Mary

TT4.72b: That’s a Wrap

PREVIOUSLY: Julie agreed to talk to Mary Clarke. Carrie had a condition for all the interactions.

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PART 72b: THAT’S A WRAP

minibannernewMary sat on the couch rubbing her temples as Julie stood over her. Like Carrie, Julie had requested a closed session. And like Carrie, Julie had wasted little time in laying out the situation, backing up Clarke’s account of the time travel incident from last November. About her self-suicide.

The accounts matched perfectly – perhaps a little too perfectly? Because as much as she loved her brother, she had to allow for the possibility that discussion with his friends could have “filled in gaps”, consciously or not, in the eleven months since then.

“I’ll be frank,” Mary said at last. “If my brother hadn’t been so adamant about this talk, I would have thought it all to be a practical joke. As it is, I’m still sorely tempted to chalk everything you’ve said up to a mass hallucination. But okay – if you did truly travel in time, and DID come close to killing your parents… well, Julie, it’s a wonder that you can stand there and speak about it so calmly.”

“I don’t allow myself to dwell too much on the past,” Julie yielded. “Memory can be deceptive. Doc Golden taught me that.” She paused, then moved to sit on the couch next to Mary. “But I won’t say that my actions back then don’t haunt me. They do. That’s why I volunteered to go on more time trips with everyone. It’s also why I’m currently…” She stopped herself. “Why I allowed myself to be put into the position that I’m currently in.”

“You mean with respect to your parents?”

Julie shook her head. “No way. They’ve been a non-factor for close to a year now. And with Golden’s help, I’ve been dealing with the fact that my parents don’t love me, not to mention my little self-destructive impulses. Plus Jeeves is acting more and more like a father to me, and as long as he doesn’t outright demand custody, mom and dad are content to let sleeping dogs lie. They see it as better than a huge legal scandal. No, I meant the position with respect to my isolation.”

“Okay, so like my brother, I’ve missed the direct link. Why are you pulling away from everyone?”

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TT4.72a: Killer Conversation

PREVIOUSLY: Luci and Frank have each talked to Mary, Clarke’s sister. Carrie is trying to convince Mary of time travel.

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PART 72a: KILLER CONVERSATION

minibannernewCarrie collapsed back onto the couch, breathing hard.

When she reopened her eyes, it took a few moments for the image before her to resolve itself into the concerned and slightly confused expression of Mary. “What… what just happened?” Clarke’s sister inquired softly.

“What did you see?” Carrie said testily.

Mary hesitated. “It looked like my quarter… vanished. Only to reappear a second or two later. But it could have been a trick of the light…”

“It wasn’t the light,” Carrie said, clenching her jaw. “I moved it forward in time.” Whereas if she’d moved it back, causing coexistence instead? Boom, and no more quarter. Not only more difficult, but far too dangerous.

Mary’s pause was longer this time. “And that’s the proof,” she concluded.

“That’s it,” Carrie affirmed, finding the strength to sit up and wipe her brow. “It’s the best I can do right now, without losing complete control. I’m still in training. Hence, using a quarter, not a person.”

She held Mary’s gaze until the older girl was forced to look away, back towards the coin. “I’m not sure I’m convinced,” Mary admitted. “However… I’m no longer as skeptical either.”

“Will you at least accept that time travel may be possible for the remainder of our dialogue?” Carrie pressed.

Mary re-pocketed the quarter. “I’ll accept that there is something beyond the norm that you and your friends are experiencing. We’ll call it time travel.”

“Don’t call them my frie–” Carrie cut herself off with a wave of her hand. “Never mind. On to my more ‘personal difficulties’, as you put it earlier. Okay?”

Mary nodded. “All right…”

Carrie took in a breath. Suddenly faced with the prospect of admitting it, she was no longer sure she wanted to say it any more. But if she couldn’t tell Clarke’s sister, who else was there? “I killed Frank,” she blurted. “And I had to wipe out an entire timeline to erase that misdeed.”

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TT4.71b: Psych Doubt

PREVIOUSLY: Clarke needs Carrie to talk to his sister Mary about time travel, to help Julie. Luci spoke to Mary about her past.

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PART 71b: PSYCH DOUBT

minibannernew“Carrie!”

Carrie turned away from the cheerleading discussion she was having with Steve. “Clarke? What the hell are you doing out here, you’ve got a game in under ten minutes!”

“I have to know your answer,” the blonde boy insisted. “Before the game. About whether or not you’ll talk to Mary about you-know-what. Chartreuse said you’d think about it!” he reminded as Carrie opened her mouth.

The head cheerleader paused, then flashed a smile in Steve’s direction. “Go tell the others we’ll be running routine six to start. Laurie takes point, she’s been acting like a bundle of energy all week.” Carrie’s fellow cheerleader nodded at her, then as he went to join the others, the blonde returned her attention to Clarke.

“Clarke, you HAVE to realize this is neither the time nor the place.”

“Carrie, please, YOU have to know there’s no way I can concentrate on the game, not with this foremost on my mind.”

Carrie shifted her gaze to the side, tugging on a strand of hair. When she spoke, she kept her tone carefully neutral. “Okay Clarke. Because it’s you… and because of what you’ve done for me and Julie in the past… I’ll agree this ONE time, to do what I can to convince your sister. But there’s a condition!”

Clarke regarded the index finger which she was now jabbing upwards at his chin, and at the cold intensity of her gaze. “Name it.”

***

Mary looked down at the phone receiver in confusion before lifting it back up to her ear. “Did you just ask me if I enjoyed your school’s first basketball game of the year?” she asked, mildly amused.

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TT4.71a: Shrink Rap

PREVIOUSLY: In Book 3, Carrie destroyed the time machine and Julie broke up with Clarke.

