The Time Chronicles: Episode I Part III

Rain pounds the moonlit street like a drumroll. Rows of homes all line up dutifully into a neighborhood. Lightning strikes on a young woman hurrying down the block, with a baby clutched to her chest.

Every shadow sends a chill up her spine turning her in fright. A drunkard staggers out of the alleyway with a hand down his pants. She watches him turn the corner before continuing along the dark columns.

She stops on the corner under a street light and scans a line of houses. A few are boarded up and all are dark. Every one of these houses used to be filled with families and laughter. You can't hear anything now but rain. They're either not home or don't want to be bothered. 

She spots a familiar candle in the window and of a nearby home and hustles up the steps. She bangs on the metal door anxiously.

Frank Washington clad in a black turtleneck and his signature sunglasses. His hair is cropped short, his hawk-like sniper eyes peer out the window through the shade checking the street.

"Where the hell is Arthur?" The fear in his voice is palpable. 

His mother, Delores Washington wearing glasses with a crystal chain hanging them around her neck pokes her head out like a turtle. She scoffs and waves him off, then opens the door to greet the mother and child. 

"Aw you're soaked get inside" Delores brings her in and they 

"I’m so scared Dee," Barbara starts crying, "I don’t know what going on?" She is much more frantic than she appears. 

Frank ushers them both inside, then makes sure to the young woman wasn't followed and blows out the candle. 

Frank moves to embrace Barbara, but she puts her hand up gently signaling not to wake the baby. She settles in on the sofa. He kneels down by her side.

"Babs," Frank starts softly, but with urgency, "I know things are a little crazy right now, but I need you to tell me where he is."

"I don’t know," she says bewildered, "he said he was taking care of it, and left. This was it and we were finally going to Sante Fe."

The baby stirs, "Aww, don’t cry," she says opening her coat, "Just hungry."

Frank blushes and coughs awkwardly to which Barbara manages a fake smile,"I’ll go make some tea," He ushers his mother to the kitchen. He puts the kettle on the stove and turns the knob. The fire lights with a click and hiss.

"Why haven’t you left yet?" Delores asks him with a stern tone.

"There might still be time," he hopes, "I have to go back for him, I owe him that."

Dee shakes her head, "If he’s doing what I think he’s doing you better be right."

"Are you sure?" He asks finally.

"GO!" She commands, "Now! And hurry, we'll be fine, that poor thing in there is carrying the world in her arms and it’s time."

Frank looks at his mother like its the last time. He almost cries. She steelies his reserve and sucks it up. He grabs his bag and jacket, kisses his mother and then Barbara and leaves. Delores takes Ferdinand and coos to him and puts him in a rocking baby seat.

"Thanks for watching him it means a lot," Barb turns, "You’re the only family I got."

"We’ve been through too much together already," Delores touches her shoulder, "I’d raise that boy as my own."

Barbara smiles for the first time. It's like the sun came up just for a second.

"Everything’s going to be fine," Delores pleads, "Frank will find Artie and they’ll put a stop to this once and for all."

"It’s all my fault if I could just talk to them," she says wistfully.

"Stop it," Delores interjects, "you are not to blame, they need to sort this out for themselves."

"But," Barbara starts to protest as the teapot whistles in the kitchen. Delores puts her hand on Barbara’s knee.

"The world has a way of working things out on its own."

She goes into the kitchen and takes the pot off the stove and then two mugs out of the cupboard. She pours two cups and walks back into the living room. The sofa is empty and Barb is gone. 

The front door is wide open. Delores looks down at baby Ferdinand sleeping soundly through it all, dreaming sweet dreams. Lightning strikes, thunder rumbles, and...

The Time Chronicles: Episode I Part II

The year is 1777 and the seed has grown into a tree, but it's surroundings have changed. The once sprawling field is now contained within the stonewall courtyard of a fortress-like military outpost of the Continental Army in Philadelphia.

