Mar 12

In the Company of Angels: Episode 8.1 – The Wardrobe



In the Company of Angels, Episode 8.1 – The Wardrobe


“It’s 1946?!!!” Jill blurted out.

“Yes, my dear. Why, whatever year did you think it was?”

Jill sensed, involuntarily, a wave of panic coming from Sam. She turned to him and thought, as ‘loudly’ as she could “Sam, what’s wrong? I know it’s crazy to have gone back in time, but why is it so bad that we’re here?”

Sam was too troubled with the news of their being in 1946 to realize, at first, that Jill had not spoken to him aloud. “Because,” he said back to her, “if we change anything while we’re here, and I mean anything, we could be toast! That’s what ‘time-tethering’ is all about! That’s why we try as hard as we can never to framerun a time-tethered world.”

“But we can’t change that much while we’re here, can we?” Jill thought back to him.

Sam suddenly realized that Jill hadn’t moved her lips. But the shock was only momentary; realizing what was happening, he thought back to her, as loudly as he could, “We don’t have to change much. Any change could make all kinds of things could go terribly wrong! Don’t you see?

“A person wanting to talk to the Professor this afternoon might not be able to, because we’re here with him in his study. Then, that person might leave early, and someone that they were supposed to casually notice on the street isn’t there when they should have been. But, if that someone they were supposed to notice was the very person that they were going to marry someday, then none of that might happen…and it would all be because we were here with the Professor when we weren’t supposed to be!

“Or think of it this way: a bird maybe doesn’t come to a bird-feeder when it should, because we’re here in the window, and it’s scared off; so, a child looking for it might go outside to play instead of staying inside watching for it, and that child might accidentally be hurt, or even killed. Anything could change, you see, and we might go back home to find that the world we have always known no longer exists; even our own families and everyone we know might be gone forever!”

The thoughts flooded into Jill’s mind much faster than they would have if Sam had spoken them aloud, and with them she was able to feel his rising panic.

All this time the Professor had been silent, but he had been observing them both closely. He began to stroke his chin. “I know you both appear a bit preoccupied, but I believe I am beginning to understand….

“Let me speak for a moment, Master Deckard, and then you can tell me if I’m on the right trail. You and Miss Jonnson here are both, as incredible as it may seem to me, from some future time, perhaps years or even decades hence — I don’t actually want or need to know the specifics. But while you are here, you fear changing anything, lest the world you know be put into peril; the chain of events leading to your future might be altered, or broken completely. Is that what you mean by ‘time-tethering’, Master Deckard?”

Sam looked at the Professor with wonder and admiration. He had not expected, even from a Professor, such a quick grasp of their predicament. “Well, yes Sir, that pretty much sums it up,” he said.

“Well, then, say no more! It would seem, then, that the safest course of action would be to hurry you both on whatever business brought you here in the first place. I am not unfamiliar with problems associated with time-travel, although space travel has been, most recently, my greater literary concern. That said, we should get you both back where you belong with as much alacrity and as little fuss as possible! So, tell me exactly what we need to do.”

Sam looked at Jill and then back at the Professor. Jill sensed Sam’s emotions calming as he thought through the mission that had brought them there in the first place and began to consider what needed to be done.

“First, Sir, we have to find the ravenr. Or, at least, we need to find its nest. With luck, it will either be carrying the sapphire it stole, or it will have stowed it away someplace handy and we can retrieve it. Do you happen to know where it spends its time when it is not inside your attic?”

“I’ve never considered,” said the Professor. “We certainly have ravens on the grounds, and that quite often, but I’ve never noticed anything that might distinguish this particular raven from any other. When I’ve paid them any real attention, it has been because they’ve come to the birdbath with some morsel, or because Bruce has been barking at them.”

“Bruce, Sir?” asked Jill.

“Yes, our dog. He and our two cats often wander the grounds getting into mischief. They — the cats I mean — hardly ever catch anything other than mice. Bruce, although he is getting far too old to chase anything, is yet quite fond of barking at the least provocation, ravens included.”

“Have you ever noticed a place where ravens tend to congregate?” asked Sam.

“No, not really.”

“Then we’re back where we started. We’ll just have to to wait for him to come back to the attic and try to trap him,” said Jill.

“Well…” said Sam, “…perhaps not. Professor, didn’t you say that raven’s collect shiny things?”

“Yes, they’re very attentive birds and are always intrigued by and curious about unusual items that they notice, shiny things included. And, particularly when they’re young, they apparently  will collect a cache of such odds and ins into their nests. ”

“Whatever are you thinking about, Sam?” asked Jill.

