Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year's Day


Then the weird codger just smiles under his beard and says:

“Take it easy, fella. It’s just a yarn.”

And that’s when you realize you were holding your breath. As you let it out slow, it occurs to you that there’s a murmur of “happy new years” around and somewhere the pop of a champagne cork, and there’s a dame standing close with a creased brow and disappointed pout because you didn’t kiss her at the appointed moment. The moment you just missed ‘cause you were listening to some old man’s story about the end of the world.

You take a glass of champagne from a passing waiter. The strange spell seems to be fading with the old year, but you still have to ask: “So what happened. How’d the world get saved, anyway?”

The old man strokes his beard. “It just so happens that Father Time prepares for this eventuality. He knows that the agents of entropy will try to take advantage of the changing of the year, to try and force a premature end to time. He has a plan...”

The new year is born at the center of a maze--almost a giant puzzle box, really-- outside of time and the material plane. Here the new born year can’t be strangled in its crib before temporal custodianship changes hands. All sorts of nefarious forces send their champions to seize it or kill it, true, but Father Time has his champions, as well. He can choose anyone, but it’s often adventurers that make his list. His temporal champions must brave the challenges of the achronal labyrinth and present Father Time's hourglass sigil to the multidimensional titan that guards the neonate year.


Finishing your second glass of champagne, you say, “Guess the good guys won again, huh? I’d be glad to meet one of those guys that saved the world. I’d by ‘em a drink.”

The old man shrugs and puts on his hat like he’s going to leave. “Well, the thing about that is, none of those brave souls ever remember what they did. The maze is outside of time. Everything that happens there occurs in less than an instant and outside of causality as we know it here. No, I’m afraid none of them has any idea what they accomplished.”

With that he turns to walk for the door. He’s only gone a couple of steps when he stops and half-turns. “Unless, of course, someone tells them.” And then he winks.

“Happy New Year, friend.”

6 comments:

Canageek said...

Ok, that was pretty awesome. It reminds me of some of Freitz Liber's short stories, before he got creepy.

Bard said...

Great story! Happy New Year!

Sub-Radar-Mike said...

Whoa, that was a really strange way to start the new year... pensive.

Booberry said...

Smashing!
So much is said in so few words. It's what makes Weird Adventures such a scream. I find myself playing out little vignettes like these in my head as I read it.

Trey said...

Thanks, guys! Glad you liked it.

Pierce said...

Awesome.