January 19, 2023

After the Storm and Lizzie’s Adventure

By aarondkey

There was a knock on the door. “Hello, are you decent?” It was Lizzie’s voice.

“Come in,” Timonthy invited her as Koa gave him a wry grin. “Stolid said you were being checked out because you’d had a shock. I wanted to make sure you were alright,” Lizzie gushed.

“I’m completely fit apparently,” Timonthy boasted, “better than I’ve been for years probably. Have you been having fun?”

He knew the answer before he even asked the question. There was that look in her eye, a redness in her cheeks. She was excited about something and he suspected not just purchases.

“Elena and I went to a strange old fashioned market. There were lots of things she needed to buy for the estate. We worked hard and I enjoyed myself,” Lizzie spoke thoughtfully.

“Elena told me everything that Stolid says you know now, about him being her son and how they can travel in time. I suspect we were somewhere in the past today although we met someone from the future.”

Now she sounded confused. Koa walked towards her. “We didn’t really get introduced properly,” he said. “I’m your friend Johnathon, you know.”

“Oh Johnathon,” she said falling on his shoulders like a wet towel. “I can’t believe it, even though Elena told me that. It is so good to see you again, though you don’t look anything like you used to look like.”

“It is good to see you all,” Johnathon said. He hugged her back with real feeling. “I didn’t think that I ever would after I died and even after you came here I didn’t think I’d ever be able to tell you who I was, which was almost as bad as being dead.”

“Have you seen Paris yet?” Timonthy interrupted. He knew now that the storm that had scared him was not real but he was still concerned for her safety.

“Yes, she’d just got back as we arrived home. They had a good time and waiting in the hall for their dinner, last I saw.” Now all of his fears were allayed and he felt suddenly tired.

He was as fit as a man of his age was entitled to be, surrounded by his friends and family, waiting for the man who claimed to love him but none of this could restore him to full vitality. Timonthy assumed it was a reaction to the fear he had felt escaping from the collapsing land.

“You carry on to dinner,” he said to the other two. “I’ll come down when Gerard gets here.” They left him and he rested his eyes again. He was floating in the angry waters of the lake, but floating without fear like a carefree leaf or piece of wood heedless whether he sunk or floated. Stolid was there, looking enigmatic and beautiful.

It was hard to reconcile the image with the bearded hermit he had been only months ago in Timonthy’s life back on earth. Johnathon was there too, looking like the man he had known before he was ill: smiling and happy.

Who would have guessed the deception hiding in his heart: his secret love for another man?

Timonthy was there too in body as well as in spirit, looking like the man he had been at Paris’s nativity play. So much decay there had been since then without his noticing, so many years gone by but now he was restored: restored but as a separate entity. Timonthy could see himself but he couldn’t see the person who was looking. He was without body and still without fear.

Waking up he looked across to find Gerard asleep beside him. He moved and Gerard stirred suddenly.

“You made it back,” Timonthy said, feeling the urge to speak without inspiration.

“Yes, to find you sound asleep. I was going to wake you but I fell asleep as well. It’s been a long day.”

“Are we too late for dinner?”

“I don’t know what time it is but it’s still light outside so there’s a chance there’ll be food left.”

Timonthy looked around for his shoes and realised he had left them by the side of the calm lake. ‘Probably long gone,’ he thought before he realised it had all been a vision. Perhaps they were still sitting there waiting for him. He rooted around in his bag for his spare pair of shoes and put them on.

In a chastened mood they made their way down the stairs and into the hall. This time it was almost empty. There were two groups, one each end of the hall, lounging and chatting. Gerard walked over to the table and inspected the food remains with a disappointed air. “How hungry are you?” he said quietly.

“Starving,” Timonthy admitted.

“Unfortunately they’ve cleared away so we’’ll have to look in the kitchen.” He led the way. They scoured the kitchen for something to eat and made their back to the hall with their remnants. It was a reasonable hoard and they sat and ate contently.

“That was an odd experience earlier,” Timonthy said.

“I think Stolid was confused by it as well,” Gerard said hurriedly. “That doesn’t bode well for an easy solution. I think we should try and forget about it.”

Timonthy was happy with this idea although he thought it likely that he would still dwell on it without his meaning to.

“I saw Koa in the end,” he remembered. “He gave me the all clear.” Gerard looked relieved at this, “And how was he?” Timonthy thought about it.

“Fairly mellow,” he considered. “Just like his old self,” he carried on fondly. They both looked up as they heard uneven footsteps coming towards them.

“Stolid,” Timonthy greeted him in surprise. “I thought everyone had gone to bed.” Stolid looked around him stupidly, his gaze encompassing all the people around him. “I meant, everyone I knew,” Timonthy felt obliged to explain. Stolid sat down between them: his hands falling casually between his legs in an attitude of complete relaxation.

“How are you?” Stolid asked. He did not sound completely focused as if he was not interested in the answer, so Timonthy answered quickly, “fine.”

“I will go to bed,” Stolid said, “when I’ve decided where. I’m trying to avoid Koa at the moment. He keeps on talking to me. I don’t want him to talk to me but he won’t take the hint. It was a subtle hint, as well. ‘Shut up and fuck me,’ I’m sure I said. He was still talking though.”

“Perhaps he was feeling a bit guilty,” Timonthy said hesitantly, struggling for something to say.