Ridiculous. Silly. Ashamed. That’s how I felt on top of the enormous grief filling my broken heart. I couldn’t manage to read the entire heartfelt note, uncontrollable sobs interrupting your words of love.

    I remember the day clearly… my explosive reaction born from the uninvited addition to the perfect zen retreat. What possessed me to find your beautiful origami ship inside my crystal-clear vase of sand so offensive? Your quirky stunts, both large and small, are what made me fall head over heels in the first place. Now, there will be no more. None to make me laugh, none to make me cry.

    When the men in uniform approached the door, my feet wouldn’t obey. I knew what was on the other side. Maybe if I didn’t answer I could ignore the truth, but not even my imagination could find a way out of this black hole. The envelope they provided remained unopened for days, beckoning my acceptance.

    Courage finally welled. What I expected to be a letter prepared ‘just in case’ this call of duty became the last, was a four line stanza that led me to your favorite toolbox. In the top tray I found an origami hammer that said ‘open me’ on the handle. Through words of love and enjoyed memories you guided me around the house in search of your paper creations…twenty love notes later ending up at my crystal clear vase.

    © Copyright Yvonne DeBandi 2019

    Nate Nomad

    There are those of us who are tasked with watching over the timelines to make sure nothing terrible happens. We can cast forward and back in time, following threads from the past forward into the present to see where they go, and from there follow them into the various, possible futures. The future is changeable, the past is not. Usually.

    We can influence the future, but it is not always clear if we’re influencing it in the right direction, or sufficiently strongly enough to overcome other problems or other things resisting the direction one or more agents might be pushing things.

    We each sit in something resembling a large, glass globe, with a wide stem at the top that almost makes it look like the bottom part of an hourglass with the top section removed. No sand, though, unless you metaphorically mean the sands of time. The “stem” goes up into the ceiling, where it connects up into the apparatus that let us see into the past, and poke and prod around in that past to see what connects up with what.

    Sometimes I can see the other ones like me flitting around as they’re exploring the past, and sometimes the various potential futures, if we cross near each other in our searches, though lately I’ve seen that less and less.

    It is, however, becoming clear is that we’re at the start of a major upheaval in the order of things. There is a lot of deception behind some of the threads in time, but its not always obvious what the lie is or why, or the purpose of the direction behind it.

    Sometimes I feel as if I’m in a small boat, casting about in the sands of time, not even a flimsy rowboat, but one of those little origami boats, a paper boat afloat and defenseless in the storms of time.

    There is a moment in the dead past, around 1979 AD, tied to some then obscure, busybody cause, stemming from the beaches of North America, but due to threads and tendrils from this, for some reason, on several of the futures-possible, there’s at least one massive nuclear war, and various major struggles spread across 1000 different parallel worlds, and I still don’t fully understand why. On the other hand, those darker, more brutal futures are fading. There are fewer nuclear wars and the struggles and animosities I see in the future are lessening in size and intensity, though sometimes they flare up bigger again. It is a constant struggle to damp these down, but we do seem to be winning. Mostly.

    And in one of the changes we made, I saw the worst of those dark futures abruptly go away. Just suddenly BOOM, it was gone. Since then, we’ve been shoring things up so that that one has no possibility of returning. We might or might not be able to replace it with an even better one, but at least this one is a calm and decent one.

    Nevertheless, the future is always in motion, and always there’s the possibility of things swinging back the other way. We’re under no illusion that other groups like us in other worlds aren’t themselves pushing back against what we’re doing, but at the moment, the tempests of the sands are calming down.

    © Copyright Nate Nomad 2019

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