Chapter 1

The Adventures of a Time Travel Watch

The Adventures of a Time Travel Watch and its users, written as a fictional Novel by me; an old man with a pen, but taken, with a little salt, from a series of diaries found in an old trunk purchased at a Self-Storage business auction.

The business had been the eyesore of the city for many years ... but someone had been paying the taxes and minimal upkeep on the grounds.

State Capital City, having spread like a cloud of locust over the central portion of the State had annexed our little town. Developers had torn down and rebuilt the village in the manner of their desires. The Self-Storage building, huge, ancient, once red brick and granite, had deteriorated to simply huge, brooding and in the way.

As such buildings do, it suffered from a fire of natural causes fifteen years before the sale. The taxes continued to be paid. The developers finally won their day in court five years ago and court ordered "Intent to Demolish" notices had been published in major and minor publications in cyberspace for four years.

Last year, a team of attorneys from every alphabet branch of the Federation of North America government descended on the town and insisted that the building be emptied of all remaining objects, regardless of condition, and those objects to be sold at Public Auction. This year, February First, 2116, the auction was held in a blinding blizzard. The locals stayed home, I attended for the express purpose of informational observation; My Blog. The Federation Lawyers attended en masse and a huge bidding war ensued. The village, autonomous in government, benefitted enormously.

The auction over, the attorneys loaded their booty in assorted Federation vehicles, and left. I bought the trunk I was sitting on for a dollar, called a friend and we struggled the heavy trunk to my vehicle. He helped me carry it up to my writers attic where we jimmied the lock. I threw back the lid.

"Old books!" he exclaimed with disgust. "Of course ... only you." He helped me turn the trunk, spill out the books and left. I was left with nearly one hundred and fifty pounds of old books, still smelling of smoke from the fire fifteen years before.

'Only you, ' was cryptic, my book cases full, I had nowhere to sit ... the chairs were full of books awaiting shelves. The shelves were awaiting the steel beams for floor reinforcement ... the steel beams were awaiting sufficient funds. I had a little space on my desk, but it was where I sat at my ancient computer and posted my blog and the novels I conjured out of whole cloth. I picked up the oldest looking book, A Diary: Stopwatch.

As I read, I realized that I had purchased the very thing the government was looking for: They will be back.

As I read, the violent blizzard raging across the state, I became more and more aware of the dangers present in possessing the physical evidence of a truly remarkable adventure. When I started reading, I could imagine the chagrin of an adolescent unable to wear a watch, or, for that matter, be near a windup. The sheer idea that a person had to live their life commanded by an object attached to their wrist was confusing. The wrist, in this case, led to a mysterious object; pocket watch. I turned on my ancient machine, connected to Cyberspace.gov, and began a search for pocket watch. As events turned out, the search was a serious mistake. Evidently 'pocket watch' was a flagged term.

A pocket watch (or pocketwatch) is a watch that is made to be carried in a pocket, as opposed to a wristwatch, which is strapped to the wrist. They were the most common type of watch from their development in the 16th century until wristwatches became popular after World War I during which a transitional design, trench watches, were used by the military. Pocket watches generally have an attached chain to allow them to be secured to a waistcoat, lapel, or belt loop, and to prevent them from being dropped. Watches were also mounted on a short leather strap or fob, when a long chain would have been cumbersome or likely to catch on things. This fob could also provide a protective flap over their face and crystal. Women's watches were normally of this form, with a watch fob that was more decorative than protective. Chains were frequently decorated with a silver or enamel pendant, often carrying the arms of some club or society, which by association also became known as a fob. Ostensibly "practical" gadgets such as a watch winding key, vesta case or a cigar cutter also appeared on watch chains, although usually in an overly decorated style. Also common are fasteners designed to be put through a buttonhole and worn in a jacket or waistcoat, this sort being frequently associated with and named after train conductors.Cyberspace.gov

As inventions go, time is surely one of the longest lasting. But does time predate the watch?

I left my 'computer' powered up for I shall certainly need the search mode again. That, too, proved to be a second or third mistake, if one considers the purchase of my seat after the auction, the first mistake.

