Maggie Yen unlocked the door to her apartment and walked in, exhausted. She'd just gotten back from a morning shift at Persephone's Books and was eager for some fun. Her roommate Tucker had gone from work straight to meet his girlfriend Haley Leone, a model, for an afternoon date and had given his friend his magic time-controlling wand for her own use while he was out.
The short and dark-haired woman who went by Maggie Yen smiled as she took her keys and hung them up on the waiting left index finger of Rebecca Mosley, Maggie's old boss. Some time ago Tucker had used his magic wand to get the woman fired and as a result Rebecca's sister Jamie was the new manager of the store. Tucker, having still wanted revenge for Rebecca being a cruel manager, had ultimately decided to freeze her in time individually as a living statue for the apartment, at least for a little while. The gorgeous redhead's hair spilled over her neutral face, as she stood by dressed in a French maidÕs outfit, her hands extended out at her sides with a feather duster tucked into her apron. Maggie promptly hung her purse on Rebecca's left hand, closed the door to the apartment and kissed the stiff redhead on the lips. Maggie had a relationship with Rebecca's sister Jamie and the pair of sisters were nearly identical, Jamie being Maggie's new boss.
After closing all the blinds and locking the apartment door, Maggie retrieved the other live-in statue Tucker had acquired for them: Tatiana, a tall European Amazon with short blond hair. Like Rebecca, Tatiana was the time-stopped target of their revenge, the woman having treated Tucker like trash; as a result Tucker had decided to keep her frozen for the foreseeable future. Initially Tucker wouldn't let Maggie play with the woman but he'd eventually relented. Tatiana was kept in the closet in the apartment's office, usually stark naked as she was now. Being fairly short, Maggie had difficulties with moving Tatiana but eventually managed to drag the massive blond beauty into the bathroom. The frozen woman was standing in a neutral pose with her hands at her sides and her face blank. Stripping down, Maggie shoved Tatiana into the shower and joined her, resulting in a hot water soak that lasted twenty minutes.
Exiting the shower, Maggie didn't even bother to dry herself off. The young bookstore clerk pulled her stiff companion out of the shower and placed her on the couch in the living room, adjusting TatianaÕs pose so she was sitting. It was her free time now, so Maggie wanted to have some fun with Rebecca like she never had before, since Tucker usually held onto the wand personally. After hanging up her purse and keys properly, Maggie, still clad in nothing, dragged Rebecca into the kitchen and retrieved the wand from where she'd left it on the kitchen table. Rebecca was directly in front of the sink, holding her coat-hook pose while Maggie was on the opposite side of the room in front of the table, wand in hand. Sliding forward carefully she rapidly tapped the tip of the wand on Rebecca's head twice before scurrying back.
"...What in the hell?!" exclaimed Rebecca, looking around in total shock. When Tucker had last used the wand on Rebecca, stopping time for her, she'd been sitting in her apartment looking at the classified ads; now she was in another apartment, dressed like a maid. Her shock was understandable.
"Hi, ice queen; you've finally defrosted huh?" laughed Maggie, instantly causing Rebecca to lock eyes with her captor.
"You... YEN!" screamed Rebecca, instantly lunging towards her former employee. Maggie was prepared for an attack, however, and waved the wand at the redhead twice when she started to react. Immediately Rebecca froze in mid-step, her arms raised and her face contorted into a snarl with her left foot forward. Maggie couldn't help but laugh, giggling to the point where she snorted. After enjoying the pose her former boss was trapped in, Maggie relented and tapped her on the head twice once more.
"Argh!" cried Rebecca, nearly crashing into the table that Maggie had been standing in front of. "What... what the hell is going on?!" demanded Rebecca, turning to face the laughing dark-haired girl.
"You're brought new meaning to the term 'stiff upper lip,' lets just say that," giggled Maggie. Rebecca then noticed the object in Maggie's hand and recalled she'd seen Maggie wave it at her right before she'd seemingly teleported. Rebecca was cold and manipulative, but she was no fool. Eying the wand, Rebecca lunged again and Maggie attempted to dodge. What Maggie hadn't counted on however was the wet spot on the floor she'd created by not drying herself off; this time her foot slipped and the magic wand went flying from her grasp. With the reflexes of a cat, Rebecca snatched up the mysterious wooden stick and immediately pointed it directly at Maggie as if it were a weapon.