Benjamin Franklin, already war-weary, dressed in a dirty leather apron, kneels in front of the tree in reverence. He touches it's bark and smiles weakly.  He looks around at his sanctuary as shrapnel and stone fragment rain down filling the courtyard with dust. 

Canon blasts shake him from his daze as tranquility is abruptly replaced by chaos. Men scream outside the walls as their pistol and musket fire cackle throughout the streets. Troops pound at the front door while terrified servants hurry through the yard. If they were caught they'd be killed, but if he was caught all would be lost. Ben stops one of them, "get everyone out while you still can, the city has fallen."
He rushes inside to his office where he grabs a feather quill pen off his desk and reaches for the stack of parchment. A golden lion's head paperweight with a bright red jewel in its right eye sits perched on top of the paper. 
He stares at it pensively then quickly snatches it like a hot coal and stuffs it in a bag. He looks up at his own framed portrait hanging on the wall, writes a note, grabs a knife, and stabs the note into the painting. He flees out a secret passageway.

Moments later, British troops smash down the door and raid the house for some valuable intelligence. Flipping tables, pilfering cabinets and destroying everything in sight. General William Howe walks in with the swagger of a conquering hero."Search every room, closet, bookshelf, everywhere," General Howe commands, "I want it found." 
A poor young maid, who wasn't even supposed to be working today, is drug into the room kicking and screaming.  Howe eyes her like a hungry predator circling a kill. "Darling! A moment of your time please," with the manners of a rattlesnake, "we are searching for something very valuable and we are willing to sacrifice anything to get it. Including you. So, look upon our meeting as destiny my fair maiden and help us in our quest." 

"I don't know, I'm sorry," she says with steely resolve.
"My dear," he recoils, "I'm not a monster, I want to keep it safe, keep it out of the wrong hands you see, there are terrible men out there."
"I just work here sir," she pleads for her life.
"How unfortunate," Howe shrugs, "take her out back and shoot her. Wait, don’t waste the ammo just cut her throat and dump her body in the street. Send a message to the sons of liberty." She protests but is eventually hauled outside. Howe turns to the portrait on the wall and sees the knife and note stuck to it.

It reads: "Make yourself at home. Don't forget to water the plants. Vive la revolution!” Howe seethes in anger, "you can run, but you can't hide."  He crushes the paper in his fist and the innocent maid's screams are silenced. To be continued.

The Time Chronicles: Episode I Part I

A spark of sunlight burns across the vast horizon of the desolate wasteland. Could be Mars, New Mexico, or another Post-Apocalyptic Hell-scapeWind whistles through the plains whipping dust into the sky. Heat sizzles off the barren ground, obscuring the outline of a solitary traveler walking alone in the distance. A Jawa in search of it's lost droid. 
Woosh! A gust of wind kicks the hood off the tiny sherpa revealing a woman in an animal skin coat, her back hunched under the weight of the heavy woven basket she carries.
No life to speak of; civilization lay in ruin amongst the sand. She looks to her right, where a giant clock tower lay buried like Ozymandias. To her left, a statue of some fallen hero lay in earthen rubble. Her already weathered face frowns into a deep canyon. She grips her coat and soldiers on. 
Traversing a snow-covered mountain by dog sled, canoeing down a dark winding river, and finally hacking her way through a densely wooded forest with a sword, she journeys in search of the perfect spot. She emerges from the brush to find herself standing on a hill overlooking a rolling valley leading down to a river. 

Surveying the land beyond with her hands on her hips, she breathes a sigh of relief. Satisfied, she drops her heavy basket with a thud. She stretches her back feeling the weight lifted off her and lays out a blanket before sitting down to pray. The next day, morning dawns and she concludes her prayer. She removes a small trowel shovel from her bag and then reaches for the basket. 
When she opens it, a golden glow pours over her face like honey. Her eyes shine brightly as she stares into the light. Shaking herself from the daze, she bends down, digs into the dirt, and the light goes out. She stands, wipes her hands clean, stands, rolls up her blanket, collects her meager belongings, and simply walks away. Down in the Earth, she has buried a seed.


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