Sharp Needle

“Oh, what the hell?” Minnie decided with a sigh. Her day was already off the rails and she assumed it couldn’t get any worse. She had no idea who was at the door; she was never home at this exact time. She assumed whoever it was knocked every day at the same time. A lean, older man in a white stood on her doorstep. It wasn’t quite a suite, but it definitely resembled a uniform of some kind. It reminded Minnie of a soldier’s uniform without any sort of military markings. He carried a red briefcase and smiled at Minnie.

“Good afternoon, Ma’am. My name’s Pierce and I represent Sharp Development,” Minnie blatantly rolled her eyes at him.

“I’m having a day today,” she said curtly. “Not interested.” Minnie began to shut the door, but Pierce spoke up again, unfazed by her rudeness.

“I’m not selling anything. We detected some ongoing temporal anomalies…,” the word ‘temporal’ caught Minnie’s attention. She halted with the door half-open. “…and we just wanted to check in with you to see if everything is okay? Do you know what you’re doing?” he asked.

“I’m sorry, what?” Minnie asked. No matter how many times she tried to explain the loop to someone not a single soul believed her. But now she had a stranger at her door that seemed to know something about it.

“Our records show that today has happened over 300 times; I was sent to verify whether it’s intentional or not.” He raised a salt and pepper eyebrow at her. “Is it?” he asked.

“Why are you asking me?” Minnie asked; it was the only question she could form. Her mind was racing, but she knew enough to know she wanted to talk to him more. She stepped to the side and opened the door wider to let him in.

“Unintentional then,” Pierce continued to smile as he entered her home. He made his way straight to her brown leather couch and set his briefcase on her coffee table. “I’m asking you because you’re the one controlling it,” he said.

“Well,” he chuckled. “Controlling might be too strong a word, but you’re definitely causing it.”

“ME? How?” Pierce shrugged.

“I couldn’t tell you how, but I will tell you why it is you can. You’re known as a Unique Soul. Specifically #14, La Muerte. Death. You have that ability to control time. Although, you’re still in what’s known as the ‘Slumbering’ phase. Your soul isn’t awake yet, so you don’t have complete control over your powers. Once you’re ‘Awakened’…,” Pierce added air quotes to hint that it was a different phase. “…you’ll have complete control over time. You’ll be able to undo this time loop, and visit any point in time or set up new time loops as you see fit.”

“How do I .. uh, wake up?” Minnie asked. Pierce grinned. He scooted to the edge of the couch and opened his red briefcase.

“It’s actually very easy.” He reached into the briefcase and pulled out a red clipboard with a form on it. “Just sign here,” he handed her the clipboard with a pen. She accepted the clipboard and immediately touched the pen to the signature line.

“You’re not going to read it?” Pierce asked.

“Oh, uhh, yeah. I guess I should huh,” she relaxed the pen and stared at the sheet pretending to read. She didn’t care about the fine print; she wanted to be out of the loop. If what he was saying was true, she could easily undo her signature if she needed to by rewinding time. If he wasn’t being honest, the form was invalid anyway. After a few seconds Pierce chuckled.

“I can tell you’re in a hurry. Well, I’ll give you the short version of the fine print. I’m obligated to inform you that you’re signing your soul over to Sharp Development.”

“My.. soul?” Minnie asked. “Don’t I need that? That’s what makes me Unique, right?”

“Your soul,” Pierce nodded. “But, it’s not as big a deal as you might think. It’s essentially a job contract. Sharp Development owns my soul and I couldn’t be happier. I love my job and you wouldn’t believe some of the places you get to travel to. I’m not a slave by any means. I live in a nice house with my family and eat well with plenty of spare time. And trust me,” his grin grew wider. “There are ways to fill in all that spare time.”

“Alright, I’m in!” He painted a positive picture that Minnie didn’t entirely believe; but, she was hopeful. And she still banked on being able to take it back. She eagerly signed her name then returned the clipboard to Pierce. “Now what?” she asked. Pierce put the clipboard back into the briefcase then pulled out a small gun-like machine. It was white with a red logo printed along the side that said ‘Sharp Development’.

“Now, you get a tattoo,” Pierce said.

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