October 27, 2022

Paris’s Dilemma

By aarondkey

“No wait,” Paris said and she put her hand on Peter’s arm as if to restrain him. “Is that who I think it is?”

They all followed her gaze to a man sat on the edge of the room at the front. He was dressed in an inconspicuous grey tunic and trousers, watching the child Paris with a tight smile on his face.

“Stolid? Can he see us? Was he really here?” “No, he wasn’t there at the time,” Timonthy answered sure of this fact.

“I don’t think he can see us either,” Peter said. “He’s concentrating, I think, which is distracting him from the bigger picture.”

“He looks different,” Paris commented. “Is this what he looked like when I was young?”

“No, he was much younger when this took place, about your age now I think,” Timonthy murmured. He did not want to admit that this was the Stolid he had seen this morning but it was: fully clothed he looked ready to spring like a wild cat on prey.

He was, as Peter said, completely concentrating on this simple entertainment as if by examining it he could break down the scene in front of him into the component colours, sounds, even elements which would explain to him what this was.

The subtle difference in his face was worrying. Timonthy had known the man for years. He could swear that the likeness to Peter that was now apparent had never been there before. It wasn’t caused by defined muscles.

Suddenly, they found themselves back on the mound. Now the moon was a dark outline of a circle with a diamond-like sparkle on one edge.

“I wanted to talk to him,” Paris said impatiently to Peter. “I wanted to ask him why he was there.”

“I don’t think he would have seen you, or heard you,” Peter said and given everything that he had done already they could not doubt him.

“You said Stolid wanted us to believe that we were in Scotland still,” Timonthy exclaimed suddenly remembering the words as if they had jupslt been spoken.“Where the hell are we?”

Peter looked sheepish. “I don’t know and even if I did I’m not sure I would know how to explain it to you. If you assume we are on some planet somewhere in the universe, at some point in time that is where we are. We call it Herron.”

He looked at them all with an almost sympathetic look. “Do you believe now that Stolid is my son?” he asked quietly. Timonthy looked at Paris with a questioning look. “I think I do,” she said with hesitation.

“How about you?”

“It would be bloody-minded not to believe,” Timonthy admitted. “I just need time to let it all sink in. Then I want to ask lots of questions.”

He needed to talk to Gerard, he realised. Since the revelation about his background a lot of things made sense but more was a mystery.