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PART 71a: SHRINK RAP

minibannernew“Okay…” The word was hesitant, unsure. “Phil, you know what you just said, right? You’re telling me that, last November, or just under a year ago, Julie stole a time machine. Which she used to travel BACK to the year when she was born – whereby she tried to prevent her own BIRTH??”

“I know, it sounds crazy,” Clarke admitted. “And since then, Julie’s used it to stop people from the future who want to mess with our timeline. But Mary, I swear to God, it’s all true! And since Julie can’t explain any of that stuff to her regular psychologist, you’re the only one who can help her! After all, you’re studying psych in University!”

Clarke’s sister stared at him for a moment before raking her hand back through her short, dark blonde hair. “Phil… it sure sounds like someone needs counselling…”

“Not ME,” Clarke protested. “Just ask Carrie. Wait, no, she’s not talking to us – ask Frank or Luci. There really IS a time machine, and I think that’s part of why Julie has been adamant about retreating from everyone. Including me!”

Mary sighed and walked over to the window of Clarke’s bedroom, staring at the streetlights outside. She remained that way for a moment before turning back to him. “All right,” she said evenly. “All right bro, if this really IS true, what PROOF do you have?”

Clarke relaxed. “Give me a day.”

***

“What do you mean the time machine has been destroyed?!”

Frank reached under his glasses to press his thumb and index finger to the bridge of his nose. “If you must know, Carrie did it,” he said quietly. “She junked it after she got out of the hospital last week.”

“But… but… WHY??” Clarke asked. He realized that he’d raised his voice, and a few people in the school library were turning to stare. Quickly, he slipped into a chair next to Frank at the table. “Why?” he repeated, softer.

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TT3.66b: Shattered

Previously: Clarke is talking to his sister Mary about conversations he had earlier that Sunday. Specifically, when Julie said the only way for her to fit in was to be alone.

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PART 3.19b: SHATTERED 2

MiniBanner“All right,” Clarke decided. “If you’re out of the group, I’m out too. It will be like before, I’ll be your sounding board, and the two of us can–”

“NO, Clarke – it’s not like that now!” Julie interrupted. She sighed and pressed a hand to her forehead. “Look… I-I’ll give you this much. Consider, if Glen has the power to alter anyone’s will, then anything I say or show – to anyone! – is only one more avenue he can use to figure me out. And so, even if you DON’T know what I’ll be doing, the more you see, the more likely it is that you’ll be coerced into saying something. Glen might even use you to… I can’t risk that.” She shook her head. “Glen already has the upper hand, given his knowledge of the future. I refuse to give him anyone… anything else he can use against me.”

Clarke frowned. “So this is about Glen.”

“Not completely. It’s… well, no, I’ve said too much already,” Julie decided. “But Clarke – Phil – please know that whatever happens to me in the coming months… I have truly appreciated everything that you’ve done for me. In the past, I used you, abused you, and you… you responded by showing compassion, understanding, and then by crossing the boundaries of time in order to save my life. In doing so, you, more than anyone else, showed me what true caring was all about. Thank you. I… I will never forget that.”

Her voice caught then, and she reached out for him, her fingertips brushing away some of his hair from his ear. Then, almost before he realized it, she was up on her toes, pressing her lips up against his.

In all the time they’d spent together as a pseudo-couple, ever since it had become “official” that day he’d brought the eclairs to her on that October day back in Grade Ten… they had never kissed on the lips. And now…

“I’m sorry,” Julie whispered, pulling back even as his arms moved to embrace her. “I shouldn’t have… Jeeves can show you out.”

“Jewels, don’t do this… JULIE!”

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TT3.66a: Shattered

Previously: Clarke is talking to his sister Mary about visiting people on Sunday. Luci blew up Tim’s bedroom mirror using the energy gun.

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PART 3.19a: SHATTERED 1

MiniBanner“My God! Phil, were you all right?!”

Clarke pulled his gaze down from the ceiling. “Yeah, Mary, I was fine. I even reacted in time to shield Tim. Luci got nicked in the arm by a shard of glass but it was nothing serious.”

“Why in the world would Luci heave a latin dictionary at the mirror on Tim’s dresser? She had to know it would shatter!”

Clarke winced. “I didn’t exactly say it was a dictionary. I mean, that’s what we told Tim’s father but… it’s complicated.”

“You keep saying that,” Mary sighed. “Phil, sister or therapist, I can’t do you any good when you keep sidestepping the truth.”

“I know, I know, it’s just… look, I’m sorry sis. The full truth is something I don’t think you’d be able to buy into right now.”

“Maybe, maybe not,” Mary responded. “But okay, putting that aside for the moment, I’m getting the distinct impression that everything to this point? Has been background events. It’s like you’re avoiding some major issue. What else happened today? Who else were you talking with?”

Clarke swallowed. “Uhm, well, actually I ran into Corry and Laurie after leaving Tim’s,” he ventured. “They were outside the Veniti household, heading off for the rest of the day with their parents. Chartreuse was there too, to see them off.”

***

“Hi Clarke!” Laurie said, beaming at him as she ran down the driveway. She paused when she was two steps away and tilted her head to the side. “Um… hey, I think you’ve got ice in your hair.”

Clarke blinked at Laurie and reached up to where she was peering.  “Er, thanks,” he replied, plucking the small shard off his head. “It’s glass actually.”

“Oh. So, what, did you come by to see me? Or you just taking the really long way around to Julie’s house?” Clarke flinched as he realized the accuracy of her statement.

“Glass? Like, why would you have glass in your hair, Clarke?” Chartreuse asked, coming up beside Laurie.

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