Past Times

The longer I stay here in Jasper Cove, the more detached from time I become. I have long been accustomed to the fact that we are detached from the normal, ever-rolling stream of time, enabling me to consort with friends from 500 years in my past to 100 years in my future. But, for the most part, I had always thought that at least the time flows normally within this land. Now I am not so sure. There have been too many occasions recently, when I feel that I have lost a day or more. Times when it seems like it is just the next day or later the same day, yet more than a day seems to have passed for everybody else. Am I sleeping too long? Is this something that happens to my kind? I must ask Brigitte some day.

Time, in another sense, seems to have caught up with me, in a way I could not have imagined. My past, before Jasper Cove, before London; in a way, the reason I went to London in the first place, has suddenly become part of the present…

It had been a confusing few days. First of all, Aoibheann, obviously traumatised by her experience with the wild hunt, told me she wanted me to take over the tavern from her. I felt that she was perhaps acting too hastily and offered instead, a partnership so that she could return to the tavern at a later day when she recovered.

The following night, then came the past. It was relatively innocuous at first. We had a new customer in the tavern, a lady by the name of Sophia. I had a strange sense of déjà vu when I saw her, although I was certain I had not seen her before. She did not show any reaction to me, at least, not until I introduced myself. Then, it was as though my name meant something to her, even if my face did not.

She had something warm to drink and spoke of spending time writing by the camp fire. I asked about the writing and it seems that we both are keeper of journals. Shortly after, she excused herself in somewhat of a hurry, leaving me a little confused as to what, if any, connection existed between us.

The following evening, she came in for an Irish coffee. She seemed more inclined to talk this time, telling me she was from the United States. When I mentioned I had been to a few places, including Richmond, she told me her late adoptive mother was from there, and had been a pianist. I did not think anything of it at the time, other than replying that my mother had played piano. We spoke a little more on the subject before we were interrupted by Gwyn. After a while, Gwyn departed in the direction of the kitchen and Sophia and I continued the conversation. I got the feeling there was something she wanted to talk about, but did not know how. We spoke some more about her mother, and then she asked me if I know anything about ornithology. I had to tell her that I did not know much, but was planning on learning because I would have to know for writing Edmund’s adventures. She told me that I should look out for the American Cardinal, then left, saying, as she left, “It is a pleasure to meet you at last, Nathaniel Ballard.”

That puzzled me even more than the comment about the bird. Gwyn came back from the kitchen and I asked her if she knew anything about this American Cardinal. She said she didn’t know much about them other than they were red and featured on Christmas cards sometimes. Then, it all started to fall into place. I remembered that I had known somebody who had held the rank of Cardinal back in London, somebody with red hair who had been a pianist. Tory! Vyktorya Morrys! The reason I had come to London in the first place! I realised I had been talking out loud and Gwyn was looking confused and denied being a Tory. I told her that I didn’t mean that kind of Tory, and that this was a story for another time. I was tempted to tell her that story, but I did not feel there was time. I needed time to think.

Yet, time to think I have not had. I don’t really recall much of the past few days, since then. I know that a wolfman who calls himself Darkfang has been in a few times, usually with some bizarre creature on the end of a leash. Lalla came in briefly for a few drinks, but got upset by something Aoibheann said and left. Oh yes, Aoibheann came back, cancelling our previous plans – presumably the ones involving me taking over the tavern. At least, I think so. I haven’t seen her since to get a better explanation. I have seen Gwyn a few times, but again, not long enough to chat. We had a new visitor by the name of Anna Mactavish, who appeared to be human, which was a refreshing change. Oh, and there is a big, end-of-the-world storm, again. Life in Jasper Cove continues as normal.

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