"You fool... now I'll make you pay, you little bitch," snarled Rebecca, her eyes alive with rage. Maggie moved towards the redhead, attempting to snatch the wand with her left hand, but Rebecca acted first, waving the wand twice and freezing Maggie in place. Maggie stood immobilized and naked, with actual worry on her face, her mouth slightly parted in alarm as her left arm was raised to snatch up the wand and her right arm was bent forward slightly at the waist. Rebecca's eyes went wide as she saw what had happened to of her ex-employee.
"Unbelievable..." breathed Rebecca, taking in the sight of the frozen, waxwork-like Maggie Yen. "This... this is actually magic!" Maggie remained rooted in place as time passed around her, a living statue. As Rebecca looked at Maggie, seeing the girl was completely helpless, gears suddenly turned inside her head; sockets connected as events fell into place and Rebecca reached the ultimate realization. "You must have been the one who framed me at the scene of that robbery!" screeched Rebecca, angry eyes piercing Maggie's naked form like daggers. "You ruined my life, you little cow! Well, I guess the only fair punishment is to ruin you... I doubt my sister, traitor that she is, will be too happy if you don't show up for work tomorrow!" Laughing like a villain in a classic pulp film, Rebecca took a moment to feel up Maggie's wet skin, stroking her cheek before moving down to her breasts. "You're a nice little shapely toy, a shame Asian women aren't my thing," cooed Rebecca, offering Maggie a single kiss before leaving her posed stiffly in the kitchen and exploring the apartment.
"Well... I see I wasn't alone here," observed Rebecca, noticing the still-wet Tatiana on the couch, just as naked as Maggie. "Hmm... I wonder how you release someone?" Rebecca proceeded to spend the next few minutes experimenting, waving the wand twice at the tall blond but getting no reaction. Rebecca then tried several other gestures before remembering Maggie had always been up close when she'd unfrozen her a few minutes ago thus tried physical contact with the tip of the wand. Sure enough on the second tap the tall European blinked, looked down at her wet nude body, shrugged and turned to look at Rebecca.
"Have I been kidnapped?" asked the woman flatly in a thick eastern-European accent, surprising Rebecca with how calm she was given the situation.
"Yes, but not by me, I was in the same boat as you were up until a few minutes ago, but I've freed us both," declared Rebecca, motioning for Tatiana to follow her. ŌThey turned us both into statues, but I got free!Ķ The tall blond shrugged and followed, entering the kitchen to discover the motionless Maggie.
"What's with her?" asked the European, looking at her curiously.
"This is Margaret Yen, one of our kidnappers," revealed Rebecca, casually placing her elbow on Maggie's shoulder and using her as a rest. "She and her lover Tucker Holmes, two of my ex-employees I might add, kidnapped us using this wand I have in my hands. It may sound crazy, but this wand seems to be really magical. You can stop people moving with a flick of your wrist. It's the reason why she's a little mannequin now and why you were stuck the same way until a moment ago."
"Well, that is fairly hard to accept, even if one believes in magic," scoffed Tatiana with a shrug. "Still, I don't know why you'd want to lie to me about things, so the simple solution for me, at the moment at least, is to believe your story. So now we have a magic wand and a petrified, naked, Asian girl. YouÕre dressed – oddly; I have no clothes. What happens next?"
"First, I should introduce myself," decided Rebecca. "My name is Rebecca Mosley. This little number and her cohort got me fired, probably using this wand, by placing me at a robbery while making me look armed. Now that I'm free from their sick little game, I'm up for a little payback."
"Revenge is always a delicious fruit," smiled the blond, nodding approvingly. "Tatiana Zukovsky; I worked for Miss Zoe, the fashion designer, but I suppose if I've been missing for some time, she's just given up on me. That being the case, I shall help you as long as I deem your plans safe."
"Well first of all we need some new clothes, and after that I want to get a little revenge on my sister for taking my rightful job," declared the redhead, smiling a cruel smile. "After that if there's someone you want to get back on we can deal with them before we take a fortune and head for Mexico, where we can live like queens."