“Well, don’t you see? If this raven has collected into its nest, along with the crystal, bits of mirrors or anything else reflective….”

“Ah!” said Jill.

“I’m afraid you’ve lost me,” said the Professor. “Why should that be significant?”

“It wouldn’t seem to be, I’ll admit,” said Sam, “but, have you ever looked into a mirror and wondered if there was something on the other side? You know, another world just beyond the surface of the reflection?”

The Professor peered at Sam intensely. “Are you suggesting, young man, that there is? Another world I mean?”

“Well, not exactly a world, but another space; an intermediate zone from which one can step from one place to another.”

“I’ve not considered the possibility of anything along those lines since I was a child: anything seems likely when we’re young. But am I correct in assuming that, if such an ‘intermediate space’ exists behind every mirror, that you can travel into that space?”

“In a way, Sir. It’s not something everyone can do, or at least not easily, but I can, with the help of one of the crystals.” Sam held out his sapphire again for the Professor to see.

“Good heavens! Worlds within worlds! But how, pray tell, do you intend to use this capability to find your raven?”

“Well, if I’m right, and if the raven has gathered shiny things that reflect what’s around them, I may be able to locate his nest by finding and ‘seeing’ out of the Maze — that’s what we call the intermediate space — through some of those things.”

“Sounds like a long shot to me,” said Jill.

“Sure it is! But, do you have a better suggestion?” asked Sam.

Jill thought for a moment. “No, I don’t. I guess it’s worth a try….”

“Alright then!” said Sam. “Professor, do you happen to have a mirror handy? One large enough for me to fit through?”

“I can’t believe I’m saying this, but yes, there’s one in the old wardrobe. We keep it in the attic space at the top of the stairs. It has mirrors inside its doors.”

“Great!” said Sam. “That should work.”

Just then, Mrs. Mills knocked on the door to the Professor’s study. Jill stood up and opened it, and the housekeeper brought the tea things in and set them down on the table by the door.

“Will you be wantin’ anythin’ else, Professor?” Mrs. Mills asked, once she had laid out the tea kettle, the cups, scones, jam, sardines, and butter, and all was tidy and in order.

“No, Mrs. Mills, I believe that should be all. But, I did want to ask you whether you knew anything else about that raven that you’ve been seeing in the attic? Other than what you’ve already told me, that is?”

“You mean other than that it keeps comin’ back inside? It’s an odd bird, Sir, a very odd bird! Doesn’t leave any mess, but there’s no keeping it out of that attic. I think maybe it comes for the paintings.”

“Whatever do you mean?”

“You know all of the framed pictures you keep yonder in the attic,” Mrs. Mills gestured out the door, “I don’t know why, but it seems plain to me that the bird likes ‘em. Every time I catch it in there, it’s either staring into one of ‘em or perchin’ nearby. I was thinkin’ now, if we covered them up, the villain might stop sneakin’ in and botherin’ us.”

“Thank you, Mrs. Mills. I’ll consider that. It certainly might be worth a try.”

The door shut behind the housekeeper. Sam sat thinking for a moment. “You know, Sir, Mrs. Mills may be right. We came here though one of the paintings in your attic; the raven might well be doing something along the same lines….”

“You came here how?!” asked the Professor.

“Through one of your paintings, Sir. That’s how we travel; it’s how we got here in the first place.”

The Professor shook his head and rubbed his eyes. “First it’s mirrors, then it’s paintings. Worlds within worlds, indeed!” he said, as if to himself. Then he stood up. “Alright, clearly this is no time for tea, although I’ll be happy to take a cup if you would care to….”

Jill and Sam looked at each other, then both stood up.

“No, Sir,” said Jill, “if you’re willing to let the tea go cold, we are too. Where’s the wardrobe?”

The Professor led them out onto the landing and opened a door at the top of the staircase. Within the small attic space behind the door — a different part of the attic than the one they had been in before — was a wardrobe. It was large, heavy, and old fashioned, made from some wood that Jill could not identify; and it had curious carvings on the front. They opened its doors; it was empty. But, just as the Professor had said, there were mirrors mounted on the insides of the doors.

“Perfect!” said Sam.

         [ To read Episode 8.2, click here…. ]



1 ping

  1. Στη συντροφιά των Αγγέλων, επεισόδιο 8 – Η Ντουλάπα | tolkien.gr

    […] Για το πρωτότυπο κείμενο πήγαίνετε εδώ: http://jefmurray.com/framerunners/uncategorized/in-the-company-of-angels-episode-8-1-the-wardrobe/ […]

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