Then she was through the opening, which closed behind her like a drape. Before her sat her Grandmother and her sister Maggie. Birdie stood in her Grandmother's sitting room watching and listening to her sister telling familiar fibs. Grandmother rocked in her chair, frantically writing down all Maggie was saying in her battered leather notebook. Her pencil scratching on coarse paper.
The room looked smaller, grey, sticky with grime, unpolished. It smelt stuffy - of old boiled cabbage. Birdie shook her head because the ticking was getting louder, tapping on her eardrum. Then Birdie noticed the clocks stuffed on the shelves, all shapes and sizes, some ornate, some digitally flashing.
"Phone her boss," hissed Maggie, "he's not a normal boss."
Maggie looked straight at Birdie, but didn't see her. Birdie recoiled, she had forgotten how alike in appearance she and Maggie were. It was like looking in a mirror. Maggie - her toxic twin.
"Are they at her apartment now?" Asked Grandmother.
"Yes, they are waiting. Silly Birdie, she's taken the wrong path. Again."
Maggie began to laugh and crossed her fingers behind her back as her Grandmother continued to write notes in scratchy graphite.
The clock closest to Birdie's head began to chime; another, the other side of the room, replied. Time to.....