He threw his fob-watch in the fountain, and walked away as it sparked and sent arcs of electric over the edge. He hadn’t noticed the kid until he tumbled forward through seventy years and collapsed out soaking onto the platform in front of the font.
No more time-travelling. He was starting to feel his grip loosening, and his memory deteriorating. You wake up and your legs are like jelly, and you don’t really know where the hell you are, and sometimes even your name seems to have folded up and disappeared.
Candle Wilson, head of the Anti-Hitler-Assassination-Squad, or the AHAS, was in an existential gutter, sliding like hot grease across a skillet towards an event horizon. Time, light, and space crush inside his chest. He had become his own singularity.
He didn’t want to do it anymore – he hadn’t for a long time.
He didn’t expect sequential memory collapse, dropped out moments. Did this happen to everyone in this line of work? Who knew? Who talked to other people who did this kind of work about what was going on with them personally? No one. Like a lot of jobs, especially those that straddled the intelligence community and the military sector, you never knew who you were really talking to, and what their motivations were, until they fucked you over.
He could find himself a bar. He could. But a coffee shop seemed like a better idea.
He watched the people moving around him, and he wondered how they would feel if they were to find out what it was that he did. What he did ensured they could do what they did, but the person he was keeping alive, or had been, would confuse them. It always did – he’d been having the conversation for years, and it got fucking tiring.
The coffee tasted bad – it was cheap beans being over-roasted to create an illusion of flavour. Your mind unravels. The space around you unravels. And time unravels. The coil reducing down and the mosquitoes moving in. Something bit him, and an alarm went off somewhere.