October 20, 2022

Suspicion and Further Proof

By aarondkey

“Is that enough Gerard?” Peter asked. Gerard shrugged his shoulders and Peter presumably took this to mean yes as they found themselves back in the quiet circle of grass surrounded by trees again. There was a silence. It was difficult to break, Timonthy thought awkwardly.

‘What could be said to sum up an experience like that?’ The light wind rustled the leaves of the heavily fruited trees and the crescent moon pulsed above them. It had been full before but perhaps this whole area was set up to be one illusion. Nothing could be relied on.

“Are you alright, Peter?” Paris asked in a rich tone that sounded like her mother. In spite of his warning to her earlier Peter seemed the most affected by their experience or vision. Peter wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. There was sweat on his brow and an uncomfortable look in his eye. “I’m fine,” he lied obviously. “I just don’t like to see so many people dying in such a pointless cause.”

“So, where were we?” Timonthy asked. “I think that was Turkey about eight hundred years ago,” Gerard said dismissively.

“It was very impressive,” Paris said decisively. “Perhaps a bit too impressive! It was too much to take in. We need more proof that you can travel in time and to somewhere you haven’t had chance to prepare beforehand.” Timonthy approved of her speech.

She had said exactly what he was trying to form into words and the way she had said it stopped it being an aggressive challenge. “How about…somewhere in our past…” Paris mused.

Timonthy was half-convinced that she was going to ask to be taken to her own conception. He could see it in her half-formed thoughts but he was uncomfortable with that just as he thought Peter would be so that wasn’t a fair challenge.

“Take us to the nativity play in which Paris was the starring angel,” he suggested roughly before she could say anything.

“You were five at the time,” he said to Paris in case her memory had failed her. “I remember,” Paris said delightedly. “I’d love to see myself at that age. Can that be done?”

Peter stared at them both with a slightly blank expression as if he was struggling to keep up the deception and then he smiled. The rustling of leaves gave way to the hum of low voices.

They were in a hall with high arched windows like a mediaeval cathedral running below the roofline on both sides. Parents were sat in chairs in rows in front of an empty stage.

Timonthy was there. He stared at his younger self with a kind of hunger. He hadn’t appreciated it enough at the time but he would have given anything to be back in that body. Lizzie was sat beside him. They both looked slightly uncomfortable there in the third row back crushed on both sides by bodies. The children began to stream in as the hall grew louder briefly.

In the expectant hum that followed, a small child with a wicked grin in an angel costume stood up and began to talk. Peter and Gerard began to twitch in an embarrassed fashion.

Paris looked at them furiously. “This isn’t how it was?” she whispered though fairly sure that no-one there could see or hear them. “I remember I was really good in this play. This is just awful. Is this anything like it really was?”

Timonthy pulled his attention back from admiration of his relatively unblemished face. “Yes it’s pretty much how I remember it.” He smiled at the disgust in her face. “You were only five, Paris and we were so proud of you, to be so unafraid, to speak so clearly….What did you expect, a National Theatre production?”

She grinned in a slightly sickly way. “I think that’s enough, don’t you think Timonthy? I think we are fairly convinced that Peter can do what he says he can. Shall we go back now?”

“I’m happy to,” Timonthy said, though he wondered again what they were going to do now. Now all the secrets of the universe were exposed and rendered naught, what was there left to do and Timonthy needed to talk to Gerard. This revelation explained much but left so many questions.

Harvested fields