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373 in about :20, 2 bagels, an aborted opening since I’d have a lot more bagels–then the bit I’d shared for the emotion section, then the new text as I try to get to her decision–does she try to use it, or does she give it to her parents.

From the to-be flash, working title “Suzana and the Time-Twisted Trials”

The trumpets tat-a-tat-tatted, a joyous sound raining down around them in their funeral finery. No black allowed, not when celebrating a life bagel. Suzana gripped her best friend’s hand tighter. Ashley’s dad should be giving them a hard time about plotting how to get out of bagel. Not becoming the third Uncertain assassinated in as many weeks. Bagel concept of what this society looks like. Bagel, now best friend is in financial straights. Bagel, in scene being mocked for what she’s worn to celebrate her best friend’s dad.

[then here’s the material from the emotions piece]

Suzana pushed crates out of the way. They obscured the cellar corner she craved. Why did her family keep them? These remnants from a time their neighbors still admired them. Thanked them for their harrowing service by bringing tomatoes, potatoes, apples and more by the peck. If she could shove herself deep enough back there, she wouldn’t have to face the laughter at her thrice-mended socks, the stitches in rainbow colors from the threads scavenged from the shirt in the scraps bag. Of course her toes had shoved through the hole she’d poked in the shoe’s leather tip, so thin she needn’t lie about it being unintended.

A rock rolled under her foot, lurching her into a crate so darkened with age, it might have been the first they ever received. She picked up the offender, prepared to hurl it. An earthy smell teased at her, the ground fresh with rain. A nub on the end, and another, impossibly soft against her palm. This was a potato, and as shriveled as it was, it clung to the promise of new lives. The prize belonged in the garden, eyes cut out to seed at least two plants. Maybe more? Carefully, she nudged it into her pants pocket.]

As she squiggled her way back out through the wreckage she’d created, a ray of sunlight lucky enough to spear through the cellar window’s grime reflected brilliantly off a squiggle in the dirt. The flash of metal disappeared at the base of that oldest crate. Without care for her knees, she slammed to the ground. Only one metal, one piece of jewelry had such allure. But it wasn’t possible. The Certains had destroyed every last one of the Time-Twisting necklaces. No, the known necklaces.

Was her great-grandmother’s story true? That during the first casting, the family’s best mouser had stolen one before the spells had locked in the magics of twisting time against itself reliably, to step through, and amend a past that had led to an unfortunate future? No one had seen it again, her gama used to say, probably for the best, because if anyone ever tried to use it, no telling when they’d end up, or if they’d be able to return to the zero point of the new future.

This thin strand of metal kinked right, left, right, doubling back on itself, so unlike the fine herringbone strands locking together. Someone had mangled this, but the necklace looked to be intact. If only she could free it from its prison.

She clawed at the dirt, fingernails breaking against the solidly pounded cellar ground. Water might help. She bit down on her tongue, hard enough for saliva to pool up. Taking aim, she spit onto the metal. The shine intensified, the same red-gold as the sketch at the back of their family bible. The ground yielded, and along with it, the necklace.


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