Buried in Sand
by Andy Rogers
Charlie let the temporal freeze come instantly. The slowing of time was instinctual now. He'd had months in the sanitarium to perfect it. He flipped it on like a light switch as soon as he heard the gunshot.
The gun was pointed at Meaghan. Had he not slowed time, the bullet would've already entered her torso. As it was, he could see the bullet hanging in midair.
Meaghan was more than just a nurse, she was a gift from the outside. She brought light and normalcy into the sanitarium's stale environment. Smiling, lovely, and un-patronizing; Charlie was smitten the first day she'd said hello.
"Hey, Chuck. What a great breakfast this morning, right? I assume you've taken your meds already."
She assumed the best of him. How cool was that? And she called him Chuck. She just had to believe him, even if no one else did.
"You know the Doc will be upset if you skip them again."
The doctor was just like everyone at school. No one had believed him. Not even his advisor. Didn't it matter that he'd earned a full scholarship for temporal physics? Didn't his overwhelming test scores buy some credibility?