The bedroom door opened.
“Oh, I didn’t notice you getting up,” Genesis said. “Who’s this?”
“It’s… a long story,” Angela said. “I’ll explain later.”
Genesis hesitated a moment, then said, “Okay. I’ll be at work until six if you need me.”
She stepped into the bathroom and turned on the shower again.
“This is insane,” Angela said. “How long have you been stuck like this?”
Dorothy reached into her purse and glanced at her cellphone.
“Thirteen days, six hours, and five minutes,” she said. “And that’s only since I started timing it.”
“Jesus,” Angela muttered. “What have you been doing all that time?”
“At first, whatever the hell I wanted to do,” Dorothy said. “It’s actually pretty liberating to know that anything you do will be forgotten in a matter of minutes. But it got old fast, so I started looking for a way to fix it. I’ve talked to everyone from physicists to philosophers, but it’s hard to make any progress when you have to repeat yourself every few sentences.”
She poked around on her phone some more.
“Then I found your ad,” she said, showing off a post Angela had made on a local forum. “Took me a while to work up the courage to call, but when I explained my situation, you gave me your address and told me you’d do what you could to help me.”
“I told you that?” Angela asked.
“Yep,” Dorothy replied. “You also told me to look into your eyes before the next loop started. You said that might help you narrow down what’s causing this, somehow.”
Angela thought it over for a minute.
“Oh, of course,” she said. “I mimic other people’s powers, so whatever this is, it must be coming from inside you.”
“You mean… I’m doing this to myself?” Dorothy asked.
“On some level, yeah,” Angela said. “But that only means it can be controlled, or at least managed. Probably.”