"Sounds like a good start! Right then, let us find something a little less conspicuous, yah?" suggested Tatiana, nodding at Rebecca's frilly costume while indicating her own lack thereof. The duo then shook hands and searched the apartment for some suitable garments. Luckily for the pair, Tucker and Maggie had decided to collect some clothing for their living mannequins to wear. Rebecca soon found herself dressed in a respectable-looking, if short-skirted, red business dress with gray pantyhose, matching shoes and a white blouse; she had grabbed Maggie's black purse. Tatiana meanwhile had discovered a green tube top as well as white shorts and black leather stiletto boots. Rebecca had ended up putting her hair in a ponytail while Tatiana and merely slicked it back while it was wet and then shaken it, giving it a full bodied look.
"I feel a bit naked without jewelry," complained Tatiana as she exited the apartment, Rebecca locking the door behind them using MaggieÕs keys.
"Her stuff was junk," Rebecca reminded her companion, but then noted some noise coming from the hallway. Intrigued, Rebecca led her companion to the next apartment where music could be heard inside.
"A party, a small girls-only one by the sounds of things," declared Tatiana immediately, her expert ears at work.
"Hmm... If that's the case, I might be able to solve your problem," realized Rebecca, producing the wand from her purse with a smile. Tatiana realized her new friend's plan and merely nodded. Ready to experiment, Rebecca quickly knocked and stepped back, waiting for her moment. A few moments later a black-haired young woman who was maybe twenty-two opened the door and immediately Rebecca waved the wand. Instantly the woman halted, stock-still, and the music suddenly stopped too.
"Amazing," marveled Tatiana, looking at the suddenly immobilized woman in front of her. She was wearing a pink T-shirt with jeans, her hair in tight gelled curls around her head with slightly bushy eyebrows and an electric smile stuck on her face, her left hand remained on the knob. Tatiana waved her hands in front of the woman's eyes but she showed no reaction at all. "Remarkable; I must say I'm sorry I doubted you about that wand."
"You can make it up for me by carrying her inside so no one sees her like that," replied Rebecca, indicating the new mannequin with the wand and freezing Tatiana briefly by accident. After being revived without even noticing her interlude, the tall blond did as she was asked, wrapping her arms around the girl's waist and dragging her into the suddenly quiet apartment. Rebecca followed her goon and closed the door behind her.
Not counting the one who'd answered the door, there were a total of eight women in the room, all of them frozen stiff. In the entrance area, which seemed like a large and square hallway, was a table with several bottles of red wine as well as glasses and a speaker connected to an iPod. A well-proportioned slightly overweight – now statuesque – blond around the same height as Maggie stood in the room alone, looking up to her left as if lost in thought. The woman's clothes consisted of a pink tank top and white pants. Her left hand was on her hip and her right held a glass of wine at head level off to the left, a large smile was frozen on her shiny face which reflected almost as much light as her radiant blue eyes. In spite of her general physique, both Tatiana and Rebecca thought she was a very beautiful woman.
In the other room, where there were two couches and a table in the corner, seven other women remained fixed in place. A dark-haired Asian woman, who looked a lot like Maggie but in a dark business dress, stood off to the right in front of the open doorway leading into the room, her right hand extended to take a glass of wine from a well-tanned brunette with blond highlights who was wearing a black cocktail dress that stopped at her knees. The Asian woman was apparently being offered a taste of wine. The couch against the wall had a short-haired redhead in a teal dress sitting on it, her arms gestured away from her body with a glass of wine in her right hand, a word forming on her equally red lips as she looked up at a sandy-blond woman holding a Polaroid camera. The photographer wore a red tube top with black pants and was barefoot, revealing red toenails, her camera held level with her breasts. Sitting on the other white couch that was in the middle of the hardwood floor, near a table that had snacks on it, was a dark-haired woman looking to her left while immobilized wearing a black spaghetti strap with gray pants, her face fixed in a wide smile with her hands in the air as if gesturing about the length of something. A curly dark-haired woman in a red blouse and black pants stood next to the couch, her hands near her waist gesturing towards the woman on the couch with her face stuck in a full laugh. Finally, yet another Asian woman that reminded the duo of Maggie stood at the other end of the second couch, facing away from the conversation, with a cracker raised to her lips. This woman wore a form-fitting tight white dress with a high collar and a golden Asian dragon design on the front and back.
