Jehanne d’Arc

SHE FELT A BEAD OF SWEAT trickle down her back, while others formed ready to soak her shirt beneath her encounter suit. The overwhelming urge was to scratch at the irritation from the carbon that leached out from the suit, but she couldn’t. Couldn’t because of the large rubber gloves covering her hands. Hands that rested either side of the communications rig, waiting. Waiting for a signal. A word. Anything that would tell her what was happening in her own little sphere of the war.

She had not taken her eyes from the leader board, out front, in over ten minutes. Concentrating on the ever changing data, as the lettered tiles flipped over, relaying the alarming truth of their situation. The battle was not going well. Four squadrons had flown out in the early hours of the morning to engage the enemy, through the thick fog that covered the tiny hamlet. The base lay hidden, nestled in the sheltering cover of trees. All but the runway that is. A thin ribbon of concrete that gave away their position like a lit beacon flashing, ‘look we’re here!’

We’re here. She tried not to think about it. About what had brought them to this moment in time, this moment in space—in such a short time. Diplomacy having long since failed. The Peace talks having fallen on deaf ears, the bombs had starting flying instead of the rhetoric.

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Twist of Fate

SHE LOOKS AT ME AND begins twisting the threads, I am dumbfounded. She is going to do it. I can’t believe it. Not now, please, I still have three books half finished and three others already in outline mode that I need to write.

It isn’t fair, I want to scream at her, knowing of course, it will not make the slightest bit of difference. She cannot hear my plea, how can She? Deaf to all. Eyes only for her precious tapestry, weaving threads. Twisting, twining, feeding new strands in here, one there, seeing where they lead, looking for patterns.

All I’ve ever been able to do is watch and worry, knowing She would come to mine, but so soon?

No! I want to scream again.

She turns now, looking at me with those sad soulful eyes, not apologetic, how can She be? This is her life. She came into being when Time started. Her lot in life, to weave. She knows—knows that She will live till Time’s last foundation has fled.

While me?

I see Her hovering, deciding, scissors poised. I know She has to. The eyes say as much. There’s no other way. She picks up the loose strand that’s sticking up out of the tapestry. Such a short piece. It wouldn’t warrant Her attention—except. I seem to have caused a blockage. There’s a jumble of threat all caught in a tight knot, but worse, it appears to be spreading. Other threads are arriving, getting caught up, and me? There I am, the only one sticking up out of the weave.

She tugs.

I feel it in my heart. That terrible moment of fear. The strand is loosening. She tugs again. Another stab.

No! Please.

She has it loose now, the scissors move. I close my eyes but in my minds-eye, I hear the ‘snip’ as the blades close. I know. I feel it in my chest. That fatal moment. Will I open my eyes ever again? I hold my breath, as if this will help. I hear the click. My eyes fly open. My hand sits over my heart. It’s still beating, rapid, but strong.

She looks at me now, the sadness almost overwhelming. She offers me the tiny piece, golden, so small. I take it. Feel the hot tears. She did her best, the look says. A finger points. I stare at the tapestry. My thread is still there. Just not as long. The other threads begin to move, the living tapestry flows before my eyes. I take a deep breath and open my palm. The tiny golden snippet has vanished. I frown. Look up at Her, questioning.

A long fine finger points again. I look down, there—there it is, on my chest. I stare uncomprehending. A long thin scar. I trace a finger along it. It’s mine. I feel it. It sits above my heart. I realise then She has given me more time. Not much, but more than I had. Just one tug and She let me live. I sigh and look up, She is smiling again. The sadness in Her eyes always ever-present but the lips? Ah! They move but I don’t hear the words, my eyes heavy with sleep, my mind slipping. I drift away.

When I open my eyes again it’s to the sound of birds chirping outside a window. I look about me and register I’m in a hospital bed. Blinking, I make the connection, my hand sliding beneath the thin hospital gown. Fingers reaching, I find it. The remnant of a tiny golden thread. Mine. A scar to remind me. Life is short.


The Dark

THERE WAS NO LIGHT. That was precious knowledge. The realization of which had cost her more than she would have thought possible, if she had but known.

Everything needs a context. And for the darkness to mean anything there had to have been a memory of light. The memory was fading fast.

It would happen, and then, more often than not, happen again. Sometimes there was more than just the tentative awareness that, in its-self, did not always register.

She could not remember.

It would come back to her, things usually did. She always remembered didn’t she? But she couldn’t remember.

Time was something she had an eternity of, milliseconds were like millennia here.


Wherever here was. Time’s last foundation had fled, leaving her…where?

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