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Rockin' the Clock
Rockin' the Clock - Flip Clock #10

Axe wasn't glowing. The luminous stars were still overhead and everything was just blah. The frenetic bike ride home still had Zoe panting ever so slightly and now that she was approaching the guitar case, she could feel her heart beat picking up again. Holding her pulse for a few seconds and focussing on trying to feel and hear her heart beat calmed her senses. "Breathe", she told herself. Scratching out the scrawl and positioning it on the window sill, which now seemed like a flat screen in wait, she gathered herself. Flipping the strap over her head and gently resting Axe against her aptly named midriff, she linked up to her pod and plugged in her headphones. "Battle-ready. Standby Dimp.", she murmured trying to fill the dull silence she'd manufactured.

The sun was dipping now and it was fast-approaching magic hour as Zoe glanced out the window. Hunting for something moving, her eyes locked onto a squirrel scampering across the yard. It was never open season for Dimple, who being well-fed, just started to lick his paws at the sight of the feisty squirrel whose fluffy tail was now taunting him. Now was as good as ever thought Zoe, summoning all the energy she had left to strum those magic chords.

"This one's for you, Dad."

As the riff played back in her ears, the freeze took over as everything, including the squirrel's tail, came to an abrupt halt. The silence was intense. It helped that she had the headphones on this time, making the transition a bit easier to fathom. Somehow it seemed more natural. Zoe hadn't been thrown into the deep end of the pool the way her father had teased he'd teach her to swim. This time it was by her own design. The novelty of frozen silence had worn off. She knew what she was getting herself into and instead of being terrified, she was mostly curious. It also helped that her trusty ginger companion was by her side. Glancing down to where he was sitting, she noticed Dimple had vanished.

Swiveling her head around, she called "Dimple? DIMPLE?". Just as Zoe was about to shriek, she caught a glimpse of something moving outside. Dimple wasn't known for his stealth but had somehow managed to spring out the window in all the excitement. Now padding towards the helpless squirrel, Zoe suddenly remembered the shriek she had loaded... "DIMPLE!?!". Turning back his head as if to say "chillax", he proceeded to open his mouth and lick the poor squirrel's head. Breathing a sigh of sheer and utter relief, Zoe almost forgot everything had come to a standstill. Amused at the squirrel's statuesque predicament, she suddenly remembered mom's fluffy unicorn.

Flinging the door open and pacing down the hallway, she swerved into mom's study. Mom was mid-sentence in a transcription with the foot pedal depressed and her fingers now hovering over the keyboard. The air conditioner streamers were in full flight, the flip clock wasn't flipping and Zoe was still expecting mom to suddenly say "BOO". She gently pushed her to get a response. There was no lovebug this or that as mom simply fell over, almost dragging the keyboard with her. Trying to snatch at her gown before she tipped off her chair, she knew that mom probably would've laughed about it. She wasn't quite strong enough to sit her back in her pose, gently popping a pillow under her head instead.

Lowering her headphones and standing in the middle of the room, everything was silent. How did Dad discover this crazy dimension, had he left the scrawl for Zoe to find? Looking at mom now resting on the pillow, her eyes still fixed in concentration mode, there was something funny about it all. Sure, it was eerie to be exploring the frozen state but there was something undeniably funny about it. The squirrel getting its head licked, mom falling over in The Thinker pose... maybe Zoe had misjudged this version of reality. Starting to brainstorm some of the fun she could have with the zombos and T-Rex, everything suddenly came rushing back as every one of her five senses seemed to engage simultaneously.

Looking down at mom for a change, she felt her face starting to glow.

Rockin' the Clock - Blender Cup #11

"Zoe, why am I on the floor?"
"You're probably working too hard, mom. I put the pillow under your head."
Being quite selective with the truth, Zoe managed to wiggle her way out of that one. It probably helped that mom hadn't hurt herself in the fall and that it had all happened within the space of a few minutes.
"Why are you blushing?" mom quizzed getting up from the floor trying to keep a beady eye on Zoe. Ordinarily Zoe would have helped her up, but she was more of a flight than fight sort. Walk-running back to her room, she managed to blurt out "homework" in an effort to calm rising suspicions. Unfortunately with her track record, the incident and remark made mom even more curious. Still, anything that made Zoe do her homework was deemed to be good.

Zoe had more peace in her heart about the freeze time zone. Although trying to conceal the truth from her mom didn't sit easy at all. Staring down at the homemade breakfast smoothie, she tried to avoid eye contact as mom paced about the kitchen with her first fresh coffee for the day. Apple cores, banana peels and carrot ends spilled over the wooden cutting board onto the kitchen island counter top. The traditional breakfast smoothie probably had more fruit than vegetables, but was full of goodness. Mom may have been a slouch when it came to making her bed but was an undercover sushi chef when it came to slicing and dicing. Dimple wasn't allowed on the table but somehow managed to make it to the top of the fridge. Now competing with the fridge's buzz, he purred loudly peering down on everything like he had just been sworn into office.

Trying to dislodge the pesky Chia seeds huddled at the base of the blender cup, Zoe soon found herself in an equally close-knit group of students. Marching past the principal's office there was always an air of relief to have ducked the blade and not to be sitting on "the bench". Principal Smith... better known as Agent Smith, was quite proud of her Matrix-inspired nickname. Having access to the security camera feed from her office, she was all-seeing and with little to no privacy on all computer networks, it could have been called Big Brother High. Corporal punishment was a thing of mom's day. Although given the new psychological means of torture and cyber-bullying, a dose of swift sharp physical pain seemed less daunting than the new horrors.

Keeping a low profile was no guarantee of not becoming the next target. One kid became the butt of a series of viral memes after keeping his eyes on the ground so intently that he got clothes-lined by an open locker door. While it had happened in the background of a vlog entry, somehow the school's CCTV footage had been in a better position to capture the "blooper". Even more surprising was that the security footage had been leaked, forcing the poor kid now ordained "Lock-Block" to the shadows before quietly moving schools.

For someone with blue hair and a guitar strapped to her back, Zoe had become quite the chameleon. She had her routes, knew who to avoid and had a pretty mean death stare as a last resort. Her dad's harmless pranks and fun teasing had equipped her with much-needed resilience and skills. Ignoring them helped, but only so far. Agreeing with them siphoned their apparent power, but the best tactic with zombos and zombies for that matter is avoidance.

While Zoe was constantly aware of her surroundings at school, all senses ready for action, having Axe strapped to her back was empowering. She had the ability to freeze time and that made her almost as powerful as the omnipresent Agent Smith. The freeze time zone hadn't been investigated thoroughly, but school seemed like a great place to test it out.

"Right, class." was the way T-Rex started every lesson. Zoe had a flashback of his terrifying face, literally shaking her head to try and get rid of the mental image. Now sitting at the back of the class, she wasn't daydreaming for fear of reliving that nightmare but rather scheming ways she could put Axe into action. She had been blessed with Dad's creativity when it came to pranks... except today she wanted to go with a classic switcheroo. If only Dimple was here to witness it, she thought switching on her pod as T-Rex swiveled around to write something on the board.

Rockin' the Clock - To Be Continued...

Dear Reader,

I'm sorry if you're reading this... because I've made the decision to take the Rockin' the Clock fictional series offline. The bad news is that you won't be able to read about Zoe's crazy adventures as you have been doing so. The good news is that I'm wanting to turn the posts into an e-book or novel. So, while it may be goodbye for now... I hope to have some amazing news for you in the coming months.

If you'd like me to keep you posted, please send us a message with "Rockin' the Clock" as the subject via the contact us page.

Thanks for your understanding and support!

~ Spling, Zoe and Dimple

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