Guardians of Time – Part 2

photo of person typing on computer keyboard

“Can’t we just go back and undo it?” Sam asked. He sat with his back against the wall, hunched over and cowering. The giant screen in front of them continued to play as Josephine and Walter lived out their morning.

Earl narrowed his eyes at Sam, but didn’t say anything. He grabbed the binder and started flipping through the pages. “When did you take them?”

“I don’t know,” he said.

“How do you not know?” Earl asked. “How have you made it this far into training and you don’t know when you reversed her timeline to?

Sam shrugged his shoulders. “I input the information just like I was supposed to.” He pointed at the worksheet on the table.

Earl scrolled through the input information, double-checking the worksheet all while muttering expletives under his breath. Finally, he reached the line he was looking for. He closed his eyes and gave a large sigh before crooking his head towards Sam. “Under purpose you wrote wedding ring,” he said.

Sam nodded.

“Do you think that maybe it would have been a good idea to give a bit more information?” he asked through gritted teeth. “That could mean anything,” he shouted the last word. “It could have been their wedding day, or the day they pick out their rings, or even some random day she took them in to get cleaned!” Earl pounded his fist on the table. “You didn’t even specify who’s wedding ring you were trying to get back.”


Earl began typing more information into the computer. Walter and Josephine began to slowly move backwards, gaining more and more speed until it was just a blur. A voice echoed over the intercom in their booth: “Attention, you have exceeded the reverse time limit for trainees. Unauthorized changes could severely threaten the present. Please return immediately.”

“Yeah, no kidding,” Earl muttered. The intercom message continued to repeat as the images on the screen in front of them slowly sharpened into view and a young Josephine appeared. Earl punched in the override command and the intercom voice stopped. “You better pray this works,” Earl said.

Guardians of Time – Part 1

simple dining table

Part 1

Josephine Vaughn knew something was horribly wrong even though everything around her was exactly where it was supposed to be. It was 6:14 am and like every morning she was sitting at the kitchen table staring out at the road. It was a quiet neighbourhood road and the only traffic at the moment was her next door neighbour walking his Yorkshire Terrier. The newspaper had just been delivered and she had it neatly laid out before her on the table, but she had yet to read a word.

She had lived in this house for over 50 years. It was where she raised her kids. Where they brought home her grandkids. It was where she had spent her entire married life to Walter. So why did everything feel so unfamiliar?

She could hear Walter in the bathroom getting ready for the day. He whistled the same song he always whistled. It was something he had picked up when the kids were little. They thought it was hilarious. Normally, she didn’t notice it, but today, somehow it felt different and grated at her.

Thinking she must just be short on sleep, she got up to make more coffee. As she moved into the kitchen, family pictures that usually filled her with contentment and joy stared back at her like strangers. Her brain knew these faces as her family, but the feeling of home when she looked at them, for the first time in her life was missing.

* * *

“What did you do?” Earl shouted at his trainee, Sam.

Sam whirled away from the screen depicting Josephine Vaughn. His eyes were huge.

“You were supposed to take her back in time so she wouldn’t lose her husband’s ring. One week! That’s it. We only ever go back one week!”

“I didn’t—I mean I only meant—but then suddenly they were young. I tried to get it back, but then,” he trailed and said weakly. “It all happened so fast.”

“Who is that?” Earl jammed his finger at the screen. Walter had just stepped out of the bathroom and joined Josephine at the table.

“Errr.” Sam quickly started shuffling through the papers in front of him, glancing quickly between the screen and his binder. “I-I think it’s her husband.”

“That’s not Frank,” Earl whispered. “You’ve rewritten her entire life!”