From Time to Time… Part 1

“Today is the tomorrow of yesterday.”  With these words I opened the Phil conference.  We were in the back of a moving van.  It was a moving van for two reasons: number one, it was for moving a family’s furniture from one residence to another, and two, it was moving at about seventy-five miles per hour.  My voice could barely be heard above the rattling of the chassis, but it didn’t matter; the less people who knew what I said, the less who would disagree.  Nevertheless, I still had critics.

“That makes no sense,” said Quirk with a smirk.  “You don’t put those three terms together in a sentence.”

“My aunt put those together once,” Isaac told him.

“Well, that’s your aunt, and we all know insanity runs in the family.”

“And since we all are technically of one family because of our mutual creator, Liam,” Percival said, spreading his hands, “that makes you insane as well.”

Quirk opened his mouth and shut it again.

“I like your impression of a fish,” Steve taunted.  “And if you think about it, that statement does make sense.  Today is the tomorrow of yesterday…  It means that today was tomorrow when it was yesterday.”

“Thanks for making that so much clearer,” said Quirk sarcastically.

“Think about it, if you actually have a brain floating around in that lump that decorates your shoulders,” Percival told him.  “Today, February 29th, tomorrow is” he checked his watch “March 1st.  Tomorrow, March 1st, yesterday will be what we now are calling today, February 29th, and the new tomorrow will be the 2nd.  So we can say that today, when looked at from yesterday, is tomorrow.  Make sense?”

“No.  Anyway, February 29th doesn’t actually exist.”

“Yes it does.”

“No it doesn’t.”

“Yes it does.”

“It’s a figment of our imagination.”

“No, it’s the day the world was set at rights,” I said.

“Of course,” said Percival, gesturing at me, “you had to be the one that says that.  Why couldn’t I have said it?  You get too many profound thoughts, Liam, and they go to your head.”

“Actually, they come from my head.”

“Exactly.”

“That’s not what you said,” Feiron told Percival.

“It’s what I meant, though, and that’s what matters.”

“Why does it matter what you meant if it isn’t what you said?”

“Because I meant it.”

Feiron dropped the conversation with a sigh, and it bounced loudly to the other side of the truck, where the old lady picked it up.

“So Liam, you said that today is the tomorrow of yesterday.  That could be said to mean something such as ‘Don’t do tomorrow what you can do today’.”

“I realized that, and I want you to know that I was thinking nothing of the kind when I thought it up.”

“Liam, you’re just being downright incomprehensible,” Phoenix said from the corner.  I had forgotten she was there.

“It’s what he does best,” remarked Sebase.

“What did you mean when you said that today was the day the world was set at rights?” asked Sam.  “Some sort of right angle convention or something?”

“Well, each year is 365 and a quarter days long.  Since we only go 365 days per year, the quarter days add up in the fourth year, when we have a leap day.  So the world is slightly off its orbit in every year, but is reset every fourth year.”

“Thank you, Percival,” I said.  “Speaking of which, I would like to tell everyone that we now have an excerpt from Percival’s story, the Fool of Koolbeneckerhoffen, on our blog.  I quite like the scene given, and it will give you all a taste of the fun Percival and I had.”

Percival nodded.  “I looked at the page.  It was quite fun to relive.  What nice memories… Pity Gologer isn’t here.  He’d like to know that he’s included in the excerpt.”

“Yes,” I said.  “Your accomplice was quite sure that we couldn’t rig up a dragon-sized open-topped cage on top of this trailer?”

“Well, it was all right until we realized that Gologer was claustrophobic,” said Percival.

“But it’s got spaces between the bars, and an open top!  And bottom, for that matter.”

“Still, there’s something rather offsetting about lying on top of a moving truck with your head stuck into the trailer beneath you.”

“And the head wouldn’t fit anyway.  Oh well.  You’ll have to fill him in on the details of the meeting later.”

“Which are what?  Quirk being immature again?”

“You’ll figure it out,” I said, speaking over Quirk’s indignant, and less than cordial, reply.  “I had something else profound to tell you all, but I’ve forgotten it.”

“Round of applause for Liam’s horrible memory!” called Steve.  Quirk, Feiron and Sebase obliged him, and Steve just pretended.

After a momentary pause in the conversation as I glared at each of them, Phoenix said, “Phume, you’re unusually quiet today.”

“No, this is normal,” said Sebase.  “Every other day he’s been talkative.”

“I don’t have any thoughts to contribute,” said the captain.

“You don’t have any thoughts at all,” muttered Feiron.

“Next time I hear a comment like that, fairy, I am decapitating you and feeding the rest of your body to the fish.”

“There aren’t any fish in here,” said Quirk.

“I brought mine along,” said Phume, producing a goldfish from his pocket.  The little thing was almost dead.  “I brought it because I like its smell.”  The captain took a long sniff.

“I can smell it from here,” Percival said, fanning his nose.  “That stinks worse than the time Gologer–”

“Yeah, thank you, we don’t need to hear it,” broke in Feiron.  “Right, Isaac?”

“Hm?  Yeah, I guess so.  Could you hand me one of those little sandwiches there on the table?”

“Isaac, there aren’t any sandwiches on the table.  In fact, there isn’t even any table,” Sebase told him.

“Oh.  I guess I was pretending.”

And with that profound thought, Armageddon decided to come early as an impact shook the truck and we became airborne.  A dent formed on the side as we were all thrown to the floor.

“That isn’t Gologer,” said Percival, “and whoever it is wants to kill us.”

To be continued tomorrow.

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1 Comment

  1. Ah! The dreaded cliff hanger! I can’t wait to read the rest!

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