"Might as well pick this place clean," suggested Rebecca, removing the wine from the hand of the tanned woman who was partially blocking the entrance to the living room. Tatiana easily carried and set down the curly-haired brunette in the corner and picked up a wine bottle from the table before removing a silver watch from the wrist of the blond closest to her. Rebecca downed her stolen drink and snatched the cracker from the shorter Asian woman, devouring it and then placing her empty glass where the cracker had been. With her prank done, Rebecca proceeded to gather as many purses, necklaces, earrings, rings, bracelets, watches and body piercings that she could find on the statue-still partygoers, as did Tatiana. A few minutes later they'd made a goodly pile on the floor and begun fishing through the purses for money and anything else they could use.
"Looks like this Lisa girl lives here," announced Rebecca, holding up the blond photographer's driver's license. "She's also got keys to a Honda Civic, which I imagine is parked down in this place's garage."
"Forget that; this Madison woman has a Porsche!" revealed Tatiana, holding up distinctive car keys belonging to the Asian woman who'd been attempting to take the glass of wine from the tanned woman. "Her last name is Yen too – no surprise there is resemblance. Small world."
"Indeed," agreed Rebecca, fishing through another purse. "Huh, a balance book! With this account information we could go to this Charlene's bank account and suck her dry. She's got quite a bit of assets. Millions, in fact." Rebecca looked over at the woman on the couch frozen in conversation, the Charlene in question.
"This girl, Cindy, has quite a bit of money too," added Tatiana, holding up the account book belonging to the second Asian woman. "I think we have our cash stop in hand. Oh, for a woman who only carries gum and a wallet in her purse, this Denise woman has a nice cell phone." Tatiana tapped the white handbag she'd taken from the curly-haired woman and headed for the door. Rebecca was close behind with her own bag, leaving the abandoned belongings scattered in the middle of the floor.
The occupants of the apartment remained frozen in their motionless poses, totally unaware theyÕd been robbed or anything else.
* * *
"You're amazing," gasped Tucker, taking a break from kissing his girlfriend as they rode the elevator to his floor. "I can't believe you told that guy where he could-"
"I know, I was there; stop wasting valuable make-out time," interrupted Haley with a smile, leaning in to kiss her boyfriend again. Tucker, dressed in a white collared shirt with a black collarless jacket and jeans, grabbed Haley's ass as they continued to kiss in spite of the possibility of the elevator opening and someone else seeing them. Haley herself wore a white tube top with a jean skirt and dark green heels, her hair in a braided ponytail. After what seemed like an eternity of happiness, the pair arrived at Tucker's floor and rushed towards his place, holding hands.
"You know Maggie might be home," warned Tucker, searching for his keys.
"She's cool, plus your bedroom has a lock, right?" pointed out Haley, and Tucker nodded eagerly. The day had been a dream, but now it was going to be a real night to remember as he was finally going to get into bed with Haley with her knowledge, unlike all the times he'd slept with her after freezing her in time. Another eternity passed as he hunted for his keys and finally opened the door, entering the apartment.
"Maggie, you here?" called Tucker, instinctively walking into the living room but seeing no one. It seemed Maggie had tastefully hidden their statue collection somewhere out of sight, much to Tucker's relief.
"I'm going to grab a drink and meet you in your room," announced Haley, heading for the kitchen. "What the devil?!" screamed the Italian a moment later and cold fear ran through Tucker's veins. In a panic he ran to his girlfriend's side and saw his best friend standing naked in the kitchen.
"Maggie, what the hell is wrong with you?!" shouted Tucker, instantly pissed at his friend and trying to look tough for Haley. "Get your pants on!" Maggie remained exactly as she was though, her arm raised for some reason. Oh shit... Tucker immediately thought, realizing why Maggie hadn't responded.
"Hey, we're talkinÕ to you!" yelled Haley, stepping towards Maggie but Tucker grabbed her shoulders and pulled her back.
"Haley, listen carefully," whispered Tucker, turning his girlfriend to face him. "Go into the living room and sit on the couch. I'll take care of this." Baffled, Haley decided to only sigh, shrug and walk away as she'd been told. Alone in the kitchen, Tucker quickly covered his friend's nudity with a tea towel while confirming that she was, in fact, frozen in time. Following this Tucker did a rapid search of the apartment, looking for his wand. Tucker failed in his search, but did discover that two of their statues were missing.
"What the hell is wrong with Maggie?!" demanded Haley when Tucker walked into the room, white as a sheet.
"I... I don't know, but I don't think she's playing with us," gasped Tucker in a fib, sitting down next to Haley. "I think someone might of... robbed us, and slipped her something; drugged her somehow. Some of my things are missing."
