You can’t save the world forever. Time, however well you chose to wield it, moves for everyone and age soon caught up with me. For my trouble I was awarded a rather peaceful twilight in a comfortable space underneath two dancing stars. My final home shaped into an old mill, the sort I’d imaged in the moments between crossing and battle.
It was no easy thing, to move quickly to the door when someone knocked on it. A smile, soft word and an outstreched hand later saw me holding something I thought long-lost.
The chain was cool in my palm, cleaned of rust and relinked, whole again. At the end hung a small disk, but the gleaming lights that used to dance around the edges had dissipated with my final desperate act of liberation. Small bronze lids had been fixed in their place and gears which once spun now hung silent.
The last of its power was all but gone, barely reacting as I held it to the lamp light. It warmed though, enough for me to smile and undo the clasp, closing it once it was round my neck. The first time I’d done so I’d fallen to my knees, visions of men and women and smoke and all the ways to save them bringing tears to my eyes. I’d been young and clever, blunt and brazen. But I had managed some good I think, even at the start when I had no patience for knowledge and no need for diplomacy.
I sat back into an armchair, my fingertips cradling the memory as a thumb ran across the unfamiliar additions. Had it been lost, I wondered, thrown from its final resting place at a memorial decades south of here to be passed along before reaching my hands again. Who had taken the time to restore it? Had they known what it had once represented?
A thousand different memories stirred at the touch, but I had time remaining still.
I closed my eyes and took a breath and let the glow of a once great artifact seep into my brittle bones. When I opened them again, I was nineteen and swearing, the colour draining from my face.
“What the hell is this thing?”
A rough voice, soft and low had answered, its owner moving forward into the light.
“That, my dear,” he’d said, “is Time.”
Copyright © 2013 robotichermitblog.com All Rights Reserved.
Written for the Daily Prompt Challenge, Bittersweet Memories over on the Daily Post. Yay!