“It’s not that simple. I couldn’t prevent you from leaving, but I could sever the strings that kept me attached to your world and follow your exit path with you.”
“Why would anyone want to destroy the thing keeping them clinging to a real place?”
“Say you were in danger, or perhaps you were faced with an impossible situation.”
“So, basically, you can use it to run away.”
“It doesn’t matter anyway. Sooner or later the connection fades. It’s only a temporary thing. If it were permanent, none of us would be wandering around in here. We’d all be out there.” Toby looked up past my face as if he could see the universe beyond. I could see the hopeless longing in his eyes, and that’s what made me realize that even if, by happy coincidence, I could back to the right place and time, there was no hope for me being able to stay there. For a moment, I considered curling up on the floor and crying. My brain was telling my body that it was over and I felt my legs wanting to collapse.
I mustered every ounce of courage and hope that I could and squared my shoulders. Toby was shaken out of his thoughts and his hands dropped from my shoulders. I turned away from him to face one of the hallways leading away from the little room.
“Where are you going?” Toby asked as I took a step toward the hallway.
“I’m going to find a way to get back home.” I said determinedly.
“Well, if I were you, I wouldn’t go wandering off in any old direction.” Said a voice behind me. I turned around, seeing that Toby had also turned. During my assessment of the small room and the hallways beyond, I had failed to look at the ceiling. One of the square sections that made up the ceiling was moving. It slowly moved downward several inches and then slid to one side. From the hole that the square of ceiling had been covering dropped a figure.