Only Time Can Tell

Below the city’s cobblestones it shifted, restless and hungry.

Relax pet. You’ll feed soon. Need to find you the right one.

He slid a careful hand down his slate sharkskin suit, tugging the gleaming cuffs links, shaped like a tangled knot against the stark white shirt, setting the lapels just right. He rubbed out an invisible scuff on his well-shined shoes. It is a crowded street, but strolled at a decent clip, his hands in trouser pockets unencumbered by the masses that seem to give him berth. Sunglasses on, hiding the ever present turmoil in his dark eyes, he casually walked the pavement, the smallest smile playing along his lips as he sniffs the air.

Sadness. No.

Anger. No.

Depression. No.

Rage. No.

Too easy – you need, you deserve something much, much better to sink your teeth in, pet.

A handsome blond man was headed towards him. A doctor by the stethoscope draped around his neck. He talking away on his mobile pleasantly distracted by the conversation.

“I love you more!” The man grins and bubbles with laughter. “No, Mary I love YOU more!”

Unbridled happiness.

Oh yes! He looks sooo happy, pet. That will do.

“Hey, do you know the time?” He lets his natural lilt come through as he touches the man on the arm stopping him. He feels the bedlam of the feeding flow within him from beneath taking a desperate hold at the contact trigger. He sees its swirl in the stunned blues eyes that were momentarily vacant, but now glittered with precious malevolence that permeates the doctor’s entire being before he lets go and walks away. It was less than two seconds of contact, but it felt like more than two eternities before his pet is sated and retreats to below.

Oh yessssss. So good. So good.

His breath hitches as he luxuriates in the emotional calamity, his knees nearly buckling in pleasure as behind him he hears the blond start to scream into his phone.

“Look you fucking bitch! I honestly don’t what the fuck I’m even doing here. Get the out of my life you raging whore!” The man continues to string vitriol in the middle of the pavement, pedestrians gawking as they scurry around him. Moments later he suddenly stops. He looks at the phone bemused and aghast. Just as quickly apologies spew forth as the poor doctor attempts to salvage the conversation abashed by the odd behavior.

No one can hear or see him as he pulls his power to double over in delighted laughter on the sidewalk, the mirth bringing tears to his eyes.

Time suddenly freezes around him.

Well almost no one.

He smirks as a midnight black suited figure brandishing a silver skull head walking stick, along with a long hooded robe in crème with silver trim appears.

“What have you DONE?” Death swung out his walking stick, the power of his profession grabbing him by the shoulder and slamming him into a wall.

“Hello? Don’t sully the suit.” He steps from the wall, brushing at his lapels where Death had grabbed him, as if covered they were covered in offal, using the insult to cover his nervousness at the surprise of Death’s attack. Death is one seemingly emotionless man to deal with, passion at this level was unusual from him and the god was MAD!

Hmmm. Now, what brought THAT on and how can I use it?

“Here to read me the Riot Act, boys?” He shifted his gaze to the robed man. “Again.”

“Really Chaos. Your timing as always is impeccable and horrid.” Chronos cringed running his hand over his face and head, the move pushing the hood of his robe back. His unruly silver spikes of hair standing on end in the time frozen light. He pulled what looked like minute timer out of his pocket with the other hand and shook it.  The hour glass he always carries expands to its traditional full size. He swung it quickly towards Death, and gave it a gentle tap. Its sands flow black for a second and Death freezes in place. He then swung it towards Chaos, giving it another tap and the sands flow slate as Chaos freezes in place as well. Chronos nods once before shrinking it down again and putting it away.

“You can come now.” Chronos called out even as a celadon mist was already coalescing into the solid form of Gaea. He smiled as he marveled in the verdant scent of summer that surrounds her always. Today she appeared in an older guise and he knows it is the Mother that prompted this intervention between Death and Chaos.

“So this is it then? When it all started to go wrong for?” He glances around at the seemingly nothing of an ordinary day in the world.

