Time to Fall
Austin C. Beal
Charlie, a young and rather unassuming hospital valet, is about his work when he meets an old and enigmatic professor caught up in the affairs of other worlds. Charlie befriends the old man, Bruce, curious about an odd object he totes about on his key ring. Bruce obliges to tell his story, a story of how he spent the better part of his life trying to remember where he wandered and why, unraveling the meaning of the object and its significance to his remembering. The story, then, follows Bruce on his journey to remember, a journey spanning over three years and across four continents, whereby we presume throughout that Bruce thinks he is no scholar at all, but a soldier of sorts, jumping destinations as might a mercenary. All the while Bruce is pursued by a mysterious woman, or women, for Bruce is unsure until, in an epiphany of sorts, we understand how the pursuit has everything to do with the pursuer and the talisman Bruce first carries into the hands of our tale-seeking valet at the story's opening lines.