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The Eleventh Hour

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It was D Day and Greta was going to celebrate it like she always planned. The dwindling numbers on her Timer estimated that she would meet her soulmate at approximately 3:45 in the AM. It was indeed a queer hour when most peoples timers ran down in the light of day, but Greta wasn’t most people. She’d gone all out, getting herself dolled up in preparation to stun whoever the lucky bastard turned out to be. Since the Timer started counting down she wondered how it would happen. She then realized it would happen whether or not she worried on and resigned to eat, drink and be merry right up to the moment the bell tolled.

She didn’t want to get messy drunk, just wanted to get a nice buzz going, something to loosen her up while she waited. Greta made her way to the dance floor of a particularly lively meet up spot for Dwindlersand Minglers. She was going to dance the night away.

The DJ was amazing the vibe good, but her eyes kept scanning the crowd for ‘The One’. The place was packed full of prospective mates and all the anticipation was making her thirsty. When she got to the bar and ordered her drink, a man who was already seated paid for her beverage. Greta smiled at him, flashing her wrist to show that she was counting down and was a bit surprised when he mirrored her motion, shoved up his sleeve, gave a quick tap on his wrist and showed her his. It had the same time.

He was cute but Greta felt a little cheated that she’d caught up with him before the beeps signaled her, like she heard had happened to so many other people. Though there were some anomalies where people met and their Timers didn’t go off until the right moment. She was annoyed, now she had to wait for the moment when the guy was already here? It was just her luck. She forgot his name as soon as he had mentioned it, but that was okay because they had time and he convinced her that they were the reason they had met, they were the reason their matching Timers were counting down to the same rhythm and that no one else was showing up so they should just get out of the noise and make their moment happen. He wanted to talk to her in a place where they could connect, just the two of them. It sounded like a great idea to her.

Out in the warm spring air, Greta felt more alive. The fresh air made her feel alive like electric light and walked along with Jerry, stretching her arms over her head to feel the night all the possibility it held with the would be One, Jerry. They walked for a spell, talking and talking led to kissing, kissing to making out, making out to groping. And Greta forgot about waiting for the moment for a moment, because this was feeling likethe moment. He felt nice against her, if only a little persistent. He wanted her now and she wanted to take it back to her place at least to get inside a place where they could be together, but his hands were all over her and then all she wanted was a moment to catch her breath, a moment to breathe again. But it seemed he didn’t even want to give her that much.

So she pushed him back and he fell away easily enough, and she thought that was the end of it. They had all the time- until his hands shot out to shove her back against the brick wall they had been leaning up on. The back of Greta’s head connected soundly with the brick behind, stunning her. She barely had time to recover before he was on her again. His fingers, rough and tearing at her smooth bare shoulders and she was dazed to what was happening before her mind clicked and she swung wildly, trying to get at any piece of him.

After getting knocked in the head a few times he decided he’d had enough, gripped her by the wrist and viciously, wrenched the joint there. Greta let out a scream in pain. The sound was high and piercing in the quiet night and the man pressed his forearm hard against her windpipe, cutting off the sound. The face that she’d thought handsome, just moments before, turned ugly as he sneered cruelly at her. His free hand dug into the soft flesh just above her knee, leaving an angry red trail when he dragged it upwards beneath her dress.

She tried fruitlessly to shove him away with her good hand. By some miracle it worked, he was off of her and she could breathe again. She bowed coughing as she tried to make her way towards the relative safety of the street. But it was hard work as she felt dizzy from lack of air and it took her a moment to realize she hadn’t pushed him away, and it wasn’t like he’d suddenly grown a conscious and stopped himself. No, someone else had removed him. Greta’d had enough for one night and she didn’t want to stick around to see who this other person was. She just wanted to get home and forget that any of it had happened. But her legs decided she needed to sit now and the rest of her thought that sounded like a brilliant a good idea. She collapsed, but remained conscious, propped against the wall. She didn’t have the luxury of passing out she just needed a rests or she knew she would.

Greta thought she heard some sounds like scuffling. There was an aggravated voice of the guy from the club that was answered by a sickly wet crunching sound. That sound roused her some as did the echo of oncoming footsteps, and she tried once more to make herself move to no avail.

She looked up as a too large figure hunkered down before her. It lifted its hand and spoke softly to show it was no threat and Greta felt her blood pounding in her skull.

"My name is Sam, I’m not going to hurt you. I just want to check to make sure you’re all right. Miss, do you need me to call the police or take you somewhere?"

He hurt my hand, he hurt me, she wanted to tell him, but her throat was killing her, it hurt to swallow, so instead she said nothing. Only stared at him, with her bruised arm in her lap; the one he had crushed, the one with the Timer in it. She was shaking badly at that point and didn’t notice when he moved to touch her. “Can you stand up?” She flinched hard then inclined her head letting him help her to her feet. He towered over her, as he stood to his full height the light from a street lamp fell over his face and she felt his fingers gently on her wounded arm. Such tenderness after so much rough violence made Greta feel weak and then stupid for being weak and then angry because she couldn’t-. Her vision began to swim with emotion, the fury and she let out a shuddering breath to calm herself, but it mostly felt like she was only pushing everything down. That made her nauseous, she must’ve hit her head harder than she thought because there was a ringing in her ears, soft and incessant and she looked down at her abused wrist to see her Timer had gone off. And then noted in the dim light that the strangers was also blinking and thought … No, not like this…

That proved to be the final straw. Greta Martin’s face crumpled, she closed her eyes and began to weep.