Clockwiser

Clockwiser by Elle Strauss

Book: Clockwiser by Elle Strauss Read Free Book Online
Authors: Elle Strauss
are things you don’t know about my brother, and you have to trust me that what I’m doing is in his best interest.”
     
    She nodded, then nudged her horse with her knees and turned him around. “Hopefully we’ll see each other again later.” She clicked her tongue and galloped away.
     
    I followed on foot, watching from the bushes in the ditch as she approached the soldier at the gate. In no time flat she was giggling and the boy was staring up at her with a docile grin. I stepped carefully behind him, and would’ve been caught if Josephine hadn’t executed a perfectly timed sneeze.
     
    Once inside the gate, I took cover behind the trees and bushes making my way toward several rows of long narrow buildings. I was careful to stay in the shadows and out of sight.
     
    There were a lot of men, more than I imagined, milling about. Some running a track, other’s shooting off rifles on the other side of a field. Others were doing foxhole manoeuvres of some kind. I peeked inside a barrack window, and saw rows of empty but made-up bunk-beds. Tim was sure to come back to this place at some point. I’d just wait it out.
     
    I was a little worried I’d never spot him in this crowd of men, but an hour or so later I saw him coming from a large building, probably the mess hall. Unfortunately he was with Willie and another stocky soldier with blond hair. The barrack furthest away was up against a grove of trees and bushes, and I kept myself hidden. I whistled a bird call to draw his attention. He looked my way, but didn’t falter. I whistled again and this time he stopped. Willie paused, too, but the other guy kept going. Tim shrugged and started after Willie who was now a few steps ahead. I whistled again just as Willie stepped inside. Tim looked my direction; I stuck out my arm and waved him over.
     
    “Who’s there?” he said.
     
    I popped my head out from behind the shrub. “It’s me.”
     
    “Casey?”
     
    “Yes, get over here.”
     
    Tim looked over his shoulder before ducking in behind the barracks.
     
    “How did you get in here?” he whispered.
     
    “It doesn’t matter. We just need to wait until it’s darker, and then we can sneak back out.”
     
    Tim huffed. “I’m not leaving.”
     
    “Are you crazy? You can’t be here. They’ll send you off to battle!” I spoke as sternly as I could in a whisper.
     
    “I want to go to battle. It’s an adventure.”
     
    “It’s not an adventure. It’s suicide.”
     
    “Oh, come on. You said yourself that you couldn’t have died here since you’re still there.”
     
    “That’s just a theory . I also said I wouldn’t purposely try to get myself killed.”
     
    “I’m not trying to get myself killed. I’m getting an education. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Who gets to experience firsthand, historical events that happened before they were born?”
     
    “Some things are better learned from a book. I’m not arguing with you, Tim. You need me to get back.” I stared hard at him. “Unless you want to stay here forever.”
     
    He scoffed. “You’ll come again. I’ll catch the ride back to the future next time.”
     
    So, not going to happen. I stomped my feet blowing hot air out my nose like a bull. Here I went to all this trouble to find Tim, recited the Gettysburg Address in public, dressed like a dork, enlisted a minor to commit a crime, committed the crime, and now he wouldn’t come with me?
     
    A branch cracked under someone’s weight and I dropped to the ground.
     
    “Cassandra?”
     
    Crap. Willie saw me. I stood with my finger to my mouth. Last thing I needed was to attract the attention of the whole regiment.
     
    “I’m just here for Timothy,” I said quietly.
     
    “I don’t want to go,” Tim said
     
    “Willie, talk sense to him.”
     
    Instead of taking my side, he said, “How did you get in here?”
     
    “It doesn’t matter.” Was I the only sane one? Why were they wasting my time? “I’m

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