The decay came suddenly, as if years were passing in seconds, as if time had made some terrible mistake. Metal rusted; wood rotted; everything fell apart.
Cassie ran, but an invisible barrier threw her back. It felt solid as steel.
Everything froze, as if she was in a paused video.
A groaning sound filled the air and a man in black and white robes appeared, floating in midair.
I’m dreaming, Cassie thought, but she knew she wasn’t.
“I am afraid,” he said, “you won’t be able to leave.”
“Temporal quarantine,” he replied. “I understand it’s inconvenient, but I’m afraid we can’t risk infecting the rest of the universe.”
“So what?” she asked. “I have to stay here for my entire life?”
“I’m afraid so. I suggest you find a way to entertain yourself.”
Cassie stood just behind the barrier, looking out a world she could see but never touch.
Word Count: 150
This is for Flash Fiction for the Aspiring Writer. Thanks to Priceless Joy for running the challenge and Barb CT for providing the prompt photo!