Saturday Short: The Time Book

“Well, here it is,” the shopkeeper said as he placed the worn volume in front her on the counpicture of an old notebook with a picture of a watch face and the words weekly time book written on the front coverter.

The spine had been worn down in places, the brown spine showing the cloth weaving of the binding below. The cover was similarly battered, but the words “Weekly Time Book” were still legible as was the line drawing of a watchface, wings, and scythe that made the shopkeeper shiver if he looked at it too long.

“It’s not much use,” the shopkeeper said, scratching his head. “Most of the pages are already scribbled on with gibberish. If you wait ’til next week’s train comes through, we’ll have a shipment of brand new time books. You could get one then.”

Devin looked up and smiled at the shopkeeper as she pulled out her coin purse. “No, this one is perfect. How much?”

“Ten cents seems fair. New one would be twenty.”

Devin nodded. It was more than fair. The shopkeeper had no idea what he had and she had no intention of telling him otherwise. She counted the coins out on the counter and the shopkeeper wrapped her purchase up in a sheet of yesterday’s newsprint. As she took it in her hand, he held on and she frowned at him, an eyebrow raised in question.

“Tell me, miss, what could you possibly want with this old thing?”

Devin’s face melted into a smile. “Time waits for no one, Mr. White, but perhaps someday it will wait for me.”

He let the parcel go and watched her walk out of the shop. He shivered once as the bell on the door chimed from her passage and shook his head as he went back to work.