World War 2 romance.
Two of my early ghost stories are linked by the romance between a nurse and a US airman whose spirit lies trapped in the wreckage of a crashed plane.
Though my story is fiction, it is based in fact, as there are many crash sites in the UK where USAAF planes never made it back to base.
If you recall your Twilight Zone episodes, this story is similar to "King Nine won't return."
With a free will, these girls leave their country to live with ISIS, the enemy of the western world; they have babies and decide that the life is not for them, so they ask to return.
They willingly take up arms against a country, then beg that country to take them back when they realize how stupid they have been; I have only one thing to say to these traitors - you made your bed, now lie in it.
Sure, let them into the country, and try them as traitors as treason is punishable by death.
Really, what do they expect?
Muslims treat women as being lower than cattle, did they expect to get respect?
Girls like these are nothing more than breeders of terrorists.
When I was on LinkedIn, I was asked by a writer in Newfoundland to send him a copy of my 5-star rated book, Nerja www.alsdominion.co.uk/home/nerja, the next thing I knew is he stopped chatting to me and published the short story as his, The official edition is the one I re-edited, and I am selling on Amazon and Draft2Digital.
My only work that is not self-published.
Several years ago, I had worked published in an anthology book; I keep forgetting about these ghost stories because though the book sold, I never saw any royalties for my work.
A few months later, I rewrote and edited the stories; the better versions are on sale from my pages on Amazon and Draft2Digital.
The end of a blog.
This blog gets between 100 - 200 readers per day, so you may wonder why it will close in October?
The answer is simple to understand; I am paying for your pleasure, and getting nothing in return by e-book sales. The cost of the editing software and the blog comes to over $150 per annum, and I cannot afford this luxury any longer. To cover this cost, it would take me over a decade at the present rate of sales.
My help ended up meaning nothing.
In my last months, I am looking out for Numero Uno and nobody else.
Years ago, I helped other writers with their book publication, and promotion for free because I thought my help was needed.
What a foolish concept that was!
I helped a writer in Wales get a contract; I helped a writer from Canada get her series a publisher, and I helped a writer in Australia boost his sales from 20 a month to over 200 a month,and what did I get in return?
Not even a thank you, that is why three years ago, I chose to help only myself as I am the one person I could not boost sales for no matter how hard I tried, but there again I had NO HELP FROM ANYONE!
Killing off a character.
I don't find it difficult to comprehend the change in my writing, after all, none of my ebooks have sold in the last three years, and this leads me to a situation that years ago would have upset me - killing of a beloved character in a story - but not now.
The situation first comes to show seven years ago when friends who were following the adventures of my hero (Mark Johnson) got worried that after a bad week I'd kill off their hero; in the end, I spent days trying to write a gruesome end, but I never could do it.
The next time was when I had to kill off a character who was dying slowly in my second sci-fi series (The Word); I knew his story needed a heroic death to give his life meaning, but I cried for days after writing his finale.
Now, I woke this morning with an ending for my romance that I had not foreseen, and feel no remorse if I write the death of Kim Altland from "A Homecoming," after all the book has been on sale for two years and not sold.
I haven't decided how to end "The Reunion," or even if I shall end it, nobody cared what happened in the end.
Two words that should not be in the same sentence.
What you are about to read may appear to be a joke by me, but I assure these things DID happen.
When Austria decided they would not take any more Muslims, hundreds of Muslims tied themselves to the wire border fence shouting "We'll stay until you give us what we demand!"
No guesses as to how that threat went down LOL
Other people tied themselves to telegraph threatening to hang themselves if their demands were not met; you need to remember the Austrians had already told these people that there is no way they could enter with proper documentation, which they did not carry.
One "bright spark" decided to hack a site called TravelWest as he thought it was a site for all the airlines in the West - how dumb can you get?
TravelWest is a Bristol bus site that few people here even know exists, so closing the site had NO effect at all :)
One young lady went through University to gain an education, and what did she do with her knowledge, she was going to take Nestle's to court because her KitKat had no wafer. If I'd been the head of Nestle's, I would have let her have her day in court; to prove how futile she is.
