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Authors: Tyra Lynn

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Tempus

BOOK: Tempus
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Table of Contents

 

 

 

INCEPTO

 

All my possessions for a moment of time.

Queen Elizabeth I

1558-1603

 

 

 

 

PREFACE

 

“If today were all I’m to ever have, it’s more than I deserve,” he whispered.  “More than I should have had.” 

This moment of joy was worth all the moments of sadness that would surely come.  I would remember him this time.  This one moment is what I would hold on to—in my memory, in my dreams, in my heart.

“Succumb tempor adiuvat.”  He said quietly, almost to himself.  

“What does that mean?”

“Who yields to time finds time on his side—loosely translated.”

“You’ll come back?”  I asked.

“Pro te, milies aeterno.”  He placed my hand on his heart.

“And that means?”

“For you, a thousand times eternity.”

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER I

The past is never dead.  It’s not even past.

—William Faulkner

 

Time—
infinity served in finite portions.

You think you’ll have as much as you need, right up ‘til the moment it runs out.  I thought I understood that better than most.  But just like everyone else, the instant it’s gone, I wonder where it all went. 
How did it just slip away

As I helped my dad unload the last of the cardboard boxes to take inside the store, I couldn’t help thinking I had only one week left of summer.  One week, and I’d done nothing but work.  One week until my last year of high school.  I shuddered at the thought.

“That’s the last one, sweetie,” said Dad as we carefully sat the box next to the others on the dirty back counter.  “You going through these, or should I?”

I waved my hand in front of my face, fending off the dust and the musty scent rising from the boxes full of my dad’s latest
treasures
.  “I got it,” I half choked through the motes, “you said you wanted to go grocery shopping anyway, and you know how I
hate
that.”  I wrinkled my nose and smiled.  “Just come pick me up when you’re done.”

Dad eyeballed the boxes for a few moments.  I knew it was hard for him to walk away, but I gave him an encouraging smile.  He let out a long sigh, tipped an invisible hat toward me, and backed out the door. 
Good job, Dad,
I thought to myself.

We weren’t open on Sundays and since it was Sunday evening, I had the entire store to myself.  I also had the new ‘treasures’ all to myself, and that’s what
really
interested me.  I let my eyes wander over the contents of the six cardboard boxes trying to decide which one to attack first.

Two of the boxes had contents wrapped in tattered old newspapers and covered in mouse droppings.  I knew from experience those things had probably been put away the longest.  I bet the people these came from had no idea what was even inside.  I’d never understood how someone could just get rid of boxes of things without knowing what those
things
were.

I glanced at my watch, mentally pictured the grocery list I’d seen Dad write this morning, and calculated how long I had.  I should have plenty of time, but I knew I at least had to trash all the junk before he returned.  Anything that didn’t go on the shelves in the store ended up in our house—even mouse-poop covered newspapers, if they were
old
enough.  Guess the poop boxes were first, then.


Gross
,” I mumbled, then dug in with my bare hands.

The first thing I unwrapped was a beautiful pair of candlesticks. 
Nice
.  Late 1800’s, and well cared for.  The last place they’d sat was on a beautiful carved oak mantle, on top of crocheted doilies.  That was all I got from them, and I wondered briefly if the doilies might be in one of the boxes. 

The next thing I unwrapped was the base of an old oil lamp.  I watched behind my eyes as it cast flickering shadows on paneled walls while its previous owner glided down the stairs at….
one gong….  two gongs…. three gongs
.  I wondered why she was up at three a.m.  Had she heard some noise?  Was she sneaking to the kitchen for a snack?  It was all speculation because I got no more from it.

The next piece was small, but I knew what it was from the feel and I liked it already.  A perfume bottle
.
  More specifically, an
atomizer
.  I ripped off the paper to get my bare fingers on it, then squeezed the bulb.

I saw her face at once—her delicate features, her hair pulled up in an elegant coiffure and held there by two pearl combs.  I watched her bend her slender ivory neck, first to one side, then the other, as she gently squeezed the bulb I held between my fingers.  I could just about smell the scent, but not quite.  She was much younger here than when she’d carried that lamp down the stairs.

In the mirror before her, I caught sight of a shadowy figure moving slowly, almost dancing toward her.  He was humming something, but I couldn’t hear it well.  Tall, dark, and handsome I bet, judging by the smile that crossed her face.  I smiled too.  Before I could confirm my guess, however, it was over.  I sat the bottle on the table. 
Rats
!

I made a mental note.  I had recently started paying more attention, and it seemed I might be right—older objects, longer glimpses.  
Cool

 ‘Glimpses’ are what I’d begun to call them several years ago.  ‘Visions’ just sounded too
voo-doo hoo-doo-ish
.  I don’t remember ever not having them, and it was always random, not something I could control at all.  Most objects gave me nothing, some objects gave me a glimpse or two, and once in a while an object would give me glimpses almost every time I touched it.  That last kind was rare, though.

I decided to test the atomizer.  I did that now and then if I saw a glimpse that interested me more than most.  My glimpses were kind of like picking up a book and starting to read somewhere in the middle—but the pages before and after were blank. 
Ah-nnoying!
 

I squeezed the bulb one more time and saw a handsome face with dark, wavy hair.  His brown eyes met mine momentarily, unseeing, then he bent down to that ivory white neck, kissed it, and was gone.  Now
that
was satisfying.

I squeezed it again, just for good measure, but got nothing.  I bid the beautiful couple in the perfume bottle a fond farewell and dug back into the box.  I wondered if I might find something of
his
somewhere in the boxes, but I never did.  Oh well.

The rest of the stuff went quickly.  There were a few glimpses here and there, but no more of the stunning duo.  There were several nice things for the store shelves, a few things I stashed to take to Goodwill later, and
numerous
things that I buried under the trash in the dumpster, so they wouldn’t end up at my house.  Dad was getting much, much better… but
still

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