“Oh, but there is, brother,” Peter’s words were quiet, his mind dazed, “There…there deep in the fabric of time.”
“’Fabric of time’? What are you talking about?”
“I don’t know; yet, it feels too correct, to be incorrect.”
Phillip stared incoherently at his brother. That bleary-eyed look was not one that brought comfort.
“Imagine time as a fabric,” Peter continued, “So fragile, so precious, so vulnerable to the rough sandpaper that could, at any moment, be rubbed against it. Imagine how many times that has happened. Eventually, the fabric will have to give.
“There’s a rip in time, Phillip. A glorious, terrible, gash that could change so many lives, and shatter the events that many people have seen. And your Aidelle is in the centre of it all.”
As Phillip leant forth to grasp his brother’s shoulders, Peter swiftly turned away and pointed towards a patch of rubble. He edged to it, almost as though he was deep under a spell, but tripped over a corner of the wreckage and went flying onto his face. The magic was gone.
“I saw something weird, Phillip,” he said to the earth, feeling too normal again, “Something that I can’t explain, and that I don’t want to know.”
“What? Why didn’t I see it?” Phillip walked over to where his brother was sprawled on the ground, hands greatly dirtied by filthy rubble beneath them. “Peter, what did you see about Aidelle?”
“She was, yes, but now she’s gone.”
He leant down to help Peter up and, in doing so, his knuckles brushed against a shadow in the ground; a foreign object that wasn’t rubble and was also nothing Phillip had encountered beforehand.
He lifted the object up and stared in disbelief.
It was a shoe. A pea-green coloured one, according to the torchlight.
Phillip paled. The shoe was heeled and feminine, Aidelle’s favourite colour (Phillip knew too much about his fiancée to lose track after just five years) and he had even seen her wear it once or twice, in fact.
“Aidelle!” Phillip cried, “Aidelle…”
His mind swam. He clutched the shoe to his chest and prayed that she was safe.
Peter, having gathered himself together, assisted Phillip over to the tree. Neither knew why, but the former was sure that some mystical force was guiding him.
As Peter gripped the tree, another vision shot into his mind. The colours became more vivid: golds glittered, silvers shined, bronze and the other warm colours of day were deep, intense and beautiful.
The image of one woman whirled into focus. She wasn’t particularly pretty but her eyes were sharp and could have contained the utmost joy, once. On her feet were green shoes to match her long, strapless dress and in her hand was a white china teacup, a row of tiny red roses prominent in Peter’s sight.
Once again, Phillip could see his brother shake violently, and was helpless to do anything about it. This time, though, Phillip leant forward and clasped his brother’s hands with his own. It was a gesture of comfort and support, but it became much much more for Phillip, in an instant.
Lightening slit through his head and eyes; dull daylight into the midnight colours. He was there mentally, he saw Aidelle in all her simple beauty, almost drawn to the shoe that he still clutched at his heart. The energy for Phillip’s sight seemed to come from the tattered object he held so dearly.