Could it be because I believe in the other world?
There are three theories as to why my ghost stories are popular to read, if not buy.
A) - I am an excellent writer.
B) - I believe in the world of spirits, and so this enables me to write a better story.
C) - A combination of both A & B.
Most of the people I have talked to over the years would say "C" knowing about and believing in something that does help you write a better story.
For myself, I would say "B" as for being an excellent writer that is a matter for my readers to decide.
I prefer to think I used to write stories about spirituality rather than ghost stories. To me, the concept of a ghost story gives the reader the impression the story is scary, and most of mine are about souls trying to find their peace.
A Victorian romance mystery short story.
DID WE SEE THEM?
This is the start of the sequel to my e-book www.amazon.com/dp/B007T943OO.
As I previously mentioned in my journal entry "Did we see him?" Things have happened in recent months which caused me to question my sanity. After returning from an expedition, the aftermath I find hard to come to comprehend. I witnessed things no person should be allowed to witness. We got sent by an organization called "The Glove" to find out what information Percy Fawcett obtained on his trip up the Amazon.
What we thought we saw is unimaginable. The sights and sounds of those days will forever haunt me. Things which are neither man nor animal, beings who lived in neither the living world nor did they appear to be dead. These poor creatures worshipped a white man, who might be Fawcett.
We left, at his request. We witnessed the real horrors of this life. He was beaten close to death before being eaten by ants, while the tribe devoured another body. The poor soul remained alive as they tore him apart — his screams of agony, helping their enjoyment.
The horror of holding my best friend Tommy Curridge in my arms, as he faded away with a spear in his chest. All the time I prayed we would get out of this hell. Fearing we were doomed to a life as tormented souls.
After a narrow escape from death and a not too pleasant boat trip back to Britain had to take leave of my friends. I needed to try to find a way to get the images out of my mind. I have yet to find a way, other than staying awake as long as I can. Some days later, I had reason to venture to the club I frequented. It was then', things began to go awry. I arrived at the Bell club, in Belgravia, London. I told my story to my good friends Anthony Harkley, Christopher Jackman and Harrison Merrill. After the telling of the story, I went out to partake of some air and a pipe to calm my shattered nerves. I only went out of the club a few minutes, during which time a strange fog appeared. On my return, I found I was not able to open the doors and had to be admitted by a fellow member. Upon entering, I am informed I might hold the answer to a mystery.
"What mystery would my return to solve?" I pondered as I climbed the stairs of my old club, so changed I hardly knew it.
The mystery stemmed from a locked door, to which nobody in the club had been able to open. As I looked at the lock, I fumbled in my coat pocket and found my old room key. This key did open the locks to my astonishment. I saw myself standing in front of a swirling energy mass focused on a series of bulbs. On my bedside table lay an envelope marked "Did we see them?" Beside it was a note I wrote, my hand legible despite the clear shaky writing. The note said, "If you are reading this, you passed through a temporal energy mass. The mist which engulfed transported you, ten years into the future," signed Charles Q.
Even being an adventurer and having an inquiring mind. After years of seeing strange lands, I found this hard to believe. Here I stood as evidence in my equation. My keys had opened a door locked for ten years. In part, therefore at least some my theory was correct, which parts I had yet to find.
DID WE SEE THEM?
I stood transfixed by the beauty of the colors before me. The machinery whirred as the energy mass throbbed and hummed. We stood looking for some minutes in awe of its powers before my new friend commented, "What is the machine?"
I was not sure how much of the theory my colleague would understand. "The machine is a time portal, and the mass of color is a time mass. The colors you see are the ages of flying through the air like bubbles."
"Are you serious?" my friend queried. Not sure if I was trying to tell him some wild ruse.
I was as amazed as my friend, but replied, "I am serious. I stand here as proof. Your keys are unable to open these locks as they are linked to the mass. If you had opened the door, there would have been a time paradox of enormous dimensions."
