Chapter 1

This one is totally off the wall.

Writing about Time Travel to the past is easy. Writing about Time Travel to the future is impossible. Today, what happens, changes tomorrow.

If you're old enough, you remember Popular Science Magazine. That particular spread I call the National Inquirer of the 1940's. The future WILL be like THIS! About once or twice a year, PSM would predict, not only what was going to be coming, but what it was going to look like: Now that I can look at what's now, I can look back to what now was supposed to look like. Not even close. They got the clothes wrong, the morals wrong, the cars, the airplanes, housing, farming, tobacco, manufacturing, mining, roads, ... music ... GLOBAL WARMING, telephones, computers, the National Debt! They missed it all. Because you can't predict the future, you can only give it a guess. Even then, ethnocentrism, defining culture by societal mores, gets in the way. (You Will do this MY way, because My way is right, moral and proper. Any deviation from My way is deviant behavior and WE have laws about that kind of thing. If scientific study does not verify MY way ... well ... eliminate the science and it's practitioners.)

OH Shit, He's ranting ... again! He's neither Republican nor Democrat ... he's (oh the shame of it all) a thinker. I'm sure Homeland Security has regulations against that.

You can't predict the future! Can you?


Junior didn't get the watch until she was 12. She was 12 in 2012.

One thing she discovered: If you don't have daughters ... you keep the watch.

The second thing: If you don't get married ... you keep the watch.

The third thing: Biology, clocks and hormones decide things you wouldn't decide to do.

The fourth thing: No matter how you slice, dice, or trice it, Grandmother Wendy was going to be alive long after the watch keeper was dead.

The fifth thing: The watch kept a woman fertile long after all her friends had had menopause. Ain't life a bitch! Just when you think it's safe to drink the water...


Junior ( she was a Wendy, but Wendy the elder and Wendolyn the younger were still ticking. The elder was raising havoc in the ancient world. Wendy the younger was busy protecting her princessapality against all transgressors, assessors and possessors.) had the watch. Like everyone else... 'Oh, you're 12 today ... Happy Birthday!' ... she got the watch ... in a box ... with coal.

Too said, "Junior, you have the watch. Use it. Don't get caught. Right now your brothers need you for their practical jokes."

Practical Jokes ... HA! Twin 17 year old boys with all the invincibility of the young and sneaky to boot. They had been having the time of their lives defeating the clandestine forces of both the United States and Canada.

Each country wanted the island, Too's 'Princessapality, ' as she called it, as it had belonged to both at one time or another. Added to the mess was France, Canada was a French Colony before it was a British Colony. That's totally discounting the Indians claims. Even though Native American is politically correct, they were invaders, just like the whites, blacks, yellows and blues.

Don't forget to include the United Nations in the mix. They had recognized Wendolyn as sovereign owner within a day of her possession.

They stationed a Swiss peacekeeping force after the first attempt at take over. Poor guy. He was cute and Junior liked him.

Too, that's Wendolyn, Junior, the daughter, and the twins had designed a National Flag before a week of countrification had taken place. It was a cross-eyed embroidered face of Too with her hands in her ears like moose antlers and her tongue sticking out. It was one of the nation's biggest income producers.

The coming winter with the lakes iced over was going to be the biggest test of the Princessapality's defenses. Too, ever the thinker, had contacted S&S Enterprises and lease purchased a couple of their as yet to be offered to the world, but rejected by the United States military, dirty tricks. And she had asked for a couple of the miniature drones Wes had designed.

One of her major disappointments was the refusal of S&S to sell her the new but unwanted fighter. They were so damn fast and CHEAP!! She did buy a couple of twin turboprops reinforced with Jeff and Gerry's composite.

The Americas, both US and Canada had refused military aid so Russia was shipping a couple of real MIG 35's and several blowup fakes. Too was already a very competent pilot and the boys were licensed multi drivers. Too was hoping the Russians would arrive before the ice set in.

