Ten Seconds Passed.

 

Mr. Macmillan walked into the room. He unpacked his shoulder strap, setting paper, binders, and an empty coffee mug on his desk. “The storm got here earlier than expected huh, guys? It’s going to rain soon.”

Georgia, who was knee deep in thought snapped out of her trance at the sound of Mr. Macmillan’s voice. “Yeah, glad we got here early.”

Flynn had his eyes closed as he listened to “No Surprises” by Radiohead.

Luke the janitor, unstuck the clock from the wall mount. He hit it a couple of times and it started ticking again. “Man, they pay me way too much for this job,” he said as he placed the clock back on the wall.

Ten seconds passed.

Mr. Macmillan walked into the room. He placed his bag down on his desk and unpacked…his…paper…binders, and empty coffee mug. “The storm got here earlier than expected…huh?” Mr. Macmillan took a second. “It’s going to rain soon.”

Georgia was knee deep in thought, but snapped out of it when she heard Mr. Macmillan speak. “Yeah,” she squinted her eyes, “good thing we got here early.”

Flynn listened to “No Surprises” with his eyes closed.

Luke reached for the clock on the wall.

Ten seconds passed.

Mr. Macmillan walked into the room. He stopped three steps in. His hand gripped his shoulder strap. “Hey, didn’t I just walk in?” he asked.

Georgia looked confused. “Did you?”

Flynn listened to “No Surprises.” Flynn opened his eyes and checked his CD player. He was confused. Didn’t it just play?

Luke saw all this happen.

Everyone in the room looked at each other for an answer. There were none.

Ten seconds passed.

Mr. Macmillan walked into the room. “What the hell is going on?” he asked, “I just walked in! Georgia, Flynn, please tell me I’m not crazy!”

Georgia got up from her desk and made her way over to Flynn. “No, you’re not. I totally remember you walking in…I think?” Georgia shook Flynn by the shoulders. He was listening to “No Surprises.”

Flynn opened his eyes. “Hey quit it. You’re breaking my CD player. My song keeps playing again,” he said.

“Don’t you remember any of this? Aren’t you having Deja Vu?” Georgia asked.

“What are you talking about? By the way you smell like violets,” said Flynn.

Luke stood still by his janitor cart.

Ten seconds passed.

Mr. Macmillan walked into the room. Mr. Macmillan ran out of the room.

Georgia followed.

Flynn shouted profanities at his CD player while it played “No Surprises.”

Luke followed Georgia and Mr. Macmillan out the door.

Ten seconds passed.

Mr. Macmillan walked into the room. “What the fuck!” he yelled.

Georgia yelled to get Flynn’s attention. Flynn opened his eyes and through his CD player against the wall where it shattered like a CD player thrown against the wall. Georgia and Flynn argued with each other. Georgia called Flynn dense. Flynn called Georgia crazy. Mr. Macmillan went insane. Entropy was added in a healthy dose.

Luke shouted out, “Hey! Shut up! Let’s figure this thing out!”

Ten seconds passed.

Mr. Macmillan walked into the room. He dug out his phone from his pocket and dialed his wife. The phone rang once.

Georgia turned around to face Luke. Flynn was made aware that his CD player was in tact and he was listening to “No Surprises.” He screamed bloody murder. Luke made his way over to Georgia.  The phone rang twice.

“Listen, all this happened before. Well, not this this, but this. This time,” said Luke. The phone rang a third time. Mr. Macmillan’s wife answered.

Through Flynn’s screaming, Mrs. Macmillan said, “Hey, honey. What’s up?”

Ten seconds passed.

Mr. Macmillan walked into the room. Luke ran over and dragged Mr. Macmillan by the collar over to Georgia. Luke spoke to both of them.

“Look, we don’t have much time, but I think we’re repeating the last couple of seconds over and over again. We’re looping in time,” Luke said.

Flynn took out his headphones. “Am I dreaming?” he asked himself.

“That’s insane,” said Georgia.

“How do you know?” asked Mr. Macmillan.

Ten seconds passed.

Mr. Macmillan walked into the room.

‘That’s how I know!” yelled Luke, “You keep walking into the room. You’ve done that before!” Mr. Macmillan sat down on his desk chair. He was defeated.

Georgia turned to Luke. “Well get us out of the loop then!”

“I can’t just get us out of the loop. I don’t know how. I just know it’s a loop,” said Luke.