"You were robbed?!" exclaimed Haley, standing up. "We need to call the police, not to mention an ambulance!"
"Phone's out, we'll need to use a neighbor's," lied Tucker, trying to buy some time. "Check with Lisa next door, I want to make a list of everything they stole." Haley got up after kissing Tucker reassuringly on the forehead and quickly left the apartment, leaving Tucker alone to try and figure out what had happened. Maggie was frozen in spite of being the one who'd had the wand; clearly Rebecca and Tatiana were both missing, but very little else was. Tucker ran several theories through his head, but the most likely one seemed to him that Maggie messed up, unfroze one or both of them and they overpowered her. Tucker was now worried as if Maggie was frozen that could mean that whoever had done that to her might know how to use the wand, but he'd need confirmation.
"Tucker! Get over here!" screamed Haley from the hallway, and Tucker immediately got up and raced to her side. Haley was standing in the lobby-like area of Lisa's apartment where two more women stood frozen and Tucker could see several more stiff figures in the next room. There was also a pile of personal belongings in the middle of the floor. That was pretty obvious confirmation of wand use.
"Oh crap, they hit here too?" groaned Tucker, walking around. If not for the seriousness of the situation Tucker might of made light of the fact that Lisa seemed to know some of the women he'd encountered in the past: Charlene, Maggie's photographer; Madison, Maggie's sister; Denise, a local convenience store cashier and one of Tucker's first models; Cindy, a svelte Vietnamese model Maggie had worked with; and of course Lisa herself. The other four women in the room Tucker didn't know but thought they were all fairly attractive.
"Okay Tucker, what's going on?" Haley asked dryly as Tucker suddenly stood upright, having been waving his hand in front of Madison's face and getting as much reaction as from a mannequin.
"What do you mean?" asked Tucker, surprised. "I have no idea!"
"Tucker, come on, I think I can read you, at least a little, and you're way too relaxed for seeing a room full of people... turned into statues," accused Haley, crossing her arms. "I want you to be honest with me. I know you've been keeping some sort of secret since we started dating and I think it has something to do with all this."
Tucker's mouth went dry as he glanced around the room, hoping desperately that he could find his wand. Last week Tucker had learned that his wand could allow him to travel back in time if used correctly and wished that he could do that now to prevent Haley from seeing everything. With no other choice, Tucker made his decision and beckoned Haley to follow him. The pair sat down on one of Lisa's couches, Haley next to a frozen sexy redhead who was pushing thirty but hair very spiky tips in her hair. "Haley, a while back, before we started to date... I had the luckiest day of my life," explained Tucker, holding his girlfriend's hands. "In the mail I got what I thought was a simple prop for the store... it was instead an actual, one of a kind, magic wand."
Haley stared at Tucker like he was crazy but didn't pull her hands away. "You're telling me this all happened... because of a wand?!" exclaimed Haley, glancing around.
He nodded. "I had been sent the Wand of Kronos, a Greek god who was considered the god of time, at least in regard to seasons," confirmed Tucker. "Turns out it was real and more than that, it can actually freeze time. Well, not just time, but things... including people."
"So someone used your wand to freeze everyone here, and Maggie too?" confirmed Haley, eyes wide, clearly still having a hard time grasping the concept. She kept glancing over at the motionless redhead who looked more and more like a display figure to her instead of a living person.
"Yeah, and I have a theory," confessed Tucker. "Remember Tatiana, that tall blond bitch from your first audition? How she disappeared without notice?"
"Yeah, Miss Zoe was pissed about that," nodded Haley, then gasping. "Tucker, you didn't!"
"I, uh, sort of kidnapped her to teach her a lesson, and she's been hidden at my place... until today, frozen all that time," confirmed Tucker. "Not just her, but my old boss Rebecca too. DonÕt look at me that way; they werenÕt harmed. I think Maggie was... playing with them and somehow one of them got the wand, froze her instead, and is now out there doing who knows what."
"This is... this is..." breathed Haley, seemingly in shock. "Tucker, itÕs an amazing story, but... wait, what have you been doing with your wand?"
"All kinds of things, like getting ready for our dates when I don't have enough time," admitted Tucker. "I, uh, also may of... sorta... done some things... with you."
"Tucker!" exclaimed Haley, finally pulling her hands away, her eyes watering. "You... you... violated me while I was... frozen stiff, like them?"