My friend glanced at me and said, "Now, you are joking! A time paradox, what in the good Queens' name are talking about?"
I walked over to the spatial mass, and as I examined the colors, I said, "No, I am deadly serious. A paradox is when something happens which should not; like meeting yourself."
I could recognize the signs of acknowledgment in my friends' voice as he said. "Another variation would be killing a relative so that I won't be born."
I began to realize the theory of the experiment had now become plain to my friend. So, I continued, "Exactly, this would involve people from all ages meeting people they should not meet. The actions of meeting people you should not meet would allow people to take back all kinds of things to their timelines. These items can alter battles and lives beyond our understanding."
With a face which bordered on the incredulous my friend said, "The effects would be catastrophic for the world we live in."
I gazed at my bookcase, full of journals and replied, "Far worse than you can imagine. This world may not exist. A new dominant species may evolve to replace humankind."
My friend looked at the door and asked me, "Why do your keys work after all these years?"
I twirled the keys in my fingers as I said, "The only reason, I can think of is that my keys absorbed some of the energy. When my keys get placed in the locks, the lock reads the energy signature and time in sequence."
My friend commented, "The theory sounds a bit far fetched to me!"
I replied, "I admit, the idea does sound a little far-fetched to me too. Here I am ten years on from when I walked out of doors only minutes ago. I am sorry. I didn't introduce myself, I am..."
My friend answered before I had the opportunity to finish, "Charles Palmerston. I had an idea when we met outside. When your keys opened this door, you confirmed my thoughts. My name is Jeffrey Hollings, sir."
We shook hands as friends do and I said, "It is nice to meet you, Jeffrey. There is no need for the sir, Charles or Charlie is fine."
"I cannot do that, sir."
I became a little flustered with the adoration, so I asked, "Why not for heaven's sake, Jeffrey?"
Still looking at me in awe, Jeffrey said, "Your theories on time travel became essential reading for scientists, philosophers, and theologians."
"They are estimations without any real research. Jeffrey, I can't see how they may have been close to correct. I was so rushed off my feet back then, with the Glove asking me to try and find Fawcett and the need for money to finance this project. I had no chance to verify my findings or publish the work."
"Sir, your calculations were slightly out. I took the time to check, re-check and triple check the tiny adjustments before I published the work last year. I got the final credit, but I told everybody your work which had piqued my curiosity."
"Jeffrey, your kindness is greatly appreciated. I had to do the work in secret and the glory would have been easy to claim and would be a boost to your credibility within our circles."
He glanced at me and said, "I realized I had the chance to make a name for myself, but for a couple of reasons I couldn't."
"Oh, what reasons, if I may ask?"
Jeffrey said, "Firstly, I think it's wrong to claim glory, for something I did not do. I was never sure if your calculations would work in practice. The theory proved correct on small items, traveling small distances in time, but people? Transporting people is different, sir."
"I am grateful for the thanks you gave me, Jeffrey. Yes, it is wrong to claim false credit. What if somebody had asked you to explain something about my work? If our colleagues found out you knew only the brief outlines of the work; you would be banned from the club."
He fidgeted nervously as he asked, "Are you going to the Society to claim your rightful honors, sir?"
I looked at Jeffrey and replied, "I didn't do this for the honors and money, Jeffrey. I did this for scientific curiosity. I hope to prove the theory of time travel."
"Sir, for this work the Society should honor you."
"The society would never consider my theory, even though I'm here as proof. The members are a bunch of out-dated humble-bums, Jeffery."
"What do you plan to do this the invention, sir?"
I laughed and said, "First of all, I wish to get you to call me Charlie from now on. I haven't been honored and don't wish to be. I am a scientist, not a Lord. I won't deny, the money and status would help our project immensely."
Jeffrey blinked and replied, "Did you say our project?"
I smiled and said, "Yes, unless you don't wish to be a part of the experiments I will be running."
Jeffrey didn't take long to answer, "I'd be very honored, Charlie. To think a mere student could get invited on such a trip is beyond imagination."
"Jeffrey, I hope to show you how traveling in time is rewarding in itself. The things and people we can see."
