Another place another time.
On April 17 he found himself in the here and now, and the numbers had turned against him. The timing was all wrong. And he hadn't seen it coming.
Who was she, and how had she done this? It was orchestrated and she was obviously responsible. How else to explain the cold sharp steel that was even now drawing a thin line of blood just above his adam's apple?
She was a metaphor, he knew that much. It seemed a lifetime ago that he'd met her, though he knew for a fact that it was several lifetimes ago. Didn't he?
He was suddenly uncertain again, and couldn't stop laughing, even though doing so caused the blood to flow down his shirt, dribbling away like time on a Sunday afternoon. The laughter rang in peals now, and his eyes filled with tears. Time is not a thing but a construct of the mind. A mass illusion of quantum perception. The secrets to its manipulation lay not without but within. Common knowledge, that. The problem with manipulating time is that to manipulate it, one must understand it. To understand it is to lose sight of the mass quantum perception of what is commonly referred to as reality.
To lose sight of reality is folly.
He was neither the first nor the last to fall victim to this folly, this construct of his own mind.
The folly's name was Astor. She padded quietly down the street out of sight.