"Haley, I never imagined you'd actually agree to go on a date with me!" pleaded Tucker, his stomach in a dozen knots. "I was in love with you but I couldn't be with you, at least I didn't think I could! After we hooked up, well... I may of 'been' with a few women, but I only wanted to actually be with you. I love you, Haley."
"Tucker..." sobbed Haley, facing her boyfriend again. "I love you too. And I guess... I think I'm actually okay with that, or at least I want to be." The couple embraced for a moment, their lips meeting briefly.
"I wanted to tell you so many times," whispered Tucker. "I even have some pictures of you modeling while frozen that I could have added to your portfolio, but I didn't think you'd understand."
"I don't fully, yet, understand why you didnÕt just ask; but I guess I'm okay with it," sighed Haley, stroking Tucker's face. "I may need to know more details at some point, but right now we have a missing magic wand and a room full of women frozen solid we need to put right."
"I think I know where to look," sighed Tucker, standing.
* * *
"I've heard of a slow work day, but this is ridiculous," quipped Haley after Tucker managed to unlock the front doors leading into Persephone's Books. It wasn't even four in the afternoon yet but the doors had been mysteriously shut, the blinds down but the lights still visibly on inside. Stepping inside Tucker and Haley had discovered why, not that the former was that surprised.
Jamie Mosley stood immobilized near the center of the sales floor facing the front door, her hands on her hips and her left eyebrow raised in what looked like curiosity. The redhead's clothing had been completely torn to shreds and lay at her feet, revealing the family breasts and bush to Tucker, who was familiar with them, and to Haley, who wasn't. Dotting the store were a few older men and women, none of them possessing hair that wasn't at least partially white. Calista, along with Gloria and Joy, had both also been working; Faith was off, having worked the same shift as Maggie and Tucker earlier that day. Gloria was at the coffee counter in the process of filling a paper cup for a fairly old woman, the coffee actually frozen in mid-stream. Joy was at the register as usual, reaching underneath to get a book for a customer. Finally Calista had the most comical pose, actually frozen while about to sit down in the chair at the book search station they'd recently added, her curving rear inches from touching down on the chair. All the employees were just like Jamie: naked as jaybirds, their clothes in shreds.
"Great; now where the hell are they?" sighed Tucker, walking around and shaking his head while Haley took his keys and locked the front door.
"Well, we know where they've been, but finding out where they are now could be tricky," agreed Haley, rubbing her chin and trying not to stare at the naked women. "Maybe the news has something?" she suggested.
"Oh man, I hope not," gulped Tucker but none-the-less led Haley into the break room and clicked on the television. Fortunately the news stations had nothing and Tucker breathed a sigh of relief.
"Well, I'm out of ideas," confessed Haley, leaning back in the couch and looking over at her boyfriend. "You don't have some way to find the thing? It is magical after all."
"I wish it worked like that, but as far as I can tell it can only manipulate time," mused Tucker. "Heh; I still remember when I first... You know what? Screw this. We need to find them and we can't just sit around here!"
"I know this is bad timing, you're really cute when you talk tough," giggled Haley and Tucker, in spite of everything, smiled. Taking his girlfriend by the hand, the pair hurried off to find the thieves.
* * *
It was late in the afternoon and the bank was supposed to close in an hour, but those plans had changed when two surprise guests had arrived. Two guards in obvious security uniforms stood by, arms at their sides resting on their belts. Three tellers, all women in their late twenties to mid-thirties stood at the three open spots, each one helping a customer. Two of tellers were assisting men, one a skater guy in shorts and a worn T-shirt while the other a well-groomed man in a suit; the third customer was an elderly woman who was hunched over to the extreme. An African-American woman with curly hair, a pasty Caucasian dressed like a UPS guy and an overweight mother holding a little boy by one hand and a little girl by the other stood in the line. The windows of the bank were all tinted thus they could see out from the inside but not the other way around. Everyone stood motionless.