“As best as we can tell.” Trechant sea blue-green eyes flash in motherly compassion for a moment as they pass over Death. Chronos knows she is also thinking of her elder son, War who also shares the mercurial eyes of his mother and brother. Gaea generally abhors interrupting in the affairs of her children, preferring to let them pick and choose as their hearts and the constraints of their posts dictates, but this is different. Fate found an upcoming snarl in the Tapestry of Life. Atropos was had her sheers ready to excise the entire thing. Lachesis tempered the action when she pulled some of the threads and realized War and Death would be involved in proportions so far out of the normal skein even Clotho knew only someone on their side could have had a hand in it. The obvious choice was, well, obvious.

Chaos on a whim accidentally set in motion a path of destruction. No, he did not mean to, for once, but he would have done so regardless for the joyous recklessness of it given the nature he was born into, had he known. That whim happened today when he unknowingly set a reaction that ruined the engagement of the blond. Fate could not give details anymore because once threads are pulled every changes, but she knew that blond doctor would soon become someone important to Death and eventually all of them.

Gaea glanced at the blond of the doctor, staring at his phone in frozen desperation. She nods to Chronos who comes to stand beside her, putting a hand on her shoulder as he pulls out the hour glass and expands it again.  He uses his power to shake it and then tilt it slightly back. The sands turn from the matching crème color of his robes to a clear crystal as times reverses a few minutes. Everything and everyone, but the two of them reverse with it. When he sets it right and time freezes again they see Chaos and his pet down the street not having spotted the doctor yet. Death blinked out of sight. Gaea knows has return to an appointment Sumatra. She steps to where the doctor stands now, his beaming face looking up to the sky, deep blue eyes shining in tender happiness.

I am sorry my child, I have to do this to you…

Gaea places a hand over the doctor’s heart. His shoulders sag, his eyes look haunted as his entire countenance takes on a dejected stance. Satisfied she stands beside Chronos, taking his hand. He shakes the hour glass and it begins to run in normal time.

The doctor starts walking “I’m sorry, Mary darling. I lost Mackenzie and Joseph today. I’m really not in the best of moods. Can we just stay in tonight? Please?” He realizes his stethoscope is around his neck and snatches it away. The grip on it folded tubing taking the brunt of what he feels. Chaos seeing the pain the doctor is in passes him by in search of something better.

Gaea releases the breath she wasn’t aware she was holding and smiles at Chronos automatically touching his forehead as he frowns. He smiles his appreciation as she eases the headache she knows that comes to him whenever any of the gods ask him to change Time on their behalf as his mind and body also has to adjust to the new reality even as he exists in the current one until all matches. The more of them he has to adjust simultaneously the more it hurts.

When his mind settles Chronos immediately swings the hourglass towards her and its sands flow celadon for a second and Gaea freezes.

“Sorry Gaea, experience tells me the less of us that remembers this happened the better it works.” His smile is rueful as he sets her back in Time. She blinks to her new placement and he closes his eyes to let his mind adjust.

He looks down the block where Chaos has taken a different person’s happiness on which to feed his pet. He taps the hourglass feeling Time within knowing is all as it should be for the present.

For the present.

Only he himself knows what had, could have and has now happened. As for what may happen only Time can tell.

<>==========<>

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie: First Line Friday -July 21st 2017

Below the city’s cobblestones it shifted, restless and hungry.

Every other Friday Dylan gives the first line, and we get to write the rest.

The Sunday Whirl: Wordle 309

Nothing, Carry, Sea, Post, Trigger, Poor, Pick, String, Mean, Beam, Shake, Born

Write a poem or short prose using some or all of the wordle words.  Forms of the words are fine.  Challenge yourself to use them all, but it is not a requirement.

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie: Wordle #165

Shine, Clip, Abash, Read, Salvage, Celadon, Permeate, Sag, Nervous, Vacant, Offal, Trenchancy

Write a poem or short prose using at least ten of the wordle words.  Forms of the words are fine.

So? What do you think?

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