Chapter 6

Written by: Rosemary Wakelin
Shock rendered me speechless. Could this enfeebled woman with her grey, sagging skin and thinning, silver hair be Patty? I perceived her voice, however, to be a perfect replica of her youth. 
“It’s okay, George,” Patty said. 
I was in a strange era, bearing an uncanny resemblance to my late grandfather and with no time machine. I stank of vomit, my stomach still very disagreeable and my joints oddly twinging in pain. I certainly didn’t consider that ‘okay’.
“I’m not George,” I said a little too coarsely. “I mean… my name is George but not your George.” I prayed I was making sense.
Patty released a heavy sigh. “That’s a relief,” she said. “George has been gone for two years.”
My eyes widened. “Gone where?” 
Patty giggled. I naturally questioned why she would find her husband’s leaving as humorous. 
“He’s dead, silly. Killed by a fan.”
My mouth opened but nothing came out. A sudden wave of homesickness further troubled my insides. “I want to go home,” I whispered before hobbling to the roof’s edge and grabbing onto the white rails. Below, the Oriental girls continued their prattling, their words mutated by distance and the thickening haze.
“Where’s home,” Patty asked in a gentle tone. 
Overwhelmed by the madness surrounding me, I unleashed my burdens onto her, about Jeffrey and the time machine, about how I had lost it and thus had no way in getting back to my own time. When I finished, I sensed a remarkable calm.
“I’m not Patty,” she spoke in a low register. “Not George’s Patty. I am a time guardian.” She said it as if it was the most natural thing in the world. Before I could ask for an explanation, Patty continued.
“It’s what I do,” she said, looking across the Thames towards the jagged horizon. “There are others like you, time travellers who glorify and marvel the wonders they experience. And there are those who manipulate these abilities for their own benefits. My race cannot allow time to be manipulated.”
I had to agree, although the logistics of such a profession was far beyond me.
“Your last few trips, without your machine, including this one” she said, “were a test. I needed to know if you were as innocent and as naïve as you appeared. You passed.”
I was grateful, I think.
Massive chills and shakes began surging through my body. When they eventually passed, my joints were painless again, my hair thick and soft. With her lips now red and full, the old ‘youthful Patty’ I had first met, smiled at me.
 “I can transport you back to your machine,” she said, taking a hold of my hand. “And make sure you get home. Though, before I do, and only with your permission, I’d like to take you someplace, any place, in any time you desire, as a token of my sincere apologies.”
I scratched my forehead. Many locations came to mind. 
But one and only one stood out.

Comments

Wow! A new twist on time travel and unique. You should seriously consider a short story on this theme or at least a author only serial. So well written and attention grabbing. I can almost hear writers saying - "wish I'd thought of that." Lovely dialogue and a swift move along to the next scene chapter. Smoothly penned. Loved it, Rosemary.
Thanks Ray. So very appreciated. Writing a short story? Don't know, not normally my thing but i will definitely think about it.
I just loved this chapter and the introduction of a time guardian is genius and then to have her grant George a wish. You make it all sound so possible. Loved it!