Admittedly, the Canadians and the Americans didn't recognize the licenses that Wendolyn had set up and printed but she had her own airspace ... Her airspace claims were the same as both countries so there was a lot of confusing overlap... 200 miles is 200 miles. Just to the border of Detroit!

To cement her possession, she had a General Steel hotel with a peeled log facade put up over by the 'Princess International Aerodrome', an asphalt runway running diagonally on the island.

She hired at least one son or daughter of every diplomatic persuasion from every nation in Europe, England, India, Japan, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, and every other country reasonably friendly to the USA and Canada. An assault might piss off some parents who in turn might cause said nation to be pissed off at said invading country.

Too, the Twins or Junior, met every tourist group as they descended from either ferry or aircraft. The family mind reading curse came in handy:

"Yes, Yes, Yes, No, Yes, No, Yes, Yes." The 'yesess' passed and were admitted. The 'no's' were held for questioning and returned to their country of origin. Questioning? Actually, they were placed in a very comfortable room and were told, "Someone will be with you soon. We're a small country, be patient. Coffee? Tea? Pillow?" No one ever came.

"Anything to declare?"

"Pot? No problem. Come on in." Unless it was a lot.

"Weapons? Nope. Smile for the camera. Bye. Don't come back."

By nightfall, the undesirable were on the way back to either the US or Canada and the genuine tourists were having fun, spending money, gambling and buying Princess Flags.

Every once in a while, particularly unsavory characters woke up in 1520 or 1920. Just a touch and winding. Bye. See you. Junior was the best at placement. Tim dropped by for the distant relocations.

It's very difficult for the offending country to ask for the return of people they don't know anything about.

The Americans tried a little behind the scenes pressure. Too tapped every confrontation and broadcasted it from her two bit TV studio. Jamming attempts were met by Junior and the Twins time bunking to the night before the troubles and the power mysteriously failed.

Too had the watch a long time ... more than 40 years. She was running out of places to liberate funds from. The prohibition era was great ... so many bribes, kickbacks and graft ... money unreported and unreportable. And so easy to find with the invisibility factor to the watch.

Ah, but they were a normal family ... sorta ... a young husband, a rich wife, three kids, four cats and a yacht ... oh, yeah ... an island.


Wendy breezed into the old house, all blond and blue, wearing the clothes she was wearing the first time they met ... blue crinolined jumper with a priceless tatted pinafore, white cotton stockings and slippers. She was 11... 12 in a month. She tripped lightly to his room.

David croaked, "Hello Wendy, I see it's time to go. It's about time."

She caressed his wrinkled and knuckled old hand, the skin leathery and scarred. The eyes, as she looked adoringly on his face, were sharp and focused. She pushed his white hair back over the bald spot. 'Oh my gods, this is so hard.'

'Don't be sad for me, Wendy. This is the door to the next great adventure. I'm so sorry you have to miss it.'

Hardly able to keep the sparkle in her eyes from running down her cheeks, she replied, 'I'm sorry too, David. Tim tells me I'm no where near done. There's ancestors I have to be and other husbands and children I have yet to bury. I think I might have been better off riding the tower than living the lives before and behind me.'

'Ah, but I'd have missed the dreams.' He chuckled, 'and the viagra.'

She had the grace to blush. She took out the watch and he touched her. 'When do you want to go?'

'Do we still have Time Flies?'

'Yes, she's falling apart but she still floats.'

'I'd like to sail her off into the sunset with you. 96 is plenty old enough. I'd prefer to look at water ... I'm not much on grass. Let's go to her ... last year, please.'

Wendy wound the watch.


Junior stood stock still. "Grandfather David is gone! Mom!"

"Yes, dear. I know. The world felt his passing." Too, struggled to pull herself together. "We're needed at the Aerodrome. There's another flight of tourists coming."

"Mo-om!"

"Life does go on, the living have to take up the slack."

Chapter 2 ยป