Flynn turned off his CD. He looked at Luke and Georgia who were having an argument. “Guys, I think we’re stuck in time.”

Ten seconds passed.

Mr. Macmillan walked into the room. He misses his kids.

Georgia turned to Luke again. “Hey, what’s happening between the loop?” she asked.

Luke looked off to the side. He thought hard. “I can’t remember.”

“Well try and pay attention to what happens,” she replied, “You got that Mr. Macmillan?” Mr. Macmillan sobbed into his palms. “Flynn!” she screamed, “Wake up!”

Flynn looked deeply into his CD after removing his headphones. He turned to Georgia. Georgia told him, “What is happening between your song?”

Flynn replied, “I don’t know. It just replays.”

Ten seconds passed.

Mr. Macmillan walked into the room. “It just loops! There’s no time between the times!” he proclaimed.

Georgia smelled like violets.

Flynn listened to “No Surprises.” He hates the song.

Luke floated by his cart.

No one said a word.

Ten seconds passed.

Mr. Macmillan walked into the room. He continued walking until he got to the janitor’s cart. He took the package knife and made it show its blade.

“Mr. Macmillan, what are you doing?” Georgia asked. Flynn took off his headphones and payed attention to Mr. Macmillan for the first time. Luke analyzed the situation.

Mr. Macmillan flayed himself, opening his forearm. His blood was thick like syrup and red like grapefruits. The deep wounds on his arm were raindrops of blood. It trickled out.

Ten seconds passed.

Mr. Macmillan walked into the room. Georgian and Flynn rushed to hold him from getting to the knife again.

“Georgia you put on too much perfume today, by the way. You smell like violets,” said Flynn.

Luke looked at the clock that ticked.

“Look, we’re getting nowhere. The loop starts us at the same place every time. It end at the same time too. There has to be a point where it jumps from the end to the beginning.” Luke said.

“That doesn’t make sense.” Georgia said. She was putting maximum effort in restraining Mr. Macmillan.

“Stay with me here. You can’t start at the end and end at the start. You have to get back to the start somehow, right?

Ten seconds passed.

“See, we just were at the end. Now we’re at the start. For this to happen, it would mean that time is multidirectional. But it’s not,” Luke said as Mr. Macmillan walked into the room.

“Can you say that one more time, I missed it,” Flynn said as he took off his headphones.

“So we think of time being in a sequence where A, B, then C happens. I don’t think that’s happening right now. In a segment of time, A, B, and C happen, but they can happen BCA, or CAB. However, A has to happen the same as B and C has to happen, just the order doesn’t matter,” Luke said.

“But you just said time isn’t omnidirectional,” said Georgia.

Ten seconds passed.

Mr. Macmillan walked into the room. He dropped to his knees.

Luke allowed Flynn to take off his headphones before he continued.

“Yeah it’s not omnidirectional. Time doesn’t pass ABAC. A can’t happen twice. Sequence means that there is an order of things. But! the order of things does not matter. A can only happen once, but it must happen at some point.”

“So what does that mean? How does that help us get out?” Georgia asked.

Luke replied, “What I mean is that ABC seems to happen over and over again. We are thinking that ABC is happening over and over again. That would mean that since we starting looping through time, ABCABCABC has been happening. However, that would mean A is repeating, but that’s impossible. A can’t happen more than once. I think that ABCDEFGHI is happening, meaning that we are not looping through the same sequence, but we are making new sequences. ABC happened first, but then we started again and did DEF. I imagine next loop, we’ll do GHI. Are you getting this?”

Ten seconds passed.

Mr. Macmillan walked into the room crying.

Flynn took off his headphones. “So are we jumping through time or not?”

“Yes. We are. Time is passes and sequences happen. The two are not bound to each other. Time passes whether ABC happens or BCA happens. The two are independent,” Luke replied.

“So how do we get out?” Georgia asked.

“I think we have to exhaust every possible sequence. Once we are out of possible sequences, I think the loop will break,” said Luke.

“How long will that take?” asked Flynn?

“There are infinite sequences. It’ll be a while, kid. But once we’re done, only ten seconds would have passed in the real world,” said Luke.

Georgia got up from her desk and hugged her brother tight. The two buried their face in each other’s shoulders.

“Georgia?” asked Flynn.

“Yeah?” she replied.

“You smell like violets.”

Ten seconds passed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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