A WATCH IN TIME
A Full Length Short Story by Golden Keyes Parsons
(She gasped, and grabbed the hankie. “Where did you get this? You’ve never carried a handkerchief before. This is the same one you handed to me in 1946.”)
“I found it in the old bureau in the guest room. I just thought it was cool. You must have seen it and incorporated it into your dream.”
“You said the exact same words to me back then, ‘Seems you need this more than I do.’”
“Coincidence.” He rubbed the back of his neck.
David’s hand trembled. “Your hand is shaking. David, you are remembering something, aren’t you?”
“Uh-uh.” He folded his arms and paced back and forth. “I’m not remembering a thing, but …”
“I … I had a dream last night that I was here in the house sometime in the 40’s, and it was a boarding house. There was a desk in the parlor with an old lady—”
“—with round glasses? And her name was Mrs. Kleine?”
David stared at her. “Hey, I’m not buying this. These have got to be things we’ve read about or been told, and now they’re surfacing as dreams.”
“Whatever.” Lily Kate sighed. “I don’t want to argue any longer. Put the album back in the trunk, please, and let’s go get something to eat. I’m starving.”
“Sounds good to me.”
David shut the lid of the trunk after placing the album back in its proper place. They closed and locked the door to the attic. The thud of their footsteps echoed through the stairwell sealing the final chapter to the mysteries of hazy recollections of the past.
Lily Kate let her dark hair down out of the clip. “Let me go freshen up.”
“You look fine.”
“Just some lipstick and a brush through my hair.”
“Okay, hurry. I’ll pull the car around front.”
Lily Kate brushed her hair and decided it looked fine hanging loose around her shoulders. She swiped on light pink lip gloss, and picked up her purse. The “ding-dong” of the front door bell hurried her down the hallway.
A handsome young Air Force lieutenant with his arm in a sling smiled at her. He held a crumpled piece of paper in his hand. Her heart leapt into her throat as she stared at the face she thought never to see again.
“Hi. Uh, ma’am, I don’t want to bother you. You appear to be on your way out.”
She motioned to David pulling to the front of the house. “Yes … uh… my brother and I were just going to grab a bite to eat.”
“I won’t delay you. Could I ask you a quick question?”
“I suppose so. Of course, what is it?”
“I know this is a long shot, but would you happen to know anything about someone named Lily Kate Monroe who lived at this address during World War I?”
“My name is Lily Kate Monroe.”
The lieutenant stared at her. “I … I don’t understand.”
Afraid to say what she was thinking, nevertheless the name precious to her slipped through her lips. “Clay?”
“Yes, ma’am. Well, it’s actually Clayton. How did you know?”
“My mother was going through some family papers and found this in my great uncle’s footlocker. He was a fighter pilot in World War I, and was killed over France. I’m named after him. The locker was returned to the family along with …” He pulled the watch out of his pocket. “ … along with this watch and a packet of love letters from a girl named Katherine. Could she possibly be one of your ancestors?”
“Oh, I see.” Lily Kate smiled, her heart threatening to leap out of her chest. “Possibly” She took his arm, and guided him toward the car where David waited. “Say, could you go with us to dinner, and we’ll talk … talk about our families?”
“Sure, I’m always up for a good meal.”
She pointed to the sling. “What happened to your arm?”
“Not very glamorous, I’m afraid. I’m also a fighter pilot, and I …”
“ … stumbled getting out of the cockpit?”
He turned and stared down at Lily Kate. “How did you know that?”
“You wouldn’t believe me if I told you, but I will try.” A smile began to rise from the bottom of her soul that lifted the corners of her mouth. “I really will try.”
Thank you for following along with Lily Kate and her adventure through time. All of the historical facts about Waco, Texas, during the various time periods Lily Kate visited are as historically accurate as I could determine. It was fun writing this story which first appeared in the Waco Today Magazine, a publication of the Waco Tribune Herald. Thanks for joining us!
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