Here are links to the first for parts:
The Timekeeper, Part One, by Mark Gardner
The Timekeeper, Part Two, by Mozette
The Timekeeper, Part Three, by Angela Cavanaugh
The Timekeeper, Part Four, by Carolyn Astfalk
The Time Keeper, Part Five – Distant Testmaker
Ice cream with Jordan was the most fun I’d had in years. When I paid for our ice cream, I had a strange feeling of déjà vu. The banknote seemed to be the exactly the same as when I paid for the steak and mushrooms. My stomach churned at what I had witnessed, but I ate and asked Jordan about his school, his sister, and anything else I could get from the little boy.
The last ten years had been eerily similar for him and Tricia, but without me. I spent the day seeing the sights with Jordan. Everything was similar, but there were subtleties that I picked up on. We ran into Tricia only a few blocks from her house, and I relinquished Jordan back into her care. From the stories Jordan told me, Tricia was doing better than she had when I was her friend. As she led her little brother toward home, and I watched them recede into the distance, I wondered how our meeting and friendship had been changed.
I turned, and had the sudden feeling like I was on a roller coaster. My vision blurred momentarily, and I found myself in a familiar place – around the corner of a coffee shop. A coffee shop that would change my life so much in only ten years from the meeting with Tricia and Jordan.
I sucked in my breath as I watched a figure pause in front of the coffee shop. I would’ve recognized myself wearing the identical clothing I had on, but my actions solidified the recognition: Me, that was the me from… Hell, I don’t know… The me that tried to sell the watch. I was starting to understand what the hirsute pawnshop owner meant by trying to keep a grip on reality.
The earlier me peered across the street at the hours of operation, and she stepped into the coffee shop, a frantic gait as she peered into her purse. I pulled my timepiece out of my pocket and marveled at its reversion to the dull piece I had tried to sell. It’s meaning was lost on me, but I supposed this is what on-the-job training was all about.
“You got that right.”
I spun, frantic, at the sound of a familiar gravely voice. “Did I…”
He raised his hand to silence me. “Time is a fickle thing,” he declared.
I rolled my eyes, but issued the proper response. “But, it forever heeds its will to the timekeeper.”
He nodded. “I had to make sure you were the right you.”
The statement would’ve been bizarre in any other situation, but now?