Barbra Rhubarb Austin Writer


Losing Track of Time

 "Where did you see him last, ma'am?"

 "We were on our way home from the field, officer," she wrung her hands. "I don't know how it happened, exactly. I just lost track of him."

 "Which field were you at?" asked the officer.

 "At the track. By the Y. He was running laps, sir, like he always does. The thing about him, though, is he didn't like ovals. Something to do with uneven distribution of corners. Strange little fellow, he is," she said. "So, he'd take a shortcut, to take a more circular route. You could always find him on track. That's why I'm so lost. I only took my eyes off him for a second."

"Can you describe what he was wearing, ma'am?"

 "Well now, let me think. It seems his shirt was just a neutral color, athletic pants, stripes down the sides," she said. "But his shoes, they had red flames sewn into the sides. A flash whizzing by as he circled the inside lane."

 "His race?" the officer asked.

 "He raced all the time, sir. Raced around and around that darn track. Wouldn't even stop for anything. Hard to say exactly, though.Sometimes he seemed to drag and sometimes sped by so fast. If you're talking seconds or nanoseconds....."

 "The color of his skin, I mean," interrupted the officer.

 "Oh. Sorry. Pale, his complexion was just so pale. His face stayed white all the time," she answered. "And I mean, all the time. In the middle of the night that little pale face lit up the bedroom. Nothing phased him."

 "Mannerisms, ma'am?"

 "Well, he pointed one hand, quite a lot of the time. One arm was longer than the other, you see. When he was little there was that incident with the elastic band. Well, that's neither here nor there, is it?" she asked. "The longer hand she'd point in one direction. His second hand, maybe it was less muscular, I'm not sure, would pass in circular motions. Slowly, quite slowly. Always in motion. Always tracking.

 "Thank you for your time, ma'am." the officer stated. "We'll do our best not to let this one slip through the cracks."

 "I should hope so, Officer," she said. "The crack between the sidewalk and the track is such a slippery slope. I hope you can find Time and find out why he disappeared. He heals all my wounds, you know."

 "Time will tell," the Officer said. "We'll ask him as soon as we find him."



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Barbara Rhubarb



Austin, Texas 78745