Crochet Felon by Rhiannon Matlock

Matlock Reeves

That wasn’t the first time crocheting had resulted in a felony….

It’s not what you think. Well, I’m not sure what you could think with that opening line. They aren’t exactly a string of words that one would normally hear, but the truth of the matter is that it has happened all too often to me.

Time was like a blanket, woven together with thousands of threads interlocking and affecting each other until there was nothing but a whole. It was a lesson that my father and all of my ancestors had learned since they were practically born. It was an important lesson if one was to be a protector of such a precious thing as Time.

As I sat in my cell, I contemplated how I’d gotten into this particular situation. Maybe the solution of getting out of it would present itself.

I’d been minding my own business when that leggy, almost Amazonian woman walked into my office. She had dark hair and red lips. An instantly winning combo in my book. Looking back on it, I couldn’t help but wonder if she knew that coming in. Probably.

It was likely how she’d gotten me to agree to look for her son. She told me that Ester, her friend from church, had mentioned how great of a detective I was. Flattery got you everywhere with me. Especially from beautiful brunettes.

I sighed. Yup, she had my number from the beginning. Little did I realize at the time that her son was not her son. She handed me a picture of a young man walking a rather large golden retriever. Perhaps I should’ve questioned why the photo only had a side shot of the man’s face or why the picture seemed to highlight the canine more, but I was enamoured and easily persuaded.

I’d gone through the regular channels, hacking systems and checking facial recognition and records, but there was not a trace of the boy. Nothing that even showed he was ever born. It raised all sorts of flags and instead of asking the right questions, I’d gone to the basement and pulled out my needles. After much research and a little badgering, I discovered the exact spot in which the photo was taken and committed the ultimate crime.

Wincing, I recalled my stupidity. Over five thousand years ago, an Ancient One had come to Earth. The species of Man at the time was not quite the same as the one of today, with more intelligence and even more cruelty. The Ancient One sought to tame the savageness by teaching Man the secrets of the universe.

Despite the warnings about using these secrets for gain, Man did what we did best; we lied. Pretending to listen, we learned and we practiced until we thought we knew more than the Ancient One and in our stupidity sought to get rid of our teacher. Instead of victory, Earth was nearly shattered. Few survived, but devastated by the destruction, the Ancient One decided it was time to leave. Unfortunately, some things could not be undone and the survivors were sworn to not only keep the secrets but to guard them for the rest of eternity. Some thought it a privilege but I rather thought it was a punishment and probably a benefiting one. I mean, to know how to rule the universe and not be able to wield the power? Could there be anything more cruel? That is, if the stories were to be believed.

I was one of those who were inclined to disbelieve. I mean, come on. How freaking ridiculous! But there was one thing from all that gibberish that I’d found useful. The threads of time. It was a mite too on the nose for me but spot on. I’d found them during one of the ceremonies and had helped myself to a few yards of it.

On a dare, I’d stitched a few of the threads and threw myself back almost thirty years ago when my father had met my mother. The scene was awkward and thankfully I’d been ripped out from the past by my father within a few seconds. I’d set off some kind of magical alarm and unfortunately my dear old dad wasn’t keen on my discovery. In fact, he’d been rather irate. My ass had never before or since ever been so red. Too bad I didn’t learn from my lessons.

It was why, not more than four hours ago, I’d been standing in the middle of the sidewalk on Madison Avenue looking like a complete freak as I pulled out a shiny ball of golden yarn. Tucking the threads in my pocket and then hooking a strand on one of the needles, I began to weave.  Slowly the threads began to glow and strand by strand the events of the past started to connect.

Before my eyes, yesterday and the days before that rolled across my vision like a movie reel being played backwards. It took a little bit before I finally spotted the man I was looking for. Cars that looked at least fifty years old and buildings that weren’t quite as worn as they were today came together next, and I realized that I was back in the 1950s. There was no way this man was my client’s son.

The dog began to yelp, causing the man to turn. He spotted something off in the distance and his face turned a ghastly shade of white.

Before I could see anything else, the vision went up in a puff of smoke and I felt as if I was being yanked through a wind tunnel as the movie reel that was time zipped by at lightning speed.

All too quickly, I was back in the present, looking at the outraged face of my father. Some things really never did change.

“Thomas Morgan Smith!,” he roared and I was certain half of New York City stopped to give me a pitying look.

“Hey dad,” I drew out innocently, “What brings you-”

“Don’t you dare,” he bite out and slapped cuffs on me.

From experience, I knew there was no getting out of them. And now here I was, sitting in a jail cell, waiting for sentencing and all I could think of was that look on that poor sucker’s face. What had caused it? What had he seen? It wasn’t good, and though I really didn’t have any feelings towards the man one way or another, I didn’t feel right about leaving things as they were.

Getting up from my seat, I started to pace. Should I?

There was really no question about it. I had to know why the trouble to find this guy and what had happened.

Something was telling me that this story was not finished. Not by a long shot.

I had to get back there. Only problem was how? Well I knew how. It would require a death sentence and a lot of mischief. I had the latter and seemed to court the first more often than I should.

Sticking my hands in my pockets, I felt something in the corner of my left compartment. A coin. I pulled it out and started. It was a placement coin. Something that could transport me wherever I wanted to go.

How did that get there? Did I bring it and forget it? Not likely. And why hadn’t it been seized already? I could sort of explain the last question. My dad had been a little too upset to do a proper search of me. Then again, he was nothing if not a stickler for protocol, no matter how pissed he got. I actually think it helped calm him down.

Did he… did he slip it to me? It was a laughable thought, but at that moment, I heard voices in the hall and knew my time was limited. Now was the occasion for action. Answers would come later. Taking the coin between my two fingers, I snapped it in half with considerable effort, and a moment later, I was whisked to the porch of a charming, if unremarkable, house.

It was completely foreign to me, and for a moment, I considered the coin was broken. As I wondered where in the hell I was, the front door creaked open and I was staring down the barrel of a gleaming .38 revolver and into the face of the beautiful brunette who had hired me.

“So, Thomas,” she said with a seductive smirk, “Are you ready to start your real task now?”

Oh boy, here I go again.

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