"Can we talk to them?"
"Sadly, we can't interact, Jeffrey."
Jeffrey watched me with a puzzled face and said, "Why can't we talk to them, Charlie?"
My reply was, "The laws of causality will be tampered with if we do, Jeffrey. Any contact we make may alter time and events beyond our understanding."
"What is the point of doing it?"
"Even if we can't interfere, we can at least try to understand why things happened."
Jeffery exclaimed, "Solving mysteries, sounds like fun."
I remained calm on the outside, yet inside was all abuzz as I replied, "We won't be able to leave for a few days; I need to get a plan sorted out and the time portal needs to be rested and charged again."
"What happens if it isn't charged up Charlie?"
I glanced at his puzzled face, and with a severe look, I said, "Jeffrey. You do not wish to find out the results."
"Are the events dangerous, Charlie?"
"The results are far worse than your worst nightmare can imagine, Jeffrey."
"The effects sound terrifying."
"Yes, the last thing we need is to stretch the portal beyond its capabilities, Jeffrey."
"How do we know when we reach the limit, Charlie; if we haven't explored its capabilities to the limits?"
"Once the portal is overstretched, like a band the images around us twist."
"Then what happens?"
"We start to pray for a miracle, Jeffrey. At this point reality and nightmare mix."
Jeffery appeared shaken, and he had to hold onto my table as he said, "I can't imagine something as awful as you explained, such a terrible thought, I hope we don't get too far, Charlie."
"We won't, I always err on the side of caution and stay well short of the limits which I have found are safe."
"You say the limits you found."
"Yes, and those are well within the safety limits; limits I tested with many experiments and judged as best I can."
Jeffery asked excitedly, "Have you an idea when the portal will be ready?"
I paused to view my timepiece and noted the chronometer showed Monday, 15th March 1930. "We'll meet here on Friday, Jeffery. I told you the portal needs to re-energize and I wish to visit old friends tomorrow."
Excitedly he asked, "Who are they? Will I get to meet them, Charlie?"
"All will be revealed on Friday, Jeffery. Until then, I need to be alone, as I have to write up the notes for The Glove. And I need a rest after the ordeal in the Amazon."
Jeffrey looked at me sheepishly as he said, "You never did tell me about that, Charlie."
"Everything will be going in the log entry of the portal. You can catch up when we return from our trip."
"I still can't believe you invited me on your next journey, Charlie."
"You will Jeffrey; time travel can be a bit off-putting at first. I'd make sure you eat a meal before we leave, time travel drains your energies."
Jeffrey was hopping from foot to foot as he asked, "Will I need special clothes, Charlie?"
I viewed his suit with the watch chain showing over his red waistcoat with the gold embroidered dragons, his tweed jacket, and baggy trousers, and said, "You'd be wise to bring a hat or a cap, Jeffrey."
"The effects of time travel can cause a loss of body heat; the head is most susceptible to heat loss."
Jeffery was getting excited and asked, "Do the effects get worse the further back we may go, Charlie?"
"No, Jeffrey. It isn't the travel that causes the effect but entering the streams of time. We could travel ten days or a hundred years back, and the effects would be the same."
"How far have you traveled, Charlie?"
I replied, "This was my first trip, Jeffrey. I am still shaky and need to write my journal of the events in the Amazon up for the Glove. They needed vital information from Fawcett and counted on his return to generate interest to fund a new expedition."
"Where are they going, Charlie?"
"They never said. As much as I don't want to write up the log entry for the Amazon trip, doing so will bring back horrible memories; which I would rather not recall. This journal is required to be done, to keep my funding by the Glove."
Jeffrey turned to go out as he did. I called to him, "You can't tell anybody about this!"
He turned in the doorway and asked, "Why not? My family will need to know where I am going."
"You can tell them we are going on a scientific expedition if they ask — the fewer people we inform of our actions, the less chance of you getting ridiculed. People are not ready for big ventures like this, and many have not even been on a ship; so time travel is too much to expect them to understand.
