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Another Life – Part 2

“Sorry boy” she shook her head to clear it and crouched beside him. “Remember how I said I was thinking about a change, about running a hotel? I don’t remember seeing it before, but that’s the one I’ve been dreaming about. It’s like a sign!” She giggled and scrubbed at his ears with her fist. “Can’t you just see me with my own hotel? Don’t get me wrong, I know it would mean long hours and hard work. There probably wouldn’t be any more days like this; just wandering around, exploring the town. It would be great though; like having my own little window into people’s lives…” Harry looked up at her, tail thumping as her excited voice rattled on, her eyes never leaving the little hotel. Eventually she stopped talking, but they remained for a while, looking and dreaming until eventually Harry grew bored and began to whine and pull. Abigail followed unwillingly. She would need to build a business plan, her father would never agree to lend her the money on the strength of a dream, but she also knew without question what she was going to do next.

***

Tia concentrated hard, Abigail seemed to be thinking more and slowing her momentum but it was important that everything was ready in time. If she missed this, there was no guarantee that she would be able to stay sane enough to ever try again. Already the scream of warped space-time had begun to seem like the only natural end to things. Her mind, confined in the time crystal and then cast out to endure the end of time, slid round the eternal curve. She was ahead of Abigail now, but catching up fast. It wouldn’t be long until she was behind her. There had to be something there ready to catch her or she would simply go round again, losing her mind as she slid away. She didn’t want to scare Abigail off, but she needed another push.

***

“He must really hate the idea of me as a teacher” Abigail said as she examined a scarlet top; taking it off the rail to show her friend then returning it swiftly when she saw her expression. “Ah, well. Anyway, Dad pretty much agreed to give me a loan to start the hotel up there and then. I don’t know why he sees it as more acceptable than being a supply teacher, but I’m not complaining.”
“He probably just thinks it will be more stable, let’s face it. The area is gorgeous and the few times I’ve been there it is always heaving with tourists. At least you will be in regular employment there my girl.” Sophie dropped her voice, trying to mimic the operatic tones of Abigail’s militarily flamboyant father. Abigail laughed and shook her head.
“I’m not sure what he thinks, but the main thing is that he has agreed to stand me the cash as long as I can create a feasible business plan.”
“And I guess that is where I come in?”
“Do you mind? I know it is a big ask, but I really don’t have any idea where to start.”
“Don’t be stupid, of course I’ll help.” Sophie laughed. “It’ll be fun. Besides, I can’t wait to see the hotel of your dreams!”
“Please don’t tell anyone about that part.” Abigail groaned. “Dad can’t know or he will pull the plug straight off. He still can’t get his head around the idea of me using a 3-D printer to create sculptures. The fact that it pays for my occasional treats or nights out doesn’t seem to matter. It’s all too arty for him and he’s just convinced that it proves I’ve my head in the clouds. If he finds out I picked that building because I’ve been dreaming about it; rather than because I looked through all the available options…” She tailed off with a shudder. Sophie made sympathetic noises and then returned to her shopping; heading to the changing rooms with an armful of clothes.

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