Time and Time Again (bridge series #24/loophole 2)


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.





(if ya’ll are trying to connect these, it kinda picks up after “Walking Away” #20, then skips to #23?) 


Plot Thickens, Thursday:

Seeking shelter from the storm

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Comment by alisa rynay haller on May 28, 2011 at 12:57pm
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you do know that the English Prof I named “Mr Clay” in the first of this series was YOU right? I knew Bob wouldn’t care.
Comment by Michael D. Brown on May 28, 2011 at 11:37am
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Impressive. Knotty and intriguing. I’m just getting to this, so I apologize if it seems I’ve forgotten about you and your work. That I could never do.

This sounds very serious, but I have to say the names of a couple of characters brought a smile to my lips. The thought flashed, “Oh, what you writers in the desert will get up to!”

I’ll be back for more as time allows. How could I not?

Comment by alisa rynay haller on May 28, 2011 at 10:28am
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thanx to CJT; Her side of this story has given me the opportunity to tell it in ways I didnt think could be done..

I think we will be 60-80yr old crones still battling it out!

and Ed, DB and everyone else I have added without their permission…damn, I need Smitty!

Comment by alisa rynay haller on May 28, 2011 at 12:19am
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Oh dear, see that’s where I think it will all fall apart at the seams!
Comment by Travis Smith on May 27, 2011 at 10:33am
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I wasn’t complaining – just commenting that after you have finished the series I think it will be even better to read them all in sequence.
Comment by alisa rynay haller on May 27, 2011 at 10:20am
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oh travis I’m so sorry to make you do that. I have about 4 of your novella’s I  haven’t caught up with either!
Comment by Travis Smith on May 27, 2011 at 9:24am
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This series has been enjoyable Alisa – I think I will have to go back and read them all in sequence to really catch all of the points.  Well done
Comment by alisa rynay haller on May 26, 2011 at 10:57am
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the happy ending is coming her way, I think, but the alligator had to go, even before he arrived or she’d stay miserable (Time Stops #23)
Comment by D.B. Dean on May 26, 2011 at 5:56am
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As always superb imagery and mind shuttering story line that leaves me fearful of our future. I was really hoping you were bring back the time keeper in the end, but all for naught. well done. You just reached in a scraped a little hole inside me and left me weak and wanting more. I keep hoping for a happy ending for her.

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