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...

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