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[WM] 118.2.A - Paracelsus Quote

"Time is a brisk wind, for each hour it brings something new... but who can understand and measure its sharp breath, its mystery and its design?" - Paraclesus

Santa Clara, August 1961

"I'll just be a minute," Angela called over her shoulder to the two men--or well, man and boy--standing in line up the Boardwalk a bit, waiting for ice cream.

Adam raised a hand in acknowledgment. Daniel didn't even respond, and Angela had to smile, even as she pushed into the dim little shop. A necklace in the window had caught her eye, and she wanted a closer look. Something else pulled at her, but she couldn't put a name to it, and after a moment she didn't try to. Pushing her sunglasses up on her head, she let them ease back the few strands that had escaped the loose bun she'd twisted her hair into for the day at the beach. The shop was cool in direct contrast to the heat outside, and she pulled the cover-up she'd tugged on over her bikini a little closer around her. Her mother would have had a fit that she was wearing a bikini at all, instead of something more modest, but her mother was dead, and she was trying, a little desperately, to look older, hoping a certain someone would notice.

She wasn't sure if it was working or not, but Charles and Daniel certainly seemed appreciative.

They'd run into Adam Monroe while working to cover up the disaster at Coyote Sands. The fact that he knew who they were, what was going on there, and the intimate details of what had happened there--details that seared Angela's heart deeper than she'd let on to anyone--frightened them at first. Charles was furious that one of them could have been in the position Adam held, but once Adam had revealed his ability, had explained his reasons, had helped them with their cover-up and given them some guidance, even Charles started to come around. When Angela dreamed of him and the influence he'd have in their path, that seemed to clinch it. Daniel and Bobby had been relieved, falling in line behind the immortal almost immediately, grateful to have a grown-up in charge. And she'd...she'd developed the worst crush. Not that she was admitting that to anyone, but she saw the hurt of the knowledge of it in Charles' mind and it stung her with pellets of guilt she didn't want to acknowledge.

"Can I help you?" The voice broke through her reverie, causing her to drop the cameo she'd picked up and was lightly running her fingers over.

"Oh, I'm sorry..." Kneeling to pick it up, Angela was too flustered to take in the shop owner for a moment, though when she'd retrieved the jewelry and did, she couldn't help taking a small step back.

The woman was tall, at least six feet. Her skin was whiter than any Angela had ever seen, and her hair blacker. With lips the color of blood, she called to mind the description of Snow White, except for the air of crystalline hardness she carried with her. It was impossible to pin an age on her. She could have been anywhere from 25 to 40. Her skin was perfect and unlined, but there was an age in her eyes that reminded Angela of Adam's in an uncomfortable way.

"I was just...I saw a necklace in the window...the amber one? I just wanted to look at it," she finally said, remembering her manners.

The woman smiled, though there was little comforting about it. "Of course. With your coloring, it would look lovely."

She moved past Angela, and the girl caught a whiff of a fragrance she didn't recognize. There was something about her that nagged at a note in the back of Angela's brain, but she couldn't put a finger on it. It was an esoteric sort of shop. The woman was eccentric. She probably worked to enhance the effect, the girl thought, brushing her doubts away.

After retrieving the necklace, the woman smiled and motioned to Angela. "I've a mirror back here, if you'd like to see what it looks like on?"

Angela glanced at the hand mirror sitting on the counter by the cash register, but the woman didn't acknowledge it, just watching her expectantly. "Sure. That'd be great," Angela said, trying to shake her misgivings.

The mirror was covered with a cloth. When the woman pulled the cloth off, stepping to one side, Angela could see that it was old and full-length, with intricate and beautiful carvings surrounding it. She saw herself reflected back clearly, crisply for such old glass, and for a moment she just stared, taking in the pink cover-up and the strings of the red and white bikini peeking up above it. Her legs had tanned--another thing her mother would be appalled at--and the sandals on her feet had taken a beating. Her hair was escaping the loose knot more and more, struggling to freedom, helped along by the sea breeze, and she was momentarily appalled at the picture she presented. Before she could think on it too much, the woman handed her the necklace.

"Here. Try it on."

Obediently, Angela wrapped it around her neck, reaching behind to secure the clasp, before looking back in the mirror at the string of amber beads around her neck, with the larger piece with a fossilized dragonfly caught inside. It set off her tan, but she thought it might be too large, too much for her bone structure. She was about to say so when the woman reached out to stroke over the reflection of the necklace in the glass. Surely it was her imagination that the glass seemed to ripple, that the necklace glowed? Angela gasped a bit, eyes widening as she stepped back.

Looking down, she saw that the necklace was indeed glowing, and she looked back up at the mirror sharply. It had changed. Instead of the ornate frame of before, it seemed just a simple piece of glass now. Frowning, Angela glanced to her side, looking for the shop owner, but there was only darkness. The same to the other side.

The world rocked, the floor rippling under her feet and she cried out a bit. In the mirror, she saw the woman move, grabbing her, and she turned with her, but she felt nothing. When she turned, she could see the shop behind her, but only within the scope of the mirror's reflection. What the mirror could not see, neither could she.

And though she could clearly see the woman grabbing her hand in that plain piece of glass before her, the woman was not here with her.

The girl in the mirror--the other her--turned away, nearly falling as the world seemed to tilt, not looking back at the mirror, as Angela reached forward to press against the glass. They weren't reflecting each other anymore, though the rippling floor seemed to be the same, and the world shook inside and out...she cried out slightly at the thought. Inside and out. Was that it? Was she trapped inside the mirror somehow, while the other her--her? just her?--wasn't? The two moved out of her field of vision, and she pounded on the glass in terror.

It tilted, tumbled, the way she could see things doing through it. When she turned around, they were doing the same, but she saw something even more terrifying. Something had ripped, torn, as if the world itself was splitting apart, and as the earthquake shook the world around her even more, Angela screamed as the darkness swept in and swallowed the room, mirror and all, sending her spinning.

* * *

Cardiff, Present Day

There was a crashing, a shattering sound of glass breaking. It cut and burned and she had enough sense to turn her face, shield her eyes, even on the ground, as shards of the mirror rained down on her. The air was sharp and cold and she shivered, curling instinctively into a ball. She had no idea what had happened, no idea where she was, but she hurt all over, and she was trembling, and it was all she could do to keep from throwing up from the sensations racing through her. Lifting her head, she tried to get a look around where she was, but all she saw was a park of some kind before the darkness washed up over her again, and she let it come, falling limply back down to the ground in the midst of a shattered mirror, half a world and half a century away from where she'd started.

[ooc: continued here.]