I am so excited about this one it’s unreal. I have high hopes that this will be my first published novel; I’ve been working hard on it night and day, making use of all my free time. I am in love with this world, the characters, the peril, the adventure. Writing every word has been a joy. I don’t want to give too much of the plot away, but if you’re a smart cookie, perhaps you’ll figure out where’s it’s heading. I hope you have as much fun reading this little segment as I had writing it today.
“I love you, Simeon. I love you, I love you, I love you.”
“Gabrielle, my sweet angel, I adore you. I will always love you.”
The young lovers lay entwined, soft accordion music drifting down to them on the warm summer breeze. Their noses pressed lightly together.
“Vous êtes dans le chemin,” spoke a nearby voice.
“Oh Simeon, listen to the language! Doesn’t it sound like the wind through the trees?”
A shoe prodded Gabrielle in the side and she squeaked with indignation. The couple helped each other to their feet and, with a sigh, vacated the cobbles of Pont Neuf. They held hands and padded away into the lamplit streets of Paris, 1924.
Organ blinked at the little red light. The little red light blinked back. She chomped ponderously on her tuna baguette, contemplating what the light could mean. Pulling open a metal drawer, she heaved out a dusty yellow tome labelled ‘WHAT TO DO’. She ran one finger down the table of contents until she found the section marked ‘FLASHING RED LIGHTS’, then flicked through the pages and scanned the section for the triangular blinking symbol that winked among the galaxy of pretty monitoring lights. Her eyes found their way to a section written in bold, whereupon they bulged out of her head.
Gronk was spending her lunch hour indulging in her favourite guilty pleasure: celebrity magazines. She was enjoying a particularly juicy section about her most loathed actress, Jamine Dillema, and her outrageous divorce from her hubby of two years, actor Cranium Betts. According to her glossy copy of ‘Hubbub’, Betts had come home early from the set of his latest horror flick, ‘Axe Bastard’, to find his wife romping with six extremely lifelike pleasurebots. In retaliation, Betts had hit the town and slept with a fan he’d met in a bar. The debate that the magazine was taking great pleasure in conducting was whether it was more of a sin to spend the afternoon extra-maritally humping half a dozen photo-realistic robots, or one human woman. Gronk was on the verging of making up her mind on the matter when Organ clattered into the room and told her, between huge gasps of air, that everything had gone to shit. Well, even more to shit.
Here is what the manual said, with regard to flashing red triangles:
If red a triangle you should see flash
The Guides of Time must rally in a dash
Lest further rifts in time be formed again
For history and present have been changed.
On board and key depress both ‘Alt’ and ‘6’,
To learn the culprit’s history-faring tricks,
Hurry now, time is of the essence,
To journey through the years and save the present.
[Note: I have no idea why the instructions were written in rhyming verse.]
Gronk and Organ jogged back to the control room, clubbing heads as they squeezed through the door. In her haste to man the controls, Organ sat in Gronk’s seat. Gronk tipped her out of it with a grunt, sending the portly student sprawling face down across the floor. Organ heaved herself back onto her own chair, muttering profuse apologies, and together the pair sat breathless, scanning the monumental light bank for the terrible red triangle.
“There,” said Organ, spotting it.
Gronk leaned into the control panel and tapped ‘alt 6’. A monitor to her left went black, before bursting into life with a downpour of rainbow-coloured data. It was very uneasy on the eyes, and Gronk wondered to herself who the hell had designed such a ridiculous machine, and whether it was the same half-wit who had decided it was a good idea to pen the instruction manual entirely in iambic pentameter. But despite the battering her retinas underwent, she found the strain of data she needed.
Somewhere in Paris, at that very moment, a ripple had been detected in the time-space continuum. In Père Lachaise Cemetery, in the trunk of a very old tree where once there was nothing but ancient bark, now there was carved in a love heart the words ‘Simeon and Gabrielle forever, 1924-2323AD and beyond’.