Lily turned around and got out of bed. She walked down the stairs, shocked by what she saw. Her family painting was back. There was something different but she muttered “whatever” to herself and began to walk off. Then, out of the corner of her eye, she thought she saw something...wait. She walked backwards a few steps. The painting looked fine. She looked fine. Her Dad looked fine. Everyone looked fine. But her Mom...Something wasn’t right.
The rest of the painting was bright and colourful, just like it should be. But the area around her mom was dark and grim and instead of standing tall, as she once was, her mom was now hunched over with a clock where her face used to be... a clock, and a working one too! Something wasn’t right.
She went down stairs and gasped!
Lily’s mom was stood in the kitchen, back hunched and, just like the painting had shown her, her mother’s face was now a clock....
“Arghhhhhh!!!” Lily bolted up the stairs locked her door. She had never been so terrified in her life before. She didn’t dare leave the safety of her bed, but that wasn't her only worry “what about dad what’s going to happen to him?”
Lily had only a bag of crisps and some leftover soda from school to keep her going. She knew she couldn’t stay in her room forever so she texted Tristan over and over again until the three dots came up and Tristan replied I know… Lily wondered what that meant. Did his mom’s face turn into a clock too?
The next morning
Lily woke up and the events of yesterday seemed as if they were part of a nightmare, but it wasn't. The door was locked and Tristan's message was still there. She knew her dad must have come back from work at some point, but she hadn’t heard him return, so she pulled the covers back over head and continued to hide.
After a few hours had passed her tummy began to grumble. She was hungry, but she had limited options. Her house was three stories high so getting Tristan to climb through the window with food would be difficult. She could go out of the window with money to get some food herself or (the only realistic option so far) she could go down the stairs, grab some food from the kitchen and run back upstairs.
“Sigh…” She carefully tiptoed towards the door and pressed her ear against it. It was silent.
“crrrEEEAAAKkkkkk.” The door opened. There was no one in sight and all she had was her phone was in her hand. She already pressed the number for 911, ready to call it if she needed. She felt as if she were in a movie, a horror movie in fact.
She tiptoed towards the end of the corridor and, as she crept down the stairs, her eyes darted towards the painting. Her mom was now gone…
She picked up her pace, running down the stairs but no one was there. Just as she was about to call 911, her dad emerged from his room.
“Good morning, honey,” he yawned. “Mom left a message saying he had to go on a work trip for three days, so don’t be worried that she isn’t here”.
Lily wasn’t convinced. Was it true that her mom was taking a trip, or had she really disappeared? Then she heard a knock at the front door.