"All right, Charlie! I won't say a word about our trip until Thursday night when I leave to join you."
"Thank you, keeping silent is for the best, Jeffrey. There are as some nasty people who would like to get their hands on this knowledge."
Jeffery turned back to leave and called to me, "I will leave you now, until Thursday night, Charlie. I'll wish you well."
"Thanks, Jeffrey. I will be out of town for a few days, don't worry about the doors. You saw only my key can open it now."
Jeffrey turned and walked out; he closed the door behind him, and I heard the time locks slide into synchronization. I was alone, with only my work for company. I was required to write up the Amazon journey first; before I started, I poured a good shot of whiskey, more to calm the shakes I could already feel that for any pleasure in the fluid. Hard as I tried to stop thinking of the horror of the trip, the more I wrote, the more images came flooding back. Fawcett has been beaten half to death and staked over the nest of ants, those creatures leaping through trees and my dear friend Tommy dying in my arms; I will never understand how I survived.
I had pulled the drapes over the window the night I left, and though the years have passed, they remained pulled across, cutting out what dull light tried to come through. The gas light glowed, and the flickered to remind me of the jungle and the drums, not that I needed reminding. Would I ever escape these memories?
Time ceased to exist for me. I wrote hard and kept an all-night vigil, thinking the sooner it was penned, the sooner I had the chance to move past this time of grief for lost friends. I missed the sense of time, with the drapes pulled light couldn't penetrate my room. Apart from the dim glow of the lamp in the corner, my only source of light was the portal as it throbbed and changed colors; a means to recharge, "Where are you taking me?" I muttered.
My shoulders ached, and my eyes became blurry, so I decided to check my timepiece. I noticed the time was 3:30 am; I had worked through the night. I had lots more to add to the journal before I would be able to take the book to the Glove members, but I needed some rest for the days ahead. I closed my journal and climbed into a cold bed. Remembering my thoughts and that I would not sleep well, I had taken to have a dram with some cheese to help settle my mind and hopefully at least let me rest, although I dreaded what I may see in my dreams or nightmares. Scientists theorize you can never die in thought if you did you would not wake up. I thought, "Surely, death would be preferable to these endless nights of torment."
Sleep eluded me, and I had been roused for my half rest every few minutes by nightmarish images and sounds, I was sure they had come in the room. I didn't dare close my eyes. I could see shapes moving across the screen of the portal; as long as there wasn't a crack in the screen things would be all right. Should the screen crack; the energies would move into new areas, and the future would develop new directions. The dull light of morning crept lazily across the room floor, trying not to arouse me too much but the idea had been a wasted idea; I had been fully awake and dressed for a good while.
I thought, "Time to call some old friends; I wonder who is still alive?" I opened the door, listening for the gentle hiss as time moved back to the portal and my key opened the door to the world I didn't realize existed, "Ten years ahead, that can't be right!"
I left my room and walked down the passageway and onto the broad stairway, the stairs now covered with a plush blue carpet with a gold motif on. I went down the stairs, at the bottom I stopped to take in my new surroundings. The club had changed so much I didn't recognize my surroundings. I was trying to get used to the new surrounds when a familiar voice from my past jolted me back to reality, "Charlie, old boy we missed you!" Anthony Harkley shouted across the hall.
"Anthony?" I queried not believing my eyes.
"In the flesh, old man; the last we saw of you, you went for a pipe and vanished, but you left a note with Jarvis at the desk, in case something did happen to you."
"I remember going for the pipe; the next thing I can remember is walking back in after the mist. To find ten years had passed since my leaving. My mind is blank about the missing years."
He took me by the arm and led me to a table, "In which case, you had better sit down and take a drink; while I try to give you a few notes."
I sat at the table offered to me and said, "All right but I have a busy day ahead, please remember even though I travel at will. Outside the portal, I am at the mercy of time the same as you or anybody else."
"Right, old chap. I'll keep it short and sweet for you. Christopher died in an automobile accident two years ago when his steering column snapped on a trip to the Alps. We never found his body. Peter Trenchman is now in the Lords for services to the Queen."
