Part 2

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Sunlight shone through the open apartment windows. A sharp pain shot through ShyShy's eyes, and she blinked to adjust them. The sun. She smiled.

The furniture took form around her. There was a couch and an armchair that faced a large box TV. Behind the armchair, shelves had been built into the wood-paneled walls. To her back, the fridge whispered its presence. ShyShy didn't need to turn around to remind herself of the honey mustard-colored refrigerator, Formica counters, and printed linoleum floors. She knew. The bedroom door to her side was closed, but she could make out the faint rustle of movement. There wasn't a front door, no way out of the 1960's apartment.

She stood. Her clothes had remained in the AfterWorld, so the warm rays flowing through the window kissed her naked skin. A printed dress had been set out on the armchair. She'd arrived clothes-less before, the apartment had learned. She dropped her sketchbook on the coffee table and strode to the dress.

"I was hoping you would come today." The young man spoke while she pulled the flowing frock over her now dry curls.

The frock draped over her form like a potato sack, a fashion she'd admired in OtherWorld magazines. The man crossed the apartment and plopped down on the couch with a wide grin on his face. Browline eyeglasses framed his dark eyes. He rested his elbows on his knees as the sun from the window glowed against his chestnut skin. ShyShy collapsed into the armchair and kicked her legs in front of her to soak up the rays as well.

"Oh man, I miss this," she moaned.

The pull of the OtherWorld coaxed her like the Siren's song. The men begged to be pulled into the AfterWorld while ShyShy yearned to fall back into the OtherWorld, to feel the real OtherWorld sun on her face, not this memory of one in a redwood tree.

"I almost made it to the sidewalk yesterday," the man sitting across from her pulled her from the sunlight's melody.

"What happened?"

"I managed to unlatch the windows and climb out. Made it to the second floor, but then," he sighed, "I was back in the pad. I blinked, and I was sitting on my couch again."

ShyShy bit the inside of her cheek. Another failure, which hurt like all the others.

"I found the Siren, but I couldn't get close enough to get a good enough look at the portal." She explained, trying to stop the tears from flowing as she gestured to her drawing. "I don't know if I could find her again, or another Siren, for that matter. I don't know what else to do"

He exhaled slowly. With a frown, he picked up the sketch and studied it.


"Hmm?" His gaze remained on the paper.

"What if-"

Her voice cracked. She couldn't finish the question. He raised his eyes to hers.

"I'm not giving up." His jaw tightened, the muscles taut on the sides of his face. "There has to be a way back to the OtherWorld."

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