sierra seemed to sit up a little straighter, as if she was uncomfortable with the answer.
“And why exactly did I come here for?” Avery’s voice raised, she finally felt like she was going to get the answer that she was looking for, she leaned forward so she wouldn’t miss what Sierra was about to say.
“You came here to arre-”
A loud noise echoed towards the room causing both women to jump slightly, interrupting what Sierra was about to say.
The noise happened again. Avery’s first thought was someone else was in the house. She didn’t see anyone else upstairs but she didn’t check all the rooms.
“Is anyone else living in this house?” Avery changed the topic out of need but not by choice.
“No, it’s just me. The house is just old, it makes noises like that on its own.” Sierra dropped the necklace from her fingers, “I think this conversation is over now. You still need to rest. It will help your mind recover.”
Avery didn’t want this conversation to end but she was starting to feel uneasy with the noise. It sounded just like she did when she made her way down the hallway.
“It really doesn’t sound like we’re alone,” Avery said, standing up now. The noise was now unmistakable that someone else was here.
Sierra stood up next to Avery, she had a kitchen knife in her hand that she had pulled out from under her pillow.
“Oh, so if you weren’t going to shoot me, you were going to stab me?” Avery raised her eyebrows.
“Shhh, shut up,” Sierra looked at her annoyed. She closed the door to the room and locked it. She then pushed the nightstand against the door.
“Who is it?” Avery watched Sierra intently and got a shrug in response as Sierra watched the door.
The doorknob started to move as someone tried to turn it on the other side. Avery looked at Sierra questionably but Sierra ignored her and rushed to the open window. She leaned out the window but shook her head.
“We’re too high up.” She whispered.
“You can’t be serious?” Avery joined Sierra by the window. It was hard to process what was happening. They were just having a conversation and now this? An intruder was making their way inside? Why?
Sierra took Avery by the hand and pointed under the bed. Suddenly, a large booming noise was heard. Whoever was trying to get in the door was now trying to kick it down.
“Get under.” Sierra mouthed silently.
Avery rushed under the bed and Sierra followed behind. It was a tight fit for two adults to be under a queen sized bed stuffed with blankets but they managed to squeeze in. They made it under the bed just in time when the door burst open and black boots walked across the room in large thumps. Avery had no idea who this could be. The boots were large, they appeared to be from a really big guy and Avery was surprised that they hadn’t heard him earlier with the noise he was making.
“You can’t hide from me,” A man’s voice said loudly.
He walked around the room and over to the closet. The door swooshed open and it landed with a big thud. He tore through the contents looking for anyone inside. Avery stayed perfectly still and she looked at Sierra beside her. Sierra placed a finger over her lips and gave her a glare but Avery didn’t need to be reminded to stay silent. Whoever this guy was, he was not someone she wanted to confront.
The man in the boots walked over to the other half of the room to where the window was located. He then stopped and shuffled around.
“She’s not here, it looks like she made a run for it out the window,” A gruff voice said as he was heard closing the window. “Alright, she couldn’t have gotten far. I’ll check.” He continued.
Avery wasn’t sure who he was talking to but he started to stomp his way out of the room. She then heard him stomp down the hallway and onto the stairs creaking as he went with his loud boots the entire way.
Quietly, she stayed in place, Sierra had rested her hand on her shoulder to make sure she didn’t move. Again, she didn’t need to be reminded, she knew this man was dangerous.
After what felt like an eternity, Sierra moved out from under the bed first. Avery followed behind and she found the room that they had been in completely trashed. Clothes were on the floor and the door was off its hinges and the nightstand was in splinters. The two mugs that they had been drinking from where now shattered on the floor and indistinguishable from each other.
“Who the hell was that?” Avery spoke first.
“I don’t know.” Sierra looked around at the destruction. She seemed more upset about the trashed room than someone breaking in the house in the first place.
“Does this happen often?” Avery asked completely puzzled. Despite the suddenness of the intruder, Sierra seemed to know what to do.
“No, but I’m not surprised.” Sierra shrugged and threw some of the clothes on the bed. She went over to the closet and pulled out a suitcase.
“Where are you going?” Avery asked.
“New plan.” Sierra haphazardly started throwing stuff in the suitcase. She cautiously looked out into the hallway and exited. Avery followed behind her until Sierra picked something up from the hallway closet and walked into the bathroom. She stared at the mirror and ran the sink. Avery watched as Sierra put in contacts, changing her eye color from yellow to brown.
“It has something to do with your eyes?” Avery raised her eyebrows. She knew that something was special about Sierra but she didn’t know exactly what it was.
“Something like that.” Sierra said, she walked back to the bedroom and pulled her phone out from the broken debris of the night stand. She dialed a number and pressed it to her ear.
Avery watched her. She didn’t know what had just happened and what was going on. Not knowing what was going on was getting frustrating. She waited as Sierra made her call. Not knowing what else she could do or where else she could go.
“Yeah, uh-huh, Bliar, just hurry up, ok?” Sierra said and hung up the phone.
“Who was that?”
“A friend.” Sierra zipped up the suitcase and handed Avery a change of clothes. “This looks like it will fit you. Hurry and get changed, we’re leaving.”
Avery took the clothes and nodded. It only took them a couple of minutes but they were both changed and waiting outside the side of the house shortly after.
“Are you sure it’s safe out here?” Avery shifted her weight as they stood outside.
“No, but it’s safer waiting out here than walking. There is no way to hide out there, its completely flat land.” Sierra said, looking over at Avery. She looked tired again.
Avery sighed and turned back towards the front of the house. She could see a small speck in the distance but she was unsure of what it was and she was starting to feel tired too. In reality, she really didn’t get much sleep, only a few hours. Her memories had started to wake her up and she wondered if that would continue. Would she only start to remember when she slept or would she get images of her past in flashes throughout the day?
A few minutes later and that small speck started to turn into a vehicle. It looked like a white jeep was making its way towards the house. Avery didn’t know if the occupants of it were friendly or not.
“Don’t worry, I know her,” Sierra said before Avery had a chance to say anything. She picked up her suitcase and they waited for the Jeep to stop in the driveway. Sierra walked up to the Jeep first and Avery followed behind.
“You got yourself in some serious trouble,” A woman opened the driver’s side door and stepped out. She was short and had cropped black hair and brown eyes. Her jeans had strange glitter up the sides and she was wearing a bright top. The woman stopped abruptly when she saw Avery. Then, the woman pulled out a gun.
“Not again.” Avery put up her hands in defense. This was starting to get old.
“Bliar don’t.” Sierra stepped in front of Avery, raising her own hands in defense. “I’m responsible for her.”
“God, Sierra, I think you’re taking this a bit too far.” Blair lowered the gun and rolled her eyes. She looked disapprovingly at Avery. “Well, what are you waiting for, get in the car.” She finally motioned to Avery.
Avery froze for a second before Sierra moved first. She opened up the back door and Avery got in. Sierra gave her the suitcase and closed the door before getting in the passenger seat next to Blair.
“Can I ask, what the hell is going on?” Avery said from the back seat.
“Nope, sit back and enjoy the ride.” Blair started the Jeep and they backed up out of the driveway.