With the snow piling up and the streets impassible, I violated the law and burned downed wood in my ancient implement called a potbelly stove.

In the time honored contradiction that is government, it was entirely legal for the real estate developers to completely deforest the entire town of thousands of two hundred year old oak, walnut and maple trees, grind them up and turn them to mulch, but it was against several state and local ordinances for me to burn so much as a single twig of those trees in my centuries old potbellied wood stove. I was restricted to construction scrap and poison treated pallets for fuel. I had spent the fall gathering deadfall, I do love the smell of burning wood and the flat top is a place to keep my 'coffee' hot. Eccentricity? Probably. I assume it is to be expected, after all, I do collect books.

These days, books ... books to be read ... compendia of esoteric information ... are rare. Almost as rare as a firearm in private ownership. Printing ... lines on paper made of treated wood fibers ... has given way to lines on a screen or ... for the slightly more affluent ... as a play with holographs acting out the story.

Books have a permanence that is difficult to alter. The current or expedient Political Correctness has no time to wait for decaying books to outlive the wrongness of their information, and burning them has been subjected to outrage in the courts. Evil government condones book burning and no Fed Gov wishes to appear dictatorial or evil.

Depending on the power structure of the current representation, holographs and stories in cyberspace are easily altered to suit.

The wind howls, the snowy streets turn icy and slick. It has been illegal to salt or sand for at least fifty years. The salt enters the ecosystem and tiny organisms suffer and mutate. The sand causes hydroelectric dams to silt up. The power generated is more important than the movement of employees ... after all ... who employes them?

There are no industrial entities in the Fed ... everything was moved offshore seventy years ago. The world has changed so much that the offshore recipients of the initial offshore movement have evolved into industrial giants and began moving their polluting industry offshore ... as the Fed did one hundred and fifty years ago. Oh ... I know ... the government claimed the greed of greedy men was responsible but nothing happens without consent of government.

I swept a chair clean of 'DIY' books. I made piles of the books ... those attributed to The Wendy were stacked in order of their beginning. This was difficult, trying to find a legitimate beginning date for each diary was nearly impossible ... there was so much fantasy involved and certain characters were so endearing ... and enduring ... there were times that I found myself halfway through a volume when I intended only to read enough to place the the book in its proper order.

It was in one of these accidental forays that the accumulating information finally made a break-through; this town, my town, was the residence of many of the participants. The description of the fireplace that held the secret passageway could possibly the fireplace on the first floor of my ancient home. The huge opening, large enough to burn a Yule log had been long boarded over.

The trunk ... that trunk ... the trunk sitting on its side, lid flopping and loose ... could be "The Trunk."

"You are getting too involved," I told myself. "These volumes are nothing but fantasy and science fiction ... but still."

I realized I was hungry ... hungry and tired ... too tired ... I sought my bed. Almost immediately a symptom of my advanced age struck. I had to pee ... now. The bathroom was two stories down ... I had no choice ... go now or forever hold your pee ... and wet the bed. A heavy sigh broke wind ... and so did the other end. Now it wasn't just Pee. I got up ... and decided that there was NO time for a robe.

The house had floor night lights alternating left and right ... the stair treads were lighted, too. I kept the main house at 45 degrees ... warm enough to not freeze but cold enough to discourage the neighborhood neighborly visiting busybodies from a long stay ... and I didn't allow shoes.

I sat ... my eyes widened ... I finished my business as fast as possible..."If you could find a way to collect that, David, you could heat the whole house." Then I decided..."I'm here ... I'm hungry ... I have eliminated a goodly portion of internal fuel ... wash up and go eat.

"While you're at it ... see if there's a switch or lever in the fireplace facade.

"Coincidence. Pure and simple." There was a lever ... but the fireplace had been boarded over for more than fifty years.

Take the four knives with, when you go back up.

The trunk had an insert ... just like the diary mentioned ... a click ... one knife, then the second, third and the last. Nothing happened ... then I recalled what I had read ... I walked to the back of the bottom of the leather case and kicked it ... right in the middle. The cloth covered interior slid out. There was a rattle ... a gold pocket watch fell out on the floor. My eyebrows receded into my hairline.

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