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November Challenge Day 25 | #nanowrimo

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

2. Every year at the stroke of midnight on November June 30, something important happens.

A watched watch watches the watcher.

And mocks her.

June 30 had finally come again. Eighteen hours until midnight. Seventeen and a half. At least work would be a distraction for the next several hours. She’d thought, dreamed, prepared for this day for twelve months. It had to work this time. She was certain she knew exactly how to make it work.

Meetings and projects and a client lunch helped five o’clock come sooner. At home, the preparation began. Off came the outward trappings of the advertising agency account executive. Away went the traces of makeup and modern artifice. The next few hours were dedicated to preparation. Layer by layer, piece by piece, pin by pin, she became herself—her real self. With chemise, drawers, corset, petticoats stockings, garters, shoes, she built her new foundation.

Mindful of the time, she sat at her desk and took up pen and stationery. There were so few people to say goodbye to. Fewer than last time she did this—in vain, as it turned out.

At eleven o’clock, anticipation zinging through her veins, she made the final steps of her preparation. Hair, dress, gloves, hat. Reticule full of antique jewelry. Nothing on her person made with modern materials. No contemporary money. No modern bobby pins or even hair spray. Nothing that might make things go wrong again.

She’d only been promised five chances. Tonight would be the final time. She needed to have gotten it right.

Fifteen minutes. Ten.

She gathered up her reticule, hat, shawl and went outside to wait.

Seven minutes. Four.




As it had four times before, right at the very spot she’d initially made her wish on the stroke of midnight, the sky over her small back garden shimmered and then coalesced into a shimmering mist before her.

This was it.

She closed her eyes, took a deep breath, and stepped into the mystical fog.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Gwen permalink
    Wednesday, November 25, 2020 3:52 pm

    Great hook! Makes me think of Tom’s Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce.

    Liked by 1 person

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