"Peter is a Lord; there's a turn up for the book. He always appeared dubious to me."
"After he came back from the war; stayed in the club for a week or two; after which time he went out to Africa and became a mining surveyor, where he made a fortune in gold and diamond mines."
"I am not surprised. Trenchman always had his finger in what racket was on the go. What about Harrison?"
"He is a real mystery, Charlie. The day after you came back, he got the letter you left with Jarvis, and I lost touch with him."
"You said he got my letter from Jarvis."
"Yes, after reading the letter he vanished, and nobody has seen him from then until now."
"In which case, I would place heavy odds on the fact; I think I may be able to find him."
"How can you? Nobody had the faintest idea where to start looking."
"In my letter, I gave him very exacting details of what to do, should I disappear."
"Are you going to let me in on your little secret, Charlie?"
"Anthony, I would love to..."
"Is there but coming?"
"I am sorry. You wouldn't believe me if I told you what I was planning to try."
"Charlie, after your Amazon ordeal, there is little you do that doesn't amaze us. We would believe anything."
"This time, Anthony you would think I had gone mad. What I plan is nothing short of unbelievably dangerous."
"You are not going to give me a straight answer; I will wait until you are ready to tell me, Charlie."
"One day, when we can sit and take the time for a good talk about things, I promise to let you in on my trips; for now I am too involved and in a rush."
"Would this be anything to do with the strange man seen in the area in the last week, Charlie?"
"He may be involved."
"Forever the man of endless mysterious circumstances; I raise a glass to my friend, the adventurer."
"Being a scientist can leave you open to scorn. Even if you prove your theory, many won't believe some things are possible, so you learn to keep things in the dark."
"I can wait for the right time. Anyway Charlie, meeting you again has been nice; but I must be off to the board meeting now; some boring meeting about funding a new ship. I wish I were going with you."
I replied, "Sometimes I wish you were too, but you have a life, respectability, and friends; I lost ten years, the years I lost left me without any connections, nobody to miss me if I don't return and no awkward questions that can't be answered."
Anthony looked at me with sadness in his eyes and said, "Yes. I see the point, Charlie; you must miss not having those years."
I watched my friend's face get puzzled as I explained to him, "How can I? I never had them to miss; I never lived them and no memories to lose."
"Your log of events and places you visited during the time must trigger something."
I sat with my head in my hands, "I go over my journals, almost every night and all I get is a total blank; I have no memory of anything which happened during the period. I may as well be reading a story."
"What do you think caused the loss of time?"
"I'm totally at a loss as to a reason. Too much travel, a trauma during travel, whatever happened I lost ten years, and I cannot imagine what happened to me."
"Anyway, Anthony it's been nice meeting you again. We must meet for a chat about old times; there is a lot I need to try and catch up on. For now, though, I must go and find Harrison."
Ok, Charlie. Give him my best regards and tell him we miss him."
Before we parted, I said, "I'll do that."
Anthony left our table, and I ordered breakfast, things were still confused for me. I hoped Harrison had kept to the word of my letter, but ten years is a long time. At breakfast, I took a little time to try and reassess what became of my friends, lives they led and how they moved on. Peter became a Lord; Anthony had gone into shipping; Christopher, killed in a car crash and lost on a mountain and Harrison, dear Harrison; he dropped from view after I left.
After breakfast, I went down to where I left my automobile. I did a check of the things I thought I might need for the trip. I started the vehicle and drove out into the country; I viewed the map I bought and tried to remember my note to Harrison. I made the instructions for the site location clear; which meant there were only a few places he may be able to do what I asked of him; of the three or four areas which may be able to fulfill the needs of the project we planned. Chamnaby junction is out in the country on a line which wasn't used often; Formoor Abbey had the long tunnel required but is too close to the town of Formoor on the Rye; Axedian Manor is far enough out but had no tube; this only left Daringby Cressure. Miles from anywhere on a long-disused line with a long tunnel, which made the station the perfect spot for what I had asked to be built, should I not return that night. I set off for Darringby Cressure, with a lot of hopes. My main joy was in meeting Harrison again, and he is the only person who had some idea what was happening. The journey though the countryside was pleasant, with the larks singing and the hares leaping. I hardly noticed the time it took.
