Hot like fire.. so don’t get burned!
Mae sputtered, “Stay out of grown folks’ business!”
Sugar made a rude sound. “We’re TWINS, Mae Day! That should mean something to you.”
Mae struggled to her feet, waving away the outstretched hand of her sister. She paused in a half crouch, eyes closed, with her brows slowly sinking into a frown of concentration.
Warily, Sugar watched this display, and silently counted the seconds that passed. The feeling of dread was getting stronger, and she wanted to be on the move and completely alert before whatever was going to happen, happened.
“SHH!” the older woman hissed. “I’m listening.”
Sugar stared to pace, walking back and forth between the two hallways, peering down each one as she neared it. On her third pass, she froze and cocked her head. Faintly, from the right, there was the sound of clanging, or scraping. Something about that was familiar, yet she could not immediately place it. Perhaps it would be a better idea to go left, and maybe after that they could –
“I can’t remember.”
Sugar jumped at the sudden statement. Confused, she stammered “Huh?”
Mae shook her head and opened her eyes. “I can’t remember.” Using her hand, she pushed herself off the floor and stood. Swaying a bit as she righted herself, she explained “Zo. I can’t remember anything useful. I remember going to the lab, and I remember them pulling her out. Other than that…” She trailed off and shrugged as if it was no big deal.
“Lab? Wait, when was this?”
“Mmm… about 15 years ago, I think. I’m not sure. Everything surrounding it is fuzzy. Maybe..”
“Maybe?” Sugar prompted.
Mae faced her sister. “Maybe Zo inherited my memories of it, like I inherited our mother’s memories about us.”
“This is ridiculous! We’re here to save a kid you don’t even remember having?” Throwing her hands up, Sugar felt both exasperated and disgusted. Forcing herself to remain calm, she ran her fingers through her hair, scratched her neck, smoothed her jacket – anything to keep her hands from wrapping themselves around her sibling’s slender neck.
Mae yawned and stretched. The strain was causing her muscles to tighten, and not in a good way. Not that she would ever tell Sugar, but if this excursion did not end soon, she would be unable to move properly for a week – if not longer. Twisting caused pain. Her chain mail shirt clinked and jingled, as if in sympathy. The sound was loud in the otherwise quiet area.
Mae held herself absolutely still. She caught the sound that Sugar had heard moments before.
Clink. Clang. Clink. Clang.
“What the hell is that?” she whispered to the other woman.
Sugar immediately stopped moving and listened. “I don’t know,” she admitted. “I heard it before, while you were ‘thinking’.”
“Was that sarcasm, Missy?”
“Of course it was.”
Mae shot her twin an evil look. Sugar pretended not to notice. She was too busy counting backwards and creating a time line of their lives.
“This may sound like a stupid question, Mae,” Sugar blurted out, “but how old are we?”
Now it was Mae’s turn to pretend not to notice what her sibling was doing.
“I’m talking to you!”
“And I’m ignoring you.”
“But why? This is important!”
“And when you’re ready to know, I will tell you.”
Sugar noticed that the clanging noise was getting closer, but failed to recognize the significance of it. Instead, she was determined to force her sister to answer her questions. It just wasn’t fair that Mae got all the memories.
“Just because you’re the oldest,” she muttered.
“Apparently for a good reason, too!” Mae shot back.
“Dammit, Mae Day, answer me right now! When the hell did you have a kid? How old are we? Just what the fuck is going on?”
“Let’s free Zo first and then -”
“Oh,” said a soft voice. “That is no longer necessary.”