The world was treacle.

Derek sat up in his bed and watched as the covers inched their way through the air in the direction he’d thrown them, as if held by water. Every ripple and flow in the fabric was evident, played out explicitly like one of those videos they show in science class where a droplet falls into a tub of water and they slow it down so you can see the surface tension adjust and the ripples working their way across the surface.

“Mom?” he called out, tentatively. He spoke at normal speed, but the word lingered, an invisible cloud hang in the air, tangible enough that he could almost reach out and touch it.


He turned to face the clock in time to see the second hand finish its uneasy journey into its new position.

Derek stood up on his bed and tried a single, small jump. The mattress under him was rigid; it slowly began to compress underneath him, reacting to his weight long after he had run over to his bedroom window to look outside.


This wasn’t good. Not even slightly.

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