|©2009 Harriet Gausman |
Photo published with the author's permisson
It was a lovely day, quite deceitful too considering the tragedy which spread throughout the city. The Stag Union men had taken over and were ruling with an iron hand. They had overthrown duly elected representatives and paraded themselves defiantly through the streets.
After weeks of intense search, the Council found her, “the time-traveler,” as it was whispered amongst the people, as they hid her in cellars and basements. “Go, and bring him back,” the Council said. She feared the worst. He would never agree to come back. He had been sent away, him and his rain, his shadows. He knew coming back would change everything. “The city was foggy and misty back then,” they warned her. She didn’t mind. The rain was nothing but the rain for her. Others feared it.
Traveling through time always made her feel dizzy and being on a mission even worse, but she did not hesitate.
She walked slowly. “Don’t look left, don’t look right; he’ll come to you,” she thought holding tight to the umbrella with both hands. It was raining heavily. Street lights seemed to follow her steps, heels clicking musically. In the dark, a shadow slid along the wall of the Stag Union where the men were kept under discreet surveillance. It was him. She stopped, sat on a bench, and waited. Taught by the best, she knew being patient was vital. The shadow drew closer as the rain got more intense. She closed her eyes; she was not to see the shadow. He sat next to her.
“Did you come for me?”
“I won’t go.”
“Go back to your time.”
“Yes, with you.”
“Go back, child.”
“You only have a few minutes left.”
He stood up and looked at the sky.
She stood up, eyes closed, searching for his hand.
“The rain must stay here…” he said.
“It’s too late for that. They have crossed. Come with me. We need you.”
“People will die.”
He was right, but there was no other choice. She found his hand and held on to it, even when he tried to escape.
“That’s why they sent me.”
Time traveling made her feel dizzy, but the mission was accomplished. It was now raining. The sun had disappeared. “Sit back and watch,” she thought, pulling up the collar of her sunny raincoat, striped umbrella by her side. One day, one rainy day, she would be ordered to go back and take him away, but that would be when he had finished his mission, to “clean” up.
And, believe me, dear reader, at the end of this rainy story, to “clean” does have quite a treacherous meaning for some.