I left the village of Darringby behind me and took the branch road out to the old station. The station had long since closed down because the mainline bypassed this little-known junction on its way from Darringby to Charmanby. I drove up to the lane leading to the station; I could visualize our plans, this is what I had thought about, "Good job Harrison!" I muttered as I drove down the lane with its hedges keeping the yards from prying eyes. We are far enough off the roads to be out of sight and sound of passers-by. The automobile drew to a halt, and I got out and walked over to the broken down buildings, "Morning, Harrison!" I called out.
"Hey! Charlie. I wondered if you would make it back!"
"Harrison. I had the same idea on the way out here. I can't believe I lost ten years. They are a blank to me."
Harrison commented, "I can't understand why you lost all those years, Charlie. We did think you may lose a day or maybe a week but not even a month. Are you sure you want to go ahead with the rest of the trips if this happens?"
I looked around the run-down station as I wandered through the various doors, turning to Harrison I said, "I'm not sure if we should see the old boy; but at the same time, the Amazon trip was such an intriguing experience, it fuelled my imagination for further journeys."
"I hate to ask this but have you any ideas what will happen with more trips, if this happened on one?"
I noticed Harrison was getting a little nervous, but after what happened, who would blame him? "I thought the idea through for days before I made this contact. I realize there is a risk one day I could lose so much memory; I can't remember even my name. I gave our project a lot of thought and came to the conclusion I've lost ten years, what else can happen?"
"Did you think of trying to get some memory back through regressive thought techniques, Charlie?"
"I thought about the idea of regression therapy; then thought what if my mind blocked thoughts of what happened for a reason? I can still remember the screams of those creatures in the Amazon, trapped between worlds. What if I did something which changed the timelines?"
"WHOA! Slow down, Charlie! I know you would never interfere."
"What if the portal shielding weakened and energy seeped out?"
"I admit you take, but you are too careful to take chances. I keep telling you; you are well within the limits of the experiment. Charlie, you are safe."
"I am pleased you found this old station will make our work much easier."
"The hard part was finding the right place. You were pretty specific in your letter; out of use, out of sight and with a long tunnel. I gather the tunnel is to do with your travels, Charlie."
"Yes, we need to be isolated when we are working. You need to remember this is still Hocus-Pocus in the science world."
"I can understand, but what about the tunnel?"
"The tunnel is for linking portals and to send the travelers off."
"Did say portals, in the plural?"
"Yes, I gained knowledge of three in working order. We have one; one is in America and the other somewhere in Norway."
"Can people from other portals use ours?"
"Not unless I go and bring them here, like my room key, each portal works on its own energy signature. Cannot use ours Any more than I can use theirs; without trthem taking me. The links are for the stability of energy masses."
"I didn't say a word to anybody about this. If anybody asks, I tell attackers them I am tinkering with an old engine."
"A good ploy; which is partly true but vaguely blank. Anthony said he hadn't seen you in weeks. Do you go to town?"
"He spends most of his time in the city or at meetings with his company. I do go in for essential supplies, but I pay the shopkeepers a little extra for them to make a little detour to drop my food off if I do need something in a hurry I go out to Foxmoor; that way I am in less risk of meeting inquisitive souls with awkward questions."
"Which is for the best at the moment; we don't want too many people finding out what we do."
"There's a rumor about a stranger in the village."
"I did hear he may be arriving soon, and I knew his reputation, Harrison. You'll meet him soon enough don't worry."
"I thought you might know about this man. Nobody here appears to have information on where he is from or why he's here?"
"The answer to both questions lies within our tunnel, Harrison."
"There is a ridiculous rumor; some people are saying he is a time-traveling wizard from the future. Is he?"
"Maybe he is!"
