Aidelle and Zara stared down at the gold timepiece. Zara had flipped it over and was about to remove the back-plate, when Aidelle’s hand stopped her.
“Don’t. We don’t know what you could do if you fiddle with it.”
“But, you worked on it before?”
“That was putting the dear thing back together. Besides, I’m no mechanic.”
“I’m not a mechanic either; just interesting in fixing the time which is broken.”
Aidelle nodded, but kept her hand over the girl’s wrist.
“But, it’s not broken. If time has stopped, then it makes sense that the clocks would have stilled, right?”
“Yes, but if I’m to fix time, I have to start somewhere,” Zara replied, with frustration.
Aidelle released her grip.
“What happened? Why are you here now?”
Zara took a deep breath.
“For you the breaking of the clock happened all those many years ago, but for me, it’s effects have reverberated into my time and everything is happening now.”
Aidelle’s heart was softened by the girl’s words.
“Tell me. The future, what is it like?”
“You mean my past and present? Because I’m here to change your future back to what it should be. Or perhaps, should have been?”
Aidelle was getting a headache.
“Just tell me about Phillip. Is he a good husband? Why-how have you come back to change a past that you’re not part of? Surely, that is something I’ve heard called…a paradox?”
“Well…I’ll start from the beginning, shall I? It started after Cassie (my sister) had her wedding, grandfather started to feel ill…”
“Granddad!” Zara cried as Phillip’s leg gave way beneath him. They had just stepped out of the red automobile and readied themselves to enter the family house.
Aidelle knelt by her elderly husband and lifted him gently.
“What is it, Phillip?” She spoke softly to him.
“I’m not really sure, love. My leg just gave out on me, and now I’ve got a sudden splitting headache.”
“Can you walk, dear?”
“I’m not sure.”
“Here, lean on me.”
“Mother, don’t. Please, be careful, otherwise you’ll do your back in again.” A middle-aged woman with thick, curled, black hair, dressed in a long lavender dress hurried forward, her green-brown eyes pleading. “Let me take hold of him, whilst you relax.”
Reluctantly, Aidelle let the woman take Phillip, but she kept a hand on his arm, almost guiding the limp that had appeared in his leg.
Zara and a young sandy-haired girl trailed with their father a little behind the other three.
“Later, in bed, Grandfather started to get his memory mixed up. It was so sudden that we knew it could not be an illness. The things that he said were frightening, especially to you. It was also weird that he seemed to know who we were one minute, and the next he didn’t…”