Time doubles back on itself. I just observed it – watched my watch stutter and rewind; my eyes clicking off record during the process. But I am aware – perhaps I am the only one that is aware. Look at all these people walking around totally oblivious to how much they are in the thrall of something else … someone else.
So who is it that’s here? Who made a mistake in their approach and sought to rectify that error by pushing the clock backwards? Wort? Jemimah? Tyler? Sitting here sniffing the air I am getting mixed scents – it’s the season so it isn’t that strange that signals should be mixed.
I ratchet my vision through the many levels of sight that are available to me and peer at the irregular pattern of movement that the subatomic is dancing through in this local area of timespace. I am looking for a signature, an echo that I can trace backwards through lattices of energy to the manipulator.
Why are they coming after me? I was sure that the warning which I issued last time was plain enough – come after me and I will kill you. People never believe you when you just lay the truth out there for them; no meat on the bones; just the skeletal truth. Well, okay, it’s either that or they do not believe me capable; they doubt my abilities.
I dismantled Kayla when she overstepped the boundaries – stripping her down to chemistry set simplicities; a pinprick point of soul buzzing like a bee nailed to a moment in time; its final act of stinging its undoing; its revenge. Persimmons was there – Mr Eidetic himself; head abuzz with more useful and useless information than most people could process in an average lifetime. I know he went and told – they gossip like old ladies. I seared off two layers of skin as he was leaving; reached down into his genetic coding and pulled out the special brands of cancer his heredity promised him. Persimmons loathes me, always did – I just gave him a reason is all.
Perhaps it is all three of the usual suspects. Wort has never forgiven me for cauterising the wound that was the Middle East, but what did he expect me to do? It had been destabilised and its imbalance was threatening nuclear war upon the whole world. How far were we from an extinction level event? Jemimah has personal issues with me — all to do with our failed marriage, the unfortunate death of our son, my ignoring her for two years. Tyler would come and kill me just for a laugh – he is disinterested in most things unless they amuse him.
Whichever of them it is they have definitely improved as far as covering their tracks goes. It would never have taken this much thought to work out which of them was near me. They call me “the mirror that reflects everything” and there is no place that my sight will not allow me to peer into. But here I find myself searching and searching and unable to pull forth the smallest piece of information.
Ah, the watch has stopped. People no longer move, shadows no longer lengthen; all is held in stasis. I am immune from these cheap parlour tricks. They should be easier to spot as they are now the only thing apart from myself that is moving in the vicinity. But no — still no hint of who moves against me; a very frustrating situation to say the least.
And then.
And then all of this softly softly bullshit approach comes to an end. A wave of energy hits me, pressing hotly against my skin, a suffocating sensation but nothing that I cannot deal with. I sit there holding off the attack, for as long as I let them push at me I can use the ripples they are sending out to locate them. My mind surfs the pulsing force that seeks to crush me, out over its blistering surface, through its crackling interior.
He has healed well – his skin barely showing a trace of the burns I inflicted upon him; the cancer though has not been so kind. I sense that the disease ravaged him — ate away at his very core; I am not sorry. It is brave of him to have come here; I know that he is not the brains of the operation, and he is not really the brawn either – he is the patsy; little more than a diversion.
Collier, I lift the name from Persimmon’s mind a second before I pop his skull open – I am not sure why his name did not occur to me first. He is one of the few people that actually poses a threat to me. There must be some kind of bounty on my head because we have not really had any dealings as far as I’m aware.
In the end it all comes down to speed; because there is no point in sneaking once you have crossed certain thresholds. He stands before me, nearly seven foot tall, eyes like fire, and he tells me that this is the end. I nod – yes, this is the end, but not for me. Wort and Jemimah, both stood beside him, raise their arms and point their weapons at him. He does not see it because he is not looking for it; not expecting it. They forget so easily – their emotionality in regards to myself is the touchstone through which I can reach them. They fire point blank, and Collier, in the split second he might have been able to do something, is entirely focused on me. Tyler, the sniper on the roof opposite, puts a bullet in his two comrades of old just before his gun explodes, just before I boil the blood in him and he bursts.
An assassination attempt foiled. I look down at my watch and I observe that it is moving again – this makes me happy. Time is relative – for my would-be murderers it is irrelevant.


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