"No pressure though, right?" Jack said.
Then she took the smile away. "We've got to be fast. When the candy is gone, you'll go back."
Jack tried to see the joke, but she really didn't seem like the joking type. "Back where?"
"To your own time. Come on, let's walk."
Jack hurried to keep up with Clarice. She walked fast.
"Oh my God," Jack said, pulling at his shirt. "Why is it so hot here?"
"It's pretty normal today," Clarice said. "It can get much hotter. So do you know how the Doorway works?"
"The what?" Jack said, not paying attention. He was wondering why the streets were so deserted. "Where is everyone?"
"Inside. Nobody comes out during the day anymore," Clarice said. She stopped and faced him. "Do you know how the Doorway works?"
"I don't even know what the Doorway is. What are we talking about?"
Clarice threw her hands up in frustration. "You're the one that wrote all the notes! You're supposed to know everything about it! That's why I brought you here!"
Jack shifted the candy from one side of his mouth to the other. He moved one hand in front of her face, his thumb and index finger about a centimeter apart. "Listen, Clarice. I'm about this close to totally freaking out on you. So can you just relax for a second and tell me what's going on?"
Jack and Clarice sat next to each other on the sidewalk, leaning against the wall of a derelict, abandoned school. Clarice was doing most of the talking. Jack was just sitting, sweating, and listening.
The candy was just about gone.
"Can't I take the candy out and hold it or something," Jack asked.
Clarice shook her head.
"Because my notes say it won't work, right?"
"So these many, many pages of detailed notes that I wrote about the Doorway - you can't get them?"
"Damien hid them," Clarice said. "He knew I was looking for them. I've only skimmed through them once."
"Why do you call it the Doorway?" Jack asked.
"You'll see. Tomorrow."
"Did you come up with that name? The Doorway...sounds scary," Jack said.
"It was in your notes."
"Yeah, well, I always was pretty creative."
"So you'll do it?" Clarice said. "For me?"
Jack shrugged. "Sure. I guess. I still don't see what the big deal is."
Clarice looked away. "I know. Just hold on to the picture and go tomorrow. I'll try to explain it better next time."
"When will that be?" Jack asked.
But he was back in his empty room and there was no one there to answer him.