"Your vagueness is getting wearing; you had me cut off from friends and family for months at a time, helping you with this station. I think I am entitled to more information, Charlie!"
"I know, Harrison I'm sorry, if you can wait until Friday, I'll let you know all I can then."
"Friday it is then, Charlie! I've just put a pot of tea on, do you fancy stopping for a cuppa? We have a few things to clear up, and I am a bit worried about something that happened a couple of days ago."
"I can do with a brew, Harrison, thanks for the invitation. Driving makes you thirsty."
When we left the station yard where I had parked the automobile, I could see from Harrison's demeanor that something was bothering him. For something to get him edgy, it had to be dangerous as I had seen him racing motorcycles in all weathers with no worries. I had told him not to make too much difference to the outside of the building as we wanted passers-by to think it is still run-down but to add a few home comforts to the waiting rooms and the ticket room. In my short absence, he had also repaired the broken windows. Fortunately, the roof although in need of repair did provide some cover. We entered what would have been a small waiting room; the only seating was a broken chair and two or three packing cases.
"I'm sorry for the state of the place, Charlie. With just me being here, I didn't take much notice."
"That's OK old boy, after the Amazon venture, it's a luxury to sit down anywhere. I see you still have the old BSA sloper sitting out there."
"Yes, he has been good to me the last few years. I saw a nice Matchless single racer the other day. I did think about changing my bike, but I needed the cash for other things, Charlie."
Trying not to force the question I changed the subject, but I could still see he was worried about something, "It's a shame about Christopher, and the accident isn't it; even more so, he can't have a decent burial."
"Yes, that was sad news, but I knew it would happen."
"How did you know it was going to happen?"
"About two weeks before, we were talking about the trip, and I said he should bring the car in for a check over first."
"Oh yes, it was then I spotted the hairline crack in the steering column. I told Chris about it and said he should replace it immediately. But you knew Chris, always took the last step alone, he thanked me, and that was the last I heard until Anthony stopped me at the club and told me of the accident. I tried to warn him the day he left as well but he was so interested in competing in the race, he just waved and left."
"Nobody is blaming you, Harrison. He chose to ignore your advice; we all know you are an engineering whiz, which is why I asked you to build this for me. I can sense in your actions something has happened which shook you old boy, do you feel up to telling me?"
"You are the only one I can tell, as you say to others this is just mumbo-jumbo, Charlie. I got attacked a few nights ago just across the yard from here."
"Oh Lord, Harrison are you Okay!"
"Yes, thanks, but I am not sure about the attackers, that is my worry, Charlie."
"What do you mean?"
"After the attack, I was out for what must have been about ten minutes. I was groggy when I came around, but I am sure I could hear a roaring sound which was followed by a bright yellow flash, and when I went out to the platform, all I could see was the tunnel glowing."
"The carriage was gone, and the Pullman carriage was empty."
"How did you know?"
"What you witnessed was the launch procedure of a carriage into a portal."
"But you said, nobody could use it without your keys!"
"That is partially true, but there are always ways to get around things."
"What do you mean?"
"When they launched, they set time in motion, but without a key, they cannot control where or how far they go."
"What will happen to them?"
"Without being over dramatic and too coin a phrase. Only time will tell now."
"What exactly do you mean?"
"Time is their master and when it wants them to return it will send them back."
"How long will it be?"
"Honestly, without a controller or key, I can't say."
"What will happen to them, Charlie?"
"I have no idea, Harrison, this is the reason we keep a close watch on what goes on, time is elastic to a point, and then it snaps. You could end up anywhere, anytime if you don't keep to the rules." We stood looking at the tunnel, I could tell Harrison was hoping they would return as he fiddled with his spanner, after about twenty minutes, I turned to my friend and said, "it's out of our hands, they broke in and tampered with things beyond their understanding; what happens now is not on our conscience."
The sadness was evident in his tone when Harrison replied, "I guess you're right, Charlie, but knowing they broke in and messed with things they don't understand change anything for me. Those kids are going to die, and if what you say is correct, they'll die the most horrible way, and I know you are right about the matter."