Olivia’s instinctive response was to recoil while the verbal darts flew from the answer machine.

The intruder appeared entertained by her response.


Smiling, the intruder watched the last few golden grains trickle through the timer.

“That’s it, my timing’s done,” it said calmly. 

“No! What? You held me at gunpoint so my bloody arsehole of an agent could have a go at me? What kind of weirdo are you?” she demanded.

The intruder turned its back on her and shook the hourglass.

“Yep, the timing is perfect. Time to go. We did well. Er… Thank you.”

She flushed red. “Wait! What are you and who are you working for? Why did you do this?” 

With its back to her, the intruder removed its dark glasses. For a moment, it paused and blinked a couple of times.

Olivia recoiled, “What the…?” She dug her fingers into the carpet and jammed her feet into the floor. Her instinct was to escape but all she could manage was to shake her head.

“I work for someone higher. I am known as the Connector and the timing is falling out,” it said casually. “It’s all got a bit chaotic, usually I wouldn’t take such measures…”

“You’re mad!”

The Connector’s thin lips curled. “Believe what you wish.”

Olivia shifted to kneeling. “What on earth are you?” asked Olivia, tears trickling down her cheeks.

The Connector waited, it expected the inevitable.

Urgently, she grabbed her stomach and suppressed a wave of nausea. Goosebumps prickled all over her body.

It glanced back at the hourglass, “I have overstayed my ‘time’ and witnessing my eyes will help you in the future – we will meet again.”

“But I don’t want to meet again!”

“The conscious choice is not yours and it will be a much nicer experience next time. I won’t bring the weapon.”

Olivia hugged herself; the Connector’s eyes were large and clear. They were so beautiful, so turquoise. Yet there was something missing.

The Connector gestured, “By seeing my eyes you will know what you are looking for – what is extra in you and what I am missing. You are now on a search for Retina Blue: it will be the genius behind your work. Think of it as a divine gift.”

It paused and gazed into her eyes, “You are very lucky – if luck exists,” it smirked.

“Retina Blue? What on earth does that mean?” she asked in a dazed tone.

“I said our time is up! The rest is up to you.” The Connector turned towards the window, paused for a second and glanced back.

“Olivia, consider the people you have in your life. A lot of them are arseholes. Time to clear them out! Transformation is coming!” It grinned, waved, ran and then jumped.

Olivia scrambled urgently to standing and sprinted towards the window. Her glance navigated one hundred and eighty degrees. Nothing. It had disappeared… How was that possible?

The space between the ground and the window was empty. There was no evidence and nowhere for it to go. Nothing. The only other visible living entity was a squawking raven perched on a chimney of the apartment block across the street.

“Go to routine Olivia,” she whispered.




The old woman glanced at her watch; she had two miles to walk to the designated position. She felt tired and weary, just old. Admittedly, there were other ways to travel, it was just she should not influence anything and definitely not talk to anyone. “This one will be perfect,” she croaked.


Olivia was late, “This is so strange. Why would that happen?” She took a seat at her large, mahogany desk and pulled her sketchbook from a drawer. Click. The lead in her pencil was ready. What was it? Connector, time frame, eyes and Retina Blue, she scribbled. There was no obvious connection.

Leaning back in her chair, Olivia gazed into space. Her head swooned. The image of the being’s eyes haunted her. Carefully she drew the Connector’s eye. Were they green or turquoise? Clear? Was there a pattern or was it missing a pattern? With a loud sigh she rested her head in her hands, she felt exhausted, ill, weak and insane.

“Where’s Max when I need him? I need his rationale,” she muttered.

It was too much – too weird! Olivia took a deep breath; it had not intended to kill her. It? Was ‘it’ mutated or some kind of clone?

Olivia paused mid-sketch; its eyes weren’t human. What does that mean? She chewed her pencil and attempted to retrace the previous events. What had happened before she woke up? When had she been beaten? Why couldn’t she remember? Olivia pinched herself out of courtesy. She had done that many times as a child. Yes, she had experienced visions before. Usually stress triggered them. Nevertheless, they were just kid’s visions – they happened with over-active imaginations.

Olivia rested her head in her hands; it was happening again, the creativity was taking over. When she was young, she would get so involved in her inner landscape that she could get stuck. Hours and hours of daydreaming enabled her to travel through ornate mental labyrinths, the source of her inspiration. Of course, she never told people where she got the images, they would never understand and she certainly could not show them. Olivia huffed, it was there again, the events that took place when she was thirteen. That was when the labyrinth had become the place to escape and hide. The door was opening and it was calling her. If she went in again she feared she would never return. She had almost died there once and she did not intend to allow that to happen again.

Something sparkled from amongst the shag pile. Olivia dashed over, picked up the tiny ornament and stared at it. “It’s empty – but it’s real.”

Within a second, the ornament shattered and disintegrated in her hand. A glittery substance remained.



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