"I so love this thing, and I don't get tired of saying that," laughed Rebecca as Tatiana frisked one of the paralyzed guards and found his keys, using them to lock the front door. The mother of two was glaring at her son on her right who was using his free hand to pick his nose while the girl on her left was sticking her tongue out at her brother. The UPS guy was holding a handful of papers and had been using them as a fan since the bank was quite warm. The woman ahead of him had been licking an envelope, holding it up to her tongue. The three bank tellers, all dressed in knitted long-sleeved shirts, had different poses: a dark-haired one wearing glasses and a lavender shirt was typing on her computer with the business man in front of her; a younger blond in blue had slid something forward for the skater to sign; and the older brunette with a ponytail in yellow had been counting out money for the old lady. "Thanks for the cash, you old hag!" Rebecca taunted the old woman as she collected the money from the brunette teller, who looked like a waxwork figure.
"Here, this one's the manager," declared Tatiana, pointing at the brunette's waistband. Circling around, the tall blond produced a key loop with a massive collection of keys, all for the safety deposit boxes. The vault was open behind the counter and Rebecca could see a another member of the staff, a man in a white shirt and tie, standing inside with a borrowed key to one of the cash boxes, he was also frozen when Rebecca had used the wand on the entire building at once.
"Hmm... A bit cute for a stiff," giggled Rebecca, checking out the bank man's ass as she walked up behind him, Tatiana followed up with their stolen purses and a duffel bag. The pair had stopped earlier at a sporting goods store and paid for the bag using money stolen from Persephone's Books. Moving fast, Rebecca took the keys and opened several deposit boxes, collecting jewelry, passports, international currency and other useful items that would sell well and werenÕt too heavy.
At least fifteen minutes had passed before Tatiana and Rebecca heard a sudden crash of glass breaking. "This is the police!" cried a female voice, causing Rebecca and Tatiana to jump up in alarm. Looking out onto the floor, the pair saw a blond policewoman, sans hat but with gun drawn, glancing around in confusion at motionless diorama the lobby had become. The frozen scene was no doubt troubling to her. Rebecca nodded at Tatiana who quietly collected the wand from Rebecca's purse and raised her hands above her head, stepping out into the main hall.
"Alright officer, I give up," offered Tatiana as she stepped out around the divider, leaving less than a few meters between her and the surprised cop.
"Drop whatever that is and freeze!" ordered the blond, shaking slightly, gun held steady.
"I think the latter is more your department," smiled Tatiana, suddenly waving the wand at the lady cop. Immediately its magic took hold on her as the policewoman stopped shaking, speaking, or even breathing. She stood there silent and stiff, her pistol held in both hands straight forwards with her jaw tight and her eyes slightly wide, her hair arranged in a simple ponytail. "They're so cute when they don't move," giggled Tatiana as she started to pry the gun from the policewomanÕs rigid fingers.
"Remember me, bitch?!" came a sudden new voice close up, and the brown-haired kid Tatiana remembered as being Tucker Holmes, one of her kidnappers, suddenly plowed into her from the side, causing her to fall over and drop the wand, which then rolled away on the slick floor.
"No, you son of a-!" cursed Tatiana, reaching for the wand as Tucker scrambled off from her. Just as it seemed the blond was going to get the magic item first another young blond woman appeared and pounced on her, pinning her arms and legs.
"What the..." began Rebecca, walking into the room from the vault. "You, you little bas-"
* * *
Tucker breathed a massive sigh of a relief as he smiled and looked around. Just as Rebecca had emerged from the vault, he'd managed to tap the wand the appropriate five times and stop all time, ending the conflict. Tatiana was pinned, arms away from her as she looked up with a snarl at Haley, who was stiffly posed kneeling on her legs and holding down her arms with a smug smile on her face. Rebecca had just dropped her duffel bag from her right hand; the object was frozen in mid-air as her eyes went wide in alarm, her left arm raised forwards with her mouth hanging open. Regina, the policewoman, hadn't moved since Tatiana had frozen her moments ago, nor had anyone else.
After leaving the bookstore Tucker had decided to find Regina, seeing as she was a cop and might be able to help them. Fortunately they'd quickly found her responding to a call made by an eyewitness who'd seen two women, one whom had placed her hand inside her purse as if carrying a weapon, enter a bank with a duffel bag. Regina had been close to the bank and thus decided to take the call; Tucker and Haley had tailed her. When it was clear something was wrong, the pair had hung back until Regina had smashed one of the windows to get in and then just waited for the right moment.
"You did great, beautiful," Tucker told the frozen Haley, stroking her face and kissing her cheek. "Oh, and you officer," added Tucker, standing and giving Regina full kiss since he couldn't do that normally. Following that Tucker knew he was going to have to either make everyone Rebecca had frozen a part of his collection or use the time reversal spell he'd recently discovered to go back and try to fix things. The question was: should he include Haley?
