Time and Time Again (bridge series 24 or better)

Coral continued her casual stroll through the Desert of Secrets, she tapped her sacred cane a few times on the sandy hiway, lost in thought, the silver alligator head of the walking stick remained cool in her hand. 

 

When her last customer left Here, she raged at man’s infallible gods and closed the place up, not permanently of course, that was not allowed, but she left none the less. 

 

 Her thoughts never wandered far from her beloved Timekeeper, that beautiful Bull Alligator that braved the bridge to show her the blackness that would consume all that was or ever would be. 

 

 When her thoughts did wander they went to that woman Coraline, or to her other self, Aleese, both stuck in a hell that would eventually pale in comparison to what was to come.

 

Time and Time Again she thought of them all, and time and time again she shed tears for those that would be lost, and wished for the tenth or the millionth time that Something would change.

 

Lightening struck the asphalt everytime the cane tapped a beat, when she lifted the walking stick over her shoulder the storm intensified, and for an instant she knew fear. Something was Wrong.

 

Coral immediately turned back and ran as rain as black as raven’s tears and as thick as coal pelted the ground, leaving craters in their wake.  Seeking shelter from the storm she huddled in the doorframe of the little tavern just off the hiway, the sign above the roof said “Here”, but Something had Changed.

 

Try as she might the door would not open, she began to kick the door with her foot, then rammed it with her shoulder, but it barely budged.  She knelt down to catch her breath, the ancient wooden cane her only support, when a sound so loud cracked behind her. She dropped the cane and covered her ears.

 

The (thunder?) assaulted her six more times before it ceased, she likened the sound to an axe cleaving a tree,  ad infinitum, and then the door to Here opened with a slight creak.  She reached for the cane and found it had been sundered, the silver head had melted, obscuring the..

the..figure that was shaped as..as.. Coral gave up that train of thought and entered the tavern, she barely registered that an object was shimmering across the road. 

 

 For a moment, just a moment, it looked like a bridge, but when she looked closer it was gone. She chalked it up to the fog and the wind and the sand playing tricks on her mind, but she looked once more, just in case. 

 

For a moment, just a moment, she swore that there was an alligator looking back at her, but the next blast of wind dissipated the image and it was gone.  Gone just like her mind she thought, an alligator in a desert of all the silly things!

 

Coral  turned the sign over to “open”, put her apron back on, and began wiping down the bar, safe from the ravages of the desert storm.

                                                                               ***

 

In the year 1803 a female alligator laid thirteen eggs somewhere along the banks of the Mississippi River near a place Man called “New Orleans” in a state they called “Louisiana”.

 

The incubation period was typical and therefore unnoteworthy, even by Timekeeper’s standards.  Of the thirteen, twelve were female, they hatched without incident and swam away in the murky waters, following their mother.

 

The thirteenth was a male-child.

 

The last to break free of his egg he was immediately eaten by a larger reptile lurking in the water, thereby nullifying his future as the Greatest and Oldest alligator of Time immeasurable even to the Old Ones.

  

 His deleted existance was not only noteworthy, but also horrifying, especially by Timekeeper’s standards.

 

*** 

 

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