Clary woke up and shifted lazily in bed. She reached over to look at her alarm. 8 A.M. Time for her to get ready for work. Clary worked at an antique clock shop for her uncle. She got up out of bed and grabbed her favourite pair of jeans and a plain black t-shirt from her closet and headed into the shower. She stared at herself in the mirror and frowned, the bruise on her arm still hadn't faded away.
Last month scientists had had an international breakthrough, they had discovered that there is a way to access parallel dimensions. Through our mirrors. The only challenge was to be able to make it past your reflection because for reasons unknown to them, the reflections were like guards protecting the way over. Needless to say when this news had leaked out people wanted to try to get to the other side. They tried everything from smashing mirrors to trying to engage their reflections in conversation to no avail. Most people were scared though, access to a parallel dimension was so close to us , the question of what that dimension would hold and the fact that we had looked into our reflections almost every day of our lives and they were actually their own beings. Clary had tried to make it to the other side too. She had pressed herself against her mirror and felt this growing pain on her arm as if someone had held her arm keeping her from crossing over. She hadn't told anyone about it because she didn't want anyone to know her reason for trying to go over. Her father was a research scientist and he was dedicated to finding this parallel dimension. Eight years ago when she was nine, her father told her he had found what he was looking for and that he would be back for her and just left. She had assumed that he was just kidding about parallel dimensions but if her dad was in this parallel dimension she had to find her way over and find him.
Clary got out of the shower and put her clothes on and pulled her long black hair back into a ponytail. She took one last look at her reflection before leaving for work and ran downstairs into the kitchen where her aunt was cooking breakfast.
"Good morning sweetheart" she said with a smile.
"Morning Aunt Marge, is Uncle Fred still here or did he leave already?"
"He should be down any minute hun, here have some breakfast before you leave."
She placed a plate of fried eggs and bacon in front of her and kissed her on the head before going back to cooking. Aunt Marge and Uncle Fred had practically raised Clary since her dad left, her mother had died when Clary was born so all she really knew about her mother was from stories and pictures. Marge and Fred had no children of their own and so they had treated Clary like their own child. Clary's aunt made the best food she had ever tasted. She scarfed down her breakfast just as her uncle walked in to the kitchen.
He went over to his wife and kissed her good morning and turned to Clary, "You ready to go to the store kiddo?"
"Ready when you are," Clary put her dirty dishes in the sink and hugged Aunt Marge goodbye before following her uncle into the driveway. He tossed the keys to Clary and she swiftly jumped into the driver's seat. Last year her uncle had been the one to teach her how to drive and according to him she was a natural. They would go out on weekends on the long untraveled roads by their house and race. She loved it though it was times like this she really missed her dad. She would sometimes wonder if her dad would have taught her to drive the way her uncle did.
Clary started the truck and reversed out of the driveway as Uncle Fred turned on the radio. They slowly hummed along to the music.
"Did you find anyone that'll buy the long case clock?"
"No, not yet. I really want to get rid of that bugger, it's been there longer than the store itself," He laughed dryly. "Ready to start school tomorrow?"
"Yep, I just have to pick up a few things from the store tonight. I can't believe summers over already. Seems like just yesterday the news about another dimension had leaked out."
This left an uncomfortable silence between them. Fred never knew what to say that would comfort Clary. He couldn't promise her that her father would come back because the truth is, he doesn't even know if her father is still alive, and after all these years, if he hasn't come back yet, why would he come now?
He leaned over and kissed Clary on the top of her head, "Let's go kiddo." He got out of the car and walked into the store. Clary smiled to herself. Uncle Fred is a good guy, she thought. He doesn't want to hurt me by saying it but I can tell he thinks dad isn't coming back. She had to go find him though, he was her father and she had to find him and bring him back.
She locked the truck and walked into the store and flipped the sign at the door from Closed to Open. On a good day they had about three or four customers and at least 2 of those customers would actually purchase a clock. There was always the annual antique sale that took place in the community. People came from all over the country to buy antiques. The annual Antique Sale was 2 days away and Uncle Fred was hoping they might finally sell most of the old clocks left in stock.
Clary worked the counter, keeping track of the money while uncle Fred went in the back to check inventory. It was a slow day so Clary thought she'd ask uncle if she could leave for a bit to go buy her stuff for school and come back so she pushed past the curtain at the back of the store that separated the inventory section of the store from the rest. She saw uncle Fred on the phone,
"Yes, Marge and I have decided the meeting will be at 5 pm this evening. Meet us at the library. With the news going around lately we're not sure if it's safe to be holding them just anywhere in public, we'll have to think of a more private location but the library should work for now."
Clary furrowed her brow. What meeting could he be talking about? Aunt Marge and him weren't part of any club as far as she knew, and what did he mean by 'they'd have to find a more private location?' Something wasn't right and she had to find out what was going on. "I have to go to the library this evening and find out what they're talking about." She walked back out to the front of the store and tried to act normal for the rest of the shift and during the ride home. As soon as they pulled into the driveway her uncle walked inside the house and she followed to see if she could pick up any more information about the meeting that evening.