"The hell with it; I can always come back again and change things if she doesn't work out being in the know," decided Tucker, moving over to Haley and tapping the wand on her head twice.
"Woah; thatÕs kind of creepy," exclaimed Haley, letting go of the rigid Tatiana and standing up, looking around the eerily silent bank. "So you've stopped time? Completely?"
"For everyone but us," confirmed Tucker. "You wave the wand twice at someone or something, they freeze. You tap it with them twice, they unfreeze. You tap the wand five times, time completely freezes or unfreezes. ItÕs a good thing those two hadnÕt figured that part out completely."
"I knew you were amazing Tucker, but this beats all," breathed Haley, wrapping her arm around her boyfriend's shoulder and kissing him lightly. "So what now? Time travel?"
"Yes, but there's a few things you should know," explained Tucker. "First of all, when we go back in time I won't know how far to go back so it'll be a bit hit or miss. Also, we'll be back where we were when we go back but we should retain our memories though not our aging. However, that means we'll lose the wand when we stop going back and have to get it back again if we don't get back to the apartment in time to stop Tatiana and Rebecca from escaping. I'm afraid our date will be cut short..."
"I think saving all the poor people they froze is more important, though I do want you to make it up to me," insisted Haley. "Okay Tuck, I guess I'm ready. Work your magic." Nodding, Tucker twirled the wand in his hand, making full counter-clockwise rotations. At first nothing seemed to happen, but after the twelfth twirl Tucker raised it above his head and continued spinning it; immediately the world seemed to fade away, replaced with blurry images of where Tucker and Haley had been some time earlier. Soon they too, like the images, became a blur...
* * *
"I feel a bit naked without jewelry," complained Tatiana as she exited the apartment, Rebecca locking the door behind them.
"Her stuff was junk," Rebecca reminded her companion, but then noted some noise coming from the hallway. Intrigued, Rebecca led her companion to the next apartment where music could be heard inside.
"A party, a small girls-only one by the sounds of things," declared Tatiana immediately, her expert ears at work.
"Hmm... if that's the case, I might be able to solve your problem," realized Rebecca, producing the wand from her purse with a smile. Tatiana realized her new friend's plan and merely nodded. Ready to experiment, Rebecca quickly knocked and stepped back, waiting for her moment. A few moments later, much to the two womenÕs surprise, Tucker appeared around the corner and instantly grabbed the wand from Rebecca's startled hands.
"Gotcha!" winked Tucker, tapping the wand five quick times against the doorframe before Rebecca and Tatiana could react. Time stopped, just in time. Rebecca stood with her arms raised in alarm, as did Tatiana, both having their mouths wide open along with their eyes, arms at their sides. Grinning, Tucker glanced inside. The party was almost exactly the same as when Rebecca had frozen it previously, but now the curly-haired girl who'd answered the door was frozen in a triangle with the cute but somewhat plump blond and Haley though the nameless blond held the exact same pose, which spooked Tucker. Haley was gesturing towards the curly-haired woman who stood by with her mouth closed but smiling, her hands in front of her body held in a grip while Haley was clearly in mid-conversation.
"Okay, lets get you home," suggested Tucker, collecting Maggie's keys from Rebecca's purse. Within two minutes the two helpless escapees were back in Tucker's apartment and fully frozen; Tucker used the wand on them individually so they would remain time-stopped and noted Maggie was still where she'd been before. Satisfied, Tucker returned to Lisa's apartment and tapped the wand twice on Haley's head.
"-still, I... oh!" exclaimed Haley, surprised at seeing Tucker suddenly standing there. "I guess this will take some getting used to..."
"I'm just glad I could finally tell you," Tucker told her with a smile.
"Me too..." agreed Haley as she waved her hands in front of the other two statue-still women nearby.
"So you want to explore the frozen world, return to the party, or get back to our date?" asked Tucker sincerely. He did have a lot to show his girlfriend now.
"How about, before anything, we do a little something we haven't done yet, right here in public?" suggested Haley with a seductive smile, leaning in and wrapping her arms around Tucker while kissing him passionately.
"You make a strong argument!" laughed Tucker, throwing the wand aside as he worked on Haley's top while she unzipped his pants.
The End; you can't trust that anymore... read how Maggie and Haley Play